2017 Longlist Announcement | The Bath Novel Award

The Bath Children’s Novel Award 2017: Longlist Announcement

The Bath Children’s Novel Award is an annual international prize for emerging novelists.

During 2017 writers in 39 countries submitted 750 manuscripts. From these, 26 have been longlisted with an even split between novels written for middle grade (7-11 years) and young adult readers (12 years plus).

Amongst the contenders for this year’s £2,000 prize are writers from Australia, Grand Cayman, England, Ireland, Scotland and the USA.

Adventure, mystery and fantasy proved especially competitive genres within middle grade, with a notable rise tricksy villains and themes about drawing strength and wisdom from the past. Trends amongst young adult submissions included the centrality of family, the search for authenticity, and choosing your best path in a divided world.

For the next stage of the competition, our panel of Junior Judges, aged from six to seventeen years, will select a shortlist which will be announced January 5th 2018.

As all our judges read “blind” we’ll be keeping the longlisted writers’ identities under wraps until the overall winner, as chosen by SALLYANNE SWEENEY is announced February 8th 2018.

In the meantime, huge congratulations to the writers of these 26 standout titles:

Agatha Brown and the Witchfinder General
Elsetime
Fig Swims Round the World
Hattie: or, A Thousand Miles Up the Nile
Illegal is not a Noun
Jack Dark and the Figment Hunters
Me Two
Milton Hits the Headlines
Psigns
Sixteen Again
Storm House
The Agency’s Last Case
The Badly Born
The Boy Inside my Head
The Case in Locker 62
The Curse of the Weird Wolf
The Darlington Miracles
The Door in the Dark
The Firestone of Avisriel
The Ivory Rite
The Legend of Star Arrow
The Reinvention of Rolo Rawlings
The Vessel
The Waggledancing Dragon
Voxmort: The Stone of Death
What was Left Behind

 

Congratulations to you all!

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The Bath Children’s Novel Award is sponsored by

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Via 2017 Longlist Announcement: The Bath Novel Award

Man Booker Prize 2017 Goes To George Saunders For Lincoln In The Bardo

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The American short story writer George Saunders has won the Man Booker prize for his first full-length novel, Lincoln in the Bardo.

The book is based around a real event: the night in 1862 when Abraham Lincoln buried his 11-year-old son Willie in a Washington cemetery. Imagining the boy trapped in the Bardo – a Tibetan Buddhist term for a kind of limbo – Saunders’ novel follows the fellow dead, also trapped in the graveyard and unwilling to accept death, who observe the boy as he desperately waits for his father to return.

Written almost entirely in dialogue, the novel also includes snippets of historical texts, biographies and letters, some of which contradict each other and others that Saunders, 58, created himself. In his review for the Guardian, fellow author Hari Kunzru praised Lincoln in the Bardo as “a tale of great formal daring”, adding: “[It] stands head and shoulders above most contemporary fiction, showing a writer who is expanding his universe outwards, and who clearly has many more pleasures to offer his readers.”

Accepting the prize, athe 58-yearold Texan-born author made an eloquent defence of the importance of culture. “If you haven’t noticed, we live in a strange time, so the question at the heart of the matter is pretty simple,” he said. “Do we respond to fear with exclusion and negative projection and violence? Or do we take that ancient great leap of faith and do our best to respond with love? And with faith in the idea that what seems other is actually not other at all, but just us on a different day.

“In the US we’re hearing a lot about the need to protect culture. Well this tonight is culture, it is international culture, it is compassionate culture, it is activist culture. It is a room full of believers in the word, in beauty and ambiguity and in trying to see the other person’s point of view, even when that is hard.”

The chair of judges, Lola Young, described the novel as “an extraordinary piece of work. Admitting that she initially felt challenged by its layout, which is reminiscent of a screenplay, the Labour peer said she was eventually “captivated” by work which she came to regard as unique.

“The challenge is actually part of its uniqueness. It is almost saying, ‘I dare you to engage with this kind of story, in this kind of way.’ It is incredibly rewarding.

