The 2018 Prize

The Desmond Elliott Prize, ‘the most prestigious award for first-time novelists’ (Daily Telegraph), is now accepting submissions for 2018. The £10,000 Prize is presented in the name of the acclaimed publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott, whose personal commitment to finding and nurturing new authors is commemorated with this award.

The Desmond Elliott Prize is given to a debut novel from any genre, published between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018. The judges will be looking for a novel which has a compelling narrative, arresting characters and which is both vividly written and confidently realised.

Chairman of the Trustees, Dallas Manderson, said: “Last year, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Prize and received what was undoubtedly the highest calibre of entries in the Prize’s history. We are incredibly excited to see what dazzling debuts this coming year will bring and I know Desmond would be very impressed and proud of all the authors who have been nominated over the last decade.”

A longlist of ten books will be announced in April 2018, and a shortlist in May. The winner will then be revealed at a London ceremony at the end of June.

Previous winners of the prize are: Francis Spufford for Golden Hill (2017); Lisa McInerney for The Glorious Heresies (2016); Claire Fuller for Our Endless Numbered Days (2015); Eimear McBride for A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (2014); Ros Barber for The Marlowe Papers (2013); Grace McCleen for The Land of Decoration (2012); Anjali Joseph for Saraswati Park (2011); Ali Shaw for The Girl With Glass Feet (2010); Edward Hogan for Blackmoor (2009); and Nikita Lalwani for Gifted (2008).

Each year a trio of judges is appointed by The Desmond Elliott Prize Trustees. The 2018 panel will be announced in January.

In 2018, the Desmond Elliott Prize will be working directly with major book retailers, independent bookshops and book wholesalers to promote those titles selected for the prize. In particular for those short listed and the winning title where the Prize will endeavour to secure front of store retail promotions.

The deadline for entries to the 2018 Prize is Friday 24 November 2017. You can find more information on how to submit a novel and read the rules and entry requirements on the submissions pages.