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WORD: American author Lauren Groff shortlisted for Orange Broadband Award for New Writers
Edited Press Release

The Orange Broadband Award for New Writers, launched in 2005 as part of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction, announced that American author Lauren Groff, as well as Joanna Kavenna and Lauren Liebenberg have made this year's shortlist. The three writers were chosen because their first works of fiction revealed signs of emerging talent and the evidence of future potential.

All first works of fiction, including novels, short story collections and novellas, written in English by a woman of any age or nationality and published as a book in the UK, are eligible. The emphasis of the award is on emerging talent and the evidence of future potential. The winner will receive £10,000 bursary funded by Arts Council England which is intended to help the winning writer pursue their work with greater freedom.

The 2008 shortlist is:

Lauren Groff - The Monsters of Templeton - William Heinemann - American - Novel

Joanna Kavenna - Inglorious - Faber and Faber - British - Novel

Lauren Liebenberg - The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam - Virago - South African - Novel

"This was a very strong year for first fiction," said Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty and Chair of judges in a press release. "There were so many worthy contenders for our shortlist that it was a huge challenge to settle on a final three. If there are any preconceptions that women's fiction dwells only on domestic themes, this shortlist will blow them away. These three books are truly ambitious in scope and reflect the international nature of this prize."

The Award was launched in 2005 in partnership with Arts Council England. Renewing their commitment to the partnership with Orange, Arts Council England has committed a further £30,000 over the next three years (£10,000 per year) for bursary awards for the winners of the Orange Broadband Award for New Writers. By offering a bursary to a novelist or short story writer for her first publication, the Arts Council is able to support the professional development of a writer at a crucial stage in her career.

Authors who have written their first work of fiction can be entered for both the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction and the Orange Broadband Award for New Writers in any given year.

Moira Sinclair, Executive Director of Arts Council England, London said, "We are delighted to be working in partnership with Orange to reward and encourage the best new writing by women in English. Our investment in the Orange Broadband Award for New Writers is just one example of that commitment, and not only champions new voices but catalyses new careers."

Diana Evans took the first ever Orange Broadband Award for New Writers in 2005 for her debut novel, 26A. She has subsequently gone on to win the Decibel Award 2006 at the British Book Awards and was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award 2005.

Naomi Alderman won the Orange Broadband Award for New Writers in 2006 and has since gone on to win The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2007 for her first novel, Disobedience. Canadian writer, Karen Connelly, took the Award in 2007 for her novel, The Lizard Cage.

Hattie Magee, Head of Partnerships at Orange UK said, "Optimism and belief in the future is at the heart of what Orange believe in which is why we are so passionate about supporting and rewarding a new generation of fresh and emerging talent. The ensuing success of our past winners demonstrates the importance of investing in the future of female fiction, which would not be possible were it not for our partnership with Arts Council England."

The winner will be announced at the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction award ceremony which will take place on 4 June 2008 in The Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, central London.


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