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Arts / Authors in running for awards

Malachy Tallack and Donald S Murray have been nominated for their latest novels.

Book author Malachy Tallack. Photo: Shetland News

THE DEBUT novel from Shetland writer Malachy Tallack is in the running for a prestigious award.

The Valley at the Centre of the Worldis on the longlist for the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize, which is awarded annually to a “book of the highest literary merit which best evokes the spirit of a place”.

The longlist of 20 will be whittled down to a shortlist on 16 April, and the eventual winner will be revealed on 13 May.

The award comes with a £10,000 prize and it will be judged this year by Sabrina Mahfouz, Michèle Roberts and Ian Thomson.

Donald Murray.Donals S Murray.

The Valley at the Centre of the World, which is based in Shetland, is a “story about community and isolation, about what is passed down, and what is lost between the cracks”.

Tallack, who now lives in Dunblane, is due to appear at Glasgow’s Aye Write festival on Sunday.

Shetland based writer Donald S Murray, meanwhile, has been nominated for the Authors’ Club’s annual Best First Novel Award.

He has been shortlisted forAs The Women Lay Dreaming, a novel exploring the aftermath of 1919’s deadly Iolairedisaster.

More than 200 people drowned when naval yacht HMY Iolairehit rocks in the Isle of Lewis.