Book Deals & Agent Representation

Being shortlisted for the Bath Novel or Children’s Novel Award has helped many writers find literary agent representation. As of March 2017 85% of winning & shortlisted writers have accepted offers of representation. 50% of these have gone on to sign traditional publishing deals, including a six figure pre-empt and selection for Richard & Judy’s WHS book club. Here are some of their success stories:

2016 Runner up LAURA MARSHALL accepted representation with Felicity Blunt at Curtis Brown Literary Agency and a six figure pre-empt from Sphere (Little, Brown) for psychological thriller FRIEND REQUEST. which was published in July 2017. Lucy Malagoni, editorial director for Sphere said: “Friend Request is one of the most outstanding, compelling and emotionally resonant psychological thrillers I’ve read.” Read: Laura Marshall interview


2016 Bath Novel Award winner KIM SHERWOOD accepted representation with Susan Armstrong of C + W Literary Agents TESTAMENT & a publishing deal as 2018 lead title for Quercus imprint Riverrun. Acquiring editor Rose Tomaszewska said: “The first time I read Testament I knew it was not only special, but truly important.” Read: Kim Sherwood interview 

2015 Shortlistee HOLLIE OVERTON accepted a major publishing deal with Penguin Random House imprint Century for psychological thriller, BABY DOLLCentury’s Selina Walker said: “This is commercial fiction with a capital C”. Baby Doll reached the Sunday Times top ten bestsellers in January 2017 and was chosen for Richard & Judy’s Spring 2017 WHS Book Club. Read: Hollie Overton interview.

2014 Bath Novel Award winner JOANNA BARNARD accepted representation with Caskie Mushens co-founder Juliet Mushens  who went on to sell  PRECOCIOUS  in a four-way publishing auction. Ebury Press’s acquiring fiction director Gillian Green said: “Joanna’s debut is that Holy Grail in fiction: quality writing but with a commercial heart.” HUSH LITTLE BABY, Joanna’s second novel was published in August 2017. Read: Joanna Barnard interview

EUGENE LAMBERT was shortlisted in 2014 for THE SIGN OF ONE, the first in a YA sci-fi trilogy about twins in a world where only one twin grows up human. Egmont acquired The Sign of One from literary agent Ben Illis. Stella Paskins, fiction publisher at Egmont said: “This is compulsive YA at its very best.” INTO THE NO ZONE, the second title in the trilogy was published April 2017 Read: Euguene Lambert interview

Inaugural shortlistee CATHERINE BARTER accepted representation with Laura Williams at Peters Fraser & Dunlop literary agency. Catherine’s YA novel, TROUBLEMAKERS was acquired by Andersen Press for publication in June 2017. Fiction editor Chloe Sackur said: “I believe Catherine is a bright new star in British YA fiction. Troublemakers is an achingly honest coming-of-age novel about family, and the politicised world we live in.”  Read: interview by Prose Blog with Catherine Barter 

LUCY VAN SMIT won the inaugural Bath Children’s Novel Award in 2015 with nordic noir YA thriller, THE HURTINGVan Smit accepted an offer of representation from 2015 judge and literary agent Sallyanne Sweeney at Mulcahy Associates and signed a two book deal with Chicken House for publication in 2018. Read: Lucy Van Smit interview

Bath Novel Award 2015 winner CLARISSA GOENAWAN accepted representation with Anna Soler-Pont at Pontas International Literary & Film Agency for her literary suspense novel RAINBIRDS, which sold to Soho Press for publication in 2018. Amara Hoshijo, acquiring editor at Soho Press, said: “Clarissa’s writing is not only beautifully literary and effortlessly transportive, but capable of resonating with a wide audience.”  Read: Clarissa Goenawan interview

Bath Children’s Novel Award inaugural shortlistee SOPHIE CAMERON accepted representation with literary agent Hellie Ogden at Janklow & Nesbit. OUT OF THE BLUE  was acquired in a fiercely-contested auction by Macmillan Children’s books and will be published in spring 2018. Rachel Petty of Macmillan said: “Out of the Blue is the kind of book that makes you stop and think about life in an entirely new light. It’s a book about grief and about finding your place in the world, when angels are falling out of another. It’s hopeful and heartfelt and completely unique – and we believe Sophie Cameron has the potential to go on to be a leading light in children’s and YA literature.” 

2017 shortlistee IAIN ROWAN accepted representation with David Haviland of Andrew Lownie Literary Agency for crime novel ONE OF US. Caroline Ambrose, founder of the Bath Novel Award said: “ONE OF US is the story of Anna, a young Russian medical student living and working illegally in a London burger bar. When Anna is drawn into a gangster underworld she must decide what she will risk to secure the passport and papers which will enable her to stay and become ‘one of us’.” This voice driven manuscript made most of us cry, all of of us angry and very few writers have made our panel react like that.”

2016 Shortlistee SCOTT BAIN accepted representation with Lauren Clarke at Bell Lomax Moreton literary agency for THE GOD BULLET his pacy YA thriller  about a teenage boy hired by London’s underworld to fire dangerous curses from his high-powered sniper rifle. Lauren and Scott are currently editing The God Bullet prior to submission to publishers. Read: interview with Bath shortlisted Scott Bain on accepting representation

 2016 Bath shortlisted CATHY LAYNE accepted representation with Zoe Ross at United Agents. YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL is a high end commercial novel about beauty, unrequited love and what it’s like to be outsiders in a beachy Tokyo suburb. Read: interview with Bath shortlisted Cathy Layne on accepting representation

2015 Runner up ROBIN FALVEY accepted representation with literary agent Sarah Manning of The Bent Agency  for FULMAR, a gritty, funny YA novel about a Cornish surfer who has fallen in with the wrong crowd. Read: interview with Bath Novel Award runner up Robin Falvey

Inaugural Runner-up IAN NETTLETON was signed by literary agent Susan Armstrong (Conville & Walsh) for literary thriller THE LAST MIGRATION about two brothers who set off across the Australian outback to capture a man with a case of cash.  Read: interview with Bath Novel Award runner up Ian Nettleton

2016 Bath Children’s Novel Award shortlisted FIONA LONGMUIR accepted representation with Sophie Gorrell Barnes at MBA Literary Agents for THE WAITING ROOM, her YA thriller romance set in the afterlife. Read: Fiona Longmuir on her path to representation 

2016 Bath Children’s Novel Award winner GARETH OSBORNE accepted representation with Julia Churchill at AM Heath Literary Agents for COGS OF CASTILE, his MG adventure set in C19th Madrid. Read: interview with Gareth Osborne on accepting representation

2016 Bath Children’s Novel Award runner up SARAH HOUSE accepted representation with Polly Nolan at Greenhouse Literary Agency for THE MAGPIE GARDEN, her MG realistic with a magical twist set on the Devon coast. Read: interview with Sarah House on accepting representation

2016 Bath Children’s Novel Award shortlisted Sophie Green accepted representation with Hilary Delamere at The Agency for POTKIN & STUBBS (DECEASED) her MG detective noir. Read: the opening chapter of Sophie Green’s Bath shortlisted novel


The Bath Novel Award 2017 is now open, with entries invited until 24th April 2017. £2,000 prize | £500 shortlist award plus literary agent introductions | Eligibility & entry details here

The Bath Children’s Novel Award 2017 opens to entries from 2nd May 2017

Cornerstones LogoThe Bath Novel Award & Bath Children’s Novel Award are sponsored by Cornerstones Literary Consultancy