The international Bath Novel Award & Bath Children’s Novel Award spotlight outstanding manuscripts by novelists who are yet to be traditionally published. 2017’s Bath Children’s Novel was judged by literary agent Sallyanne Sweeney, from a shortlist chosen by a team of Junior Judges aged from 7 to 17 years.
2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award Winner
Struan Murray for The Vessel
Premise: Ellie, a young inventor in a drowned world, must harbour a dark secret while protecting the boy she rescued from inside a beached whale
“THE VESSEL had me hooked from the chilling opening chapter. The writing was incredibly accomplished and the author maintained a strong sense of tension and suspense throughout. Bold, ambitious and completely original, the world building is impressive and Ellie is a wonderful character. I was entranced by her world and I think readers will love discovering this society. ” Sallyanne Sweeney, literary agent and award judge.
“I love the power of a bold image, and when I came up with the opening scene of a whale, beached on a rooftop, the rest of the world of The Vessel developed from there.”
Originally from Edinburgh, Struan Murray is a lecturer and researcher in genetics at the University of Oxford. He loves classic fantasy fiction, and wanted to write a novel for young adults that included characters struggling with their mental health, and to address themes of depression and isolation in a fantasy context.
2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award Shortlisted & Cornerstones Literary Consultancy Prize
EJ Whiston for Me Two
Prize: £500 editorial vouchers
Premise: girl born into two bodies on opposite sides of the world must choose which life to live and which to lose
“Strong voice and very accessibly written, I loved the idea of living two lives at once in different parts of the world. There’s a lovely sense of emotional depth here and Lexi is a character children will relate to.” Sallyanne Sweeney, literary agent and award judge.
“The idea of a girl born into two bodies hit me in a flash as I was driving home late one Friday night after a frustrating week on an advertising pitch.”
Elizabeth Whiston lives in the Forest of Dean with her husband and teenage daughter. She spent 25 years working in London as a Creative Director in Advertising and her claim to fame is writing the Ronseal line, “It does exactly what it says on the tin”. She left two years ago to fulfil her ambition to write a children’s novel when she was selected for a place on the Curtis Brown Creative Writing for Children course. The inspiration for Me Two came from her experience of living between two continents and cultures, flying between Singapore and London three times a year from the age of nine.
2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award Shortlisted
Estella Shardlow & Gordon Davidson for
Jack Dark and the Figment Hunters
Premise: boy who can enter other people’s dreams must join an ancient secret society of Braves, Telepaths and Scientists to battle deadly nightmare creatures
“A protagonist you want to root for and an exciting concept, this is a rip-roaring adventure for middle-grade readers.” Sallyanne Sweeney, literary agent and award judge.
“The goal was to write the kind of book we love – blending the real and the fantastic, a sense that something incredible lurks right under our noses…”
Estella Shardlow and Gordon Davidson, originally from Devon and Scotland, currently live and work on a small island in the Caribbean. A trip to Oxford’s Bodleian library sparked a plan to write a novel about dreams and nightmare creatures battled by a secret society called The Oneiroi. Maps, plot lines, diagrams and a whole lexicon were scribbled into a hastily-purchased notebook followed by weekends and holidays spent writing alongside their ‘waking world’ jobs as a lawyer (him) and journalist (her).
2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award Shortlisted
Tasha Harrison for The Reinvention of Rolo Rawlings
Premise: lovesick teenage herpetologist seeks answers to the mystery behind his dad’s coma.
“I loved the voice here and there was a great sense of humour throughout. Rolo is a lovely character and I was impressed by the depth of the plot, which had a really interesting premise.” Sallyanne Sweeney, literary agent and award judge.
“I’ve loved every minute I’ve spent writing this story.”
Tasha Harrison is a co-director and copywriter for a graphic design agency based in Brighton. She has self-published four comedy drama novels for adults and a collection of humorous short stories for children. The Reinvention of Rolo Rawlings is her first novel for young adults. It’s the story of a toad-mad lovestruck teenage boy whose father is in a coma. Tasha is newly represented by literary agent Lauren Gardner at Bell Lomax Moreton Agency.
