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To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize, the custodians of the Prize, Swansea University, have announced for the first time that five guest judges will be joining Chairman Professor Dai Smith CBE and Professor Kurt Heinzelman in selecting the 2020 winner of the world’s biggest prize for young writers.


The guest judges boast an incredible line-up of literary talent including the award-winning writer and founder of Jaipur Literature Festival Namita Gokhale, author and 2011 winner of the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize  Lucy Caldwell, the British-Ghanaian writer, poet and critic Bridget Minamore, celebrated writer and presenter of BBC Radio 3: The Verb Ian McMillan and national arts and culture journalist Max Liu.

Professor John Spurr, Swansea University, said: “This is a very special year for the Prize, as Swansea University celebrates its centenary and the Prize is in its 15th year,  and we are delighted to have such distinguished literary figures joining the judging panel. We look forward once again to a stimulating longlist and shortlist representing the best in young writing around the world.”

The judging panel will be tasked with choosing the best published literary work, in the English language across genres, including poetry, novels , short stories and drama, written by an author aged 39 or under.

Previous winners have included: Guy Gunaratne for In Our Mad and Furious City (2019), Kayo Chingonyi for Kumukanda (2018), Fiona McFarlane for The High Places (2017), Max Porter for Grief is the  Thing With Feathers (2016), Joshua Ferris for To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (2014), Claire Vaye Watkins for Battleborn (2013), Maggie Shipstead for Seating Arrangements (2012), Lucy Caldwell for The Meeting Point (2011), Elyse Fenton for Clamor (2010), Nam Le for The Boat (2008) and Rachel Tresize for Fresh Apples (2006).

The longlist for the Prize will be announced live on the 24 January at the prestigious Jaipur Literature Festival in India, followed by the shortlist on the 7 April and Winner’s Ceremony held  in Swansea on International Dylan Thomas Day, 14 May.

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