“For us, it really stood out because of its innovation, its very different styling, the way it, almost paradoxically, brought to life these almost dead souls in this other world. There was this juxtaposition of the very personal tragedy of Abraham Lincoln and the death of his very young son next to his public life, as the person who really instigated the American civil war. You’ve got this individual death, very close and personal; you’ve got this much wider issue of the political scenario and the death of hundreds of thousands of young men; and then you’ve got this weird state across the cemetery, with these souls who are not quite ready to be fully dead, as it were, trying to work out some of the things that plagued them during their lives.”

The author of four collections of short stories, two novellas and a long body of journalism, the Texas-born Saunders came to writing relatively late, initially training as a geophysicist. After working as a tech writer, a field in which he was rewarded for brevity, he began writing short stories. His first collection CivilWarLand in Bad Decline was published in 1996. He was awarded a MacArthur Genius grant and a Guggenheim fellowship in 2006, then won the inaugural Folio prize for his story collection, Tenth of December, in 2014.

Saunders is the second American in a row to win the Booker prize, after last year’s winner Paul Beatty. Saunders’ win falls four years after eligibility rules were changed to allow writers of any nationality writing in the English language and published in the UK. There has been fierce criticism of the rule change.

The judges took five hours to come to what Young called a “collegial”, yet unanimous choice. She denied any concerns about Saunders’ nationality, saying: “We don’t look at the nationality of the writer. Honestly it’s not an issue for us. We’re solely concerned with the book, what that book is telling us.”

The books losing out on the prize were 4321 by Paul Auster (US), Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK), Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (UK-Pakistan), History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US) and Autumn by Ali Smith (UK).

With 144 novels submitted for the 2017 prize, Saunders’ novel was among a starry, 13-book longlist, a rarity in recent years as more debuts and less-established authors have been named as contenders. This year’s longlist included Arundhati Roy, a previous winner of the Booker, as well as authors who had also won the Pulitzer, the Costa, the Baileys, the Folio, the Impac and the Goldsmiths prizes.

The £50,000 win, announced at a black-tie dinner at the Guildhall in London, was yet another success for an independent publisher; released by Bloomsbury, Lincoln in the Bardo is the third win in a row for an independent, after two consecutive wins for Oneworld publications.

Sales for Saunders’ novel have trailed behind Smith’s in the UK, with Lincoln in the Bardo selling about 10,000 copies so far, compared with 50,000 of Autumn. Saunders can expect his sales to skyrocket; last year’s winner, The Sellout, has now sold more than 360,000 physical copies, with sales in the week after the prize announcement jumping by 658%.

Young’s fellow judges this year were the writer and critic Lila Azam Zanganeh, the novelist and poet Sarah Hall, the artist and author Tom Phillips, and the travel writer and novelist Colin Thubron. Saunders was presented with the award on Tuesday night by the Duchess of Cornwall.

Via: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/oct/17/man-booker-prize-2017-second-american-author-george-saunders-lincoln-in-the-bardo?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Man Booker Prize Announces 2017 Shortlist

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Paul Auster, Emily Fridlund, Mohsin Hamid, Fiona Mozley, George Saunders and Ali Smith were announced on 13th September 2017 as the six shortlisted authors for the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

Their names were announced by 2017 Chair of judges, Lola, Baroness Young, at a press conference at the offices of Man Group, the prize sponsor.

The judges remarked that the novels, each in its own way, challenge and subtly shift our preconceptions — about the nature of love, about the experience of time, about questions of identity and even death.

The shortlist, which features three women and three men, covers a wide range of subjects, from the struggle of a family trying to retain its self-sufficiency in rural England to a love story between two refugees seeking to flee an unnamed city in the throes of civil war.

In the fourth year that the prize has been open to writers of any nationality, the shortlist is made up of two British, one British-Pakistani and three American writers.

Two novels from independent publishers, Faber & Faber and Bloomsbury, are shortlisted, alongside two from Penguin Random House imprint Hamish Hamilton and two from Hachette imprints, Weidenfeld & Nicolson and JM Originals.

 

The 2017 shortlist of six novels is:

Title Author (nationality) (imprint)

4321 by Paul Auster (US) (Faber & Faber)

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (UK-Pakistan) (Hamish Hamilton)

Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK) (JM Originals)

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (US) (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Autumn by Ali Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)

 

Lola, Baroness Young comments:

‘With six unique and intrepid books that collectively push against the borders of convention, this year’s shortlist both acknowledges established authors and introduces new voices to the literary stage. Playful, sincere, unsettling, fierce: here is a group of novels grown from tradition but also radical and contemporary. The emotional, cultural, political and intellectual range of these books is remarkable, and the ways in which they challenge our thinking is a testament to the power of literature.’

