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The final three novels up for this year’s Dundee International Book Prize have been announced.

The Margins by Jessica Thummel, Shadow Jumping by Margaret Ries and London Clay by Amy Spencer will compete for the prestigious prize, which includes a publishing deal with Freight Books, £5000 and a week’s protected writing time in Dundee.

Jessica, Margaret and Amy’s novels will now go before this year’s judging panel, which consists of Broadcaster Shereen Nanjiani, Poet Ian McMillan, Critic Hannah McGill and Publisher Adrian Searle.

The winner will be announced at this year’s Dundee Literary Festival (19th–23rd October).

Peggy Hughes, of Literary Dundee, said: “We’ve got three really brilliant novels on our hands in what’s been a particularly strong year for the Dundee International Book Prize,em>

“The Dundee International Book Prize is a vital part of our work, and a key way in which we celebrate and champion new voices. This year’s shortlist is a stellar mix of international talent and genres, and we’re deeply excited to see which one will win.”

Jessica Thummel’s The Margins, is the coming-of-age story of Sam Gavin, a transman who moves from Kansas to San Francisco in the summer of 1989. “I am thrilled and honored to have The Margins included on the shortlist. This book and its characters have spent the better part of a decade in my mind, and so the possibility of them existing in others' is both surreal and exhilarating.” said Jessica.

Margaret Ries’ Shadow Jumping is set in Berlin in the early 1990s and protagonist Alex wishes to lose herself in the tumult. “I was so happy to have made it onto the shortlist, but to be a finalist is absolutely incredible.” said Margaret.

Amy Spencer’s London Clay is the story of Evie Gray, a young woman searching for her brother, Joe, and from a family haunted by disappearances. “I am thrilled to be one of the finalists. I am looking forward to reading everyone else’s writing and visiting Dundee.” said Amy.

The Dundee International Book Prize is now in its 12th year and continues to grow annually. Previous winners include Amy Mason, with The Other Ida in 2014 and Martin Cathcart Froden, with Devil Take the Hindmost in 2015.

Councillor Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee, said: “This is a tremendous shortlist reflecting the interest in Dundee’s prestigious international book prize and the city’s growing reputation as a cultural hotspot.

“Each year the quantity and quality of entrants goes from strength to strength. I never envy the judges the difficult task they have of choosing just one winner from such a strong field but every time they manage to select a deserving book to take the title.”

Adrian Searle, Publisher, Freight Books said: “From a strong longlist, after much deliberation, we’ve selected an outstanding shortlist that demonstrates a breadth of experience and powerful storytelling.

“Each of the three writers here have shown real craft and all have exciting futures ahead of them, regardless of who comes out on top.”

The Dundee International Book Prize is a collaboration between the University of Dundee, Freight Books and Dundee City Council's ‘One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign.

 

The shortlist for this year’s Dundee International Book Prize has been drawn from three continents, taking in New Zealand and even reaching Scotland’s most northerly tip.

From hundreds of entries, ten authors will battle it out for a publishing deal with Freight Books, a £5000 cash prize, and a week’s protected writing time in Dundee.

Peggy Hughes, Manager of Literary Dundee, said, “The Dundee International Book Prize is a vital part of our work, and a key way in which we celebrate and champion new voices. This year’s shortlist is a stellar mix of international talent and genres, and we’re deeply excited to see which one will win.”

The Dundee International Book Prize is now in its 12th year and continues to grow annually. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner during the annual Dundee Literary Festival in October. Previous winners include Amy Mason, with The Other Ida in 2014 and Martin Cathcart Froden, with Devil Take the Hindmost in 2015.

Extracts of the top ten will shortly be published on the Literary Dundee website to allow book lovers to sample the talent on show this year. The prize is a collaboration between the University of Dundee, Freight Books and Dundee City Council’s ‘One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign.

Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee, said, “Each year the quantity and quality of entrants for the Book Prize goes from strength to strength. I never envy the judges the difficult task they have of choosing just one winner from such a strong field but every time they manage to select a deserving book to take the title.”

Adrian Searle from Freight Books said, “With the release of last year’s winner, Devil Take the Hindmost by Martin Cathcart Froden, and the hugely positive response it’s receiving, it’s gratifying but not unexpected that 2016 sees another very strong shortlist. Everyone at Freight is excited to see how the judges vote. Whatever book they choose I’m sure they’ll be a worthy successor to Martin.”

The shortlist will be whittled down to a final three, and the 2016 winner crowned at this year’s Dundee Literary Festival (19th–23rd October).

The full 2016 shortlist is:

  • Not to be Reproduced by Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry (US)
  • The Margins by Jessica Thummel (US)
  • In Borderlands by Richard Strachan (Scotland)
  • London Clay by Amy Spencer (England)
  • Reading Through Binoculars by James Cole (England)
  • Shadow Jumpingby Margaret Ries (Scotland)
  • The Life of De’Ath by Majella Cullinane (New Zealand)
  • The Shadow of Pure Light by Emile Cassen (England)
  • Ghost of a Writer by Helen Dann (England)
  • The Great Edge by George Gunn (Scotland)

 

Last year’s winner of the Dundee International Book Prize will be launching his book on board the RRS Discovery.

Martin Cathcart Froden will launch his winning book Devil Take the Hindmost on Thursday, July 21.

The University of Glasgow PhD student beat thousands of entries to win the cash prize and a publishing deal with Freight Books. The winning novel is set in the 1920s and centres on a cyclist so fast criminals want him to win races, stage losses and run important messages.

Literary Dundee is a cultural organisation which is part of the University of Dundee. It celebrates readers and writers and aims to bring literary talent to Dundee.

Peggy Hughes, Manager of Literary Dundee, said, “We are delighted that Martin is back in Dundee to launch his book.”

“The book prize is a vital part of our work, and a key way in which we celebrate and champion new voices. This year’s shortlist is a stellar mix of international talent and genres, and we’re deeply excited to see which one will win.”

2016 will mark The Dundee International Book Prize’s 12th year and it continues to grow annually. This year’s shortlist will be announced soon and the winner named at a gala dinner during the annual Dundee Literary Festival in October. Previous winners include Nicola White in 2013 for In the Rosary Garden, and Amy Mason, with The Other Ida in 2014.

The Dundee International Book Prize once again invites unpublished authors to polish those manuscripts and stake their claim for £5,000 and a publishing deal with Freight Books.

Submissions are being sought for the Dundee International Book Prize 2016, with a £5,000 cash prize, a week of protected writing time in the City of Discovery and a coveted publishing contract with Freight Books up for grabs. Unpublished novelists are invited to enter their debut novels for the Prize, which last year attracted more than 450 entries from across the globe. The 2015 winner was Martin Cathcart Froden with Devil Take the Hindmost, a thrilling ride through an historical London that is rarely visited.

The competition is a joint venture between the ‘Dundee – One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign and Literary Dundee. It is open to authors from around the world, and eleven writers have launched their careers after winning the Prize since its inception in 2000.

Writers with a spellbinding, unpublished novel have until midnight on 19th February to send their entry. All entries will be read before a shortlist is drawn up later in the year. The judging panel will then debate the merits of the finalists before the winner is announced at the Dundee Literary Festival in October.

Will Dawson convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee said: “The Dundee International Book Prize forms an integral part of the city's long and proud literary heritage. Dundee is the basis for so much great writing and this year the offer of a week's writing time in the city is sure to act as an incentive and inspiration to entrants.

Peggy Hughes of Literary Dundee, a University of Dundee-led initiative, said “This is a brilliant time of year for Literary Dundee, when Dundee International Book Prize submissions start arriving. It’s a really exciting process for us, and with the standard and volume getting better and bigger each year, the bar is very high. It’s a privilege to read work from debut authors from all over the world and we can't wait for those manuscripts to start arriving. Good luck to all entrants!

Devil Take the Hindmost was described by the judging panel, which included broadcaster Fred MacAulay and award-winning crime writer Denise Mina, as “a page turner, a compelling and original noir, like Peaky Blinders meets Brighton Rock”. It will be published by Freight Books in June this year.

