Now that submissions are closed, what happens during the run up to the longlist announcement?
Once all novels have been downloaded they are 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.
In the days before the longlist announcement we share a selection of ‘snippets’ from comments which accompany YES votes. These are tweeted @bathnovelaward and are searchable (or mutable) by the tag #BNAkids.
Here’s a snippet from a vote during the Bath Children’s Novel Award 2017. It’s for the mansucript for Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray which went on to win and was published by Puffin in Febrary 2020:
#BNAkids Intriguing and complex. Boy emerges from dead whale! Could be amazing. YES
— The Bath Novel Awards (@BathNovelAward) November 29, 2017
Due to the volume of votes we can tweet only a selection of regular YES votes plus any golden YES votes (which usually arrive in the very last voting days).
Because 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 listed 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 for the shortlisting stage during the Christmas holidays.
The very best of luck to all entrants, we can’t wait to see the votes!