Don't judge a book by (the awards on) its cover

Anyone looking to the Booker Prize this year to affirm that dreams can come true would have seized on the example of Fiona Mozley, the 29 year bookseller who wrote the first chapter of her longlisted novel on a train. Her story seemed impossibly romantic: an unknown debut novelist, who wrote her book virtually in secret, was recognised alongside Paul Auster and Zadie Smith by one of the most famous literary prizes in the world. But while Mozley rather touchingly has said ‘I already feel like I’ve won,’ what about those writers who are always the bridesmaid but never the bride when it comes to literary prizes?