About the Prize

Picture of Desmond - benefactor of the prize.

The Desmond Elliott Prize is an annual award for a first novel written in English and published in the UK. Worth £10,000 to the winner, the prize is named after the literary agent and publisher, Desmond Elliott.

Charismatic, witty, and waspish, Elliott lived his life with verve. He drank only champagne, always crossed the Atlantic on Concorde and lunched at Fortnum and Mason. His office was in Mayfair and he had homes in St James’s and on Park Avenue. Desmond Elliott’s resolve to support new writers will live on in the shape of the prize.

When choosing the winner, a panel of three judges will look for a novel which has a compelling narrative, arresting character, and which is both vividly written and confidently realised.

To learn more about the Prize and its history, you can read our brochure here.