A DEBUT novelist from York has spoken of the moment when she heard she has been longlisted for one of the world's most prestigious literary prizes.

Fiona Mozley, 29, had been for a walk with her lurcher Stringer when her editor called to tell her she was on the list for the £50,000 Man Booker Prize with her contemporary novel, Elmet, due to be published in two-weeks time.

"I was so overwhelmed that I gasped and the dog started barking," she said. "It was a huge shock as I didn't know my novel had been submitted for the prize. My best hope has been that it would sell enough copies to cover the printing costs."

Because of the longlist, her publisher John Murray will increase its planned print run of 1,000 to 5,000 for its release on August 10, under its imprint JM Originals.

Miss Mozley is studying for a PhD in medieval studies at York University and works in The Little Apple Bookshop in High Petergate at weekends.

Elmet tells the story of a father and his two children who come into conflict with land owners after they build a home for themselves in a copse in South Yorkshire. It is described as atmospheric and unsettling.

The former Fulford School pupil studied at Cambridge University and was travelling from York to London on the train when she got the idea for the book.

"I wrote the first chapter on the train when my native North Yorkshire whizzed by the window," she said. "I missed the landscape so moved back home to York. It took me three years to finish it, writing intermittently."

Elmet was the name of a Celtic kingdom in Yorkshire. "I wanted to give it a name that signified land," she said."The book is like a Western, in that there is dispute over territory."

This year's Booker longlists includes literary giants, such as Arundhati Roy, Ali Smith, Sebastian Barry, Jon McGregor and Zadie Smith.

There are two other debuts: History Of Wolves by Emily Fridlund, and George Saunders' first full-length novel, Lincoln In The Bardo.

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel, written in the English language and published in the UK.