The Dylan Thomas Prize, rewarding published work written in English by authors under the age of 30, has revealed its shortlist for 2013
, with nominees spanning novels, books of short stories and collections of poetry. Not only is it the longest shortlist in the prize’s history (citing seven titles of the twelve longlisted as opposed to the prize’s usual five or six), but even more encouragingly every nominee both comes from an independent publisher and is a debuting writer. So, uh, yeah, what have you
done lately, other than weep yourself to sleep at the incessant forward march of time and your lack of anything substantial to show for it oh look still typing whoops.
Three novels are nominated: The Last King of Lydia
by the English Tim Leach and Call It Dog
by the South African Marli Roode, both published by Atlantic Books, and Beneath the Darkening Sky
by the South Sudanese Majok Tulba, published by OneWorld. The remaining prose entries are the two books of short stories: The Gurkha’s Daughter
by the Indian Prajwal Parajuly, published by Quercus, and Battleborn
by the American Claire Vaye Watkins, published by Granta. Rounding off the shortlist are the two collections of poetry: Sins of the Leopard
by the English James Brookes, published by Salt Publishing, and The Shape of a Forest
by the Welsh Jemma King, published by Parthian. The range of literary forms encompassed by the prize is designed to reflect the many practiced by its namesake.
The winner will be announced in a ceremony in Thomas’s hometown of Swansea in November, with the victor claiming a £30,000 prize and a bronze cast of Dylan Thomas, which I believe is also a legitimate form of currency in Swansea. The judging panel consists of Hay Festival founder Peter Florence, novelist and Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson, author, singer and BBC 6 music presenter Cerys Matthews, journalist and author Carolyn Hitt, commentator and artist Kim Howells, Guardian Review journalist Nicholas Wroe, poet and University of Texas English professor Kurt Heinzelman, and the prize’s own chairman, Peter Stead.