Inaugurated in 1954, the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award is now in its 65th 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.

Today, the Authors’ Club announces the longlist for the annual Best First Novel Award.The longlisted books are as follows:

  • Claire Askew, All the Hidden Truths (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Mary Lynn Bracht, White Chrysanthemum (Chatto & Windus)
  • Laura Carlin, The Wicked Cometh (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Guy Gunaratne, In Our Mad and Furious City (Tinder Press)
  • Sarah Haywood, The Cactus (Two Roads)
  • Caoilinn Hughes, Orchid & the Wasp (Oneworld)
  • Emily Koch, If I Die Before I Wake (Harvill Secker)
  • Norma MacMaster, Silence Under a Stone (Doubleday)
  • Sally Magnusson, The Sealwoman’s Gift (Two Roads)
  • Donald S. Murray, As the Women Lay Dreaming (Saraband)
  • Kim Sherwood, Testament (Riverrun)
  • Stuart Turton, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Raven)

Lucy Popescu (chair of the judging panel) commented:

“This year, we’ve had a bumper crop of entries. Women dominate the longlist – one writer, Norma McMaster, is in her 80s. It’s a real privilege to be able to support a diverse list of debut novelists tackling such wide-ranging subjects.”

Key dates

  • Shortlist announcement: Thursday 28 March 2019, Essex Book Festival
  • Shortlisted authors event at Waterstones Gower St: Thursday 2 May
  • The Winner will be announced by Louise Doughty, this year’s guest adjudicator at a dinner at the National Liberal Club: Wednesday 22 May

For more information, visit the Author’s Club website.