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5 September 2011

Dundee International Book Prize shortlist revealed

Award-winning artist Adrian Wisziewski is among the 10 debut novelists in the running for this year’s Dundee International Book Prize

Wiszniewski, who was part of the ‘New Glasgow Boys’ group of the 1980s and whose figurative work is collected by, among others, Madonna, will compete with other aspiring authors including Irish actor Simon Ashe-Browne, Jay Weber from Arlington, USA, and Dundee’s own Alissa Jones Nelson.

A total of 120 writers submitted novels in the hope of winning a publishing deal and the £10,000 Prize - the highest offered by any UK prize for unpublished authors. Judges were left with the difficult task of narrowing the dozens of entries down to the top ten, which includes writers based locally, nationally and internationally.

Extracts of the top ten have been published online at to allow book-lovers to pick their own favourites for the Prize, a collaboration between the University of Dundee, Cargo Publishing and Dundee City Council's 'One City, Many Discoveries' campaign, which is this year sponsored by Cargo.

The top ten will now be whittled down to a final three books and the eventual winner will be picked by judges Anna Day of Literary Dundee, Head of Cargo Publishing, Mark Buckland, and Emily Dewhurst of Dundee City Council.

This is the first year that Cargo have been involved with the Dundee International Book Prize, and Mark Buckland said he was delighted to be supporting talented new authors.

'We're delighted to be the new publisher for this prestigious prize,' he said. 'We were looking to bring some edge and excitement to it and I think we've found that in this shortlist.

'There were a lot of quality entries and I think it bodes well for new writing around the world. At Cargo, we want to be involved in giving new writers a chance and I think our work with the prize enables us to continue that.'

The winner will be announced at a dinner on Saturday, October 29th in front of an audience of industry experts, shortlisted writers and sponsors of the prize. They will also speak at the Dundee Literary Festival the following day.

Anna Day, Director of Literary Dundee - a University of Dundee-led initiative to promote interest in literature - said, 'Once again we have received well over 100 high quality entries from around the world and whittling them down to just 10 was far from easy.

'The shortlist reflects a wide variety of styles of writing from debut authors across the world - we received entries from France, USA, Canada, Australia, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Ukraine, Italy and Switzerland - and this demonstrates the esteem the Prize is held in, and how attractive an award it is.

'There are some fantastic stories in the top ten, and I’m sure people will enjoy reading extracts from them. It's going to be tricky to choose a winner but as always we're looking for a creative, innovative new voice who’s demonstrated their ability to create a real page-turner.'

Will Dawson, Convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee, said, 'Our reputation as a centre of literary and artistic excellence in many fields continues to develop and grow.

'A rich storytelling tradition runs through Dundee, whether it be in song, literature, as a narrative in a computer game or the plot of a film and the city's ongoing association with encouraging the very best in that tradition through new novel writing is reflected in the long standing success of the Book Prize.'

Last year, Wigan author Alan Wight secured a publishing deal and the £10,000 prize for his debut novel, Act of Murder, a dramatic murder mystery set in his home town during Victorian times.

The shortlist for the 2011 Dundee International Book Prize is:

  • As it was in the beginning by Rachel Newsome (London).
  • 14 variations from white by Emma Hooper (Bath).
  • Sympathy for the doc by Simon Ashe-Browne (Dublin).
  • No place to fall by Alissa Jones Nelson (Dundee).
  • The broken glass collector by Elizabeth Switaj (Belfast).
  • Pixelated by Lane Palmer (London).
  • Touching cloth by Adrian Wizneivski (Loch WInnoch).
  • Granmere's piano by Jay Weber (Arlington, USA).
  • The sacred combe by Thomas Maloney (Henley-on-Thames).
  • The Flax flower by Amanda MacLean (London).

For media enquiries contact:
Grant Hill
Press Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
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