10th Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize
The UK’s largest writing prize for young writers aged 39 and under takes place on May 10th. The winner will be announced on at 9pm, at a special ceremony in Swansea and BAFTA award-winning Welsh actor and Honorary Graduate of Swansea University, Michael Sheen, will read his favourite Dylan Thomas poem, and will present the award with Dylan Thomas’ granddaughter, Hannah Ellis, and Welsh historian Professor Dai Smith CBE. Worth £30,000, it’s open to writers from all nations, writing in English in the run up to International Dylan Thomas Day on 14th May commemorating 65 years since Dylan Thomas’ death. The British Library will be hosting a special public event with all the shortlisted authors on Tuesday 8th May.
Here’s a short list of this year’s talented young authors:
Sally Rooney, 27, is a former Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year shortlisted for her runaway bestselling debut novel Conversations with Friends– Faber & Faber, UK
Kayo Chingonyi, 31, a Zambian/British poet whose debut poetry collection Kumukanda explores rites of passage into manhood and his experiences of race and gender growing up British and Zambian in the UK – Vintage – Chatto & Windus, UK
Carmen Maria Machado, 31, a Cuban/American debut short story collection Her Body and Other Parties exploring Carmen’s own experience as a female and the violence brought against women’s bodies – Graywolf Press, USA / Profile Books, UK
Gwendoline Riley, 39, the six-time British novelist shortlisted for her fifth novel First Love, a compelling tale of toxic love and poisonous partnerships which has been shortlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Goldsmiths Prize.
Gabriel Tallent, 30, an American debut thriller novel My Absolute Darling, called ‘a masterpiece’ by Stephen King and The Times, Guardian & Metro Books of the Year 2017 – Riverhead Books, USA, HarperCollins, UK
Emily Ruskovich, 31, an American debut crime thriller novel Idaho, winner of a 2015 O. Henry Award and a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, the best creative writing programme in the US – Vintage – Chatto & Windus, UK.
The shortlisted authors will also participate in the DylanED programme, an initiative set up by Swansea University in conjunction with the prize to engage young people with international literature and Wales’ rich cultural history. The shortlist is directly involved in the programme that runs all year round, and authors have previously done workshops with local college students, given readings and talks at local schools, and given masterclasses at the University. Since 2016 Welsh students are invited to review books from the shortlist for the DylanED Book Review Competition and will present their winning reviews at a special winner’s ceremony in front of the shortlisted authors.
In 2017, Australian writer Fiona McFarlane won The Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize for her highly-acclaimed collection of short stores, The High Places.
We wish all nominees the very best of luck!