Swansea University in Wales unveiled the shortlist for its annual Dylan Thomas Prize, given to English-language authors under 40 years of age.

Raven Leilani, who on Thursday won the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, was named a finalist for her debut novel Luster, which also won the Kirkus Prize.

Dima Alzayat made the shortlist for Alligator and Other Stories, as did Rye Curtis for Kingdomtide.

Akwaeke Emezi was named a finalist for their coming-of-age novel, The Death of Vivek Oji, along with Catherine Lacey for Pew and Kate Elizabeth Russell for My Dark Vanessa.

Namita Gokhale, the chair of the award’s judging panel, praised the “six exceptional young writers.”

“I want to press each and every one of these bold, inventive and distinctive books into the hands of readers, and celebrate how they challenge preconceptions, ask new questions about how we define identity and our relationships, and how we live together in this world,” Gokhale said.

The Dylan Thomas Prize was launched in 2006 and comes with a cash award of about $27,000. Previous winners have included Joshua Ferris for To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, Max Porter for Grief Is the Thing With Feathers, and Bryan Washington for Lot.

Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.