Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Dylan Thomas Prize - shortlist announced
From left to right: Peter Stead (Welsh academic, historian and broadcaster), Peter Florence (Director of the Hay Festival and Chair of Judges), Caroline Bird, Edward Hogan and Miranda Sawyer (leading columnist for Vogue).
The Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist was announced today in London. Six writers remain in competition for the prize. They are: London waiter Ross Raisin; 21-year old poet Caroline Bird, from Leeds, who is the youngest writer on the longlist; South African Harvard graduate Ceridwen Dovey; critically acclaimed Vietnamese writer Nam Le; Dinaw Mengestu, a journalist and novelist from Ethiopia; and Derby-born rising literary star Edward Hogan.
I caught up with Edward, who told me that he was delighted to be included in the shortlist for his debut novel, Blackmoor.
'It's wonderful to be on a shortlist with so much young talent. I'm also really looking forward to the opportunity to put something back into the writing community with educational outreach work in Wales'.
He added that he hoped that the shortlist would encourage people to read the books of all the nominees and draw attention to youthful talent.
Edward, 28, began writing seriously seven years ago, winning a literary prize from prestigious London agents David Higham Associates, which enabled him to pursue an MA in Creative Writing at UEA. He is the latest in a long line of success stories from the Creative Writing program in Norwich, which include Trezza Azzopardi and Owen Sheers.
The talents highlighted in this year's Dylan Thomas Prize long- and shortlist seem set to develop increasingly high profiles in the years to come. Look out for them.
The announcement of the winner will take place in Swansea, Dylan's hometown, on November 10. Good luck to all the contenders.