The UK’s most lucrative prize for unpublished authors has once again opened for entries, with a place amongst the literary elite on offer for the writer who stands out from a field featuring some of the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 Cargo Publishing 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 1pm 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.
Check out the Dundee International Book Prize Facebook page.