Get to know… Keiran Goddard
Hourglass (Little, Brown) has been longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2022

Keiran Goddard is one of ten emerging writers in the running for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2022,‘the UK’s most prestigious award for first-time novelists’ (Telegraph). The winning author will receive a £10,000 prize along with a year-long package of support with the National Centre for Writing to help them progress their career. Stay tuned for the shortlist announcement on Tuesday 7 June.

Keiran Goddard is a former University of Oxford student, and speaks internationally on issues related to social change and currently develops research on workers’ rights, the future of work, automation and trade unionism. Hourglass is his debut novel, a revolutionary love story that turns time upside down, combs the intimate wreckage of heartbreak for something universal, and asks what it means to lose what you love. Get to know the author behind the words below.

Hourglass is longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2022. Find out more →


Read a review of Keiran’s debut novel in The Guardian →

The plot is everyone’s plot, at some time or another – and that in itself is the heartbreaking thing about heartbreak. No pain is unique, and all pain is unique. This is the paradox that powers Hourglass.

Listen to Keiran discuss his debut novel Hourglass on the Confessions of a Debut Novelist podcast →

In this episode of Confessions of a Debut Novelist, I’m talking to Keiran Goddard about his novel Hourglass. In this episode we talk about specificity when writing universal themes, Keiran’s writing routine which involves checking into grotty hotels and how an obsession with pop music led him to writing.


Read a review of Hourglass in The Irish Times →

It is remarkable to read a love story so universal that still articulates something illuminating about love itself. Goddard has found new ways to express the achingly familiar without ever recycling cliched representations. The narrative is also infused with reflections on the working world, class, faith, and the wreckage that comes with a soul suffocated by the underbelly of a city.


Discover Keiran’s writing routine, work ethic and motivation in his interview with The Wombwell Rainbow →

What motivates you to write?

Writing is the way I understand the world. Or maybe it is the way I approach the various ways in which I do not understand the world. I’m unsure which. Either way, it feels utterly necessary.

 width=Where can I buy Hourglass?

Check out your local bookshop to buy a copy of Keiran’s ‘beautiful and very funny (Brett Anderson) first novel. Or head to to support independent bookshops countrywide. Here’s a hand-pick of our favourites:







Northern Ireland

Looking for more interesting books to add to your ‘to be read’ pile? Check out the full Desmond Elliott Prize longlist on our website! We’d love you to share your thoughts on social media and tag us on Instagram and Twitter. 🥰📚

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