O'Flynn wins Jelf Group award

<p>Catherine O&#39;Flynn&#39;s debut novel <em>What Was Lost</em> has won the Jelf Group First Novel Award. The award, presented at the Guildford Book Festival, comes with a prize of &pound;2,500. O&#39;Flynn was recently longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and her novel, published by Tindal Street Press, was also Radio Five Live&#39;s Book of the Month earlier this year.</p><p>She said: &quot;I&#39;m very grateful to Guildford Book Festival and to the Jelf Group for this Award. First time novelists face a lot of difficulties getting books published and getting anyone to notice them and so an award like this is really worthwhile. It&#39;s wonderful in highlighting all the shortlisted books and bringing them all to wider attention.&quot; </p><p>Independent financial advice provider the Jelf Group has been supporting the award since it was launched in 1998. Sales director Ken Smith said: &quot;Each year, I meet the shortlisted candidates and have grown to realise how little support is available to aspiring authors and how important awards like the Jelf Group First Novel Award have become in helping them gain much deserved exposure.&quot;<br /></p>