Arts & Culture

Altrincham writer nominated for award for debut novel

By David Prior at

An Altrincham writer has been shortlisted for a top literary award for his debut novel.

Jacques Tsiantar, 23, is up for the Novella Award run by Manchester Metropolitan University and Liverpool John Moores, for his short novel Ruin.

Launched in 2014, The Novella Award aims to find the best up-and-coming writer of a short novel. It is awarded to a previously unpublished work of fiction, between 20,000-40,000 words in length.

The former Altrincham Grammar School for Boys pupil said: “When I found out I was shortlisted I was thrilled. It was great to receive an affirmation that what I was doing was worthwhile.

“Ruin was inspired by a short story I wrote about a year prior to the novella’s completion. It deals with the similar issues; the destructiveness of obsession, neglect and lack of consent. The antagonist, Sylvie, was created in that short story and was a character in my head for a long time.

“Writing about her was not only cathartic but also revealed things I did not necessarily expect to express. For a long time I didn’t know what the message of Ruin was but, now that I have had time away from it, I see that it was inspired by a desire to express the ways in which a person can become evil.”

The winning novella will receive a £1,000 cash prize and publication by award-winning Scottish independent publisher Sandstone Press. The runner-up is awarded £500 and a reader’s report.


The Novella Awards will be presented at the University’s Axis Arts Centre in Crewe on November 24.