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Salford creative writing lecturer longlisted for debut novel prize

Friday 31 March 2017

A NOVEL written by a former BBC producer and Programme Leader of Creative Writing at the University of Salford has made the long list for the Desmond Elliot Prize.

David Savill’s book They Are Trying To Break Your Heart, is one of ten novels that has been long listed for the award, which has been labelled by the Daily Telegraph as the ‘UK’s most prestigious award for first time novelists’.

David’s debut novel was published by Bloomsbury last April, and tells the story of a Human Rights Researcher on the hunt for a fugitive war criminal. The book was seven years in the making, and involved research in three different countries.

David said: “This was the kind of book which took years of painstaking research, and was ambitious in its scope. Its themes of memorialisation and grief are challenging, but I wrote it to be as compelling as possible. It was always a worry that the book’s lack of genre would put off publishers, so it has been wonderful to have the novel championed by Bloomsbury, and then recognised by an award that simply looks for the most challenging and compelling debuts book sleevepublished in any one year”.

Past winners of the esteemed Desmond Elliot Prize include Lisa McInerney, Nikita Lalwani and Ali Shaw. The judge’s for the 2017 Desmond Elliot prize were The Spectator editor, Sam Leith, award-winning novelist Kamila Shamsie, and WH Smith Book Buyer Iain Rushworth. 

David joined the University of Salford as Programme Leader for Creative Writing last September, having previously worked as a producer on flagship current affairs programmes including Panorama, This World and The World at One.

He was previously the programme director of MA novel writing at St Mary’s University, and has also taught at Imperial College, Brunel, and the University of East London.

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Victoria Barker

0161 295 4779