Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize


Ever since I read Under MilkWood over 40 years ago I have been fascinated by Dylan Thomas so it gives me enormous pleasure to bring you information about the Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize, not least as I shall be attending the awards ceremony at the British Library in May.

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.

Launched in 2006, The Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize is the largest literary prize in the world for young writers. In 2019 Swansea University will be the first British University to launch an English module based solely on a literary prize, where students will examine the works longlisted for the Prize.

The longlist was announced on 31st January and the shortlist will be made public on 2nd April. The winner will be announced on Thursday 16thth May at Swansea University’s Great Hall, just after International Dylan Thomas Day on 14 May.

This year’s longlist celebrates a whole host of debut authors, including eight dynamic and unique female writers, of which three are debut novelists and one is celebrating her debut poetry collection, and four amazing new, critically acclaimed, debut male voices.

The Judges


The twelve longlisted titles will be judged by a panel chaired by Professor Dai Smith CBE,  BBC BroadcasterDi Speirs, award-winning novelist Kit de Waal and Professor Kurt Heinzelman. All their details can be found here. I’m thrilled that Kit de Waal has featured on Linda’s Book Bag here.

The Longlisted Authors

image001 (4)

Top from left: Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Clare Fisher, Michael Donkor, Emma Glass, Guy Gunaratne, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

Top from left: Zoe Gilbert, Sarah Perry, Richard Scott, Louisa Hall, Sally Rooney, Jenny Xie

(No bias here on Linda’s Book Bag but I did love Clare Fisher’s Debut All The Good Things and you can read my review here.)

Recognised for its celebration of experimental and challenging young voices in contemporary writing, this year’s longlist highlights more than ever the challenging world we live by tackling head on difficult topics – including domestic violence, mental health, rape, racism, gender and identity.

This year’s longlist of 12 books comprises eight novels, two short story collections and two poetry collections:

  • Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Friday Black (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (US) and Riverrun (UK))
  • Michael Donkor, Hold (4th Estate)
  • Clare Fisher, How the Light Gets In (Influx Press)
  • Zoe Gilbert, Folk (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Emma Glass, Peach ((Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Guy Gunaratne, In Our Mad and Furious City (Tinder Press, Headline)
  • Louisa Hall, Trinity (Ecco)
  • Sarah Perry, Melmoth (Serpent’s Tail)
  • Sally Rooney, Normal People (Faber & Faber)
  • Richard Scott, Soho (Faber & Faber)
  • Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, House of Stone (Atlantic Books)
  • Jenny Xie, Eye Level (Graywolf Press)

I think this sounds like an amazing collection of writing and I look forward to reading and featuring many of these talented young writers on the blog over the coming months.

You can find more details by following #IDTP19 or @dylanthomprize on Twitter. The Swansea University website has all you need to know.

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