2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award Shortlisted
Emma Dykes for Milton Hits the Headlines
Premise: curious spider discovers he’s been branded deadly by the tabloid press and must work with a human girl to save his species.
“Milton is the sweetest character and the tone is spot-on for young readers. I enjoyed the voice and gentle sense of humour and there was a strong message.” Sallyanne Sweeney, literary agent and award judge.
“I wondered what fame (or infamy) would be like for young animals in this digital age.”
Originally from East Anglia, Emma Dykes managed a laboratory near Bristol for over a decade and now lives in Bath with her young family. Emma is actually rather nervous around spiders and conducted much of her research for Milton Hits the Headlines from behind a cushion. Her short fiction has been published by Shift Magazine and Reflex Fiction, she won the most recent #PeerPitch competition. Emma is newly represented by literary agent Lauren Gardner at Bell Lomax Moreton Agency.
2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award Longlisted
|Lou Abercrombie||Fig Swims Round the World|
|Grace Cullen||The Legend of Star Arrow|
|Sarah Day||The Door in the Dark|
|Sean Dooley||Voxmort: The Stone of Death|
|Emma Dykes||Milton Hits the Headlines|
|Elizabeth Frattaroli||Sixteen Again|
|Clare Golding||Illegal is not a Noun|
|Tasha Harrison||The Reinvention of Rolo Rawlings|
|Dale Hannah||The Curse of the Weird Wolf|
|Johanna Hartford||The Ivory Rite|
|Mark Hibbett||Storm House|
|Carlie Lee||The Badly Born|
|Andy McIntosh||The Waggledancing Dragon|
|Sarah Merrett||The Darlington Miracles|
|Ruth Moore||The Agency’s Last Case|
|Struan Murray||The Vessel|
|Susan Nicholson||The Case in Locker 62|
|Alison Padley||The Firestone of Avisriel|
|Andrew Plant||Agatha Brown and the Witchfinder General|
|Estella Shardlow & Gordon Davidson||Jack Dark and the Figment Hunters|
|Sharon Tandy||The Boy Inside my Head|
|EJ Whiston||Me Two|
|Madeleine Woosnam||What was Left Behind|
NOW OPEN: The Bath Novel Award 2018 invites entries from novelists writing for adults or young adults until April 30th 2018. This year’s shortlist judge is Felicity Blunt of Curtis Brown with a first prize of £2,500, literary agent introductions for shortlisted writers and a new longlist prize, worth £1,800, of a place on Cornerstones Literary Consultancy’s new online How to Edit Your Novel course
The BATH CHILDREN’S NOVEL AWARD 2017
Prize: £2,000 | Shortlist: £500 award
Judge: Sallyanne Sweeney of Mulcahy Associates Literary Agency
Entry: First 5,000 words plus one page synopsis
Eligibility: Full terms & entry details below or here
Closing Date: 19th November 2017 | Fee: £25 per novel
The Bath Novel Award & Bath Children’s Novel Award are sponsored by Cornerstones Literary Consultancy
The Bath Children’s Novel Award was created in 2015 to support and spotlight unsigned children’s novelists around the world. Entries are shortlisted by a panel of Junior Judges aged from 7 to 17 years, with the winner chosen by a leading children’s literary agent. Submissions are OPEN and invited for middle grade and young adult novels in all genres. From funny to dark; fantastic to futuristic; fashionable to forever, our Junior Judges would love the chance to read your book!
