Playthings, the second novel by UEA alumnus Alex Pheby, has been shortlisted for the £30,000 Wellcome Book Prize, which is awarded annually to the best new work of fiction or non-fiction with a central theme that ‘engages with some aspect of medicine, health or illness’. Alex (pictured) graduated with a PhD in Creative & Critical Writing from UEA in 2010 and is currently the programme leader of Creative Writing at the University of Greenwich in London and co-founder and co-director of the annual Greenwich Book Festival. His first novel Grace was published by Two Ravens Press in 2009. Playthings was published by Galley Beggar Press last year. The winner of the Wellcome Book Prize will be announced on 25 April.