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The Desmond Elliott Prize The Desmond Elliott Prize

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. 

In this special category you can find all the books nominated for this year’s prize. Click on a jacket to discover more.


The Desmond Elliott Prize 2017 Shortlist

Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
Harmless Like You
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
Shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017. Shortlisted for The Authors' Club Best First Novel Award 2017. Traversing continents and generations, this sublime...
Format: Hardback - Released: 11/08/2016
Lovereading Price: £11.99
My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal
My Name is Leon
Kit de Waal
Shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017. This is such a gorgeously expressive novel, it just sings with intensity, and is impossible to...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/04/2017
Lovereading Price: £7.19
Golden Hill by Francis Spufford
Golden Hill
Francis Spufford
Winner of the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2017. Shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017. Inventively entertaining, niftily plotted first novel...
Format: Paperback - Released: 29/09/2016
Lovereading Price: £7.19

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The Desmond Elliott Prize 2017 Longlist

Forbidden Line by Paul Stanbridge
Forbidden Line
Paul Stanbridge
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017. This impressively ambitious riff on Don Quixote and the Peasant’s Revolt gambols and scrambles...
Format: Paperback - Released: 17/11/2016
Lovereading Price: £7.99
They are Trying to Break Your Heart by David Savill
They are Trying to Break Your Heart
David Savill
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017. A fascinating heart-breaking debut novel full of attitude and aching tension. Set over a decade and...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/04/2016
Lovereading Price: £13.59
The Sacred Combe by Thomas Maloney
The Sacred Combe
Thomas Maloney
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017. A timeless, beautifully written novel. Maloney is a gifted writer and storyteller and to have produced...
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/05/2016
Lovereading Price: £11.99
Ithaca by Alan McMonagle
Ithaca
Alan McMonagle
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017. Provocative, sharply witty and rather beautiful, Ithaca is a breathtaking read. 11 year old Jason, full...
Format: Hardback - Released: 09/03/2017
Lovereading Price: £10.39
Little Deaths by Emma Flint
Little Deaths
Emma Flint
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017. A thoroughly perturbing, provocative, yet riveting read. Single parent Ruth wakes one morning to find her...
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/01/2017
Lovereading Price: £10.39
The Transition by Luke Kennard
The Transition
Luke Kennard
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017. A fabulous premise, step inside, and a bold, captivating read awaits. Set at some point in...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/01/2017
Lovereading Price: £10.39
Montpelier Parade by Karl Geary
Montpelier Parade
Karl Geary
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017. A deeply affecting debut about limitations and longing, lust and devotion between a working class boy...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/01/2017
Lovereading Price: £10.39

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See ALL Featured Books (with opening extracts) in this category

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

Desmond Elliott Prize 2017 logo

The Desmond Elliott Prize 2017 Shortlist announced!

The Desmond Elliott Prize 2017 Shortlist is as follows:

Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal
Golden Hill by Frances Spufford

Chair of Trustees for the Desmond Elliott Prize, Dallas Manderson said: “The judges have done a commendable job of selecting three titles from a strong, varied and ambitious longlist and we are delighted to present such an exemplary shortlist in our 10th anniversary year.”

The winner will be revealed at a ceremony at Fortnum & Mason on 21 June 2017 where they will be presented with a cheque for £10,000. Find out more about the prize online. desmondelliottprize.org

Follow the prize on social media
Twitter: @DElliottPrize (#DEP2017 & #DiscoverADebut)

Facebook: TheDesmondElliottPrize

The Longlisted titles were:

Little Deaths by Emma Flint
Montpelier Parade by Karl Geary
The Transistion by Luke Kennard
Ithaca by Alan McMonagle
The Sacred Combe by Thomas Maloney
They Are Trying to Break Your Heart by David Savill
Forbidden Line by Paul Stanbridge

Chair of Judges, Sam Leith said: ‘I’m delighted to be contemplating a longlist with such a range of styles and registers, such a variety of publishers, and such a diverse list of authors. This very strong longlist affirms the vitality of debut fiction in the UK. And here’s a reminder too, in the sheer range of the authors’ day –jobs, that there is no one route to becoming a novelist. But each author has shown determination, imagination, optimism and – to nod to Kingsley Amis – the all-important ability to apply the seat of the trousers to the seat of the chair. Congratulations to all of them.’

Desmond Elliott Prize 2017 Judges

Sam Leith is joined on the judging panel by the award-winning author, Kamila Shamsie, and specialist book buyer for WH Smith, Iain Rushworth.

Desmond Elliott Prize Bookshelf 2017

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Desmond 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.

Desmond Elliott

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Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
Kit de Waal
Emma Flint
Karl Geary
Luke Kennard
Alan McMonagle
Thomas Maloney
David Savill
Frances Spufford
Paul Stanbridge

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