The Desmond Elliott Prize is the ‘most prestigious award for first-time novelists’ (Daily Telegraph) in the UK and Ireland. It is an annual prize given to a first novel written in English and published in the UK, by an author whose permanent place of residence is in the UK or Ireland. Worth £10,000 to the winner, the Prize is named after the acclaimed literary agent and publisher, Desmond Elliott, who died in 2003.

Desmond Elliott’s desire to support new writers will live on in the legacy of the Prize.

When choosing the winner, a panel of three judges will look for a novel which:

  • has a compelling narrative
  • has arresting characters
  • is both vividly written and confidently realised

Books will be considered from all fiction genres. As an indicator, the shortlist for The Desmond Elliott Prize 2018 was How to Be Human by Paula Cocozza, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and We That Are Young by Preti Taneja.