American short story writer Claire Vaye Watkins is the 2013 winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize for new writers.
Judges said she was an “exceptional” writer and described her collection Battleborn as “infectious”.
The 29-year-old was one of seven writers aged under 30 shortlisted for the £30,000 prize, which is based in Thomas’s home town of Swansea.
“Claire Vaye Watkins has some of Dylan Thomas's extraordinary skill in the short story form of giving you a perfect vision of a complete world and that's extraordinarily rare,” said the chair of the judging panel, Peter Florence.
Fellow judge, the singer Cerys Matthews, said: “Battleborn just bubbles. She is such a natural writer.
”The whole book is so infectious - it leaves you looking forward to what is coming next from this exceptional young author.“
The short list for the award
Prose: Tim Leach The Last King Of Lydia; Marli Roode Call It Dog; Majok Tulba Beneath The Darkening Sky.
Poetry: James Brookes Sins Of The Leopard; Jemma L King The Shape Of A Forest.
Short stories: Claire Vaye Watkins Battleborn; Prajwal Parajuly The Gurkha's Daughter.