Edward Stourton chairs Desmond Elliott judges

Ed Stourton

January 28, 2011

Edward Stourton, BBC broadcaster and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Show, is to chair the panel of judges for the 2011 Desmond Elliott Prize, awarded for a first novel published in the UK.

The Prize, worth £10,000 to the winner, was inaugurated in honour of publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott, one of the most charismatic and successful men in this field, whose discoveries included Jilly Cooper and Penny Vincenzi. He died in August 2003, leaving a will stipulating that his estate should be invested in a charitable trust that would fund a literary award “to enrich the careers of new writers”.

Edward noted, “My eldest son (who is 28) is publishing his second novel this summer - so I know at first hand how tough the publishing world can be for young writers...It is a privilege to be part of a project designed to encourage and recognise them. And a position that compels me to spend time reading new fiction really is irresistible."

The judges will look for a novel of depth and breadth with a compelling narrative. The work should be vividly written and confidently realised and should contain original and arresting characters. This year’s long list of 10 books will be announced in late March, followed by the shortlist of three books in May. The winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2011 will be announced on Thursday 23 June at an award ceremony held at Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly, London.

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