Margaret Atwood, David Adams Richards and Heather O'Neill are among the Canadian authors in the early running for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Organizers of the annual honour, which accepts nominations from libraries around the world, announced from Dublin on Monday the long list of 137 writers vying for the 2008 prize.

The world's most lucrative literary prize for a single work of fiction in English carriesa cash amount of 100,000 euros (about $135,000 Cdn).

Atwood is nominated for her story collection Moral Disorder, while Richards was cited his book The Friends of Meager Fortune.

O'Neill's book Lullabies for Little Criminals, which won the 2007 edition of CBC's Canada Reads competition, is also vying for the prestigious literary honour.

The otherCanadians on the long list are:

  • Peter Behren for The Law of Dreams.
  • Anita Rau Badami for Can You Hear the Nightbird Call?
  • Trevor Cole for The Fearsome Particles.
  • Alan Cumyn for The Famished Lover.
  • Rawi Hage for De Niro's Game.
  • Kenneth J. Harvey for Inside.
  • Pearl Luke for Madame Zee.
  • Ami McKay for The Birth House.

Their competition includes a host of award-winning, distinguished international writers, including:

  • Monica Ali for Alentejo Blue.
  • Isabel Allende for Inés of My Soul.
  • Martin Amis for House of Meetings.
  • Peter Carey for Theft: A Love Story.
  • Kiran Desai for The Inheritance of Loss.
  • Laura Esquival for Malinche.
  • Richard Ford for The Lay of the Land.
  • Mark Haddon for A Spot of Bother.
  • Lloyd Jones for Mr. Pip.
  • Cormac McCarthy for The Road.
  • Jay McInerney for The Good Life.
  • Philip Roth for Everyman.
  • John Updike for Terrorist.

"I hope readers will go down to their local library, check out the list of nominated books, and take out one they fancy and read it," Dublin Mayor Paddy Bourke said in a statement.

"What sets this award apart from other awards is that the books are nominated through a truly democratic process, that is, through the public library systems of cities worldwide. Anyone can get a library card and access this truly exceptional list of world literature."

The six-member panel of international judges will unveil its short list of authors on April 2 with the winning novel to be revealed on June 12.