Lancaster author Carol Birch missed out on winning the Man Booker Prize last night.
The victory went to clear bookies’ favourite Julian Barnes for his novel, The Sense of an Ending.
The judges, led by former MI5 director general Stella Rimington, took 31 minutes to decide on the winner.
Ms Birch was shortlisted for her historical novel Jamrach’s Menagerie, about a boy who goes to sea in the 19th century.
She said she would use the £50,000 prize money to pay her childrens’ university fees if she won.
Asked what he would do with the money, Barnes joked: “I could buy a whole new watch.”