Doughty, Groskop and Ruppin on Desmond Elliott judging panel

Doughty, Groskop and Ruppin on Desmond Elliott judging panel

Author Louise Doughty is to chair the judging panel of the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize.

Joining her will be writer and comedian Viv Groskop, and Jonathan Ruppin of Foyles.

The £10,000 Desmond Elliott Prize is for the year’s best debut novel. The 2014 winner was Eimear McBride’s A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing (Galley Beggar Press/Faber).

Doughty, author of books including Apple Tree Yard (Faber), said: “The Desmond Elliott Prize is one of the most important prizes on the UK literary scene and I'm delighted to be chairing the panel for 2015. When I published my first novel, almost exactly 20 years ago, awards for debuts were one of the vital ways in which a new writer could get noticed.

“Since then, review space in newspapers has shrunk, advances have nose-dived and three out of the four prizes my first book was shortlisted for no longer exist. The advent of The Desmond Elliott Prize in 2007 was a welcome reversal to this trend and it has gone from strength to strength ever since.”

The prize is presented in the name of the late publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott, whose passion for finding and nurturing new authors is perpetuated by his prize.

Chairman of the prize trustees, Dallas Manderson, said: “We are immensely proud to announce our judges for The Desmond Elliott Prize 2015. I know that Desmond would have been thrilled to have three such highly regarded judges. It is with great anticipation that we wait to find out which author they select to join our fine list of winners.”

A longlist of 10 books will be announced in April and a shortlist will be announced in May. The winner will be revealed at a ceremony at Fortnum & Mason on 1st July 2015.