I am thrilled, and very grateful! From Wales Online:
"The granddaughter of poet Dylan Thomas has announced the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize 2012 longlist, which features two of its youngest ever entrants.
Announcing the longlist at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea, Hannah Ellis revealed ten literary works - eight novels and two short story collections - had been selected.
Spanning three continents, the selected writers hail from as far afield as Canada, the USA, Zimbabwe and Nigeria, along with five from the UK.
The annual £30,000 international prize, one of the largest of its kind in the world for young writers, honours the memory of Dylan Thomas.
The prize is open to any published writer in the English language aged 18 to 30.
This year’s longlist includes two of the prize’s youngest ever entrants – British writer Ben Brooks, 20, with his novel, Grow Up, and 21-year- old Chibundu Onuzo, from Nigeria, whose novel, The Spider King’s Daughter, also makes the list.
Manchester author Alexandra Singer, 29, who was diagnosed with a near fatal neurological illness at the age of 25, is also on the longlist with her novel, Tea at the Grand Tazi.
Founding Chairman of the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize, Peter Stead, said: “Once again we have another quality longlist with an extensive international span. We also have our youngest ever entrant in Chibundu Onozu with The Spider King’s Daughter.
“The calibre of the ten longlisted works is outstanding and I’m sure the next few weeks are going to see a number of heated debates as the judging panel whittles down this list of 10 extremely talented young writers to the final shortlist for this years Prize.”
This year will be the fifth Dylan Thomas Prize award and sees three new additions to the judging panel.
Ex Catatonia singer-songwriter, Cerys Matthews, is joined by Guardian literary journalist, Nicholas Wroe, and the Western Mail columnist, Carolyn Hitt.
The panel will deliver its shortlist announcement in September. The winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced at an awards ceremony in Swansea on November 9.
The University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize 2012 longlist:
Tom Benn, 24 – The Doll Princess (Vintage Publishing)
Ben Brooks, 20 – Grow Up (Canongate Books)
Matthew Crow, 24 – My Dearest Jonah (Legend Press)
Andrea Eames, 26 – The White Shadow (Harvill Secker/Random House)
Amelia Gray, 29 – Threats (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Chibundu Onuzo, 21 – The Spider King’s Daughter (Faber)
Maggie Shipstead, 28 – Seating Arrangements (Blue Door)
Alexandra Singer, 29 – Tea at the Grand Tazi (Legend Press)
DW Wilson, 27 – Once You Break A Knuckle (Bloomsbury)
Lucy Wood, 27 – Diving Belles (Bloomsbury)."
As you'll see, my friend Chibundu Onuzo is also on the list - her amazing novel, The Spider King's Daughter, is a gorgeous love story set in Lagos, Nigeria, and I highly recommend it if you haven't already got yourself a copy. You can purchase it here. She is also the youngest-ever entrant!