Last year, my predictions were dismal. I managed to get just two out of thirteen; a bad return considering the year before I'd got eight of the longlist.
This year is in some ways easier than last - a fair few big hitters are out, while some less familiar names have delivered interesting and prize-worthy novels - but in other ways more difficult. Will the judges feel able to go for two big London novels (NW and Capital), for example? Will the old guard, so conspicuous by their absence until the winner was announced last year, return to claim the prize for their own? Or is there a sneaking up of interesting, yet not exactly new, writers ready to displace them?
Personally, I think it's an incredibly strong year, and one that might lead to an unusual list, but probably won't. For what it's worth, here's my prediction - not necessarily what I would like to see on there, but what I think will make the cut. I hope it's a bit closer than last time - though not perfect, obviously.