‘Idiopathy’, the debut novel by UEA alumnus Sam Byers, has been shortlisted for this year’s Costa First Novel Award. Sam (pictured) graduated from the MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) in 2003, and is currently completing his PhD in Creative and Critical Writing under the supervision of Giles Foden and Rachel Potter. He is a regular reviewer for the TLS and has previously published fiction in Tank, Blank Pages, and Granta, where an extract from ‘Idiopathy’ was featured last year in an issue themed ‘Britain’. ‘Idiopathy’ was published by Fourth Estate earlier this year and included as one of the Waterstones 11, an annual list of the eleven best debut novels. Sam was also chosen as one of the Daily Telegraph’s ‘Five Young Novelists for 2013’. The winner of the Costa First Novel Award will receive £5,000 and join the shortlist for the overall Costa Book of the Year, for which the prize is £30,000. The announcement will be made on 28th January 2014.