Women dominate this year’s Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award, with books by eight women making up the 11-title longlist as chair of the judging panel Lucy Popescu praises the diverse list.
Popescu said: “This year, we’ve had a bumper crop of entries. Women dominate the longlist – one writer, Norma McMaster, is in her 80s. It’s a real privilege to be able to support a diverse list of debut novelists tackling such wide-ranging subjects.”
The longlisted books are as follows:
Claire Askew, All the Hidden Truths (Hodder & Stoughton)
Mary Lynn Bracht, White Chrysanthemum (Chatto & Windus)
Laura Carlin, The Wicked Cometh (Hodder & Stoughton)
Guy Gunaratne, In Our Mad and Furious City (Tinder Press)
Sarah Haywood, The Cactus (Two Roads)
Caoilinn Hughes, Orchid & the Wasp (Oneworld)
Emily Koch, If I Die Before I Wake (Harvill Secker)
Norma McMaster, Silence Under a Stone (Doubleday)
Sally Magnusson, The Sealwoman’s Gift (Two Roads)
Donald S. Murray, As the Women Lay Dreaming (Saraband) Kim Sherwood, Testament (Riverrun)
Stuart Turton, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Raven)
The shortlist for the longest-running UK prize for debut fiction will be announced on Thursday 28th March with the winner revealed at a dinner at the National Liberal Club on 22nd May.
The winning novel will be selected by guest adjudicator Louise Doughty from a shortlist drawn up by a panel of Authors’ Club members, chaired by Popescu.
Last year Gail Honeyman won for her debut Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (HarperCollins). Previous winners have included Brian Moore, Alan Sillitoe, Paul Bailey, Gilbert Adair, Nadeem Aslam, Diran Adebayo, Jackie Kay and Susan Fletcher.
The prize is open to any debut novel written in English and published in the UK between 1st January and 31st December 2018 with one exception: novels first published in another country of origin will not be considered. The £2,500 prize exists to support UK-based authors, publishers and agents, so the novel must originate in the UK and not have been published anywhere else in the world before its UK publication