Over the years, several finalists have also gone on to gain publishing details thanks to the profile the Prize offered them, demonstrating the strength of the competition.

Adrian Searle of Freight Books said “We’re delighted to be the publishing partner for the Dundee International Book Prize. The entries have gone from strength to strength each year and we’re looking forward to exploring the new discoveries 2016 brings.

There is no minimum or maximum length to the manuscript but it must be the author’s debut novel. More information about the Prize, including a full set of rules and details about how to submit an entry can be found on the Rules page.

The closing date is 19th February 2016. Only shortlisted authors will be contacted by the organisers of the prize. The winner will be informed of their success in July and the winner will be announced at the Dundee Literary Festival in October.

Martin Cathcart Froden

The winner of the Dundee International Book Prize 2015 has been announced as Martin Cathcart Froden, for his debut novel “Devil Take The Hindmost”.

Martin receives a prize of £10,000 and a publishing deal with Freight Books after emerging from an intensely competitive field of almost 500 entries.

“I am absolutely over the moon!” said an elated Martin. “Winning the Dundee International Book Prize is a dream come true. It's one of those life-changing surprises. I am so, so happy.”

Originally from Sweden, Martin has lived in Canada, Israel, Argentina and London and worked as a drummer, avocado picker, sound engineer, magazine editor and greengrocer, as well as teaching English in prisons. His fiction has been shortlisted for various awards including the Bridport Prize, and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. He recently completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University, where he will be starting his doctoral studies in 2015.

His winning novel, `Devil Take The Hindmost’ is set in London in the 1920s and centres on a cyclist so fast criminals want him: to win races, to stage losses and to run important messages. It revolves around velodrome racing and the small, impossible choices that a life is built from – or destroyed by.

Award-winning crime writer Denise Mina, one of the competition judges, said, “It was an honour to sit on the panel for this prize. These unpublished manuscripts were variously moving, well plotted and brilliantly observed. This prize gives you a sense of all the fantastic, undiscovered work out there.”

Dundee International Book Prize is a collaboration between the University of Dundee’s Literary Dundee initiative, Freight Books and Dundee City Council's ‘One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign, with the support of Apex Hotels.

Literary Dundee’s Peggy Hughes said, “Martin Cathcart Froden is a worthy winner of the 2015 Dundee International Book Prize. This has been a stellar year for the prize, with tough competition from a very fine shortlist, but Martin's debut was ahead of the pack.”

Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee and spokesperson for the `Dundee, One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign, said, “The Dundee Book Prize continues to go from strength to strength as demonstrated by the increasing quantity and quality of entries we see rolling in. The international reach of this competition is something we are all incredibly proud of.

“The kudos for winning the prize also increases and this year's winner should be as proud of the accolade as we are of the prize itself.”

Adrian Searle, Publisher, Freight Books, said, “Martin Cathcart Froden has created a unique, compelling noir that combines a literary sensibility with that all-important quality, it’s a real page turner. He brilliantly evokes the seedier side of interwar London. We’re delighted that the Dundee International Book Prize continues to uncover writing of this quality.”

Previous winners of the prize have gone onto enjoy further successes. 2013 winner Nicola White was shortlisted for the prestigious Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year 2014, as was 2013 finalist Neil Broadfoot for his debut, Falling Fast, which was published by Saraband.

2012 finalist Pippa Goldschmidt had her shortlisted novel, The Falling Sky, published by Freight Books, and has now published a collection of short stories, The Need for Better Regulation of Outer Space and co-edited I Am Because You Are, a timely collection of new fiction and non-fiction from novelists and science writers, all inspired by the theme of Relativity.

There will be an opportunity for the public to meet Martin and hear more about his book at the University of Dundee’s Bonar Hall from 12.15pm on Thursday 22nd October as part of Dundee Literary Festival.

The Chicken Soup Murder by Maria Donovan, Devil Take the Hindmost by Martin Cathcart Froden and Rainbirds by Clarissa Nathania Goenawan will compete for the top spot in this year’s Dundee International Book Prize, which attracted almost 500 entries from four continents.

Maria, Martin and Clarissa’s novels will now go before this year’s all-star judging panel comprising broadcaster and former Rector of University of Dundee Fred MacAulay, award-winning writer Denise Mina, Creative Scotland’s Jenny Niven, Dundee Honorary graduate Danny Wallace and literary agent Ed Wilson.

The judges will read each and select a winner, who will be announced at the Dundee Literary Festival in October. A publishing deal with Freight Books and £10,000 – the largest cash prize for unpublished work in the UK – is up for grabs.

An anthology of extracts from all 10 authors who made the shortlist stage of the competition is available for one week from Tuesday, 14th July as a free eBook from Amazon and priced at 99p thereafter. The top title will be named as the eleventh winner of the Book Prize, organised by the Literary Dundee initiative, and Dundee City Council’s ‘One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign.

Anna Day, of Literary Dundee, said, “We’ve got three really brilliant debut novels on our hands in what’s been a particularly strong year for the Dundee International Book Prize, selected from the ten superb novels on the shortlist.

“We’re really proud to celebrate brand new voices here in our City of Discovery, through our festival, the work of our colleagues in the University’s Writing Practice and Study Masters programme, and especially through the Dundee International Book Prize. Maria, Martin and Clarissa would all be worthy and welcome winners. The judges have some tough decisions ahead and we can’t wait to hear their decision.”

Maria Donovan is from Bridport in Dorset. She's lived in other countries, speaks fluent Dutch, and has been a factory worker, nurse, gardener, magician's assistant, busker, student and university lecturer. Maria’s short stories have been published in magazines and anthologies, including the New Welsh Review and Mslexia, and a full collection of her short stories, Pumping Up Napoleon, has been published by Seren.

At 17, Martin Cathcart Froden moved to Canada, then Israel, then Argentina and then a village on the Swedish-Finnish border, before spending a few years in London and Stockholm. Alongside his writing he has studied languages, linguistics and copywriting and spent time as editor of a Stockholm-based arts magazine. He lives in Glasgow with his wife and 3-year-old son, where he also plays drums and sings in a band called Tall Tales.

Clarissa N. Goenawan is a Singapore-based writer and a graduate of the Curtis Brown Creative novel-writing course. She’s also a recipient of National Arts Council of Singapore grant and a mentee on the WoMentoring Project. Her short stories have won several awards, and been published in The MacGuffin, Your Impossible Voice, Black Denim Lit, Needle In The Hay, and Writing The City.

Rainbirds, her shortlisted novel, has just been awarded the 2015 Bath Novel Award, worth ££1000.

Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee, said, “The city is firmly on the literary map not just because of the quantity and range of manuscripts submitted for the Book Prize, but because of the extremely high quality of entries that are submitted.

“I don't envy the judges their task in picking a winner, but I do know that whichever novel is chosen will be right out of the top drawer.”

Gill Tasker, Joint Managing Director at Freight Books, said, “We're delighted that, once again, the Dundee International Book Prize shortlist has produced three outstanding novels and our congratulations go to all three talented authors. We're excited to be publishing the winner, whoever that will be!”

The 2014 winner was Amy Mason for her book The Other Ida, a powerful debut about a play and the troubling family history that surrounds it, described by fellow author Emma Jane Unsworth as ‘fresh, lyrical, fearless, and very funny’. Amy has appeared at Aye Write in Glasgow and Bristol Festival of Ideas, among others, and will be at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August. The Other Ida is up for the First Book Award at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival, a prize which celebrates the wealth of new writing included in the Book Festival programme each year.

This year’s shortlist is available at http://amzn.to/1O5CQjx.

From Perth, Scotland, to Perth, Australia and taking in Texas, Tennessee, Singapore and the south of England, the finalists for this year’s Dundee International Book Prize have been drawn from four continents.

The shortlist for the 2015 prize features ten debut novels selected from the record 500 entries received by organisers Literary Dundee.

A judging panel comprising broadcaster Fred MacAulay, award-winning writer Denise Mina, Creative Scotland’s Jenny Niven, Dundee Honorary graduate Danny Wallace and literary agent Ed Wilson will decide which novelist will win a publishing deal with Freight Books and £10,000, the largest cash prize for unpublished work in the UK.

