20 May 2021
The inaugural Discoveries Prize aims to find untapped female writing talent across the UK and Ireland
The shortlist (in alphabetical order) is:
• Under the Light, Yet Under by Lorna Elcock
• Pantheon by Lucy Keefe
• A Boy Called Silence by Nana Afua Pierre
• Heartstring by Emma van Straaten
• Say my Name by Niloufar Tabatabai
• Dosage and Control by April Yee
'It was a tough decision to whittle down our longlist to only six, but it was a discussion full of admiration, of celebration and of excitement,' said Kate Mosse, chair of Discoveries judging panel. 'We were looking for promise, for imagination and distinctive voice, for diversity of genre and experience, age and background, but most of all for writers at the beginning of their writing journeys with something special to say. Some have been writing for a while and so are the right place to take things forward, others picked up their pens for the very first time as part of Discoveries. We're delighted that Curtis Brown literary agency and creative writing school are offering a range of mentoring and writing support initiatives and look forward to seeing what each of these six writers will do next. A huge thank you to my fellow judges – Abi Daré, Anna Davis, Sandeep Mahal and Lucy Morris – and congratulations to all the authors on our inaugural Discoveries shortlist.'
The winner, who will receive £5,000 and an offer of representation from Curtis Brown, will be announced on 9 June.