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The Desmond Elliot Prize 2019

The Desmond Elliott Prize was founded in 2007 to celebrate the best 1st novel by a new author and to support writers just starting what will be long and glittering careers. It has succeeded in its mission in a manner that would make Elliott proud. 

The Desmond Elliott Prize 2019 Shortlist

The Desmond Elliott Prize 2019 Longlist

Winner: Golden Child

The “electrifying” debut “combines the harsh force of a fable with the unforgettable strangeness of real life”. Alan Hollinghurst said: "Our 2019 winner Claire Adam demonstrates masterly control as she details the tragic fracturing of a family, and the beauty and the latent violence of her Trinidadian setting are miraculously vivid."

The Desmond Elliott Prize

“The most prestigious award for 1st-time novelists” - Daily Telegraph

The 10-strong longlist for the 12th annual Desmond Elliott Prize, the “UK’s most prestigious award for debut novelists” (Daily Telegraph), has been revealed today (Tuesday 2nd April). The Prize, which is presented in the name of the late, acclaimed literary agent and publisher Desmond Elliott, has revealed a longlist that stretches from magical realism to rigorously researched historical novels and whose authors range from playwrights to political activists.

The Longlisted titles are:

Golden Child by Claire Adam (Faber & Faber), A Perfect Explanation by Eleanor Anstruther (Salt), Hold by Michael Donkor (4th Estate), The Chameleon by Samuel Fisher (Salt), Everything Under by Daisy Johnson (Jonathan Cape), Devoured by Anna Mackmin (Propolis Books), Future Popes of Ireland by Darragh Martin (4th Estate), Follow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford (New Island Books), Stubborn Archivist by Yara Rodrigues Fowler (Fleet), Testament by Kim Sherwood (riverrun)

Read the Press Release from the Desmond Elliot Longlist announcement on our Blog.

Desmond Elliott

Desmond ElliottDesmond Elliott’s own story began in an Irish orphanage. In 1947, aged 16 and with just two pounds in his pocket, he left for England to start his publishing career at Macmillan. Thereafter, he set up as an agent and subsequently went on to establish his own publishing company, Arlington Books, in 1960. The charismatic, witty and waspish Elliott – who drank only champagne, flew regularly by Concorde and used Fortnum & Mason as his local grocer – nurtured numerous blockbuster authors, including Jilly Cooper, Anthony Horowitz and Penny Vincenzi. He died in August 2003 at the age of 73.