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The College has revealed a vibrant longlist of 16 outstanding debut novels, showcasing the exceptional talent of unpublished women writers in the UK and Ireland. 

Lucy Cavendish College is thrilled to reveal its 2024 Fiction Prize longlist, featuring 16 outstanding debut novels by talented women writers. This prestigious award provides a unique platform for unpublished authors to launch their literary careers.

Yet again, the response was overwhelming with over 600 entries received. We are especially grateful for the generous support that enabled us to offer 19 sponsored entries for low-income writers, ensuring a truly inclusive competition.

The longlist, featuring 16 remarkable authors, showcases the extraordinary diversity and depth of contemporary women's fiction:

2024 Longlist

  • Forced Perspective - Matilda Battersby
  • A More Onerous Citizenship - Anna Biggs
  • Bellyache - Rosa Chalfen
  • When We Are Now- Alex Clare
  • Illusions of Grandeur - Amy de la Force
  • This I Have Done For You - Jenny Epstein
  • The Other House - Melissa Elborn
  • Wildwood Road - Sarah Flax
  • Margarita Zorro, Junior Reporter - Daisy Fox
  • Missouri - Sarah Glover
  • A Healthy Appetite - Katie Huttlestone
  • The Suffolk Merman - Dawn Jelley
  • The Divine Adjacencies - Sumaya Kassim
  • The Female Line - Amina Makele
  • The Happiness Principle - Laura Ward-Smith
  • How to be Friends with a Star - Sarah Williams

The talented authors will now await the Prize shortlist, which will be announced on the 2nd of May.

The 2024 judging panel, chaired by Writer and TV producer Daisy Goodwin, welcomes back Tim Bates, Head of the Books Department and literary agent at Peters Fraser Dunlop; Dr Isobel Maddison, Fellow Emerita of Lucy Cavendish College where she was Lecturer and Director of Studies in English; Jackie Ashley, political journalist, broadcaster and Honorary Fellow of the College; Gillian Stern, editor and ghost-writer; Lindsey Traub, Fellow Emerita; and Phoebe Morgan, Harper Collins Editorial Director and author of four novels published by HQ. Joining the panel this year is Cathy Moore, Founder, CEO & Artistic Director of the Cambridge Literary Festival, University of Cambridge.

Gillian Stern says, “Having read the longlist, I already know how difficult it is going to be to choose a shortlist. The standard of writing is extremely high; the variety of stories and characters, impressive and I am, once again, blown away by the undiscovered - though shortly to be discovered! - talent out there. It's a privilege to be judging this exciting prize once again.”

The 2023 winner of the Fiction Prize, Sarah Harman, with her novel All the Other Mothers Hate Me, exemplifies the Prize's legacy of discovering and promoting extraordinary literary voices.

Read more about the successful authors here.

The winner will be awarded a prize of £1,500 and all shortlisted entrants will receive one-to-one consultation with an agent at our sponsor Peter Fraser + Dunlop who will give each author editorial feedback as well as publishing advice.

To find out more about the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize click here.