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

Before the longlist

Ahead of next week’s longlist announcement, what’s been happening since entries closed and what happens next?

During the first reading rounds entries were matched with their best fit readers from our team of Junior Judges, professional readers, editors, library workers and former winning or shortlisted authors. 

Readers are currently voting by giving a YES or NO to the question: do this extract and synopsis make you want to read the full? Readers can vote for as many or as few novels as they wish and we will longlist every novel with sufficient votes to be in the running to win.

This means the number of novels longlisted varies from year to year according to how votes fall. If a small number of books dominate the votes the list is tighter. When votes fall more widely lists are on the longer side. To date our Children’s Novel Award longlists have ranged from 17 to 33 manuscripts.

Readers also have the option to award one ‘golden’ YES vote for a standout manuscript they especially want the Junior Judges to read in full. Entries which attract one or more golden vote are longlisted alongside the entries with the most ‘regular’ YES votes.

During the week 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 will be published by Puffin in Febrary 2020:

Due to the volume of votes we tweet a selection of YES votes along with all  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 listees will be in February’s winner’s announcement. 

Writers who are longlisted will receive a follow up email during the afternoon of December 11th 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!