Sandstone Press

Radhika Swarup longlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award


The Authors’ Club has announced the longlist for the annual Best First Novel Award. The longlisted books are as follows:

ALYS CONRAN, Pigeon (Parthian Books) 

GUINEVERE GLASFURD, The Words In My Hand (Two Roads) 

ROWAN HISAYO BUCHANAN, Harmless Like You (Spectre) 

CHARLOTTE HOBSON, The Vanishing Futurist (Faber) 

JESS KIDD, Himself (Canongate) 

JEM LESTER, Shtum (Orion) 

BARNEY NORRIS, Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain (Penguin) 

GRAHAM NORTON, Holding (Hodder) 

HARRY PARKER, Anatomy of a Soldier (Faber) 

FRANCIS SPUFFORD, Golden Hill (Faber) 

RADHIKA SWARUP, Where the River Parts (Sandstone)

 ELEANOR WASSERBERG, Foxlowe (4th Estate)


Lucy Popescu (chair of the judging panel) commented: “This year, we had some very strong contenders and it was a hotly debated longlist. It’s a real privilege to be able to support debut novelists with this prize.”


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About the Prize:


The prize is open to any debut novel written in English and published in the UK between 1 Jan and 31 Dec 2016 with one important exception: novels first published in another country of origin will not be considered. The prize of £2500 exists to support UK-based authors, publishers and agents, so the novel must originate in the UK and not have been published anywhere else in the world before its UK publication.


Inaugurated in 1954, the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award is now in its 64th year, making it the longest-running UK prize for debut fiction and – except for the James Tait Black and the Hawthornden – the oldest literary prize in Britain.
Past winners have included Brian Moore, Alan Sillitoe, Paul Bailey, Gilbert Adair, Nadeem Aslam, Diran Adebayo, Jackie Kay, Susan Fletcher, Nicola Monaghan, Laura Beatty, Anthony Quinn, Jonathan Kemp, Kevin Barry, Ros Barber and Carys Bray. Last year’s prize was awarded to Benjamin Johncock.


The winning novel is selected by guest adjudicator Roma Tearne from a shortlist drawn up by a panel of Authors’ Club members, chaired by Lucy Popescu.
Past adjudicators have included Vikram Seth, Philip Hensher, Joanne Harris, Deborah Moggach and, going back further, Kingsley Amis and Compton Mackenzie.


Key Dates


Shortlist announcement: Wednesday 12 April 2017
Shortlisted authors event at Waterstones Piccadilly: Thursday 25 May
The Winner will be announced by Roma Tearne, this year’s guest adjudicator at a dinner at the National Liberal Club: Thursday 8 June


About The Authors’ Club
Established by Walter Besant in 1891, the Club has provided a social meeting place for writers for 125 years. It celebrated this landmark anniversary with a dinner at the National Liberal Club on Friday 18 November 2016.
Contact: lucyjpop@gmail.com