The Desmond Elliott Prize

In its thirteenth year The Desmond Elliott Prize, recognised as the most prestigious award for debut novelists, has moved into the care of National Centre for Writing. Unique in supporting early-career novelists to establish their writing careers, the 2020 prize is now closed for submissions.

Submissions have now closed for The Desmond Elliott Prize 2020. Join our mailing list to be the first to hear when submissions open for 2021. 

Ten books have been longlisted for the prize, from which three shortlisted books have been selected by a panel of expert judges. The winning author will be revealed 2 July 2020.

The winner receives:

  • The £10,000 prize to support them in their early careers
  • A package of support including residency opportunities, mentoring and industry insight

Publishers from across the UK and Ireland are encouraged to submit literary fiction debuts for consideration.

The prize continues the work of renowned agent and publisher Desmond Elliott to support new writers into their early careers. Find out more.

The Desmond Elliott Prize is part of the National Centre for Writing’s Early Career Awards.

“The UK’s most prestigious award for first-time novelists.” The Telegraph

Explore our free Early Career Writers’ Resources

Arts Council England logoThanks to Arts Council England we are providing resource packs for all early career writers. A new pack is released every two months and you can see the available ones here: