Indie presses dominate Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist

Indie presses dominate Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist

Books by independent publishers dominate the shortlist for the £30k International Dylan Thomas Prize, with Waterstones Book of the Year author Sarah Perry named among them.

Five out of six of the shortlisted authors for the prize, which honours work by authors under the age of 39, are by independent publishers, while two are debut novels.

Sarah Perry has made it onto the shortlist for her historical fiction The Essex Serpent, published by indie press Profile Books's imprint Serpent's Tail, which was crowned the Waterstones Book of the Year in December. Meanwhile debut novels Pigeon by Welsh author Alys Conran, published by indie press Parthian and The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam from Sri Lanka, published by Granta, are also in the running.

A poetry book, Cain by Luke Kennard (Penned in the Margins) has made the list, along with two collections of short stories; Dog Run Moon: Stories by Callan Wink (Grant) and Fiona McFarlane’s The High Places (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

The prize is run in partnership with Swansea University and is the largest literary accolade in the world for young writers.

Last year, Max Porter was crowned the winner for his Grief is a Thing with Feathers (Faber).  

Professor Dai Smith CBE, of Swansea University, who chair’s the judging panel, said: “From a deeply impressive longlist of 12 works of literature from across the globe, the judges, after a lengthy discussion, decided on six works whose sheer quality, originality and dazzle factor stood out. We have a novella from Sri Lanka, two collections of short stories, one from Australia and the other from the USA, a book of poetry and a novel from English authors, and a debut novel from Wales. They are all winners in themselves, but the eventual overall winner, to be announced in Swansea on May 10th, will again ensure, coming from this dazzling list, that the International Dylan Thomas Prize, in partnership with Swansea University, will amaze and delight readers around the world.”

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 10th May at Swansea University’s Great Hall, in the run up to International Dylan Thomas Day on 14th May.