From the Guardian website: The Guardian first book award was established in 1999 to reward the finest new literary talent with a £10,000 prize for an author's first book - covers subjects from the world's only surviving giant tortoise to a blind adventurer, Algerian refugees in Boston and the poet John Donne.
Uniquely among book awards, it is open to writing across all genres and judged by both a celebrity panel and members of the public who participate through reading groups run by Waterstone's stores.
The titles on the longlist are:
• Harbor by Lorraine Adams
• Poppy Shakespeare by Clare Allan
• Running for the Hills by Horatio Clare
• A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li
• In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar
• Waiting for the Night-Rowers by Roger Moulson
• Lonesome George: The Lives and Loves of a Conservation Icon by Henry Nicholls
• A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveller by Jason Roberts
• John Donne: The Reformed Soul by John Stubbs
• Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living by Carrie Tiffany
This year's judging panel, chaired by the Guardian's literary editor, Claire Armitstead, consists of G2 features editor Kath Viner, Stuart Broom of Waterstone's, Jude Kelly, artistic director of the South Bank Centre, the authors Joseph O'Connor, Pankaj Mishra, Rose Tremain, and the author, broadcaster and commentator Greg Dyke.
Shortlist announced: first week of November.
Winner announced: first week of December.
I have to admit that I haven't read any of these titles, and over half I haven't even heard of. However, I do own one - Poppy Shakespeare - and must put it near the top of my TBR pile.