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Congratulations to this year’s shortlistees.

In another year of exceptional entries, we are thrilled to unveil our shortlist:

  • Amy Abdelnoor - The Sabaar Plant
  • Helen Bain - Court Green
  • Smita Bhide - Ramraj
  • Sarah Harman - The Dirtbag Detective
  • Anna Knowland - Water Soldier
  • Carrie Loman - Fallen Picture

Meet this year’s shortlisted authors here

The winner will be announced on Thursday 25th of May 2023 at our prize-giving evening at Lucy Cavendish College, and will be awarded a prize of £1,500. 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.

The longlist was announced on the 12th of April.

The 2023 judging panel, chaired by critically acclaimed novelist, Dame Rose Tremain, welcomes back Tim Bates, Head of the Books Department and literary agent at PFD; Jackie Ashley, political journalist, broadcaster and Honorary Fellow of the College; Dr Isobel Maddison, Fellow Emerita of Lucy Cavendish College; Gillian Stern, editor and ghost-writer; Lindsey Traub, Fellow Emerita; and Phoebe Morgan, Crime & Thriller Publisher at Hodder & Stoughton and author of four books published by HarperCollins. Joining the panel this year, we also have Reeta Chakrabarti, BBC News presenter and correspondent; and Sheena Patel, writer and assistant director for the film and TV industry.

Chair of the panel Dame Rose Tremain says, “We are delighted with the reach of our shortlist: six very distinct voices exploring subjects as diverse as the sorrows of displacement and exile, arranged marriage, single motherhood of an anxious child, unexplained crimes and hauntings in rural England, and a new portrait of Sylvia Plath by those whose paths she lightly crossed. Finding the winner is going to be very hard.

Reeta Chakrabarti adds, “I am submerged in reading and greatly enjoying the range on this shortlist. There's a slick, sassy black comedy; a supernatural thriller; a story about Indian nationalism and identity, and another on love across the Israeli/Palestinian divide; a rural crime novel; and another inspired by Sylvia Plath. Congratulations to all six short-listed authors! It's going to be a tough challenge to choose a winner..”

The Fiction Prize and its authors

Since its foundation in 2010, the Prize has been a starting point in numerous entrants’ success stories giving them the platform to launch successful and ongoing careers as novelists.

Read more about the successful authors here.

About Lucy Cavendish College

Lucy Cavendish College’s mission is to unlock the potential of students from non-traditional and underrepresented backgrounds who are driven by a desire to make a difference and are committed to having a positive and lasting impact on society.

In addition to the main Prize, the College runs several writing prizes for its own students. The winners will be announced on the same evening as the main Fiction Prize winner’s announcement.

Contact information Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, T: 01223 768426, E:

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