Novels by two alumnae of UEA have been longlisted for this year’s Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. The Butchers by Ruth Gilligan (Atlantic Books) and The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey (Peepal Tree Press) are nominated for the award, which is worth £10,000 for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry evoking the spirit of a place. Ruth (pictured) graduated from the MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) in 2011, and completed a PhD in English at Exeter in 2014. She currently teaches Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham and is the author of four previous novels: Forget (2006), Somewhere in Between (2008), Can You See Me? (2009) and Nine Folds Make A Paper Swan (2016). Monique graduated from the English Literature BA programme at UEA in 1987. Her second novel The White Woman on the Green Bicycle (2009) was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Encore Prize. Archipelago (2012) won the OCM BOCAS prize for Caribbean Literature, and House of Ashes (2014) was shortlisted for both the Costa Fiction Award and the OCM BOCAS prize. The Mermaid of Black Conch won the 2020 Costa Book Award and was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize and longlisted for this year’s OCM BOCAS prize. It is currently also shortlisted for the 2021 Republic of Consciousness Prize, and longlisted for the 2021 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction. The shortlist for the RSL Ondaatje Prize will be announced on 27 April and the winner on 11 May.