A group of 10 writers are on the shortlist for the 2014 Luke Bitmead Bursary to support unpublished authors.
The shortlisted writers are Ankia Scott for Secrets; Catherine Murphy for Bleak Lush; Christine Browne for Revenge Ritual; Emily Ruth Verona for Steady is the Fall; Jacqueline Grima for Coming Second; Jose Toledo for The Queen of Madagascar; Louise Beech for How To Be Brave; Melanie Garrett for This He Did Without Remorse; Simon Van Der Velde for The Benjamin Exhibition; and Tara Guha for Absent.
Whoever wins the bursary will receive £2,500 and a publishing contract with Legend Press.
The Luke Bitmead Bursary was founded by Bitmead's family in association with Legend Press, shortly after Bitmead’s death in 2006 at the age of 34. His book White Summer was the first novel to be published by Legend Press in 2006.
Tom Chalmers, m.d. of Legend Press commented: “We are thrilled with our 2014 shortlist. With a record number of submissions for this, our seventh year of the bursary, we have been overwhelmed by the quality of submissions we have received. It is a pleasure to be working with Luke’s family on a literary award growing year-on-year. Luke would have loved the idea of another struggling talented writer being supported on the arduous road to securing their first publishing deal.”
The award will be judged by Chalmers, Lucy Chamberlain and Lauren Parsons from Legend Press, Bitmead’s mother Elaine Hanson and authors Sam Mills and Ruth Dugdall, with the winner announced at a ceremony in Central London on 28th November 2014.
Previous winners of the award include Joanne Graham in 2012 for her debut novel Lacey’s House and Jo Gatford in 2013 for her debut Piecemeal.