What is the First Book Award?

Our First Book Award celebrates the wealth of new writing included in the Book Festival programme each year.

Every debut novelist and every overseas writer whose words are published in English for the first time is included in the award, along with a selection of young adult fiction.

Unlike other literary prizes, the winner of the First Book Award is selected by you, the readers who champion new writing and who are responsible for making superstars out of debut novelists.

Many of the writers who participate in our Festival programme go on to forge international careers. Our First Book Award enables you to play your part in identifying a future literary legend by reading the books, coming to see the author events and, of course, by placing your vote. Everyone who casts a vote is also entered into a prize draw to win all the titles in the award. 

Voting has now closed for 2017 but you can browse the 2017 nominated authors below.

Eligible titles for the 2018 First Book Award will be revealed here in June - in the meantime, you can explore the 2017 authors and their nominated books below.

Golden Hill

Francis Spufford for Golden Hill

Darke

Rick Gekoski for Darke

The City Always Wins

Omar Robert Hamilton for The City Always Wins

Goblin

Ever Dundas for Goblin

Infinite Ground

Martin MacInnes for Infinite Ground

Peculiar Ground

Lucy Hughes-Hallett for Peculiar Ground

Open Arms

Vince Cable for Open Arms

The Wages of Sin

Kaite Welsh for The Wages of Sin

Things We Lost in the Fire

Mariana Enriquez for Things We Lost in the Fire

Wing Jones

Katherine Webber for Wing Jones

Conversations with Friends

Sally Rooney for Conversations with Friends

Marlena

Julie Buntin for Marlena

I Have No Secrets

Penny Joelson for I Have No Secrets

Sympathy

Olivia Sudjic for Sympathy

How to Be Human

Paula Cocozza for How to Be Human

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Gail Honeyman for Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

The Witchfinder's Sister

Beth Underdown for The Witchfinder's Sister

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions

Mario Giordano for Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions

Larchfield

Polly Clark for Larchfield

Skintown

Ciaran McMenamin for Skintown

This is How We Talk

Julian Furman for This is How We Talk

Colonel Lágrimas

Carlos Fonseca for Colonel Lágrimas

Forbidden Line

Paul Stanbridge for Forbidden Line

Montpelier Parade

Karl Geary for Montpelier Parade

Fever Dream

Samanta Schweblin for Fever Dream

Little Deaths

Emma Flint for Little Deaths

The Equestrienne

Uršuľa Kovalyk for The Equestrienne

Pigeon

Alys Conran for Pigeon

Die, My Love

Ariana Harwicz for Die, My Love

Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain

Barney Norris for Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain

The Iron Age

Arja Kajermo for The Iron Age

Mensah

Gbontwi Anyetei for Mensah

Seeing Red

Lina Meruane for Seeing Red

The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times

Xan Brooks for The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times

Land of Love and Ruins

Oddný Eir for Land of Love and Ruins

Women Who Blow on Knots

Ece Temelkuran for Women Who Blow on Knots

Absolution

Aleš Steger for Absolution

The Cure for Lonely

Jessica Thummel for The Cure for Lonely

The French Art of War

Alexis Jenni for The French Art of War

The Sixteen Trees of the Somme

Lars Mytting for The Sixteen Trees of the Somme

Dead Letters

Caite Dolan-Leach for Dead Letters

Temporary People

Deepak Unnikrishnan for Temporary People

Year of the Drought

Roland Buti for Year of the Drought

The Burning Ground

Adam O'Riordan for The Burning Ground

This Is Memorial Device

David Keenan for This Is Memorial Device

We Are The End

Gonzalo C Garcia for We Are The End

Swallowing Mercury

Wioletta Greg for Swallowing Mercury

The End of Eddy

Édouard Louis for The End of Eddy

Riverkeep

Martin Stewart for Riverkeep

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