Page last updated at 17:56 GMT, Sunday, 13 July 2008 18:56 UK

Actor unveils 60,000 prize list

Michael Sheen at the list launch
Michael Sheen announced the names of the authors on the long-list

A long-list of 14 books being considered for the Dylan Thomas literary prize has been announced.

Actor Michael Sheen unveiled the list at Margam in Port Talbot of the English language writers under 30, drawn from around the world.

The biennial 60,000 prize has become one of the largest literary awards, with the winner announced in November.

The list includes authors from Dylan's native south Wales, and the rest of UK, South Africa, Kenya, the US and Iran.

The south Wales authors are Eric Gregory Award winner Zoe Brigley from Caerphilly with The Secret, and Joe Dunthorne from Swansea with Submarine.

Ross Raisin, 27, from London with his novel God's Own Country is also named and Caroline Bird, 21, is the youngest writer on the list with her second poetry collection, Trouble Came to the Turnip.

While many of the listed books are works of fiction, poetry is also strongly represented, with Jamaican-born Kei Miller's There is an Anger that Moves among them.

Port Talbot-born actor Michael Sheen, who announced the names on the long-list and said it was a "privilege" to be "part of an award that honours a truly great writer, a fellow Welshman, who has inspired so many young people, like myself, to follow what's in their heart.

Dylan Thomas
Ross Raisin - God's Own Country
Joe Dunthorne - Submarine
Ceridwen Dovey - Blood Kin
Susan Barker - The Orientalist and the Ghost
Priya Basil - Ishq and Mushq
Edward Hogan - Blackmoor
Ben Dolnick - Zoology
Susan Fletcher - Oystercatchers
Adam Green - Satsuma Sun Mover
Kei Miller - There is an Anger that Moves
Caroline Bird - Trouble Came to the Turnip
Zoe Brigley - The Secret
Porochista Khakpour- Sons and Other Flammable Objects
Nan Le - The Boat
Karen Russell - St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
Dinaw Mengestu - Children of the Revolution

"Although Dylan Thomas died while still a young man, he demonstrated the kind of unique talent that the Dylan Thomas Prize looks to recognise and reward amongst young writers everywhere across the globe," Sheen added.

"The sixteen works long-listed this year are very impressive, and certainly showcase the excellence of writing that exists across the entire English-speaking world at present."

The short list of entries will be announced in September ahead of the award ceremony in November.

The judging panel includes Peter Florence, Hay Festival founder and director, and six-time Bafta award-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies and poet Kurt Heinzelman.

Poet and writer Owen Sheers is also on the panel as is Edward Nawotka, a book columnist for Bloomberg News, and critic and journalist Miranda Sawyer.

The prize was first unveiled jointly in Swansea and New York in 2004 on the 90th anniversary of Dylan Thomas's birth, to be open to writers of novels, poetry, plays and travel books.

Swansea cultural critic and historian Peter Stead, who is also on the judging panel, came up with the idea of the prize.

On a trip to Italy he discovered a town called Viareggio had introduced a fiction prize, and invited the six short listed authors to come to the town to read their work.

In 2006 Rhondda-born Rachel Tresize won the prize for her collection of short stories, Fresh Apples.

The shortlist of entries will be announced in September ahead of the award ceremony in November.

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