The Desmond Elliott Prize longlist has been announced!

Posted April 3, 2014 by in Miscellaneous / 16 Comments

Desmond Elliott Prize logoLast night at midnight in the UK, the longlist for the 2014 Desmond Elliott Prize was announced. What is the Desmond Elliott Prize, you might ask? Here’s a quick description from the prize’s website:

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.

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.

The longlist…

  • The Letter Bearer by Robert Allison (Granta)
  • Idiopathy by Sam Byers (Fourth Estate)
  • Meeting the English by Kate Clanchy (Picador)
  • The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer (HarperCollins)
  • Sedition by Katharine Grant (Virago)
  • The Dynamite Room by Jason Hewitt (Simon & Schuster)
  • A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (Galley Beggar Press)
  • The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland)
  • Marriage Material by Sathnam Sanghera (William Heinemann)
  • Ballistics by D. W. Wilson (Bloomsbury)

I’m writing about this on the blog today because Dan of Utter Biblio got a group of bloggers and reviewers together to shadow judge this year’s prize, and I am part of that group! (They even wrote about us on the Desmond Elliott Prize website–how cool is that?!)

I’ve already got my hands on three of the books and I’m really excited to start reading. Stay tuned for posts about the books and general updates about our project. Dan rounded up a great group of folks and this should be a lot of fun.


  • Absolutely wonderful Heather. I’m impressed.This says a lot for your amazing review skills, my friend 🙂 Wishing you lots of fun and luck with the project.

    Incidentally, a Nigeria famous actor also goes by the name Desmond Elliot.!

    • Heather

      Thank you, Celestine!

  • This sounds like a lot of fun! I can’t wait to hear about the books. As of now, I have only heard of a couple of them, and have read none. When does the winner get chosen?

    • Heather

      Well, we have to read the longlist by May 23rd. Beyond that, I’m not sure yet. I haven’t read any of them yet, either.

  • Amy

    This is so awesome. I love that not just us, but EVERYONE is now aware of the complete and total amazingness that is you! You’re going huge places, lady!

    (And these books look really interesting…I think some investigation of them is in my future!)

    • Heather

      Thank you, Amy!

      Yes–the books *do* all sound interesting. I’d only heard of one or two of them when the list was announced, and I haven’t read any of them yet. I’m excited.

  • I’ve never heard of this prize, but it sounds really cool. Also, I LOVE the idea of the shadow judges and can’t wait to hear what you all have to say, and that is awesome that they mentioned you on the site!!!!!!

    • Heather

      WOOOOO! [muppet arms]

      It’s a really mixed list–the books all sound so different. I’m looking forward to digging in.

  • That does sound like a fun reading project – and since I love following book awards I’m super stoked to find others who do too 🙂

    • Heather

      Yes! There are lots of us!

  • sj

    You’ll have to let me know if there are any I should be checking out. 😉

    • Heather

      You know I will. 🙂

  • I had to stop by and congratulate you again. What a great experience! So proud of you. 🙂

    These sound like some very literary books. Looking forward to learning more about them.

    Did you update your blog again? It looks great!

    • Heather

      I updated it awhile ago…not since I moved to, though.

  • Congratulations! I can’t wait to read about the books and more about the project.

  • Karen

    Congratulations Heather! Sounds like fun. Looking forward to reading your reviews on these books.