A DEBUT author from York has been shortlisted for a prestigious literary prize.

Man Booker Prize nominee Fiona Mozley is in the running for the Society of Authors' Awards, with judges describing her debut novel Elmet as "visionary".

The awards, which are judged by writers, are part of the UK's biggest literary fund with more than £98,000 awarded to new and established authors.

Previous winners include Zadie Smith, Seamus Heaney, Helen Dunmore, Hari Kunzru and Carol Ann Duffy.

Miss Mozley began writing her first novel, which was also nominated for this year's Women's Prize For Fiction, on a train from York.

She 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.

She will now compete against other writers under the age of 35 in one of the eight categories at the awards.

Writers Jen Campbell, Barney Norris and Ian Thomson, who are judging the category, said they have "discovered five wildly different but equally excellent young writers".

They added: "From poetry - Kayo Chingonyi's playful, nostalgic poignance, Jenna Clake's unique vision, and Miriam Nash's hypnotic sense of place - to fiction - JD Dixon's unforgiving, surprising and powerful narrative, and Fiona Mozley's visionary book, written in luminous prose - it's a privilege to include these writers and their work."

The winners of the Society of Authors' Awards will be unveiled at a ceremony in London on July 19, hosted by Stephen Fry.