The Bath Novel Award 2017 Winner’s Announcement


The Bath Novel Award &
Bath Children’s Novel Award

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“Reading these novels has been a JOY”

2017 judge, literary agent Laura Williams of Peters Fraser & Dunlop


Bath Novel Award 2017 Winner:



Prize: £2,000

“I’m very excited by Cuckoo’s commercial potential, and I loved the creepy concept and the gothic undertones.” Laura Williams, literary agent and 2017 judge.

Cuckoo is a gripping read. Loved the fairytale elements and touches of the gothic.”  Joanna Barnard, author of Precocious and Hush Little Baby.

Sophie Snell - Storyteller

Sophie Draper is a traditional oral storyteller. After a first career in accountancy, motherhood rekindled her love of stories and storytelling. She found her head blossoming with characters and ideas and began travelling the country, entertaining all ages with folk tales and songs. Sophie lives with her family in a rural Derbyshire house filled with music, books, cats and steaming wet sports kit dumped on the kitchen floor.

Always fascinated by fairy tales, the spark for Cuckoo came to Sophie after moving to the country and waking to find her hillside farm house marooned in a white sea of autumn mist. Sophie imagined a woman travelling back to her childhood home, only to find it filled with fairy tale horrors and elusive memories. Sophie put the unpacking of her removal boxes on hold, cleared a writing desk and finished Cuckoo just in time for the Bath Novel Award 2017 deadline.


“Winning has turned everything upside down. I ended up with five agent offers – honestly, I never thought that would happen.”

Read: INTERVIEW Bath Novel Award 2017 Winner Sophie Draper 

Read the opening pages of all five shortlisted novels here

Visit Sophie Draper’s website

Bath Novel Award 2017 Shortlisted:



Also awarded the Cornerstones Literary Consultancy Prize (£500)

“I got totally swept up in reading this. The author is clearly both talented and ambitious.” Laura Williams, literary agent and 2017 judge.

Orlando pic 1

Ben Orlando lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and cat. For more than ten years he’s been hacking away at short stories, screen plays, and novels. Ben is also an English professor at George Mason University and produces a podcast called History Repeating Itself, which covers the repetition of past events in today’s world.

While researching hunter gatherer societies for an episode of the podcast, Ben stumbled across a link between choice paralysis and sickness which sparked the idea for his novel. In Lost Journals of Sundown, an obsessed scientist tries to prove the consequences of choice, while a suicidal writer turned detective struggles to stop him.

Read the opening pages of all five shortlisted novels here

Listen to Ben’s History Repeating Itself podcasts here


Bath Novel Award 2017 Shortlisted:


(Indie published, CRIME)

“A well-executed and moving story with a compelling protagonist.” Laura Williams, literary agent and 2017 judge.


Iain Rowan was born in Kent but has lived in Sunderland for the past 26 years. When he’s not working in higher education he’s a novelist, short story writer, and occasional poet. Iain is creative director for the Sunderland Festival of Creative Writing and works with local writers in Holmeside Writers, a group he founded in 2014. He’s been shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger and for the Northern Writers’ Award.

One of Us comes from Iain’s interest in writing crime fiction about people who live on the margins of society: not the police, not the real criminals, but people caught in between the two, and the moral and practical compromises that they have to make to survive in a world which, when it’s not forgetting them, is against them.

Read the opening pages of all five shortlisted novels here

Visit Iain’s website at

One of Us is available as an indie published ebook and paperbook here


Bath Novel Award 2017 Shortlisted:



“Hugely stylish, and very accomplished. I have no doubt it’ll do very well.” Laura Williams, literary agent and 2017 judge.

Nicholas Herrmann

Nicholas Herrmann graduated from the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa in 2016 with distinction, signing with the literary agency A.M. Heath in early 2017. He wrote and submitted The Light Factory as his final manuscript for the course, and was shortlisted for Bath Spa’s Janklow & Nesbit Prize.

Nicholas’ writing explores existential, speculative and ecological themes, rooted in everyday, human relationships. He wrote The Light Factory as an attempt to understand and reconcile issues common to his generation: depression, extinction, lost opportunities and the importance of art.

Read the opening pages of all five shortlisted novels here


Bath Novel Award 2017 Shortlisted:


(Unpublished, YOUNG ADULT)

“A great pitch with lots of potential, and I loved the twists and turns.” Laura Williams, literary agent and 2017 judge.


Penelope Davidmann studied History at University and went to work in social housing, writing poems and short stories in her spare time. After having children, she worked in a local independent bookshop for ten years and began writing stories for children. After an inspirational Arvon course, Penelope took the MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. She wrote and submitted The Lost Sister as her

final manuscript for the course.

In The Lost Sister a sixteen year old girl searches for the older sister who ran away from their religious sect. The rule they live by means forgetting she ever had a sister, but that is impossible. The Lost Sister is about family, friendship and leadership; when to follow and who to trust.

Read the opening pages of all five shortlisted novels here


Bath Novel Award 2017 Longlist

Hazel BarkworthHoneysuckle
Annetta BerryThe Binding Frame
Lorraine CannellHollow
Steven CoombsLucas
Shymala DasonOver the Coconut Trees
Penelope DavidmannThe Lost Sister
Sophie DraperCuckoo
Rachel Dunlop Start Wearing Purple for Me Now
Martin GilbertEnemies at the Gate
Carolyn GillumAlt
Jennifer HarveyComplicity
Nasser HashmiIn a Rushdie Winter
Nick HerrmanThe Light Factory
Suzanne HickeyThe Silence of Shannon
Pam IsfeldBrave Girls
Sarah Ann JuckesProof of the Outside
Jo LenaghanForget Me Not
Sarah LinleyThe Pact
Claire LymanAfter the Lunch
Louise MangosStrangers on a Bridge
Lily MeyerTranslations
Ben OrlandoLost Journals of Sundown
Ben OrlandoIraqnia
Iain RowanOne of Us
Vanessa SavageThe History of You
Deirdre ShanahanMountainous Regions of the Heart
Christopher ShevlinJonathon Fairfax Must Be Destroyed
Cam TerwilligerYet Wilderness Grew in my Heart
Ali Thurm Jacob’s Ladder
Csilla ToldyFinding Freedom
Rebecca Trick-WalkerThe Still Gate
Madeleine WoosnamWhat Was Left Behind
Christopher YoungService


Read the Bath Novel Award 2017 shortlist announcement in full here
Read the Bath Novel Award 2017 longlist announcement in full here