Longlist announced for Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award 2020

The longlisted books are as follows:

Claire Adam Golden Child (Faber & Faber)
George Alagiah, The Burning Land (Canongate)
Layla AlAmmar, The Pact We Made (Borough Press)
Jim Al-Khalili, Sunfall (Bantam Press)
Damian Barr, You Will Be Safe Here (Bloomsbury)  
Sara Collins, The Confessions of Frannie Langton (Viking)
Joanna Glen, The Other Half of Augusta Hope (Borough Press)
TJ Gorton, Only the Dead (Quartet)
Anne Griffin, When All is Said, (Sceptre)
Jenny McCartney, The Ghost Factory (4th Estate)
Beth O’ Leary, The Flatshare (Quercus)
Jacqueline O’Mahoney, A River in the Trees (Riverrun)
Laura Shepherd-Robinson, Blood & Sugar (Mantle)

Lucy Popescu (chair of the judging panel) commented: “We’ve had another amazing year and so have 13 on the longlist. These remarkable debut novelists cover an array of subjects from climate change to South Africa, from slavery to Irish history as well as contemporary social comedy. Once again women dominate the longlist. It’s thrilling to support this fascinating list of debut novelists tackling such wide-ranging themes.”

Key Dates
Shortlist announcement: 27 March
Shortlisted authors event at Hatchards Piccadilly: Thursday 30 April
The winner will be announced at a dinner at the National Liberal Club: Wednesday 20 May

About the Prize:

The winning novel is selected by guest adjudicator Andrew Miller from a shortlist drawn up by a panel of Authors’ Club members, chaired by Lucy Popescu.

The prize is open to any debut novel written in English and published in the UK between 1 Jan and 31 Dec 2019 with one important exception: novels first published in another country of origin will not be considered. The prize of £2500 exists to support UK-based authors, publishers and agents, so the novel must originate in the UK and not have been published anywhere else in the world before its UK publication

Inaugurated in 1954, the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award is now in its 66th 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.

Past winners have included Brian Moore, Alan Sillitoe, Paul Bailey, Gilbert Adair, Nadeem Aslam, Diran Adebayo, Jackie Kay, Susan Fletcher, Nicola Monaghan, Laura Beatty, Anthony Quinn, Jonathan Kemp, Kevin Barry, Ros Barber, Hisayo Rowan Buchanan and Gail Honeyman. Last year’s prize was awarded to Guy Gunaratne.

Past adjudicators have included Louise Doughty, AK Kennedy, Vikram Seth, Philip Hensher, Joanne Harris, Deborah Moggach and, going back further, Kingsley Amis and Compton Mackenzie.

About The Authors’ Club
Established by Walter Besant in 1891, the Club has provided a social meeting place for writers for 125 years.