The Desmond Elliott Prize is an annual award for a first novel written in English and published in the UK.
Worth £10,000 to the winner, the Prize is named after the literary agent and publisher, Desmond Elliott, in memory of his passion for discovering and nurturing emerging authors.
Since 2008, when it was first awarded, the Prize has a track record of spotting outstandingly talented novelists at the beginning of their careers, with former winners including Eimear McBride for A Girl is a Half-formed Thing and Claire Fuller for Our Endless Numbered Days, as well as Preti Taneja for We That Are Young. The winner of its 2020 edition was Derek Owusu.
Who is Eligible to apply for the Desmond Elliot Prize 2021
- Entries must be a debut full-length novel written in English.
- The Prize is open to full-length literary fiction novels written for adults.
- By an author whose permanent place of residence is in the UK or Ireland
Published in print form in the UK / Ireland between 1 April 2020 and March 2021.
- Shortlisted authors must be available to attend the prize ceremony in July 2021.
- Authors must be living at the time of submission.
- The organizers of the Desmond Elliott Prize prefer to receive submitted books as .epub or .mobi files. If this isn’t possible, five hard copies must be received at National Centre for Writing, Dragon Hall, 115 – 123 King St, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 1QE before the deadline.
- Submissions must be from the publisher.
How to submit your entry to the Desmond Elliot Prize 2021.
- Please ensure that you have read the eligibility requirements above, as it is very important.
- Complete the submissions form here.
- After submitting the online entry form, please email your .epub or .mobi files to [email protected] or post to If this isn’t possible, five hard copies must be received at National Centre for Writing, Dragon Hall, 115 – 123 King St, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 1QE before the deadline.
Ensure that your books are sent to the organizers of the Desmond Elliot Prize before the deadline. The deadline for submissions is Friday 27 November 2020.