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Mar 1, 2021

longlisted for Authors' Club Best First Novel Award

Frances Macken You Have To Make Your Own Fun Around Here

Frances Macken’s You Have To Make Your Own Fun Around Here longlisted for Authors' Club Best First Novel Award

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'Few writers have articulated the intricacies of friendship with as much authority... A debut bursting with heart,' proclaimed the Irish Independent of Frances's first novel, You Have to Make Your Own Fun Around Here. Now, she is among twelve on the longlist of the Author's Club Best First Novel Award.

Inaugurated in 1954, the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award is now in its 67th year, making it the longest-running UK prize for debut fiction.

The prize is awarded by the Author’s Club for the most promising debut novel of a British, Irish or UK-based author, first published in the UK. The winning novel is selected by a guest adjudicator from a shortlist drawn up by a panel of Authors’ Club members.

Chair of the judges, Lucy Popescu, praised the 'diverse longlist of remarkable first-time novelists' and the guest adjudicator will be Michele Roberts. The winner will be announced in May.

Frances's novel has also been selected by Sarah Bannan, Head of Literature at the Arts Council, as one of her top ten books of 2020. She said, 'The thing that keeps you turning the pages is the strength of the characters and the 100 per cent honesty of their relationships. It's fresh and it's funny and I felt I was in the hands of a seasoned novelist.'

Told from Katie's witty, quirky perspective, Frances Macken's debut beautifully captures life in a small town and the power of yearning for something bigger. Katie, Maeve and Evelyn – friends forever, united by their childhood games and their dreams of escaping the tiny Irish town of Glenbruff. Filled with unforgettable characters and crackling dialogue, You Have to Make Your Own Fun Around Here takes a keen-eyed look at the complexities of female friendship, the corrosive power of jealousy and guilt, and the way that life can quietly erode our dreams unless we're willing to fight for them.

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