palerTHE BATH NOVEL AWARD is an international prize for unpublished & independently published novels. 2015 Judge: Mildred Yuan of United Agents | Prize: £1,000 Winner announced: noon BST 07 July 2015. 

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NEW: Hear Bath Novel Award winner Joanna Barnard read the opening of PRECOCIOUS (Ebury Press, 02 July 2015) recorded at this year at The Independent Bath Literature Festival 

sallyanneNEW: The inaugural Bath Children’s Novel Award is now OPEN to entries. Judge: Sallyanne Sweeney of Mulcahy Associates Literary Agency.


806 novels were submitted by unpublished and independently published writers in 41 countries. Since announcing our 23 strong longlist on April 21st, the judging panel has had the daunting task of selecting a shortlist from which Mildred Yuan of United Agents will select the overall winner.

Four novels have been shortlisted, including literary, thriller, timeslip and YA novels by writers based in Asia, North America and the UK.

As The Bath Novel Award is read and judged ‘blind’ we will be keeping our shortlistees’ identities under wraps until the winner is announced on July 7th, but in the meantime many congratulations to the writers of these four standout titles:

Baby Doll
The Arrow Garden


A Corner of the Artist’s Room
A Shadow in the Blood
All The Way Back Things
Angel Dust
Baby Doll
Fierce Animals
La Femme au Chapeau
Mother Tongue
My Perfect Mind
On a Sunday
Sister of Mine
Tall Oaks
The Arrow Garden
The Fourth Chimurenga
The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman
The Insect House
The Thing I Love
Thinking Only of Arriving
This Eden Called Warsaw
Truth Like Water

palerINTERVIEW: MILDRED YUAN, Literary Agent at United Agents & The Bath Novel Award 2015 Judge

Mildred Yuan represents writers, artists and performers across all genres, and is particularly interested in a great story, unique talent or a fresh perspective that will appeal to a broad audience.  She works closely with Caradoc King  on his list of clients including Philip Pullman, Helen Dunmore and Quentin Blake as well as managing and building her own list of diverse talent.

Originally from the States, she moved to the UK after completing a BA in Economics at Harvard to study for her MA at Cambridge in English Literature.   She has a secret double life as a competitive professional ballroom dancer and has represented the UK in World and European competitions.  In 2014, Mildred was shortlisted  for an Asian Woman of Achievement Award.

What’s been your proudest moment so far as an agent?

Getting a much improved deal on a legacy contract for an agency client that has been with us for decades.

Describe a typical day in the life of Mildred Yuan.

I’m not sure there is one!!  One of the great things about being an agent is the variety.  I can be doing submissions (either by phone or email), fielding calls and requests for authors, negotiating a deal after an offer has been made, drafting contracts, or sometimes, I find myself lucky enough to be with an author on a special day or event they are doing, like a television shoot or an awards event! 

What are the best and worst parts of the job?

The very best part, hands down, is enabling people who are fantastic at what they do to achieve their dreams.  The worst part is that my inbox/voicemail box (and sometimes even reception!) is always constantly full with people who either want something from a client, or want to be a client—you feel sometimes that there are constant demands, and there are unfortunately an awful lot of rude people who feel entitled to your time, even when they are asking you to do them a favour! 

You’re currently building a diverse list of clients. What’s on your wishlist?

Something that makes me forget the hubbub of the outside world and draws me into the web of the story.  Great writing is a must, but even more important is a compelling story.

Which novels do you wish you represented?

I love my clients, I couldn’t ask for more!

Do you have a ‘the one that got away’ story?

Not really, as I feel everyone comes into your life for a reason.  If there is a way I can help someone, we work together until there is nothing more that I can do for them.

What are you looking for in a manuscript?

Clarity of writing and a sense of purpose.

Tell us about your secret double life as a competitive professional ballroom dancer.

I competed with my husband on the international circuit for close to a decade alongside our then management consulting day jobs.  We represented the UK in 7 World and European championships.  

Lastly, any advice for our entrants?

Write what you know, write from the heart, but remember to step back and think—why does someone who I don’t know (not my friend, my mom or my husband) need to read this story and how will it change their life?


  • The winner of The Bath Novel Award 2015 will receive £1,000 plus our Minerva trophy, designed by Jessica Palmer 
  • Entries CLOSED at midnight BST on Tuesday March 31st 2015
  • Novels can be in any genre written for adult or young adult (13+) readers. Children’s novels are not eligible.
  • Submissions should include (up to) the first 5,000words of your novel plus a one page synopsis and separate covering page
  • Your novel extract should be double-spaced (apart from the synopsis which should be single-spaced) in a size 12 font. Include the title. As entries are read anonymously,your name should not appear anywhere on the novel extract or synopsis
  • On your covering page, state your name, address, telephone number, email address, novel title, genre, submission and full manuscript word counts, method of payment plus where you heard about us
  • Hard copy submissions should be typed and submitted on single-sided A4 paper
  • The entrance fee is £20 per novel. You may enter more than one novel. Entrants should nothave had a novel accepted for publication by a traditional publishing house. Self-published novels are eligible
  • Longlisted entrants will be contacted during April 2015 and asked to submit their fullmanuscript, which should be at least 50,000 words long, for the final judging stage
  • Shortlisted entrants will be contacted in June 2015and listed on our site. The winnerof The Bath Novel Award 2015 will be announced in July 2015
  • Novels must be your original work and in English
  • Submissions cannot be altered after entry
  • Entrants must be 16 years or over
  • Entries are open to any nationality and country
  • The winner agrees to an interview which may be published on our site and in any media for publicity purposes
  • Entrants retain full copyright of their submissions, however by entering, all entrants give The Bath Novel Award permission to post the first chapter (or 3,000 words) of any shortlisted entries on our site
  • Entrants employed by The Bath Novel Award or represented by United Agents are not eligible
  • Entries which do not comply with the competition rules may be disqualified

precocious cover (134x215)palerBATH NOVEL AWARD SUCCESS STORIES:

Last year, three of our five 2014 shortlistees accepted offers of representation from leading literary agencies. Two won publishing deals. 2014’s winning novel PRECOCIOUS by Joanna Barnard sold to Ebury Press in a four way publishing auction and is out now in hardback edition. More winner & shortlistee news