palerWelcome to The Bath Novel Award, an international prize for unpublished & independently published novels                                     


clarissaThe WINNER of THE BATH NOVEL AWARD 2015 is CLARISSA N. GOENAWAN for RAINBIRDS. Judge Mildred Yuan said:RAINBIRDS is a deeply thoughtful book that follows Ren as he grieves for his sister, Keiko, who was suddenly murdered in the prime of her life.  Evocative and beautifully written, Clarissa explores how we sometimes only think to get to know a loved one when they are dead and gone.  This novel is my winner for its unmatched combination of a lightness of style combined with a compelling story.” 

Clarissa N. Goenawan is a Singapore-based writer and a graduate of the Curtis Brown Creative novel-writing course. She’s also a recipient of National Arts Council of Singapore grant and a mentee on the WoMentoring Project. Her short stories have won several awards, and been published in The MacGuffin, Your Impossible Voice, Black Denim Lit, Needle In The Hay, and Writing The City. 2015awardShe loves rainy days, pretty books, and hot green teas. Clarissa wins £1,000 and our Minerva trophy, designed by Jessica Palmer. 

Read the first chapter of RAINBIRDS by Clarissa N. Goenawan

Winner’s interview: Q&A with Clarissa N. Goenawan

2015 RUNNER UP is ROBIN FALVEY for FULMAR. Judge Mildred Yuan said: “Written with energy and tons of heart, FULMAR was a close second for me.  Bringing to life a cast of colourful characters in the surf community in Cornwall, troubled teen Jacob fights to stay away from gang leader Aiden and his group of lads.  It is the surf club and the surfing that saves him.  Well-drawn characters leap off the page in this gritty YA, and I cheered and almost cried when Jacob finally does the right thing, recognising the inevitable summer inside himself and kicking trouble for good.”

In 2007 Robin Falvey, a lifelong surfer and waterman left his NHS desk job, sold everything he owned and headed off to sea. Robin sailed the Southern Ocean, came close to death in extreme storms, surfed tropical coral reefs and swam with sharks. In 2009, he moved to Cornwall, took a Master’s degree in journalism did a couple of stints at BBC Radio Cornwall and Radio Plymouth before realising he preferred making stories up. One day, while sitting in his van at the beach eating after-surf chips, a Cornish boy called Jacob Penhallow bounded into his imagination and Robin realised Jacob’s was the story he had to write.

Read the first chapter of FULMAR by Robin Falvey.


andrew j king (2)ANDREW J KING is a Senior Lecturer in Critical Theory at The Arts University of Bournemouth who feels he has always lived in two places: ‘this world and the real one’. As a writer, Andrew was inspired by his friendship with artist, photographer and director Tim MacMillan, whose time-freezing films and magic back door key into Japanese culture provided extraordinary images and experiences which became building blocks.

THE ARROW GARDEN is the story of a technical translator who accepts a colleague’s invitation to study Japanese archery in an abandoned bowling green in Bristol’s Brandon Park. Meanwhile, in post-war Japan, a young woman starting her career is filled with memories of war and strange recollections of events in a park in a mysterious otherworld. Read the first chapter of THE ARROW GARDEN by Andrew J. King.


Hollie Overton (2)A native of Kingsville, Texas, HOLLIE OVERTON found herself drawn to storytelling first as an actress, then a writer.  Hollie trained in New York at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts before moving to Hollywood where she found success as a TV writer. Past TV writing credits include CBS Drama “Cold Case” and Lifetime’s “The Client List.” Hollie is currently a writer on ABC Family’s upcoming drama “Shadowhunters” (based on the Mortal Instruments book series).

BABY DOLL was inspired by Hollie’s love of suspense thrillers and her relationship with her twin sister Heather and the fierce bond they share.

Note: Hollie Overton had to withdraw from competition as she accepted a major publishing deal with Penguin Random House soon after her shortlisting. Congratulations, Hollie!

paler2015 JUDGE

The Bath Novel Award 2015 was judged by literary agent Mildred Yuan of United Agents. Yuan works closely with Caradoc King on his list of clients including Philip Pullman, Helen Dunmore & Quentin Blake as well as managing and building her own list of diverse talent. She is particularly interested in a great story, unique talent or a fresh perspective that will appeal to a broad audience. 

paler2015 LONGLIST

A Corner of the Artist’s Room

Sinead Mooney

A Shadow in the Blood

Martin J Gilbert

All The Way Back Things 

Jane Heather

Angel Dust

Rose Lewenstein

Fierce Animals

Fran Slater


Brogan McEllan

La Femme au Chapeau

Cathy De’Freitas

Mother Tongue

Tanya Atapattu

My Perfect Mind

Annabel Abbs

On a Sunday

Grainne Murphy

Sister of Mine

Laurie Petrou

Tall Oaks

Chris Whitaker

The Fourth Chimurenga

Sandi Fikuart

The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman

Robin Gregory

The Insect House

Shirley Day

The Thing I Love

Samuel Wright

Thinking Only of Arriving

Vicky Grut

This Eden Called Warsaw

Suzanne Reisman

Truth Like Water

Carys Shannon


In 2014, all three of our five unagented shortlistees accepted offers of representation. Two won publishing deals. 2014’s winning novel PRECOCIOUS by Joanna Barnard sold in a four way publishing auction and is out now in Ebury hardback and ebook editions.  Read more about our 2014 winning and shortlisted writers


  • The winner of The Bath Novel Award 2016 will receive £2,000 plus our Minerva trophy, designed by Jessica Palmer 

  • Entries OPEN at midnight GMT on Tuesday October 13th 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 5,000 words of your novel plus a one page synopsis 

  • Your novel extract should be titled and double-spaced in a size 12 font. Your synopsis should be single-spaced in a size 12 font

  • As entries are read ‘blind’, your name should not appear anywhere in the extract or synopsis

  • In your email (or separate covering page for hard copy submissions) state your name, address, telephone number, email address, novel title, genre, submission and full manuscript word counts, plus your method of payment

  • The entrance fee is £20 per novel. You may enter more than one novel.

  • Entrants should not have had a novel accepted for publication by a traditional publishing house. Self-published novels are eligible

  • Longlistees will be contacted in April 2016 and invited to submit their full (at least 50,000 words) manuscript for the final judging stages.

  • Shortlisted entrants will be contacted in June 2016 and listed on our site. The winner of The Bath Novel Award 2016 will be announced in July 2016

  • 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, however by entering, all shortlisted entrants give permission for us to post their first chapter (or 3,000 words) on our site

  • Entrants employed by The Bath Novel Award are not eligible

  • Entries which do not comply with the competition rules may be disqualified

sallyanneNEW: THE BATH CHILDREN’S NOVEL AWARD £1,000 prize, judged by literary agent Sallyanne Sweeney. Fee £20. Entries close 11th October 2015. More details