Indies strong on Jerwood Fiction longlist

Indies strong on Jerwood Fiction longlist

Independent publishers have taken the majority of spots on the 15-strong longlist for the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize 2015.

The prize celebrates great British fiction and each year awards a group of eight writers with £5,000 each.

This is the first time the prize has made public a longlist.

Independent publishers whose books have made the list include Canongate, with Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth, about a friendship between two women.

Beastings by Benjamin Myers, about a girl who abducts a child and the priest hunting for them, is published by West Yorkshire-based Bluemoose Books.

Seren Books, which specialises in English-language writing from Wales, has Jo Mazelis’ novel about the death of a young woman, Significance, on the longlist, while Scottish publish Saraband had The Four Marys by Jean Rafferty, a quartet of novellas about women.

The Spice Box Letters by Eve Makis is published by Highlands-based Sandstone Press, and is about a woman who inherits a spice box from her grandmother.

The Redemption of Galen Pike by Carys Davies is a collection of short stories published by Cromer-based Salt, while The Stray American by Wendy Brandmark is about a man in search of a soulmate and a purpose. Holland Park Press publishes literary fiction and poetry.

Short story collection The Way Out by Vicki Jarrett is published by Glasgow-based Freight Books, while Wittgenstein Jr by Lars Iyer, about a group of students and their lecturer, is published by Melville House UK, a branch of an American independent publisher.

The longlist includes two titles from Hodder & Stoughton. A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar is about an author who is imprisoned in a concentration camp, while The Offering by Grace McCleen (Sceptre) follows a woman who has blocked the events of her 14th birthday from her mind.

Penguin Random House has three titles on the longlist. Dear Thief by Samantha Harvey (Jonathan Cape) follows a woman writing to her estranged friend.

Mother Island by Bethan Roberts (Chatto & Windus) is about a mother and the woman who kidnaps her son, and The Incarnations by Susan Barker (Doubleday), which tells the story of a taxi driver who receives a letter saying he is being watched, and that his soulmate has known him for 3,000 years.

Pan Macmillan’s Picador imprint is the publisher of David Whitehouse’s Mobile Library, a story about a young boy who becomes part of an unconventional family on the run in a mobile library.

Chair of judges India Knight said: “It is absolutely thrilling to have found such brilliant books, across such a wide variety of genres, and from authors that live and write all over the country. These are fantastic writers who deserve to be household names.”

Prize founder and director Sophie Rochester said: “With writers from Swansea, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bath, Brighton, Lancaster, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Glasgow and London, and publishers from Yorkshire, Wales, Scotland and Norfolk, this year’s longlist presents an exciting snapshot of contemporary British fiction writing and publishing.”

Joining India Knight on the judging panel this year are Matt Bates from WH Smith Travel, Cathy Galvin of Word Factory/Newsweek, and Simon Savidge of Savidge Reads.

The eight winners will be announced on Thursday 18th June at a party at the Jerwood Space, London. WH Smith Travel will be running an eight-week summer promotion featuring all eight winning Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize titles. The titles will feature in stores across the UK from 25 June 2015.