Anna Day, Director of Literary Dundee, said, “The Dundee International Book Prize is a vital part of our work, and a key way in which we celebrate and champion new voices. This year’s shortlist is a stellar mix of international talent and genres, and we’re deeply excited to see which one will win.”

The prize is now in its 11th year and it continues to grow annually. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner during the annual Dundee Literary Festival in October. Previous winners include Nicola White in 2013 for In the Rosary Garden, and Amy Mason, with The Other Ida last year.

Extracts of the top ten will shortly be published on the Literary Dundee website to allow book-lovers to pick their own favourites for the Prize, a collaboration between the University of Dundee, Freight Books and Dundee City Council’s ‘One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign.

Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee, said, “Each year the quantity and quality of entrants for the Book Prize goes from strength to strength. I never envy the judges the difficult task they have of choosing just one winner from such a strong field but every time they manage to select a deserving book to take the title.”

Helen Sedgwick, Freight Books said “We were incredibly impressed with the quality of entries this year, and the shortlist reflects the wonderful variety of styles and stories on offer. Our congratulations go to all the finalists.”

The full 2015 shortlist is:

  • Rainbirds – Clarissa Nathania Goenawan (Singapore)
  • The Adventures of Us – Melanie Napthine (Australia)
  • The Chicken Soup Murder – Maria Donovan (Bridport, England)
  • Fire Eater – L. Andrea Mosier (Tennessee, USA)
  • Take Away People – Alison Napier (Perth, Scotland)
  • A Life Out of Key – Aesa Strand Vidarsdottir (Iceland)
  • Devil Take the Hindmost – Martin Cathcart Froden (Glasgow, Scotland)
  • The Historian's Daughter – Rashida Murphy (Australia)
  • The Angel with a Solemn Face – Lee Randall (Edinburgh, Scotland)
  • We Arrive Uninvited – Jen Knox (San Antonio, USA)

A prestigious judging panel will bring expertise from all corners of the publishing industry to bear on this year’s Dundee International Book Prize.

Writer and television/radio presenter Danny Wallace, award-winning author Denise Mina, broadcaster Fred MacAulay, literary agent Ed Wilson and Creative Scotland’s Jenny Niven will cast their eyes on the labours of aspiring novelists from across the globe. The entrants are competing for a publishing deal with Freight Books and £10,000, the largest cash prize for unpublished work in the UK.

Now in its 11th year, the Prize attracted almost 500 entries for 2015, the largest volume of submissions to date. The competition is a joint venture between the ‘Dundee – One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign and Literary Dundee, a University-led initiative. It is open to both local writers and authors from around the world. Amy Mason was the winner in 2014, with her novel The Other Ida.

Literary Dundee Director Anna Day said, “It's exciting to be working with such a fantastic panel of judges, a mix of authors, broadcasters and industry experts that will help us find a brilliant new author as the winner of the 2015 Dundee International Book Prize.”

Cargo Managing Director Gill Tasker said, “We at Cargo are really looking forward to reading dynamic new writing from all over the world. With the expert judging panel in place, we are excited at the prospect of publishing the ultimate winner, selected with their expansive knowledge and insight.”

Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee, added, "The broad spectrum of expertise that this year's judging panel covers is testament to the wide range of writing styles and subject matter that the Dundee Book Prize encourages. I am delighted that the city's literary credentials continue to be reinforced by the interest in the prize from authors, judges and the wider writing world.”

Danny Wallace was born in Dundee and continues to be a great champion of his home town. Now a regular television presenter, columnist, author and Honorary Graduate of the University of Dundee, Danny’s books include Who is Tom Ditto?, Yes Man – now a major Warner Bros. film starring Jim Carrey – and Hamish and the World Stoppers, his hilarious debut for children, which will be published later this month.

Denise Mina is the author of 12 novels which have been translated into 15 languages. She has won the Theakstons’ Crime Novel of the Year (twice), CWA daggers, Anthony Awards, and the Spirit of Scotland Award. In addition, she has been shortlisted for an Edgar and the LA Times Book of the Year. She has written three plays and five graphic novels, authored Hellblazer for a year and also writes comics. Denise was a judge on the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2013.

With his popular morning radio show and a string of TV credits, Fred MacAulay is undoubtedly one of the most famous voices of Scottish comedy today. His on-screen reputation and on-air witticisms are the product of years of experience on the live circuit, including a stint as the first ever-Scottish compere at the Comedy Store in London. Fred is a graduate of the University of Dundee, was appointed Rector of the University in 2001 and received an Honorary Degree four years later.

Ed Wilson is a literary agent and Director of Johnson & Alcock, and previously worked as a bookseller and in editorial at a trade publisher. He works with a diverse list of fiction and non-fiction, encompassing everything from debut writers to established, bestselling and award-winning authors, and looks after the majority of the agency’s Estates. In the last twelve months his authors have published books about cats, pickpockets, disgraced politicians, éclairs, ghosts, boxers, Danish footballers, space stations, nuns, sheep, Satanists, bluestockings, artificially-engineered humanoids, dragons, murderous jockeys and Bright Young Things.

Jenny Niven leads on Literature, Publishing and Languages at Creative Scotland, working with individual writers, publishers and literary organisations to support Scotland’s vibrant ecology of books and writing. The literature team work with individual writers and storytellers in a plethora of forms, and in all of Scotland’s languages, at every stage of their careers. Jenny was formerly Associate Director at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne, the centrepiece of the City’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature, following six years in China, where she was inaugural director of the city’s first book festival and literary events program, The Bookworm International Literary Festival.

The winner of the 2015 Dundee International Book Prize winner will be revealed at the Dundee Literary Festival, 21–25 October.

The UK's most lucrative prize for unpublished authors opens for entries on Monday 19th January, seeking to find a stand out debut novel from a field featuring some of the world's best undiscovered novelists.

Submissions are being sought for the Dundee International Book Prize 2015, with a £10,000 cash prize and a coveted publishing contract with Freight Books up for grabs. Budding authors are invited to enter their debut novels for the Prize, which last year attracted more than 400 entries from across the globe. The 2014 winner was Amy Mason, with The Other Ida, a fresh, lyrical, fearless, and very funny exploration of identity and fame.

The competition is a joint venture between the ‘Dundee – One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign and Literary Dundee. It is open to authors from around the world, and ten writers have launched their careers after winning the Prize since its inception in 2000.

The scribes hoping to follow in their footsteps have until midnight on Thursday 19th February to send their entry. All entries will be read before a shortlist is drawn up later in the year. The judging panel will then debate the merits of the finalists before the winner is announced at the Dundee Literary Festival in October.

Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee said “Dundee’s annual Literary Festival and the Dundee International Book Prize continue to draw prominent authors, book fans and new visitors to our city.

The Dundee International Book Prize 2015 is an open invitation to budding writers from across the world and an exciting opportunity for Dundee to interact with the global literary community. The judging panel look forward to receiving and reading this year’s entries.”

Anna Day, Director of Literary Dundee, a University of Dundee-led initiative, said: ‘I’m anticipating another great year for the Dundee International Book Prize – I really look forward to the variety and the excitement of the process. People pour their heart and soul into their novels and we feel privileged to read them.” The Other Ida was described by the judging panel, which included internationally best-selling author Neil Gaiman, broadcaster Kirsty Lang and former Man Booker Prize judge Stuart Kelly, as ‘very compelling’, while writer Viv Groskop called it “Funny, bright, bold and exciting. Sparkles with originality and insight.”

Over the years, several finalists have also gone on to gain publishing deals thanks to the profile the Prize offered them, demonstrating the strength of the competition.

“The Dundee International Book Prize attracts writers of outstanding talent and variety. I can't wait to read the insightful, exciting, and beautiful stories we will receive this year. Publishing the winner is always an honour.” – Helen Sedgwick, Managing Director, Freight Books.

There is no minimum or maximum length to the manuscript but it must be the author's debut novel. More information about the Prize, including a full set of rules and details about how to submit an entry can be found at www.dundeebookprize.com/details.htm.

An English debut author, who says an evening class where she discovered a love of writing saved her from her itinerant and chaotic twenties, has been named as the winner of the 2014 Dundee International Book Prize.

