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Dylan Thomas Shortlist 2017 Announced

28th March 2017


The shortlist for the International Dylan Thomas Prize in partnership with Swansea University has been announced. Launched in 2006, the accolade is the largest literary prize in the world for young writers at £30,000.

Three novels are featured: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, and two debut novels: Pigeon by Welsh author Alys Conran and The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam from Sri Lanka.

A book of poetry, Cain by Luke Kennard, also makes the list, along with two collections of short stories; Dog Run Moon: Stories by Callan Wink and Fiona McFarlane’s The High Places.

Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the prize is named after the Swansea-born writer, Dylan Thomas, and celebrates his 39 years of creativity and productivity. One of the most influential, internationally-renowned writers of the mid-twentieth century, the prize invokes his memory to support the writers of today and nurture the talents of tomorrow.


The full shortlist is:


Independent publishers dominate the International Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist, accounting for five of the six books.

Last year’s winner was Max Porter for his highly-acclaimed debut book, Grief is the Thing with Feathers – part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief. Porter has since been awarded The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year award for the same book.

The judging panel is chaired by Professor Dai Smith CBE, of Swansea University, who said of this year’s shortlist: “From a deeply impressive long list of 12 works of literature from across the globe, the judges, after a lengthy discussion, decided on six works whose sheer quality, originality and dazzle factor stood out. We have a novella from Sri Lanka, two collections of short stories, one from Australia and the other from the USA, a book of poetry and a novel from English authors, and a debut novel from Wales.”

Professor Smith is Emeritus Raymond Williams Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University and historian and writer on Welsh arts and culture; this year’s judging panel also features: poet and scholar, Professor Kurt Heinzelman; Alison Hindell, Head of Audio Drama, UK for the BBC; novelist and Professor Sarah Moss, and author Prajwal Parajuly.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 10 May at Swansea University’s Great Hall, in the run up to International Dylan Thomas Day on 14 May.


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