Top 3 Literary: First Chapters
Congratulations to our winners. All comments below are from our judge, Simon Trewin.
“I loved judging this prize as each of the entries gave a tantalising glimpse into that new slightly out-of-focus world one encounters when beginning to read a new author and a new book. As a reader one isn’t quite sure of the rules or the literary toolkit one needs to embark on a journey into a strange and new land and this year I truly went on a series of strange and wonderful journeys – some unsettling, some heartwarming but all attention-grabbing. As an agent who reads many many words a year I long for that moment when I quickly forget I am reading a book and I just go with the prose wherever it wants to take me. Thank you to all the authors I read and I hope I get to read more of your work in the future.”
3rd Prize: Madrid Haunts by Mary Brzustowicz (USA)
“The economy of language here was especially impressive as was the author’s ability to take a simple object such as a ring and make it a three-dimensional character.”
2nd Prize: The Recipe of You by Kieran Marsh (IRE)
“I liked how the author let the layers of this story unpeel slowly and very skillfully but with an increasingly potent and poignant sense of impact.”
1st Prize: Ghost Snow & River by Shelley Trower (ENG)
“I thought GHOST SNOW AND RIVER was remarkable – a brilliant premise with a multi-layered concept that put me in mind of an early Christoper Nolan film with elements of Margaret Atwood in there to boot. Multiple personalities and deep-seated fears all grouping together to create something truly gripping. I have no idea where this novel is going to take me but I am certainly keen to find out.”
We’ll be awarding the prizes in Valletta on 18th October, 2023, as part of our collaboration with the Malta Book Festival.