Are you the new Zadie or JK?

23 January 2014

The influential Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize for previously unpublished novelists is on the horizon, with a closing date of 12 March. The prestigious annual Prize is for a novel by a woman over 21 that marries literary merit with “unputdownability” Literary and genre fiction are welcomed equally.

This year’s judges include Madeleine Milburn (pictured), one of the top literary agents in the UK, and Lindsey Traub, an Emeritus Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, who has written and lectured about theMadeline Milburn 19th century American women writers who wrote the first ‘bestsellers’.

“Women are very, very good at fiction,” she says, “and it is a privilege and a huge pleasure to be involved in awarding this prize.”

Last year’s winner was Catherine Chanter with The Well; judges Allison Pearson, bestselling novelist and newspaper columnist, and Dr Chloe Preedy, Cambridge University Lecturer in Renaissance Literature and Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, were universal in their acclaim:

“The Well was so astoundingly assured that I wondered if AS Byatt had adopted a pseudonym to see if the judges would overlook a brilliant writer. But we didn’t.”

As a result of being shortlisted, Catherine was introduced to, and signed up by, Literary Agent, Nelle Andrew of Peters, Fraser & Dunlop. PFD chose well. At the recent Frankfurt Book fair, her entry, The Well, was bought for a substantial pre-empt by Editorial Director, Louisa Joyner and Jamie Byng at Canongate and Michael Heyward at Text.

Now in its fourth year, the Prize is supported by several large publishers and some former finalists and winners are now published in their own right. This year’s winner will be announced at a prize-giving dinner on 22 May, attended by agents and industry specialists.

For further information click here.

Notes to Editors:

Lucy Cavendish is the only women's college in the country exclusively for students aged 21 or over, and a unique part of the University of Cambridge. Its undergraduates and postgraduates come from over sixty countries, and a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Many have changed careers or overcome significant challenges in order to reach University. The College is particularly strong in Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Law, Psychology, the Social Sciences and English. Our President, Professor Janet Todd OBE, is an internationally-renowned scholar of early women writers and author of many biographies and critical works.

Contact information:

Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge – Jeanette Ariano, Communications & Marketing Manager, 01223 768426

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