Amy Mason (32) will receive £10,000, the largest cash prize for an unpublished author in the UK, and a deal with Glasgow-based Freight Books for her novel, ‘The Other Ida’. The funny, brave and moving book sees the eponymous heroine, named after a hit play written by her heavy-drinking mother, return home after the older woman finally succumbs to alcoholism.

Amy edged out her fellow finalist, Rachel Fenton after the pair saw off stiff competition from 400 other entrants before this year’s all-star judging panel comprising literary megastar Neil Gaiman, broadcaster Kirsty Lang, agent Felicity Blunt, publisher Scott Pack and former Man Booker Prize judge Stuart Kelly, made their choice.

Amy will be presented with her award at a gala dinner staged as part of the Dundee Literary Festival at Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa on Thursday, 23rd October. Earlier that day, she will be available for interview at a press event held at The Steps Theatre to mark the fact the story’s genesis lies in the theatre.

Amy said, “Winning the prize is obviously completely brilliant. I entered on a whim, and cried every time I got to another stage in the competition. To get the novel published, and enough money to keep me writing for a year, is amazing. It’s taken a long time to get here, but I’m delighted I can put Ida to bed in such a happy way. I said I’d never write another book, but have already started on the next one. It’s just an enormously encouraging thing to happen.

“I was interested in the fate of ‘celebrity offspring’, the pressure they face and how it often seems that the script for their lives is already written and is certain to end badly. With Ida I wanted to imagine a child being named after their parent’s most famous piece of work, and the kind of additional angst and chaos that would provoke.

“I’m also really interested in people who lose fame, which is what happens to Ida’s mother, so she has this weird semi-famous name, but the family haven’t got money for food. It's about her trying to escape from the shadow of the play, and the terrible future that everyone expects for her. The book is about women too, really, flawed, funny women who are often painfully honest.”

Writer and performer Amy left school at 16 and has had more jobs than she can count. She admits to being a “disaster” throughout her twenties and says she was saved by an evening class at which she began to write, aged 25.

She currently lives in Oxford and her autobiographical show ‘The Islanders’, which she wrote and performed in, won the 2013 Ideas Tap/Underbelly Edinburgh Fringe Fund. It received 5 and 4-star reviews, was recommended in the Guardian and the Observer and was a ‘must see’ show in The Stage. The illustrated script was published by Nasty Little Press.

The Dundee International Book Prize, now in its 10th year, is organised by the Literary Dundee initiative, and Dundee City Council’s ‘One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign.

Councillor Will Dawson, Convener of City Development at Dundee City Council, said, “Dundee One City, Many Discoveries is proud to support the Dundee International Book Prize, a world-class competition for aspiring authors that has grown to attract entries and participation from all corners of the globe.

“Now in its 10th year, the Dundee International Book Prize is a fitting tribute to our city’s great literary heritage and has successfully contributed to putting Dundee on the literary world map.”

Helen Sedgwick, Joint Managing Director of Freight Books (UK), said, “Amy Mason has a unique voice, and in ‘The Other Ida’ she has created a cast of vivid, surprising characters and a story unlike any other. We are thrilled that the Dundee International Book Prize has again discovered a writer of such talent and skill.”

This year's finalists are Rachel Fenton, a writer and artist living in Auckland, New Zealand, and English writer and performer Amy Mason.

Amy’s Ida and Rachel’s Some Things the English saw off stiff competition from 400 other entrants to reach this stage, and will now face further scrutiny from this year’s all-star judging panel comprising literary megastar Neil Gaiman, broadcaster Kirsty Lang, agent Felicity Blunt, publisher Scott Pack and former Man Booker Prize judge Stuart Kelly. The judges will read each and debate their merits before the winner is announced at the Dundee Literary Festival in October. A publishing deal with Freight Books and £10,000 – the largest cash prize for unpublished work in the UK – is up for grabs.

An anthology of extracts from all 12 authors who made the shortlist stage of the competition is available as a free eBook from Amazon or in hard copy format from Literary Dundee. The top title will be named as the tenth winner of the Book Prize, organised by the Literary Dundee initiative, and Dundee City Council's 'One City, Many Discoveries' campaign.

Anna Day, of Literary Dundee, said, “We're really excited by the two prize finalists in this fantastic year for the Dundee International Book Prize. The entries continue to impress us with the richness of the new voices, and this is something we are proud to celebrate. Rachel and Amy really impressed us with their assured and compelling debuts. We don’t envy the judges, but can’t wait to find out which title will win.”

Rachel J. Fenton was born in 1976 and grew up in the South Yorkshire mining town of Wombwell. She has a BA English Studies from Sheffield Hallam University, where she studied Creative Writing under the tutelage of E. A. Markham and currently lives in Auckland.

Rachel won Short Fiction’s 7th Annual Competition (in association with Plymouth University) and has been shortlisted for The Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize, the Fish International Poetry Prize, Short Fiction’s 6th Annual Competition, and the University of Maine at Machias Ultra-Short Competition, and she was a Pushcart Prize nominee.

Amy Mason is a writer and performer who currently lives in Windsor. Her work is funny, brave and moving, and her autobiographical show The Islanders, which she wrote and performed in, won the 2013 Ideas Tap/Underbelly Edinburgh Fringe Fund. It received 5 and 4 star reviews, was recommended in the Guardian and the Observer and was a ‘must see’ show in The Stage. The illustrated script was published by Nasty Little Press.

Amy is 32 and grew up in Poole, near the seaside where much of her work is set. She performed her new show, Mass, a piece about her relationship with faith, at Bristol Old Vic this July.

Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee, said, “The quality and quantity of submitted manuscripts for the Dundee Book Prize seems to increase every time. First time novelists from across the world are attracted to the prize and it is thanks to them that Dundee truly has a key place on the literary map.” Helen Sedgwick, Managing Director at Freight Books, said, “We were really impressed with the quality of both shortlisted books. It's exciting to see such outstanding talent and whatever happens we'll be proud to publish the winner!”

The eBook containing all shortlisted entries can be downloaded for free from Amazon UK. Paper copies can be obtained from Literary Dundee, 6th Floor, Tower Building, University of Dundee.

The 2013 winner was In the Rosary Garden by Nicola White, a mesmerising thriller of secrets and lies rising from the past to strangle the present. In the Rosary Garden has been shortlisted for Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award 2014.

Gill Tasker, Joint Managing Director of Cargo, said, “We’re delighted that once again the Dundee International Book Prize has seen strong entries from all over the world. Our congratulations go to all the finalists and we’re very excited at the prospect of publishing the winner later this year.”

Will Dawson, Convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee, said, “Dundee’s position on the world literary map has been well and truly cemented by the Book Prize and to have a short list made up of writers from three continents speaks volumes about the reach of the prize, the city and the positive reputation that has been developed.”

The 2013 winner was Irish writer Nicola White with In The Rosary Garden, a crime thriller inspired by a notorious true case of infanticide in Ireland in the 1980s that best-selling author Val McDermid described as “a mesmerising tale of secrets and lies”.

The shortlist for the 2014 Dundee International Book Prize is:

  • A Village Drowned – Sheena Lambert (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Some Things the English – Rachel J Fenton (Auckland, New Zealand)
  • Ida – Amy Mason (Bristol, England)
  • Daughters of the House of Love – Veronica Birch (West Country, England)
  • Under the Tamarind Tree – Rosaliene Bacchus (California, USA)
  • The Open Arms of the Sea – Jasper Dorgan (Wiltshire, England)
  • The Dreaming – Suzy Norman (London, England)
  • Out Like a Lion – Robin Martin (New York, USA)
  • Cats in a Pipe – Lora Hughes (Yorkshire, England)
  • Sea Never Dry – Ben East (Virginia, USA)

A judging panel featuring some of the literary world’s most influential figures has been announced for this year’s Dundee International Book Prize.

Broadcaster Kirsty Lang, writer Neil Gaiman, publisher Scott Pack, literary agent Felicity Blunt and writer and critic Stuart Kelly will cast their eyes over the work of aspiring novelists from across the globe. The entrants are competing for a publishing deal with Freight Books and £10,000, the largest cash prize for unpublished work in the UK.

