The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by UEA alumna Imogen Hermes Gower has been shortlisted for this year’s Betty Trask Prize and Awards, which are presented for a first novel by a writer under 35 and are administered by the Society of Authors. Imogen (pictured) graduated from UEA with a BA in Archaeology, Anthropology and Art History in 2012 and from the MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) in 2014. The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock was also shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award and the British Book Awards (the ‘Nibbies’) in the Debut Novel category, and was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and chosen as the Literature nominee for the Breakthrough Award at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards. An early draft of the novel, which Imogen began while completing her MA, was a finalist in the MsLexia First Novel Competition in 2015 and was shortlisted for the inaugural Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers’ Award. The winner of the Betty Trask Prize will be announced on 17 June.