Two independent presses are among those celebrating after eight authors were chosen as winners of the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize.
Jo Mazelis, published by Seren, and Carys Davies, published by Salt, were two of the eight authors who will each receive £5,000.
The prize, set up to celebrate new British fiction, awards prizes to a group of eight established British authors, with columnist India Knight leading this year's judging panel.
Mazelis' Significance is a literary crime novel, while Davies' The Redemption of Galen Pike is the authors second collection of short stories.
Also among the winners are Lavie Tidhar who wins for A Man Lies Dreaming (Hodder), a book that mixes noir and magical realism to describe the Second World War and the Holocaust. Emma Jane Unsworth's Animals (Canongate), her second novel, follows two friends and drinking buddies as their lives diverge. Mobile Library (Picador) by David Whitehouse is also a second novel following a young boy who embarks on a road trip in the eponymous vehicle. Creative writing instructor Bethan Roberts' novel Mother Island (Chatto) is a psychological thriller about an abducted child.
The Incarnations (Doubleday) by Susan Barker, is a third novel which tackles centuries of Chinese history, while The Offering (Sceptre) by Grace McCleen follows Madeline and her mysterious past.
Knight said: "There is something for everybody here - a guaranteed brilliant read across all sorts of genres. I’m constantly being asked to recommend books to people: here are eight fantastic reads, from all sorts of writers up and down the country, all of which deserve the widest possible audience."
The prize is supported by W H Smith Travel, which will run an eight-week promotion featuring all of the winning titles. Fiction buyer Mattew Bates said: "This diverse, accessible and highly original selection of novels showcases the cream of British literary talent today, and the writers to watch for the future."
The prize has been running for five years, having been set up by the Literary Platform partner Sophie Rochester following a discussion between Arts Council England, publishers and literary agents. It is open to any British writer who has published more than one work of fiction.
At the ceremony this evening (18th June), the winners were all presented with a bespokehand-bound copy of their book. There was also a cake to celebrate the fifth anniversary, featuring all 40 winning titles from the prize's history.
Writing about the history of the prize for The Bookseller today, Rochester said: "We responded in 2009 to the challenge of creating a literary initiative that could support British fiction writers, and for the past five years our fantastic partnerships have enabled us to bring more British fiction writing to more readers. The publishing landscape continues to shift dramatically, but we hope to be able to ride that wave and continue this work. One thing is certain – there is no shortage of British fiction writing talent out there."