2020 Bath Novel Award

Bath Novel Award 2020 Winner 

Prize: £3,000 | Judge: Jenny Savill

ANDREW J KING for The Arrow Garden

“With brush strokes as deft as a calligraphy character – writing as assured as the trajectory of an arrow loosed in flight and heading for its target, this time-slip story of a meeting that never should have happened (or should it?) made elaborate knots of my mind, and, ultimately, filled my heart with joy. Accessible, well crafted, beautifully paced, and suffused with respect for the natural world, I found it brim full of wisdom, humanity, and gentle observation. I loved the wrinkle-in-the-universe physics of it, too – a nod to The Man In The High Castle, or perhaps Interstellar. With tangential messages about attending to one other and also to the moment, looking after people who may be finding reality difficult, and knowing that things will pass, THE ARROW GARDEN feels like a novel for the times. I read it pretty much holding my breath, marvelling at the controlled release of tension in a story which is all about letting go. Just wonderful.”

Andrew J King has a BA in English Literature and Fine Art and spent his early career as a professional designer. After taking an MA in Visual Culture he began a second career teaching Art and Design and is particularly interested in the links between images, emotions and words. 
A Kyūdō archer and lifelong Japanophile, Andrew has assisted at Shintō ceremonies in shrines and temples across Japan. The Arrow Garden was inspired by his love for Kyūdō, Shintō ‘stories’ and the aftermath of 2011’s Great Tōhoku Earthquake.

Bath Novel Award 2020 Shortlisted


“A moving, beautifully-crafted, starkly-written exploration of one woman’s grief. Tender, raging, and absolutely heart-stopping.”


Charlotte Leonard studied Law at the University of Warwick before embarking on a career in advertising. She had always dreamed of writing a book but after giving birth to three sons discovered that the only thing she had time to write was the occasional shopping list. Charlotte waited until the boys were all old enough to use a toaster and then started her novel as part of The Faber Academy’s ‘First 15,000 Word’ course. She finished the first draft at her kitchen table the day before lock-down began.  

As the only woman in a house of males the issues that impact specifically on men have become incredibly important to her. Male suicide is shockingly the leading cause of death in men under 50. Realising just how many of her family and friends had been affected by the issue she decided to write about a woman who survives this very complex type of loss. Charlotte is currently working on a final draft of the manuscript and is represented by literary agent Jane Finigan at Lutyens & Rubinstein. 

Read the opening of Afterwards 

Bath Novel Award 2020 Shortlisted

JULIA RAMPEN for The Cocklers

“An evocative, weather-lashed story of an unlikely duo, raising urgent questions about how we treat those who seek refuge. Painful and hopeful in equal measure.”


Julia Rampen was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and spent much of her childhood writing (her proudest achievement as a seven year old was 77 pages about a family of seagulls). She moved to London to become a journalist and worked at The Mirror and New Statesman among other publications, before moving to The Liverpool Echo. She was a Foyle Young Poet 2005 and 2006, and she was the co-founder of the Syrian stories blog Qisetna: Talking Syria.

For many years, a regular date in Julia’s calendar was a trip to Morecambe Bay, where her grandparents lived. The 2004 cockling disaster seemed at odds with the quiet, sleepy place she knew, even though she had grown up with stories of the bay’s shifting sands. A decade or so later, she started writing a short story about the aftermath, and found it refused to neatly end. Her research led her to the undercover reporting of Hsiao-Hung Pai and the elegiac memoir of Morecambe Bay’s guide, Cedric Robinson, as well as an afternoon watching the cocklers come in from the endless sands.

Read the opening of The Cocklers

Bath Novel Award 2020 Shortlisted


“Surprising, touching and ultimately uplifting exploration of the effects of trauma, written in an utterly refreshing, epistolary style.”


Robin Falvey is a sea swimmer, surfer, and former surf lifesaver who, in 2007, switched his IT job for more ‘hands-on’ technology, moving to New Zealand to work on the 19th century-rigged tall ship Soren Larsen.

After sailing the Southern Ocean and South Pacific, and making a radio documentary about his experiences, Robin returned to the UK to take an MA in journalism. After a stint as a sports reporter for BBC Radio Cornwall, he took to copywriting and writing writing. Robin’s first book, Fulmar, was shortlisted for the Bath Novel Award 2015; his second novel, Sacrifice, was shortlisted for the Bath Novel Award 2019. The Dove is a funny, heart-breaking and ultimately hopeful novel with a distinctively Cornish flavour. 

Read the opening of The Dove

Bath Novel Award 2020 Shortlisted


With forensic attention to detail, the reader is effortlessly drawn into the small town, rural Australian setting and a community in mourning. Immersive and riveting.”


Shelley Burr is a crime fiction writer from Canberra, Australia. 
Wake is her first novel. It was inspired by a fascination with true crime and online amateur crime-solving communities. Wake looks at what can happen when people’s private tragedies become public property, and the ripples of trauma that follow violent crimes. 

Wake has been developed with the support of the Australian Capital Territory Writer’s Centre HARDCOPY program 2018, and the 2019 Kill Your Darlings Varuna Fellowship. 

Read the opening of WAKE

The Cornerstones Longlist Prize

MÓNICA PARLE for The Glass Girl

Prize: Edit Your Novel the Professional Way

“We were transported to Mexico in 1913 where a tense murder mystery sets the story off in the most exciting way. The writing is evocative, authentic, rich in details and evokes ranch life brilliantly.” 

HELEN CORNER-BRYANT, Cornerstones Literary Consultancy

Mónica Parle was born in the Chihuahuan Desert, which she still considers the home of her heart. She grew up among the bayous and roller rinks of suburban Houston, and now lives in London. She is currently the National Poetry Day Manager for Forward Arts Foundation and was previously Executive Director of First Story. She has two novels in progress: The Glass Girl, and a YA climate-themed adventure novel, which was Highly Commended in Faber & Faber’s 2018 FAB Prize. She participated in the inaugural year of the London Library’s Emerging Writers Programme 2019-20.

Read the opening of The Glass Girl here

Bath Novel Award 2020 Longlisted

Antonia Angress
Neal Was Here
Glen Anthony
A Better Life
Naina Bajekal
Shelley Burr
Where My Peace Lives
Dana Cacchione
When We Are Now
Alex Clare
The Immortality Project
Philip Connor
The Vampires of Westminster
NP Cunniffe
Clio David
Madeline Dewhurst
The Acorn, The Foundling and The Redcoat
Megan Doyle
Here Lies Guido Perkins
Rachael Dunlop
Saara El-Arifi
The Dove
Robin Falvey
Night School
Divya Ghelani
Carolyn Gillum
The Arrow Garden
Andrew J King
All The Little ThingsSarah Lawton
You Are My Mother
Cathy Layne
CA Lee
Sorry For Your Loss
Jo Leevers
Charlotte Leonard
Another Kind of Life
Gift Nyoni
The Word According to Joan
Rosanna Oram
The Glass Girl
Mónica Parle
Mary Annes Payne
Michael Pert
The Cocklers
Julia Rampen
Francesca Robbins
Danny Boy
James Sefton
Susan Stokes-Chapman
Follow Back
Annie May Taylor
Larks in the Springes
Sarah Underwood
Bonny & Read
Julie Walker
Your Sorrows Rise
Lorraine Wilson