2017 Judge: SALLYANNE SWEENEY
We are delighted to announce Sallyanne Sweeney as Bath Children’s Novel Award 2017 Judge. A former director of Watson, Little Ltd, Sallyanne joined Mulcahy Associates in 2013 and is Chair of of the Children’s Agents Circle. Her growing fiction list ranges from the literary to the very commercial including clients such as Juno Dawson, Steve Lenton, Jon Walter and Bath Children’s Novel Award winner Lucy Van Smit. Sallyanne is looking for “a fantastic hook and outstanding writing” and shares her submission tips here in this 2017 JUDGE’s Q&A
As well as offering a £2,000 prize, we are also known for our track record in helping writers find literary agent representation. These are some of the MG & YA novelists who have received offers after reaching our shortlist, and you can read more about Bath listed writers’ success stories here
Entry and Eligibility
To submit a novel for the Bath Children’s Novel Award 2017, please first read the award rules (below), then pay the entry fee of £25 per novel via one of three options:
- Bank transfer: account number 22562591 (“The Bath Novel Award”) Sort Code 60-24-77 (Natwest Bank, Bath), referencing your novel’s title
- Cheque/postal orders (£GB only) payable to “The Bath Novel Award” and sent to: The Bath Novel Award, PO Box 5223, Bath, BA1 0UR, England, UK
- PayPal payment or Debit/credit card via the below ‘Buy Now’ button. (For debit/credit card payments select the “Check out as Guest” option underneath the PayPal log in option)
Then submit your novel by one of the two below options:
- ONLINE: Save your novel extract (up to the first 5,000 words) and synopsis (one page) together in one pdf, .docx or Word doc, titled the name of your novel, then email to email@example.com with your novel’s title in the subject box. In the text of your email, please state your name, address, telephone number, novel title, genre, word counts for your extract and full manuscript , plus your method of entry fee payment, mentioning if payment is made under a different name. Online entries are acknowledged by return email within 24 hours.
- POSTAL: Mail your novel extract (up to the first 5,000 words) and synopsis (one page) to: The Bath Novel Award, PO Box 5223, Bath, BA1 0UR, England, UK together with a covering page stating your name, address, telephone number, novel title, genre, extract and approximate full manuscript word counts, plus your method of entry fee payment. (Please enclose an SAE if you would like acknowledgement)
- The Bath Novel Award is a competition open to novelists, of any nationality, who have yet to sign a traditional publishing deal for a novel
- For the purposes of this competition, a “traditional publishing deal” is defined as an offer of publication which includes an advance payment
- Self-published novelists are eligible
- Novels can be in any genre written for middle grade or young adult readers. Picture books are not eligible
- The winner of the Bath Children’s Novel Award 2017 will receive £2,000
- One shortlisted writer will receive a £500 voucher from Cornerstones Literary Consultancy which may be exchanged for editorial reports and / or mentoring hours to the value of £500 in either of Cornerstones’ US or UK houses. There is no cash alternative to this prize
- Shortlisted writers will also be offered the opportunity to be introduced to an individually tailored list of literary agents by email or other means. This is an entirely free and optional service
- Entries will open from May 2nd 2017 until 23:59 (GMT) at the close of November 19th, 2017
- Submissions should include (up to) the first 5,000 words of your novel, double-spaced in a size 12 font. Your synopsis should be one page, single spaced in a size 12 font
- As entries are read blind, your name should NOT appear anywhere in your extract/synopsis document
- The entrance fee is £25 per novel and you may enter as many novels as you wish
- Longlistees will be contacted in December 2017 and invited to submit their full manuscript for the final judging stages.
- Shortlisted novels will be announced in January 2018
- The winner of the Bath Children’s Novel Award 2017 will be announced in February 2018
- Novels must be your original work and in English
- There are no minimum or maximum word count restrictions, however as a guide, we recommend 6-10,000 for a chapter book, 40-60,000 for middle grade and 50-70,000 words for YA (or longer for fantasy novels)
- Entrants must be 16 years or over
- The winner agrees to an interview which may be published on our site and in any media for publicity purposes
- Entrants retain full copyright, however by entering, all shortlisted entrants give permission for us to post an extract of up to 5,000 words on our site
- Entrants may be agented, but should not be represented by either the judging agent or any agent at Mulcahy Associates
- Employees of the Bath Novel Award, Cornerstones Literary Consultancy and Mulcahy Associates are not eligible
- Submissions may not be altered after entry
- Entries which do not comply with the competition rules may be disqualified