Now in its 10th year, the Prize attracted more than 350 entries in 2013 with In The Rosary Garden, Nicola White’s crime thriller inspired by a notorious true case of infanticide in Ireland in the 1980s, being named the winner.

The competition is a joint venture between the ‘Dundee – One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign and Literary Dundee, a University-led initiative. It is open to both local writers and authors from around the world.

Literary Dundee Director Anna Day said, ‘The judging panel for the 2014 Dundee International Book Prize is testament to the status of the prize and the recognition by leading literary figures of the importance of hearing new voices. The breadth of experience on the panel is breathtaking and I can’t wait to see which of the entries they pick as the winner.’

Cargo Managing Director Mark Buckland said, "Once again, we have a diverse judging panel that brings a wealth of experience in finding new talent. To have the prize judged by the best in broadcasting, agenting, writing, publishing and prize judging itself, is a mark of the importance and scope of the Dundee International Book Prize." Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee, said, "The judging panel for this year’s Book Prize is one of the strongest that I have seen, peppered as it is with household names and key industry figures.

"As the prize matures not only does the quality of the entries rise so the judging becomes more and more difficult. That is why I am delighted to see such a high calibre panel who I am sure will be more than up to the tough task they will face in selecting a worthy winner of one of the world’s top literary prizes."

As a regular presenter of a nightly arts and culture programme Front Row, Kirsty Lang is one of the best known voices on Radio 4. Previously she appeared on the Today programme and The World at One. Earlier in her career, was on the staff of The Sunday Times and Channel 4 News, working as a presenter and reporter. Lang was a visiting professor at Columbia University in New York for several months at the beginning of 2012.

Neil Gaiman is one of the best known and most creative writers in the world, with bestselling hits such as American Gods, Neverwhere and Stardust. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book in 2008. In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards.

Scott Pack is a publisher at HarperCollins, looking after the Friday Project imprint and the Authonomy online community. At Friday Project he publishes authors such as Brian Aldiss, Charles Lambert, William Wharton, Caroline Smailes, Sarah Salway and Niven Govinden. With Authonomy, he heads up the team trying to find new writing talent from a community of unpublished writers. Before becoming a publisher he was head of buying for Waterstones.

An agent with Curtis Brown, Felicity Blunt works with some of the most exciting names in literature, including Tom Rob Smith, Rosamund Lupton, Tamar Cohen and Toby Forward. She is based between London and New York selling direct in both the United Kingdom and the United States, and is on the board for the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Stuart Kelly is a writer, critic, reviewer and programmer for Aye Write, Glasgow’s book festival. He served as a judge for the Man Booker Prize 2013 and Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists 4. His books include Scott-Land: The Man Who Invented A Nation, which was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Non-fiction Prize and was Radio 4’s Book Of The Week. He writes reviews for several newspapers and magazines and is a regular guest on BBC Radio Scotland’s book programmes.

There is no minimum or maximum length to the manuscript but it must be the author’s debut novel. More information about the Prize, including a full set of rules and details about how to submit an entry can be found at www.dundeebookprize.com/rules.htm.

The closing date is 4th March. Only shortlisted authors will be contacted by the organisers of the prize. The winner will be informed of their success in June and the book will be launched in published form in the autumn as part of the Dundee Literary Festival.

The UK’s most lucrative prize for unpublished authors has once again opened for entries, with a place amongst the literary elite on offer for the writer who stands out from the field featuring some of the world’s best undiscovered novelists.

Submissions are being sought for the Dundee International Book Prize 2014, with a £10,000 cash prize and a coveted publishing contract with Freight Books up for grabs. Budding authors are invited to enter their debut novels for the Prize, which last year attracted more than 350 entries from across the globe. The 2013 winner was Irish writer Nicola White with In the Rosary Garden, a crime thriller inspired by a notorious true case of infanticide in Ireland in the 1980s.

The competition is a joint venture between the ‘Dundee – One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign and Literary Dundee. It is open to authors from around the world, and nine writers have launched their careers after winning the Prize since its inception in 2000.

The scribes hoping to follow in their footsteps have until 1.00pm on 4th March to send their entry. All entries will be read before a shortlist is drawn up later in the year. The judging panel will then debate the merits of the finalists before the winner is announced at the Dundee Literary Festival in October.

Bill Campbell, depute convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee, said, “The Dundee Book Prize has become such a well-established event on the literary calendar that it goes from strength to strength each year attracting an amazing range of aspiring novelists from across the globe.

“As a result of the success of the book prize Dundee has become synonymous with new writing and I am delighted that the starting pistol has been fired on the latest race towards another exciting crop of new novels.”

Anna Day, Director of Literary Dundee, a University of Dundee-led initiative, said “We can't wait to read the entries for the book prize this year, it’s a really exciting process. The standard is higher each year, but the variety is the brilliant bit – reading work from authors from all over the world is a privilege and I can't wait to see what people send to us.”

In the Rosary Garden was described by the judging panel, which included TV personality Lorraine Kelly, actor Brian Cox and Costa Prize-winning novelist AL Kennedy, as being “courageous and intelligent”, while crime writers Val McDermid and Denise Mina branded it “mesmerising” and “as good as it gets” respectively.

Over the years, several finalists have also gone on to gain publishing deals thanks to the profile the Prize offered them, demonstrating the strength of the competition.

“We're thrilled to see the Dundee International Book Prize continually set the standard for outstanding new writing in the UK and beyond,” said Gill Tasker, Editor-in-Chief at Cargo. “We eagerly anticipate this year's entries and look forward to discovering the successor to Nicola White's stunning In the Rosary Garden.” There is no minimum or maximum length to the manuscript but it must be the author's debut novel. More information about the Prize, including a full set of rules and details about how to submit an entry can be found at http://www.dundeebookprize.com/rules.htm.

The closing date is 4th March. Only shortlisted authors will be contacted by the organisers of the prize. The winner will be informed of their success in June and the book will be launched in published form in the autumn as part of the Dundee Literary Festival.

Irish writer Nicola White will this week be unveiled as the winner of the 2013 Dundee International Book Prize – the UK’s most lucrative award for debut novelists.

Nicola will receive a cash prize of £10,000 and a publishing deal with leading UK independent Freight Books for In The Rosary Garden, a crime thriller inspired by a notorious true case of infanticide in Ireland in the 1980s.

More than 350 entries from around the world were read before a judging panel that included TV personality Lorraine Kelly, actor Brian Cox and Costa Prize-winning novelist AL Kennedy decided on the winner, describing Nicola’s book as “courageous and intelligent.”

She will be presented with her award at a gala dinner staged as part of the Dundee Literary Festival at Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa on Thursday, 24th October. Earlier that day, Nicola will be available for interview at a press event held at Roseangle Arts Café, Perth Road.

Although In The Rosary Garden is Nicola’s first novel, her short stories have been published widely and broadcast on radio. Last year she was Leverhulme Writer in Residence at the University of Edinburgh and was the 2008 winner of the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award.

The author grew up in Dublin and New York and now lives on the Clyde coast. Previously she worked as a contemporary art curator in Glasgow and produced arts programmes for BBC radio and television.

Luminaries of the literary world have been effusive in their praise for the winning entry, with crime writing star Val McDermid calling it “mesmerising” and Denise Mina describing the book as being “as good as it gets.”

Nicola spoke of her delight at winning the award for a labour of love that was first conceived several years ago.

“Winning the prize feels like finding the express elevator after five flights plodding up the stairs,” she said. “I did have some early success with the manuscript in that it brought me an agent and a New Writer Award from the Scottish Book Trust, but things stalled after that and it hibernated in a virtual bottom drawer for a couple of years.

“I’m just very pleased that the book gets to be ushered into the world in the best way, with editorial care and a bit of fanfare – and the money is no small thing. It’s altogether wonderful. I want to sincerely thank all the team at Literary Dundee and Freight Books who have been a real pleasure to work with.”

