Laura Freeman, Adam Weymouth, Imogen Hermes Gower, Fiona Mozley
The Sunday Times announced yesterday the contenders to succeed Sally Rooney as the ST/Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year. The award is worth £5,000.
Imogen Hermes Gower, The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock (Harvill Secker)
Laura Freeman, The Reading Cure: How Books Restored My Appetite (Weidenfeld)
Fiona Mozley, Elmet (John Murray)
Adam Weymouth, Kings of the Yukon: An Alaskan River Journey (Particular)
ST literary editor Andrew Holgate chairs the judging panel, which includes Kamila Shamsie and Susan Hill. They will announce their winner on 6 December.
Shamsie said: "The shortlisted books take us from the Yukon river to Georgian London via the Yorkshire woods and the pages of literature; for all their variety, they are united in their qualities of ambition, insight, and ability to surprise. Most excitingly, they all come from writers at the start of their careers who allow us to close the pages of their books and think with wonder: 'This is only the beginning.'"
Hill said: "Submissions to the prize were varied and the standard of both fiction, non-fiction and poetry was high. This shortlist represents unanimous choices: two brilliant but very different novels, and two works of non-fiction which also could not be less alike, but are both wonderfully well written and as absorbing and gripping as any thrillers. Selecting the winner is not going to be easy."
The award takes place in association with the University of Warwick, with the British Council as international partner. It is administered by the Society of Authors. With Warwick, the prize hosts a website with free content aimed particularly at writers at the starts of their careers.
In addition to Sally Rooney, previous ST Young Writers of the Year include Robert Macfarlane, Zadie Smith, Sarah Waters, and Simon Armitage.
Photos from left: Laura Freeman, Adam Weymouth, Imogen Hermes Gower, Fiona Mozley