Before the Longlist


Now that submissions are closed, what happens in the run up to the longlist announcement?

Each novel is downloaded, assigned an entry number and individually matched with professional readers. We work with a hand-picked team which includes genre specialists, former winners and listed authors.

All submissions are read “blind”. Readers cast their votes individually, answering YES or NO to the question: do this extract and synopsis make you want to read the full?

We longlist every book the votes suggest could win. Sometimes a small number of books dominate the readers’ votes; in other years the votes are more 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’ to an entry they can’t stop thinking about and would especially love to read in full. Novels which attract one or more golden votes are automatically longlisted, alongside the entries which attracted the highest number of ‘regular’ YES votes.

From June 27th to June 29th we will tweet a selection of the YES vote comments @bathnovelaward. Tweets will be searchable (or mutable) with the tag #BNA2021 and here are some examples of votes for manuscripts which went on to win:

[Voting comment for The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

[Voting comment for A Ruined Girl by Kate Simants]


Due to the volume of votes cast, we tweet only a representative selection of YES comments plus all the golden votes

The Bath Novel Award 2021 longlist announcement will be posted on our website at noon BST on 30th June. We don’t notify writers who have been longlisted beforehand and will email all entrants a prompt once the announcement is up. 

The writers of the longlisted titles will then be invited to submit their full manuscript by 4th July 2021 for the final judging stages. 

Best of luck to all, we can’t wait to read your work.