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

Before the longlist

No 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’ votes cast privately as a YES or NO answer to the question: do this extract and synopsis make you want to read the full?

We longlist every book the reader votes suggest could win. Sometimes a small number of books dominate the readers’ votes; in other years the votes are widely spread resulting in a longer list. 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 BST on December 15th 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 a former Bath Children’s Novel Award winner. It’s for the mansucript for Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray which went on to win in 2017 and was published by Puffin in Febrary 2020:

Due to the volume of votes we tweet only a selection of regular YES votes plus any  golden YES votes (which usually arrive in the very last voting days).

As entries are read ‘blind’ we announce longlisted titles rather than author names. If we receive more than one entry with the same title we indicate the main character’s name beside the title. The names of all longlisted authors will be 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 shortlisting stage during the Christmas holidays.

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