Legend Press has revealed the 10 shortlisted authors for the 2016 Luke Bitmead Bursary for unpublished writers.
Set up in memory of Legend Press' first ever published novelist, the award, now its ninth year, supports the work of unpublished authors.
On the shortlist are Gráinne Murphy for Where The Edge Is, Maria Stephenson for The Man Behind Closed Doors, Niki Mackay for The Golden Cage, Eva Sandoval for The Revision of Eleanor Reddy, and Heather Collins for Inside.
Also shortlisted are Dan Mooney for Me Myself and Them, Kriss Nichol for Monsoons and Marigolds, Patricia Holland for Lochwall, Fiona O’Connor for The Group and Glen James Brown for Beyond Ironopolis.
The Luke Bitmead Bursary was founded by Bitmead’s family, in association with Legend Press, shortly after Bitmead’s tragic death in 2006 at the age of just 34. Bitmead’s book White Summer was the first novel to be published by Legend Press.
The award will be judged by Legend Press' managing editor Tom Chalmers, commissioning editor Lauren Parsons and publicity director Lucy Chamberlain alongside Bitmead's mother Elaine Hanson and authors Sam Mills and Katie Fforde.
Chalmers said: "We were overwhelmed with the response of submissions for this year’s bursary, with novels being received from across 5 continents. We are delighted with our 2016 shortlist, which is made up of a variety of different genres including crime fiction, thrillers, female fiction and literary fiction. We are thrilled to be working with Luke’s family on this important and prestigious prize."
Hanson said: "We feel privileged to read the personal statements that come with the novels and the openness with which they are written is valued. Knowing how Luke loved travelling and meeting people it is particularly uplifting to know that he is remembered across the world."
Previous winners of the award are Andrew Blackman in 2008 for On the Holloway Road, Ruth Dugdall in 2009 for The Woman Before Me, Sophie Duffy in 2010 for The Generation Game, J.R. Crook in 2011 for Sleeping Patterns, Joanne Graham in 2012 for Lacey’s House, Jo Gatford in 2013 for White Lies, Tara Guha in 2014 for Untouchable Things and Lyn G. Farrell in 2015 for The Wacky Man.
The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Central London on Friday 28th October 2016. The winning author will receive £2,500 and a publishing contract with Legend Press for 2017.