2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award

The BATH CHILDREN’S NOVEL AWARD 2017

Judge: Sallyanne Sweeney of MMB Creative


2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award Winner

Struan Murray for The Vessel

Prize: £2,000

 

Premise: Ellie, a young inventor in a drowned world, must harbour a dark secret while protecting the boy she rescued from inside a beached whale

“THE VESSEL had me hooked from the chilling opening chapter. The writing was incredibly accomplished and the author maintained a strong sense of tension and suspense throughout. Bold, ambitious and completely original, the world building is impressive and Ellie is a wonderful character. I was entranced by her world and I think readers will love discovering this society. ” Sallyanne Sweeney, literary agent and award judge.

Struan Murray“I love the power of a bold image, and when I came up with the opening scene of a whale, beached on a rooftop, the rest of the world of The Vessel developed from there.” 

Originally from Edinburgh, Struan Murray is a lecturer and researcher in genetics at the University of Oxford. He loves classic fantasy fiction, and wanted to write a novel for young adults that included characters struggling with their mental health, and to address themes of depression and isolation in a fantasy context.

Read the opening pages of The Vessel in this compilation post of all five 2017 shortlisted novels 


2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award Shortlisted & Cornerstones Literary Consultancy Prize

EJ Whiston for Me Two

Prize: £500 editorial services

 

Premise: girl born into two bodies on opposite sides of the world must choose which life to live and which to lose

“Strong voice and very accessibly written, I loved the idea of living two lives at once in different parts of the world. There’s a lovely sense of emotional depth here and Lexi is a character children will relate to.” Sallyanne Sweeney, literary agent and award judge.

IMG_1461

“The idea of a girl born into two bodies hit me in a flash as I was driving home late one Friday night after a frustrating week on an advertising pitch.”

Elizabeth Whiston lives in the Forest of Dean with her husband and teenage daughter.  She spent 25 years working in London as a Creative Director in Advertising and her claim to fame is writing the Ronseal line, “It does exactly what it says on the tin”.  She left two years ago to fulfil her ambition to write a children’s novel when she was selected for a place on the Curtis Brown  Creative Writing for Children course. The inspiration for Me Two came from her experience of living between two continents and cultures, flying between Singapore and London three times a year from the age of nine. Elizabeth is newly represented by literary agent Lauren Gardner at Bell Lomax Moreton Agency.

Read the opening pages Me Two in this compilation post of all five 2017 shortlisted novels 


2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award Shortlisted

Estella Shardlow & Hamish Davidson for

Jack Dark and the Figment Hunters

 

Premise: boy who can enter other people’s dreams must join an ancient secret society of Braves, Telepaths and Scientists to battle deadly nightmare creatures

“A protagonist you want to root for and an exciting concept, this is a rip-roaring adventure for middle-grade readers.” Sallyanne Sweeney, literary agent and award judge.

Grace Gordon

“The goal was to write the kind of book we love – blending the real and the fantastic, a sense that something incredible lurks right under our noses…” 

Estella Shardlow and Hamish Davidson, originally from Devon and Scotland, currently live and work on a small island in the Caribbean. A trip to Oxford’s Bodleian library sparked a plan to write a novel about dreams and nightmare creatures battled by a secret society called The Oneiroi. Maps, plot lines, diagrams and a whole lexicon were scribbled into a hastily-purchased notebook followed by weekends and holidays spent writing alongside their ‘waking world’ jobs as a lawyer (him) and journalist (her).

Read the opening pages of Jack Dark and the Figment Hunters in this compilation post of all five 2017 shortlisted novels


2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award Shortlisted

Tasha Harrison for The Reinvention of Rolo Rawlings

 

Premise: lovesick teenage herpetologist seeks answers to the mystery behind his dad’s coma.

“I loved the voice here and there was a great sense of humour throughout. Rolo is a lovely character and I was impressed by the depth of the plot, which had a really interesting premise.” Sallyanne Sweeney, literary agent and award judge.

Tasha Harrison“I’ve loved every minute I’ve spent writing this story.” 

Tasha Harrison is a co-director and copywriter for a graphic design agency based in Brighton. She has self-published four comedy drama novels for adults and a collection of humorous short stories for children. The Reinvention of Rolo Rawlings is her first novel for young adults. It’s the story of a toad-mad lovestruck teenage boy whose father is in a coma. Tasha is newly represented by literary agent Lauren Gardner at Bell Lomax Moreton Agency.

Read the opening pages The Reinvention of Rolo Rawlings in this compilation post of all five 2017 shortlisted novels 


2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award Shortlisted

Emma Dykes for Milton Hits the Headlines

 

Premise: curious spider discovers he’s been branded deadly by the tabloid press and must work with a human girl to save his species.

“Milton is the sweetest character and the tone is spot-on for young readers. I enjoyed the voice and gentle sense of humour and there was a strong message.” Sallyanne Sweeney, literary agent and award judge.

Emma Dykes

“I wondered what fame (or infamy) would be like for young animals in this digital age.” 

Originally from East Anglia, Emma Dykesmanaged a laboratory near Bristol for over a decade and now lives in Bath with her young family. Emma is actually rather nervous around spiders and conducted much of her research for Milton Hits the Headlines from behind a cushion. Her short fiction has been published by Shift Magazine and Reflex Fiction, she won the most recent #PeerPitch competition. Emma is newly represented by literary agent Lauren Gardner at Bell Lomax Moreton Agency.

Read the opening pages of Milton Hits the Headlines in this compilation post of all five 2017 shortlisted novels 


2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award Longlisted

 

Lou Abercrombie Fig Swims Round the World
Grace Cullen The Legend of Star Arrow
Sarah Day The Door in the Dark
Sean Dooley Voxmort: The Stone of Death
Emma Dykes Milton Hits the Headlines
Elizabeth Frattaroli Sixteen Again
Clare Golding Illegal is not a Noun
Tasha Harrison The Reinvention of Rolo Rawlings
Dale Hannah The Curse of the Weird Wolf
Johanna Hartford The Ivory Rite
Mark Hibbett Storm House
Carlie Lee The Badly Born
Helen MacKenzie Psigns
Eve McDonell Elsetime
Andy McIntosh The Waggledancing Dragon
Sarah Merrett The Darlington Miracles
Ruth Moore The Agency’s Last Case
Struan Murray The Vessel
Susan Nicholson The Case in Locker 62
Alison Padley The Firestone of Avisriel
Andrew Plant Agatha Brown and the Witchfinder General
Estella Shardlow & Hamish Davidson Jack Dark and the Figment Hunters
Sharon Tandy The Boy Inside my Head
EJ Whiston Me Two
Madeleine Woosnam What was Left Behind

Word Art

2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award longlist announcement

2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award shortlist announcement


cornerstones_logo_UK-01

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