Thick by UEA alumnus Rick Bland has been shortlisted for this year’s First Novel Prize for unpublished novels, which is judged by literary agent Juliet Mushens and Orion publisher Emad Akhtar. Rick graduated from the MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) in 2018 and has previously written extensively for stage, TV and radio, including a number of works for the Reduced Shakespeare Company. Thick is adapted from a stage play that performed in Edinburgh and New York and received the 2010 Angus Angel Award for Outstanding Artistic Excellence. He also works as a producer at the Oscar-winning Animation Studio, Tandem. The winner of The First Novel Prize will receive £1,000 and will be announced on 31 August.