EDWARD HOGAN WINS £10,000 DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZEWednesday, June 24, 2009
Former teacher’s novel of hometown mining community leaves judges dazzled by its exceptional quality
Edward Hogan was tonight (Wednesday, 24 June) named the winner of the £10,000 Desmond Elliott Prize for Blackmoor, published by Simon & Schuster.
Candida Lycett Green, Chair of the Judges, comments,
“In a shortlist of exceptional quality Blackmoor stands out. For a first novel it is both beautifully crafted and dazzlingly well-written. We are delighted that Edward Hogan has won the second Desmond Elliott Prize.”
Hogan lists his favourite job as “writer” and in the past has worked as a “grass-strimmer, pot-washer, conservatory salesman, bloke holding the board in Leicester Square, and teacher”. He now runs creative writing workshops at universities and colleges across Britain, and currently works at the University of Sussex. He is in the process of penning his second novel.
Both Edward Hogan and last year’s winner, Nikita Lalwani, are graduates of university writing courses, Hogan from East Anglia and Lalwani from Bath Spa University, which has proved to be a successful step in becoming a published author. The Desmond Elliott Prize website includes a page of resources designed to support aspiring writers.
Hogan started work on the novel seven years prior to publication and began writing with no thoughts of ever being published. Set in Hogan’s home county of Derbyshire, Blackmoor centres on a small mining community at the time of the miners’ strikes. Hogan comments: "I was four when [the strikes] happened, in West Hallam... I couldn't really remember it but to me it seemed like such an integral part of the community." Like many of his contemporaries, such as David Peace, Hogan found the miners’ strikes provided fertile ground for his work.
The Desmond Elliott Prize is a new prize for first novels, now in its second year. When judging the Prize, the judges are looking 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. Books from all fiction genres have been considered.
The inaugural prize was won by Nikita Lalwani in 2008 for her novel, Gifted. The novel enjoyed great critical and popular success and went on to be named as one of The Observer’s Books of the Year.
Edward Hogan was born in Derby in 1980. He is a graduate of the MA in creative writing course at the University of East Anglia and a recipient of the David Higham Award in 2003. Blackmoor was on the shortlist for the 2008 Dylan Thomas Prize and the 2009 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. He lives in Brighton.
Blackmoor by Edward Hogan,
Simon & Schuster, £11.99
‘There's a subtle magic to Hogan's prose, and a passionate concern for the part of the world where this novel is based, which invites comparison with D H Lawrence – but that would be lazy. This novel … has confidence, mystery and an entrancing sense of itself.’ The Independent on Sunday
“You said once that Blackmoor killed Mum.”
“I suppose you don’t think that a place can kill a person,” says George.
Vincent shrugs. “I just want to know how.”
“Slowly, that’s how.”
Bird-watching teenager Vincent Cartwright lives out a bullied, awkward existence not far from the site of Blackmoor, a mysterious, vanished Derbyshire village. His mother Beth, half-blind and unknowable, and her life and death in that same village has always been a dark family secret, but as Vincent comes of age he begins to search for the truth
The Prize was established in honour of publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott, one of the most charismatic and successful men in this field, who died in August 2003. He stipulated that his estate should be invested in a charitable trust that would fund a literary award “to enrich the careers of new writers”. Worth £10,000 to the winner, the prize is intended to support new writers and to celebrate their fiction.
Chair of the judges, Candida Lycett Green was joined on the judging panel by former Literary Editor of The Independent on Sunday, Suzi Feay, and Rodney Troubridge of Waterstone’s.
Notes to editors
Blackmoor by Edward Hogan is published by Simon & Schuster priced £11.99
Edward Hogan may be available for interview. Please contact Caroline Brown at Colman Getty
The judges of the Desmond Elliott Prize are available for interview. Please contact Caroline Brown
· Electronic Images of Edward Hogan and Blackmoor, the judges and the Prize logo are available from Colman Getty
· There were 10 books on the longlist and 3 books on the shortlist
Edward Hogan was joined on the shortlist by Nathalie Abi-Ezzi for her novel A Girl Made of Dust and Anthony Quinn for his novel The Rescue Man
The Desmond Elliott Charitable Trust is a registered charity. It is chaired by Dallas Manderson, Group Sales Director of the Orion Publishing Group. He is joined by Christine Berry, a partner in the charities group at Taylor Vinters, a Cambridge-based law firm, and Liz Thomson, Editor of BookBrunch. Both Dallas and Christine worked with Desmond Elliott at Arlington Books
The Desmond Elliott website includes information about the prize and the books, with regular news updates - www.desmondelliottprize.com
For further information please contact
Caroline Brown or Mark Hutchinson
at Colman Getty
T: 020 7631 2666
About Desmond Elliott
Desmond 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 establish his own publishing company, 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 & Mason as his local shop. His office was in Mayfair and he had homes in London’s St. James’s and New York’s Park Avenue. Desmond Elliott died in August 2003 at the age of 73.
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