The Dundee International Book prize is a joint venture between the ‘Dundee – One City, Many Discoveries’ initiative, Freight Books and the University of Dundee. Convener of City Development at Dundee City Council Will Dawson, said, “It never fails to surprise and impress me that each time the Dundee International Book Prize is awarded the number and quality of entries is so high.

“It has now taken its rightful place as one of the premier competitions for debut novelists and has helped to cement Dundee’s position on the world literary map. This year’s winner has received high praise from the judges and I am looking forward to seeing it in print so that I can read it for myself.”

Director of Literary Dundee Anna Day commented “This year our winning book is a smart, sophisticated thriller but it’s so much more as well. It’s a coming-of-age tale, a morality tale and, most of all, a brilliant read. I couldn’t put it down and am very proud that the Dundee International Book Prize brought this marvellous book to fruition.”

Cargo Managing Director Mark Buckland said, “One of our goals as a company is to bring exciting new voices to the reading public and Nicola White is one of the most exceptional debut authors I’ve encountered. The book is thrilling but is also deeply moving. I’m delighted that the Dundee International Book Prize has once again unearthed a unique talent with so much to say about how we live.”

The Dundee International Book Prize was first awarded in 2000 and since then has grown in stature to become one of the UK’s most prestigious literary awards and the largest cash prize for debut authors.

Entries for the prize come from all over the world, with the 2013 longlist containing novels set in Iran, South Africa, Romania, Japan, Puerto Rico and Dublin and had authors coming from as far afield as Texas and Japan.

In The Rosary Garden will be released on October 25th, priced £8.99. Review copies are available for selected press.

The three finalists for the 2013 Dundee International Book Prize have been announced – with a publishing deal and £10,000 cash on offer to the winner.

This year’s finalists are a community worker in an ex-mining community in Belgium, a former soldier turned wild animal preserve manager and a Dublin-born former Leverhulme Writer in Residence.

Debut novels from Jeff Hayden, Colette Victor and Nicola White have seen off stiff competition from 350 other entrants to reach the final stage. The all-star judging panel - comprising Brian Cox, Lorraine Kelly, Norman Foster, Clare Alexander and A L Kennedy - have read each and will debate the merits of the three finalists before the winner is announced at the Dundee Literary Festival in October.

A publishing deal with Freight Books and £10,000 - the largest cash prize for unpublished work in the UK - is up for grabs.

An anthology of extracts from all 12 authors who made the shortlist stage of the competition is available as a free eBook from Amazon or in hard copy format from Literary Dundee.

The top title will be named as the ninth winner of the Book Prize, organised by the University of Dundee's Literary Dundee initiative, and Dundee City Council’s `One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign.

Peggy Hughes, of Literary Dundee, said, “We’re really excited by the final three in this fantastic year for the Dundee International Book Prize. We had a huge number of strong entries and the very happy task of narrowing things down to just three.

“Jeff, Colette and Nicola have really grabbed us with their assured and compelling debuts. We can't wait to see which one our judges pick to take this year’s title.”

Jeff Hayden was born in San Francisco and raised in the Caribbean, educated in Switzerland, Colgate University and the Wharton School of Business. Having worked in the military and as a publisher, he now manages a preserve for animals in the wild in Colorado. His novel, Mango, is based on a true, and as of yet unsolved, murder case in 1950s Puerto Rico.

Born and bred in Dundee, South Africa, Colette Victor has been living in Belgium for the past twelve years. She has written five novels, one of which, a YA novel, was shortlisted for the Mslexia Children’s Novel Competition. What to do with Lobsters in a Place Like Klippisfontein is an examination of racial tensions in a small, rural, conservative town in South Africa.

In the Rosary Garden by Nicola White explores a grisly discovery in the grounds of a convent school in 1980s Dublin which sparks a complicated case for the investigating detective. Nicola’s short stories have been published widely and broadcast on radio. Last year she was Leverhulme Writer in Residence at the University of Edinburgh and in 2008 won the Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award.

Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee, said, “Each year the standard of manuscript submitted gets better and better and I am glad I'm not one of the judges tasked with the difficult decision of picking just one winner.

“The truly international nature of the entries is certainly reflected in this year's shortlist and the book prize has helped to spread the word about the city's literary and cultural credentials across the globe. It is also, of course, part of the great range of things happening in Dundee which has led to the city being shortlisted for UK City of Culture 2017.”

The eBook containing all shortlisted entries can be downloaded for free from http://amzn.to/1dlH2I0 Paper copies can be obtained from Literary Dundee, 6th Floor, Tower Building, University of Dundee.

The 2012 winner was The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up by Jacob M. Appel, a sharply observed post-9/11 novel about patriotism, politics and the media.

A 13-strong shortlist of authors has been announced for this year’s Dundee International Book Prize…

With books set in Iran, South Africa, Romania, Japan, Puerto Rico, Dublin and Edinburgh (not to mention Heaven) and with authors coming from as far afield as Texas, Japan, and Belgium this year’s shortlist is the most geographically diverse selection of novels to date.

A publishing deal with Freight Books and £10,000 – the largest cash prize for unpublished work in the UK – is up for grabs. The lucky 13 authors have beaten off competition from more than 350 other entries to reach this stage. An anthology of extracts from all shortlisted entries is now available as a free eBook from Amazon or in hard copy format.

The stellar panel of judges – literary agent Clare Alexander, award-winning architect Sir Norman Foster, TV presenter and author Lorraine Kelly, COSTA prize-winning author A.L. Kennedy and Brian Cox, Hollywood actor and Dundee University rector – will now read and debate the merits of the shortlisted entries.

Their top title will be named as the ninth winner of the Book Prize, organised by the University of Dundee’s Literary Dundee initiative, and the One City, Many Discoveries campaign.

Anna Day, Director of Literary Dundee, said, “Once again we have received an exceptional standard of entries and the process of narrowing them down to just 13 has been difficult enough.”

“Getting that number down to a final three, and then to a single winner, will not be easy so I don’t envy our judging panel in that regard. The quality of the novels that made our shortlist is incredible so I would encourage anyone to download their copy or pick one up from our office.”

The shortlist for the 2013 Dundee International Book Prize is:

  • Light in the Blood (Nicholas Murgatroyd) – a literary mystery set at a writers retreat in Romania.
  • All Things End in Yes (Lily Barker) – the tale of a London food critic who discovers an Iranian carpet embroidered with cryptic messages.
  • Falling Fast (Neil Broadfoot) – a contemporary crime novel set in Edinburgh which uncovers the secrets and lies of an MSP at Holyrood. A Brief Eternity (Paul Beaumont) – an immortal love story that finds non-believer Jerry caught up in the Rapture and headed for Heaven.
  • Beware of Men with Moustaches (Elizabeth Kay) – the tale of four poets trapped in a nightmare of Kafkaesque proportions.
  • Dog Mountain (Iain Maloney) – a magical realist thriller which takes the reader through the history and mythology of Japan.
  • The Society of Unexampled Brilliance (Paul Warnes) – a dysfunctional family reunion at a house in Cornwall after a violent attack on a young girl. Kissing Trisha Six Times (Dandy McGregor) – a highly original novel of medical malpractice, witchcraft, S&M and insurance fraud.
  • In the Rosary Garden (Nicola White) – a grisly discovery in the grounds of a convent school in 1980s Dublin sparks a complicated case for the investigating detective. Mango (Jeff Hayden) – a novel based on a true, and as of yet unsolved, murder case in 1950s Puerto Rico.
  • The Confession of Stella Moon (Shelley Day Sclater) – a dark, brooding tale of matricide and infanticide mixed with a touch of the supernatural.
  • The Killing Pool (Phillip Kurthausen) – a military lawyer’s struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as he takes on a new case.
  • What to do with Lobsters in a Place Like Klippisfontein (Colette Victor) – an examination of racial tensions in a small, rural, conservative town in South Africa.

The eBook can be accessed by searching for ‘Dundee International Book Prize’ on Amazon, or in hard copy format from Literary Dundee, 6th Floor, Tower Building, University of Dundee.

The winner of last year’s prize was New York-based author Jacob Appel, whose debut novel, ‘The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up’, satirised politics, patriotism and the press in the United States post-9/11.

