When agent and publisher Desmond Elliott died in August 2003, he stipulated that the money he left be invested in a charitable trust that would fund a literary award “to enrich the careers of new writers”.
The Desmond Elliott Trust is a charity registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales (registered charity number 1115496).
The trust annually administers and awards the £10,000 Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction. Its board of trustees is responsible for managing the endowment provided by Desmond Elliott in his Will. The trustees also appoint an independent judging panel each year to review and select the very best first novels from the past 12 months; and then to choose the winning title.
Desmond Elliott’s legacy to the book world ensures that his passion to nurture new writers lives on. He was always concerned to provide the novelists in his care with the time and space to flower, unencumbered by needless financial worries, so they could progress their writing careers.
The Desmond Elliott Prize provides support to the best-selling authors of tomorrow. Although the amounts of money awarded may not in themselves be life-changing, the publicity and increased profile that comes with a win can have a significant impact on sales, allowing a novel to stand out from the crowd and encouraging its publisher to stand by the author and promote their work. The Prize also promotes new talent to a wider readership and encourages book-lovers to try out new authors.
To review the past three years’ Annual Trustee Report and Financial Statements of the charitable trust, please click on the links below: