Desmond Elliott Prize is launchedTuesday, October 23, 2007
Launched today, in honour of one of the most charismatic and successful men in recent publishing history, The Desmond Elliott Prize is a new biennial prize for a first novel published in the UK.
Worth £10,000 to the winner, the prize is designed to support new writers and celebrate sparkling new fiction, reflecting Desmond Elliott’s professional ethos to ensure that his authors were liberated of financial worries and therefore free to write happily and securely.
Dallas Manderson, Chair of the Desmond Elliott Charitable Trust, comments:
“Desmond Elliott was a complete delight to know and to work for. He enriched the lives of all those whom he met. It was with characteristic generosity that Desmond directed that the proceeds of his estate should fund a prize for first time authors. We hope that the prize will also inspire readers to celebrate and enjoy the wonderful new writers of the future.”
Elliott’s life reads like a page-turning rags to riches story. From humble beginnings in an Irish orphanage he came to England in 1947, at the age of 16 with just £2 in his pocket, to start his publishing career at Macmillan. After a colourful career in-house, Desmond set up as an agent and subsequently went on to set up his own publishing house, Arlington Books, in 1960.
This dedication, coupled with creative business sense, was key to the creation of a list of hugely successful blockbuster novelists; Jilly Cooper, Leslie Thomas and Penny Vincenzi, to name but a few. Respected and loved by his authors, in the words of Candida Lycett Green, Desmond was simply “magic”.
Charismatic, witty, and waspish, Elliott lived his life with verve. He drank only champagne, always crossed the Atlantic on Concorde and used Fortnum and Mason as his local shop. His office was in Mayfair and he had houses in London’s St. James’s and New York’s Park Avenue. Desmond Elliott died in August 2003 at the age of 73.
In the spirit of Elliott, a panel of 3 judges – to be announced in January 2008 - will look for a first novel which creates a “buzz”, a book with wide appeal and star quality. Books will be considered from all fiction genres. As an indicator, past contenders might have been: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Beach, White Teeth, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, The Thirteenth Tale, Brick Lane, The Tenderness of Wolves.
A longlist of 10 titles will be announced in March followed by a shortlist of 3 books in May 2008. The winner of the inaugural Desmond Elliott Prize will be announced in June 2008 at a central London venue.
Deadline for submissions is Friday, 23 November 2007
Entry forms are downloadable on the Submissions section
Notes to Editiors
- The Desmond Elliott Charitable Trust is a registered charity. It is chaired by Dallas Manderson, Group Sales Director of Orion Publishing Group. He is joined by Christine Berry who is managing partner of Taylor Vinters, one of the leading commercial law firms in Cambridge, and Liz Thomson, Editor of Publishing News. Both Dallas and Christine worked with Desmond Elliott at Arlington Books
- The Desmond Elliot Prize is administered by Emma Manderson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Entry forms and further information are available at www.desmondelliottprize.com
- The inaugural Desmond Elliott Prize will be awarded in June 2008. A longlist of 10 books will be selected by the prize administrator and announced in March 2008. From the longlist, a shortlist of 3 titles will be chosen by a panel of three judges and announced in mid-May 2008
- United Kingdom publishers may enter up to two full-length novels per imprint, with scheduled publication dates between April 2007 and April 2008
- Logos and further information is available for Colman Getty
For further information please contact
Hannah Blake or Mark Hutchinson
at Colman Getty
T: 020 7631 2666
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