2011 Dylan Thomas Prize Shortlist Features Three First Time Novelists

Posted on 21 October 2011

Dylan Thomas Prize Chair, Peter Stead

The University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize has revealed this year’s shortlist of five writers who are in the running for the £30,000 prize.

The shortlist for the Prize, which is now awarded annually, consists of new and established writers featuring three first-time novelists including the winner of this year’s Orange Prize for Fiction, a previously shortlisted writer and a poet.

The shortlisted books are:

• ‘The Meeting Point’ by Lucy Caldwell, Faber
• ‘The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore’ by Benjamin Hale, Atlantic Books
• ‘Folk’ by Jacob McArthur Mooney, McClelland & Stewart
• ‘The Tiger’s Wife’ by Tea Obreht, Orion
• ‘My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece’ by Annabel Pitcher, Orion

The first timers are Yorkshire-based Annabel Pitcher, New York-based Benjamin Hale and Belgrade-born and New York-based Tea Obreht who was awarded this year’s Orange Prize for Fiction.

Joining them on the shortlist are accomplished Canadian poet, blogger and literary critic, Jacob McArthur Mooney and Belfast-born and London-based Lucy Caldwell whose novel ‘Where They Were Missed’ was previously shortlisted for the Prize in its inaugural year in 2006.

The University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize is one of the world’s highest paying literary awards for young writers in honour of the internationally esteemed work of Dylan Thomas, whose first book of poetry was published when he was 21 years old. The Prize is open to all published authors aged 18 to 30, writing in the English language from anywhere in the world and is open to a variety of genres, including short stories, novels, poetry and plays.

This year’s judging panel is chaired by Peter Florence, Director of the Hay Festival. He is joined by a formidable group of writers and literary commentators who had the task of whittling down the entries for this year’s Prize to just five titles.

“We are proud and pleased to announce our shortlist for the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize 2011,” commented Peter Stead, Chair of the Prize. “Our judging meeting continued for hours with deliberations about the flair and excellence of the books. We had a very different kind of entry this year and this is reflected in a more varied shortlist. The result being a shortlist which combines literary merit with readability which should arouse considerable interest amongst readers. There really is something here to excite and challenge every kind of reader.

“The previous three winners of the Prize, Elyse Fenton in 2010, Nam Le in 2008 and Rachel Trezise in 2006, have really seen their careers take off since receiving the award. We’re looking forward to helping an equally talented writer to do the same. We are, once again, delighted with the international flavour of the shortlist and we look forward to the five writers coming to Wales and talking to students in schools and colleges ahead of the award ceremony in November.”

Professor Marc Clement, President of the University of Wales, said: “This is the university’s third year of supporting the Prize and, once again, the international flavour of its shortlist and the quality of the writing underscores why we are happy to sponsor it. I wish the judges well in the extremely daunting task of choosing the most deserving winner.”

The 2011 University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize will be awarded on November 9th in an exclusive ceremony in Dylan Thomas’ hometown of Swansea, South Wales.

Further details on the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize can be found at www.dylanthomasprize.com


Notes to Editors:

The judges for the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize 2011 are:

• Peter Florence (Chair) – Director of the Hay Festival and Chair of Judges
• Professor Kurt Heinzelman – American poet and academic
• Dr Mererid Hopwood – Acclaimed poet, linguist and television presenter
• Dr Kim Howells – Former MP, now artist, cultural commentator and television presenter
• Allison Pearson – Daily Telegraph columnist and television arts commentator
• Rachel Trezise – Inaugural winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize
• Professor Peter Stead – Welsh academic, historian and broadcaster and Chair of the Prize

For more information about the University of Wales: www.wales.ac.uk

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