Jane Dabate wins Pat Kavanagh Prize 2024

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Jane Dabate has won the Pat Kavanagh Prize 2024, which recognises talented students on the MA in Creative and Life Writing programme.

The Pat Kavanagh Prize commemorates literary agent Pat Kavanagh, who passed away in 2008. The annual prize recognises the excellence of students on the MA in Creative and Life Writing programme.

Now in its 15th year, the prize is a partnership between the English and Creative Writing department and United Agents, of which Pat Kavanagh was a founding member.

Each year, the United Agents Books Department narrows a longlist of work by the course's highest performing students down to a select shortlist, before picking one winner judged to have written the strongest overall piece, who is awarded £500.

The shortlist for 2024, described by judges as "one of the strongest" in its 15-year history, included Jane Dabate, Oakley Flanagan, Twinkle Khanna, Allegra Mullan and Georgina North.

Introducing the event, Emeritus Professor Blake Morrison said of Pat Kavanagh: “She was, right until the end, someone who continued to take on new writers. She always nurtured new talents and that’s why it seemed so appropriate to set up a prize in her name because it's given to graduates of our MA creative writing programme, talented authors who are usually at the beginning of their career.”

At a ceremony held on campus the six shortlisted students read extracts of their writing, before the winner of the prize was revealed as Jane Dabate. 

Jane is originally from Massachusetts and now lives in London. She was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in 2023 and is presently longlisted for the Fish Short Story Prize 2024. 


I am so thankful and happy to receive the Pat Kavanagh Prize. It's rare to have a community of such talented and dedicated writers, and I’ve found that very inspirational about Goldsmiths. Everyone is so thoughtful with each other's work. My stories are dear to me and I’m just grateful they went down well.”

Previous winners of the Prize include Amna Jatoi, Imogen Fox, Jonathan Holt, David Nash, Giovanna Iozzi, Julia Rotte, Luiza Sauma, Paul Carney, Bex Barton, Karen Raney, Kate Kerrow, Lisa Smith, Aileen Maguire and Kaelyn Sabal Wilson. Winning the Pat Kavanagh Prize has acted as a catalyst for the publication for work by many of these writers.