A Personal Tribute to Dan Proops

It is with deep sadness to hear the news that our writer and friend Dan Proops tragically passed away this week.

Dan lived to write. His dedication to his craft was immense and his debut novel A LETTER FROM SARAH was published this past March to much critical and reader acclaim. Dan had so much more to publish and looked set to enjoy a long writing career, which makes this loss even harder to accept.

Dan was sweet, sensitive and loved collaborating as well, never too precious and eager to move on to the next challenge. In his trademark leather motorcycle jacket, he was a fixture at the Groucho Club and was an immensely popular figure in the writing community.

Taken too soon, we have lost one of the good guys and I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with and know Dan. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this most difficult time.

Rest in Peace.

Tom J. Cull


The Author’s Club Best First Novel Award 2019 Longlist

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.