The Desmond Elliott Prize is the ‘most prestigious award for first-time novelists’ (Daily Telegraph) in the UK and Ireland. It is an annual prize given to a first novel written in English and published in the UK, by an author whose permanent place of residence is in the UK or Ireland. Worth £10,000 to the winner, the Prize is named after the acclaimed literary agent and publisher, Desmond Elliott, who died in 2003.

Desmond Elliott’s desire to support new writers will live on in the legacy of the Prize.

The Desmond Elliott Prize is now the flagship award in the National Centre for Writing’s portfolio of Early Career Awards, launched in 2019 to support new writers.

All submission enquiries for 2020 should be sent to

The closing date for the 2020 Desmond Elliott Prize is 29/11/19.

Visit the National Centre for Writing website for submission details.