Shortlist to be announced for International Dylan Thomas Prize 2014

The shortlist for the 2014 International Dylan Thomas Prize, the world’s biggest literary prize for young writers, is to be announced on the evening of Thursday 4 September.

The £30,000 Prize, sponsored by Swansea University, is awarded to the best published or produced literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under. It celebrates and nurtures international literary excellence across all genres and is open to novels, short stories, poetry and drama.

This year’s Prize is particularly significant as 2014 is the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth.

The shortlist announcement will be made in Swansea – the poet’s home town - by musician and radio presenter Cerys Matthews, one of the judges for the Prize.  

The event forms part of a major international conference of Dylan Thomas experts, Dylan Unchained, which is hosted by the College of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University.

Cerys Matthews and Peter SteadPicture: Cerys Matthews, one of the judges, and Peter Stead, founder and President of the Prize, with the books on the 2014 longlist.

There are 15 books on the longlist, including works by Welsh poet, author and scriptwriter Owen Sheers, five American authors, an Indian novelist, Glasgow-based Jamaican poet Kei Miller, and crime writer Tom Rob Smith.

Two of the books – The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, and A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride – have won the Booker Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize respectively.

Dylan Thomas Prize logo

Cerys Matthews, one of the judges, said:

“This year’s long list is truly delicious. It features international works across all genres – poetry, prose and drama – and has attracted young international writers of incredible talent. It is a delight to be part of the judging panel in this centenary year of Dylan Thomas’s birth.”

Peter Stead, founder and President of the International Dylan Thomas Prize, said:

“The prize revels in its international perspective, which reflects the way in which the English language is used by writers around the world. The American fiction on the list varies from Manhattan’s Jewish idiom to the political history of Latin America and the anthropology of the Pacfic islands.

The list also includes a Somali writer reliving the recent violence of her country and an English novel, Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood, whose subject is one of America’s greatest writers.

Closer to home, Owen Sheers’ work Mametz gives audiences a vivid glimpse into life and death in the WWI trenches.”

International Dylan Thomas Prize – longlist 2014

  • Daniel Alarcón, At Night We Walk in Circles (Fourth Estate)
  • Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries (Granta)
  • John Donnelly, The Pass (Faber & Faber)
  • Joshua Ferris, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Viking)
  • Emma Healey, Elizabeth is Missing (Viking)
  • Meena Kandasamy, The Gypsy Goddess (Atlantic Books)
  • Eimear McBride, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (Faber & Faber)
  • Kseniya Melnik, Snow in May (Fourth Estate)
  • Kei Miller, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion (Carcanet Press)
  • Nadifa Mohamed, The Orchard of Lost Souls (Simon & Schuster)
  • Owen Sheers, Mametz (National Theatre Wales)
  • Tom Rob Smith, The Farm (Simon & Schuster)
  • Rufi Thorpe, The Girls from Corona del Mar (Knopf (US)/Hutchinson (UK))
  • Naomi Wood, Mrs Hemingway (Picador)
  • Hanya Yanagihara, The People in the Trees (Atlantic Books)

Cerys Matthews with 2014 Dylan Thomas longlist

The winner will be unveiled at a gala dinner in Swansea in November.

International Dylan Thomas Prize   

Dylan Unchained conference