A paper cut of the Roman goddess of wisdom Minerva with the words Bath Children's Novel Award

Before the longlist

Now that submissions have closed, what happens in the run up to the longlist announcement on December 17th?

First, all novels are downloaded, assigned an entry number and individually matched with our hand-picked team of professional readers, Junior Judges and former winning or shortlisted authors. 

All submissions are read “blind” with readers casting a YES or NO vote in answer to the question: do this extract and synopsis make you want to read the full?

Sometimes a small number of books dominate the readers’ votes; in other years the votes are widely spread resulting in a longer list. We longlist every book which the votes suggest could win and over the years our lists have ranged from 19 to 39 titles strong. 

Readers can also award one ‘golden vote’ for a novel they can’t stop thinking about. Novels which attract one or more golden votes are automatically longlisted, alongside the entries which attracted the highest number of’regular’ YES votes.

From noon GMT on December 16th we will share a selection of ‘snippets’ from comments which accompany YES votes. These are tweeted from @bathnovelaward and are searchable (or mutable) by the tag #BNAkids. 

Here’s a snippet from a vote for The Sky Over Rebecca, a manuscript by Matthew Fox which went on to win 2019’s Bath Children’s Novel Award and is to be published by Hachette in 2022:

Due to the volume of votes we tweet only a selection of regular YES votes plus any golden votes.

2021’s longlist will be announced on Twitter and our website at noon GMT on December 17th.  As entries are read ‘blind’ we announce longlisted titles rather than author names. Where we received more than one entry with the same title we will indicate the main character’s name beside the title. The names of all longlisted authors will be revealed in February’s winner’s announcement. 

Writers who are longlisted will receive a follow up email during the afternoon of December 17th detailing how to submit their full manuscripts for the Junior Judges to read during the Christmas holidays. 

The very best of luck to all entrants, we can’t wait to see the votes!

Matthew Fox: ‘It’s everything I’ve been working towards for most of my adult life’