From monsters in the dark to some very real monstrous figures of the 1970s; from ‘the one that got away’ to a complex open marriage; and from an intense co-dependent friendship in the present to the unexpected appearance of an enemy from the troubled past – this year’s Discoveries shortlist is a showcase of exceptional genre writing.

The Discoveries programme, run by the Women’s Prize Trust in partnership with Curtis Brown literary agency, the Curtis Brown Creative writing school and Audible, aims to find and support aspiring female writing talent from across the UK and Ireland and culminates in the awarding of the Discoveries Prize.

The shortlisted authors are (in alphabetical order by surname):

  • Niamh Connolly for Game Theory
  • Alison Dudeney for Marsh End: The Darkness That Follows
  • Alice Fletcher for The Hungry Dark
  • Zeynep Kazmaz for Viscid Residue
  • Georgia Moorhouse for Henry
  • Nalisha Vansia for Not This Again

Find out more about them here.

Our shortlist judging meeting was passionate, exciting, full of delight and debate, a real pleasure. The shortlist is a showcase of how women writers are embracing different genres and forms of storytelling, from gothic fantasy to historical reimaginings, from Britain in the 1970s to Ireland in the present day, the world of art to complex relationships in their complicated glory. We cannot wait to read the full novels and are certain that these six are writers to watch.

Kate Mosse, Chair of the Discoveries Judging Panel

We both feel so privileged to take part in running and judging the Discoveries Prize: The sheer quality and diversity of material shared with our team of experienced industry readers this year was phenomenal – and this goes way beyond the shortlist that we’re celebrating today. We salute the almost 3,000 entrants who sent us the openings of their novels-in-progress, and we hope each and every one of them has embarked on a journey that will take them to amazing places. As to our wonderful 2024 shortlist – well, suffice it to say that the Discoveries programme is very aptly named. We are so excited to see what these six talented women writers will go on to achieve.

Anna Davis, Curtis Brown Creative, and Jess Molloy, Curtis Brown

The winner will be announced on 23 May and will receive an offer of representation from Curtis Brown and £5,000. One promising writer from the shortlist will be named the Discoveries ‘Scholar’ and win a free scholarship to attend a three-month Writing Your Novel course with Curtis Brown Creative (worth £1,800).