Shortlist of six announced for Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize 2018

26 April 2018

Lucy Cavendish College, part of the University of Cambridge, has published a shortlist of six authors for its annual Fiction Prize. The 2018 Fiction Prize shortlist reflects the huge variety of new voices amongst unpublished female writers aged 21 and over.

The 2018 Shortlist (view openings and synposes here)

Deepa Anappara - Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
Angela Dove - For One Night Only
Carol Farrelly - This Starling Flock
Victoria Richards - The Furies
Poppy Sebag-Montefiore​ - Listeners
Lauren Van Schaik - Joplin

A total of 389 entries were received for the 2018 Fiction Prize. These were whittled down to the shortlist of six by a judging panel chaired by journalist and author Allison Pearson. The 2018 judging panel welcomed author Nicci Gerrard, journalist Eleanor Mills, editor Gina Dawson and literary agent Marilia Savvides from sponsor Peters Fraser & Dunlop. Returning judges include Dr Ian Patterson a poet, translator, writer and Fellow in English at Queens' College Cambridge, editor and ghost-writer, Gillian Stern and Lucy Cavendish College Fellow, Dr Lindsey Traub.

Now in its eighth year, the Fiction Prize has developed a formidable reputation for uncovering new talent and draws significant interest from the publishing industry. It has been a catalyst for numerous literary careers.

Previous entrants include 2013 winner Catherine Chanter whose debut The Well (Canongate) became a Richard and Judy Book Club pick with TV rights having been optioned by a major US studio. Gail Honeyman, a finalist in 2014, was winner of the 2018 Costa Debut Novel Award for Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (HarperCollins). Laura Marshall was shortlisted in 2016 for her debut novel Friend Request, recently listed in the Sunday Times’ Top 10 Bestsellers list. Frances Maynard was also shortlisted in 2016 and has since published The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr. Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott’s Swan Song was shortlisted in 2015 before being acquired by Hutchinson last October in a six-figure pre-empt and will be published in the UK this summer.

The 2018 winner will be announced on Thursday 24 May by College President Jackie Ashley

Chair of the judging panel, Allison Pearson commented on this year’s shortlist:

“In recent years, the Lucy Cavendish Prize for Fiction has proved itself to be a small prize that delivers huge results. Previous winners and shortlisted entrants include Catherine Chanter (The Well) and Gail Honeyman whose Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine won the 2018 Costa Debut Novel Award. 

Thanks to the sponsorship of Peters Fraser and Dunlop, the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize offers all shortlisted authors advice from a literary agent and most go on to secure an agent. 

I am thrilled at the standard of the 2018 shortlist. It promises to be another vintage year, introducing more unknown, remarkably gifted women authors to the reading public.”

It was announced earlier this year that Peters Fraser & Dunlop will continue its sponsorship of the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize until 2020. Full details of the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize can be found here.  


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About Lucy Cavendish

Lucy Cavendish is the only women's college in Europe exclusively for students aged 21 or over, and a unique part of the University of Cambridge. Its undergraduate and postgraduate students 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, Law, Veterinary Medicine, Psychology, the Social Sciences and English.

Contact information

Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge – Kate Coghlan, 01223 768426,

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