Mark Buckland, Head of Freight Books, said, “After the great success of last year's winner ‘The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up’, I’m really pleased that once again we have a diverse, exciting and eclectic shortlist that makes it tough for the judges to pick an overall winner.”

Dundee City Council city development convener Councillor Will Dawson said, “I do not envy the judges who have the responsibility of choosing the ultimate winner. The increasing quality of the entries proves that the Dundee International Book Prize is gaining in stature to become a well recognised event in the literary calendar.”

“I am pleased to see how the prize reflects the creativity of Dundee and underlines the strengths of our bid for UK City of Culture status.”

The winner of this year’s Dundee International Book Prize will be chosen by an all-star judging panel comprising novelist A.L. Kennedy, Hollywood star Brian Cox, television presenter Lorraine Kelly, world-renowned architect Lord Norman Foster and top literary agent Clare Alexander.

They will cast their eyes over the work of aspiring novelists from around the world competing for a publishing deal with Freight Books and £10,000, the largest cash prize for unpublished work in the UK.

Now in its 9th year, the Dundee International Book Prize attracts entries from across the globe each year, and is highly valued by new writers seeking to break into the publishing world. Last year’s winner was New York writer Jacob Appel’s sharply observed post-9/11 satire on patriotism, politics and the media, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up.

The competition is a joint venture between the ‘Dundee – One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign and Literary Dundee, a University-led initiative. It is open to both local writers and authors from around the world.

Literary Dundee Director Anna Day said she was delighted to have such an array of literary experts judging this year’s winner.

“What is really interesting this year is that we have a very diverse panel who will each bring their own unique perspective to the judging process,” she said. “This is a very accomplished panel with an incredible amount of experience of entertainment and the creative industries.

“We are collating entries as we receive them and can tell from the submissions so far that the judges have a difficult decision ahead of them. I am really looking forward to finding out who they choose as this year’s winner, and I am sure they will be a fitting recipient of one of the most exciting literary prizes for unpublished writers in the UK.”

Councillor Will Dawson, convener of City Development at Dundee City Council said, “Once again the Dundee International Book Prize has managed to secure a first class panel of judges.

“We are delighted to have on board our very own Brian Cox and Lorraine Kelly, both of whom are fabulous ambassadors for Dundee and we are delighted that they and the others judges are willing to give up their time to find the next winner of this prestigious prize.”

Born in Dundee, Brian Cox has gone on to become a Hollywood star, including being the first person to portray Hannibal Lecter on screen, in the film Manhunter. He is currently starring in the BBC comedy series, ‘Bob Servant Independent’, which is set in Broughty Ferry.

He was recently re-elected as Rector of the University, a position that Lorraine Kelly previously held. Best known as the host of numerous television shows, she is a passionate supporter of her adopted hometown.

A.L. Kennedy was born in Dundee and is the author of six novels as well as several collections of short stories and works of non-fiction. She has won several awards for her writing and has also performed as a stand-up comedian.

Norman Foster is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s top contemporary architects and the Hearst Building and Wembley Stadium are among his best known works.

Clare Alexander is a partner in Aitken Alexander Associates, one of the UK’s most successful literary agencies and has worked in the publishing industry for almost 40 years. In 2007, she was named Literary Agent of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards.

Some of the world’s best undiscovered novelists will once again attempt to take their place among the literary elite as the UK’s richest prize for unpublished writers opens for entries.

Budding authors are invited to enter their debut novels for the Dundee International Book Prize 2013 and compete for the £10,000 cash prize and a coveted publishing contract with Freight Books.

The 2012 Prize attracted a record 475 entries, with New York writer Jacob Appel’s sharply observed post-9/11 satire on patriotism, politics and the media, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, being named as the winner.

The competition is a joint venture between the ‘Dundee – One City, Many Discoveries’ campaign and Literary Dundee. It is open to authors from around the world, and eight writers have launched their careers after winning the Prize since its inception in 2000.

The scribes hoping to follow in their footsteps have until Monday, 4th March to send their entry. All entries will be read before a shortlist is drawn up later in the year. The judging panel will then debate the merits of the finalists before the winner is announced at the Dundee Literary Festival in October.

Will Dawson, Convener of City Development at Dundee City Council, said, “We are very proud of the international acclaim of the book prize. It has continued to attract more entries each year and now, as part of the Literary Festival, it is very much putting Dundee on the map for new writing. It also supports the case for our bid to be UK City of Culture 2017.”

Anna Day, Director of Literary Dundee, a University of Dundee-led initiative, said “The last winner of the prize was a wonderful novelist, and Jacob’s book has proven to be a great success. We know that the next big thing in literature is out there and we’re determined to uncover more fantastic talent in 2013”.

Gill Tasker, Editor in Chief at Cargo said, “The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up has set the bar high for this year’s entries. We’re very much looking forward to discovering more new writing, and to adding another outstanding author to our increasingly international roster.”

The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up was described by 2012 judge Stephen Fry as a “darkly comic satire, full of insight into American culture” while Philip Pullman said it was “engaging, funny, ingenious, even charming.” The book has gone on to enjoy considerable commercial success with other publishing deals around the world in the pipeline.

There is no minimum or maximum length to the manuscript but it must be the author’s debut novel.

The closing date is Monday, 4th March 2013. Shortlisted authors only will be contacted by the organisers of the prize. The winner will be informed of their success in June and the book will be launched in published form in the autumn as part of the Dundee Literary Festival.

A practising psychiatrist from New York, a former professional astronomer based in Edinburgh and an “all ginger” copywriter from Manchester have been named as the finalists in the 2012 Dundee International Book Prize.

Debut novels from Jacob M Appel, Pippa Goldschmidt, and Matt Hill have beaten off competition from 472 other entrants to reach this stage. The all-star judging panel – comprising Stephen Fry, Philip Pullman, Alan Bissett, and Jenny Brown – have read each and will debate the merits of the three finalists before the winner is announced at the Dundee Literary Festival in October.

A publishing deal with Freight Books and £10,000 – the largest cash prize for unpublished work in the UK – is up for grabs.

An anthology of extracts from all 12 authors who made the shortlist stage of the competition is available as a free eBook from Amazon or in hard copy format from Literary Dundee.

The top title will be named as the eighth winner of the Book Prize, organised by the University of Dundee’s Literary Dundee initiative, and the One City, Many Discoveries campaign.

Anna Day, Director of Literary Dundee, said, “We have a very exciting final three in one of the strongest ever years for the Dundee International Book Prize. We had a record number of entries this year and quantity was certainly matched by quality, giving us the very welcome problem of how to narrow down the field.

“Congratulations are due to Jacob, Pippa and Matt and the pressure is now on our judges to pick a winner between these three exceptionally strong finalists.”

Huffington Post writer Jacob Appel is the author of more than 200 short stories and a renowned bioethicist, who practices psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. His first book, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, is a sharply observed post-9/11 novel about patriotism, politics and the media.

Pippa Goldschmidt grew up in London and is the writer in residence at the ESRC Genetics Forum at the University of Edinburgh. A former astronomer, her fiction examines different aspects of science and the hidden stories of scientists. Her entry, Wider than the Sky, is a beautifully written novel about loss, family and astronomy.

Matt Hill was born in 1984 and grew up in Greater Manchester. He completed a journalism degree at Cardiff University before returning to Manchester. He describes himself as “half-copywriter, half-fiction writer, all ginger”, and ‘The Folded Man’, his debut novel is a dark, dystopian vision of Britain told in a unique and confident voice.

Will Dawson, convenor of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said: “The number and quality of entries to the Book Prize, confirms its place on the world stage for creative writing. It’s hard to believe it’s 12 years since it was launched in Dundee, and we can all be immensely proud of the continued success of this competition.”

The eBook containing all shortlisted entries can be downloaded for free from Amazon. Paper copies can be obtained from Literary Dundee, 6th Floor, Tower Building, University of Dundee.

The 2011 winner was Simon Ashe-Browne’s ‘Nothing Human Left’, a psychological thriller set in a Dublin public school.

A practising psychiatrist from New York, a former professional astronomer based in Edinburgh and an “all ginger” copywriter from Manchester have been named as the finalists in the 2012 Dundee International Book Prize.

