This year’s shortlist is an impressive collection of first novels by writers under 35. Subjects and settings are excitingly diverse, ranging from a window-cleaner to a watchmaker, a rain-soaked valley to the ancient kingdom of Benin.
The shortlisted authors are:
A passionate, rollicking and witty London novel – Michèle Roberts
BUTTERFLY FISH by IRENOSEN OKOJIE (Jacaranda Books Art Music)
A stunningly well-written book, which juggles different timescales with great skill– Simon Brett
THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET by NATASHA PULLEY (Bloomsbury Circus)
Impressively competent: steam-punk meets Zuleika Dobson – Michèle Roberts
WEATHERING by LUCY WOOD (Bloomsbury)
Deeply poetic; dreamy and thought-provoking – Joanne Harris
The Betty Trask Prize is given annually to a debut novel of literary merit by an author under the age of 35. Betty Trask left a bequest to the Society of Authors in 1983 to celebrate young authors writing in a traditional or romantic style. This year a total of £25,000 in prize money will be distributed.
The winner will receive £10,000 and will be announced at the Authors’ Awards ceremony on 21 June. The three runners-up will each receive a Betty Trask Award worth £5,000.
The judges this year were, Simon Brett, Joanne Harris and Michèle Roberts. The Prize and the Awards will be presented by John Agard.