Border Book Festival director and chairman of the Walter Scott Prize, Alistair Moffat, announced the longlist for the historical fiction award on Tuesday.
A shortlist is to be revealed at an event in London on March 24.
The change in protocol has been prompted by an increase in entries to the prize (of 40 per cent from 2014), and the high quality of historical fiction being currently published, reflecting the gathering prestige of the prize as it enters its fifth year.
The nominees for the 2015 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction are: The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis; The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry; The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton; The Lie by Helen Dunmore; Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre; In The Wolf’s Mouth by Adam Foulds; Mr Mac and Me by Esther Freud; Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut; Wake by Anna Hope; The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth; The Undertaking by Audrey Magee; A God In Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie; The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak; The Ten Thousand Things by John Spurling; and The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters.
Commenting on behalf of the judging panel, Moffat said: “Even at longlist stage, we found ourselves vexed at the selection we had to make from the record number of entries this year (124). The quality of the historical novels published in 2014 has been exceptional. We hope that by publishing the longlist, we can point readers to some of the very best historical fiction published in the year.”