Debut novels from Jacob M Appel, Pippa Goldschmidt, and Matt Hill have beaten off competition from 472 other entrants to reach this stage. The all-star judging panel – comprising Stephen Fry, Philip Pullman, Alan Bissett, and Jenny Brown – have read each and will debate the merits of the three finalists before the winner is announced at the Dundee Literary Festival in October.

A publishing deal with Freight Books and £10,000 – the largest cash prize for unpublished work in the UK – is up for grabs.

An anthology of extracts from all 12 authors who made the shortlist stage of the competition is available as a free eBook from Amazon or in hard copy format from Literary Dundee.

The top title will be named as the eighth winner of the Book Prize, organised by the University of Dundee’s Literary Dundee initiative, and the One City, Many Discoveries campaign.

Anna Day, Director of Literary Dundee, said, “We have a very exciting final three in one of the strongest ever years for the Dundee International Book Prize. We had a record number of entries this year and quantity was certainly matched by quality, giving us the very welcome problem of how to narrow down the field.

“Congratulations are due to Jacob, Pippa and Matt and the pressure is now on our judges to pick a winner between these three exceptionally strong finalists.”

Huffington Post writer Jacob Appel is the author of more than 200 short stories and a renowned bioethicist, who practices psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. His first book, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, is a sharply observed post-9/11 novel about patriotism, politics and the media.

Pippa Goldschmidt grew up in London and is the writer in residence at the ESRC Genetics Forum at the University of Edinburgh. A former astronomer, her fiction examines different aspects of science and the hidden stories of scientists. Her entry, Wider than the Sky, is a beautifully written novel about loss, family and astronomy.

Matt Hill was born in 1984 and grew up in Greater Manchester. He completed a journalism degree at Cardiff University before returning to Manchester. He describes himself as “half-copywriter, half-fiction writer, all ginger”, and ‘The Folded Man’, his debut novel is a dark, dystopian vision of Britain told in a unique and confident voice.

Will Dawson, convenor of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said: “The number and quality of entries to the Book Prize, confirms its place on the world stage for creative writing. It’s hard to believe it’s 12 years since it was launched in Dundee, and we can all be immensely proud of the continued success of this competition.”

The eBook containing all shortlisted entries can be downloaded for free from Amazon. Paper copies can be obtained from Literary Dundee, 6th Floor, Tower Building, University of Dundee.

The 2011 winner was Simon Ashe-Browne’s ‘Nothing Human Left’, a psychological thriller set in a Dublin public school.

Budding authors from three continents have made the shortlist for the 2012 Dundee International Book Prize.

A dozen debut novels have made the penultimate stage of the competition, and extracts from all 12 are published today in an eBook.

A record-breaking 475 entries entered this year’s competition, which offers one debut novelist the chance to win a publishing deal with Freight Books and £10,000 – the largest cash prize for unpublished work in the UK. The shortlist will now be whittled down to a final three before judges decide the winner.

Members of the public are being invited to purchase the eBook from Amazon UK. There is also a Dundee International Book Prize facebook page where people can find out more about the shortlisted authors and leave comments on the extracts.

The all-star judging panel – comprising writer, actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry, novelists Philip Pullman and Alan Bissett, and top literary agent Jenny Brown – will debate the merits of the final entries before the winner is announced at the Dundee Literary Festival later this year.

The top title will be named as the eighth winner of the Book Prize, organised by the University of Dundee’s Literary Dundee initiative, and the One City, Many Discoveries campaign.

Anna Day, Director of Literary Dundee, said, “It was a difficult process to narrow it down to a shortlist. We usually have ten novels at this stage, but we couldn’t choose between them, so we put through 12 books to the next stage of judging. It’s been an exceptional year for the prize and it won’t be any easier to pick a winner from this field. Well done to everyone who’s got this far, and I’m really looking forward to finding out who the winner is.”

Among the international entrants to make the shortlist are Huffington Post writer Jacob Appel, the author of more than 200 short stories and a renowned bioethicist, who practices psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Closer to home, Glasgow-based Margot McCuaig is Managing Director of television company mneTV, and produces sports and entertainment shows for a Gaelic-speaking audience.

Suzanne Hocking, who lives in New Zealand with her partner, three cats, and imaginary dog and is completing her paramedic training also made the list, as did Neil Crocker who lives in Luxembourg.

Mark Buckland, Head of Freight Books, said, “We were really taken with the high quality of entries, the skill of writing in the novels to the diversity of plots and subjects. It’s going to be a really tough decision for the judges but it will be a pleasure to publish the winner.”

Ken Guild, leader of Dundee City Council said: “This year has seen a particularly high quality of entries, so much so that the judges had an incredibly difficult task whittling them down to a slighter longer than usual shortlist.”

“That in itself is a nice problem to have and indicates that the Book Prize is generating a huge buzz in literary circles and with it cementing Dundee’s reputation as a cradle of creative writing and thought.”

The 2011 winner was Simon Ashe-Browne’s ‘Nothing Human Left’, a psychological thriller set in a Dublin public school.

The longlist for the 2012 Dundee International Book Prize is:

  • ‘Matchstick Girl’ by Suzanne Hocking, New Zealand
  • ‘The Folded Man’ by Matt Hill, Manchester
  • ‘Mum to Mum’ by Hazel Ellis-Saxon, Kirriemuir
  • ‘The Dandelion Clock’ by Margot McCuaig, Glasgow
  • ‘Life Knocks’ by Craig Stone, Greenhithe, Kent.
  • ‘The Distillery Boys’ by Neil Cocker, Luxembourg
  • ‘The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up’ by Jacob M Appel, New York
  • ‘Left At The Mango Tree’ by Stephanie Siciarz, Stow, Ohio
  • ‘Rust and Stardust’ by Kirsty Logan, Glasgow
  • ‘The Prostitutes of Lake Wobegon’ by Sean Shannon, Toledo, Ohio
  • ‘Wider Than The Sky’ by Pippa Goldschmidt, Musselburgh
  • ‘Relatively Guilty’ by Willie McIntyre, Falkirk

The 2012 Dundee International Book Prize has received a record-breaking 475 entries – up almost 400 per cent on last year’s figure. The aspiring novelists will compete to earn a publishing deal with Freight Books and £10,000 – the largest cash prize for unpublished work in the UK – in the annual competition organised by the University of Dundee’s Literary Dundee initiative, and the One City, Many Discoveries campaign.

A star-studded panel of judges – comprising writer, actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry, novelists Philip Pullman and Alan Bissett, and top literary agent Jenny Brown – will decide the winner from the hundreds of entries from around the world.

Literary Dundee Director Anna Day said the calibre of judges for this year’s event was a major factor in attracting an “amazing” degree of interest, and thanked Stephen Fry, a former Rector of Dundee University, for flagging up the prize to his four million Twitter followers.

“The growing stature of the Dundee International Prize has obviously played a part but the panel of judges we have this year has really helped the number of entries rocket,” she said. “Their connections and global reach has helped us reach new markets, and I send my sincere gratitude to Stephen Fry for re-tweeting our call for entries as we certainly saw an upsurge as a result. “We have always had an international reach when it comes to entries, but this year that’s more the case than ever.

There have been stories sent from Australia, New Zealand, all over America, and from Africa. “From a preliminary look through the submissions, we can see already that the quality of writing is very high, and our team of readers will now go through them in detail. Each book will be read by two members of the team who will each score the piece out of 50 based on strict criteria. “The highest-scoring entries will then go through to the next stage, where the judges will decide on a shortlist and, ultimately, a winner.”

Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee said: "I am delighted that the Dundee International Book Prize continues to go from strength to strength. Not only in the quantity of entries but also in the calibre of judges we have been able to attract. "The wealth of talent out there and the sheer number of entries makes the judging task this year even more difficult than usual." The prize is now in its eighth year.

The 2011 winner was Simon Ashe-Browne’s ‘Nothing Human Left’, a psychological thriller set in a Dublin public school. The winner of the 2012 Dundee International Book prize will be informed of their success in June, and the book will be published in the autumn as part of the Dundee Literary Festival.

 

 

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