Ali Smith makes the Man Booker shortlist for the fourth time (she was previously shortlisted for Hotel World in 2001, The Accidental in 2005 and How to Be Both in 2014). This year also sees a repeat shortlisting for Mohsin Hamid, who made the list in 2007 with The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

Hachette imprint JM Originals makes the shortlist for the first time with Fiona Mozley’s Elmet, which was the first ever acquisition of assistant editor Becky Walsh. Mozley is also the youngest author on the shortlist, aged 29, and one of two debut writers to make the list – the other being 38 year-old American Emily Fridlund with History of Wolves.

The other two American authors on the shortlist are Paul Auster and George Saunders. 4321 by Auster, who turned 70 this year, is the longest novel on the shortlist at 866 pages and, according to the author, took three and a half years, working 6 and a half days a week, to write. Lincoln in the Bardo, the first full-length novel by Saunders — an acclaimed short story writer and Folio Prize winner — completes the list.

 

Luke Ellis, CEO of Man Group, comments:

‘Congratulations to each of the authors who have been shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize. The list represents a celebration of exceptional literary talent, ranging from established novelists to debut writers, that we are honoured to support. As well as playing an important role in recognising literary endeavour, the prize’s charitable activities underscore Man Group’s charitable focus on literacy and education and our commitment to creativity and excellence.’

The judging panel, chaired by Lola, Baroness Young, consists of: the literary critic, Lila Azam Zanganeh; the Man Booker Prize shortlisted novelist, Sarah Hall; the artist, Tom Phillips CBE RA; and the travel writer and novelist, Colin Thubron CBE.

 

The 2017 winner announcement

The 2017 winner will be announced on Tuesday 17 October in London’s Guildhall, at a dinner that brings together the shortlisted authors and well-known figures from the literary world. The ceremony will be broadcast by the BBC.

In the meantime, there will be a number of public events featuring the shortlisted authors. These include an event at the Nottingham Lakeside Arts Theatre in partnership with Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature on Tuesday 10 October and two events at The Times & The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival on Saturday 14 October. The traditional Man Booker Prize readings will take place at the Southbank Centre on the eve of the prize, 16 October, hosted by broadcaster and author Gemma Cairney.

The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book. The winner will receive a further £50,000 and can expect international recognition.

The Booker Prize Foundation provides funding for the Royal National Institute of Blind People to ensure that braille, giant print & audio versions of the shortlisted books are available for the visually impaired in time for the winner announcement. The majority of this year’s shortlist is already available for readers in these formats. The Booker Prize Foundation has a longstanding partnership with RNIB to provide Man Booker Prize books to the tens of thousands of blind and partially sighted members of the RNIB Library.

 

The leading prize for quality fiction in English

From longlist stage onwards, the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ receives widespread interest from the media, booksellers and the public, in the form of critical engagement, media coverage and significantly increased book sales.

First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading prize for high quality literary fiction written in English. Its list of winners includes many of the giants of the last four decades, from Salman Rushdie to Hilary Mantel, Iris Murdoch to Ian McEwan. The prize has also recognised many authors early in their careers, including Eleanor Catton, Aravind Adiga and Ben Okri.

The rules of the prize were changed at the end of 2013 to embrace the English language ‘in all its vigour, its vitality, its versatility and its glory’, opening it up to writers beyond the UK and Commonwealth when their novels are published in UK.

Man Group, an active investment management firm, has sponsored the prize since 2002.

Via: http://themanbookerprize.com/news/man-booker-prize-announces-2017-shortlist

The Man Booker Prize 2017 Longlist Announced

The longlist, or ‘Man Booker Dozen’, for the £50,000 Man Booker Prize has been announced.

This year’s longlist of 13 books was selected by a panel of five judges: Baroness Lola Young (Chair); literary critic, Lila Azam Zanganeh; Man Booker Prize shortlisted novelist, Sarah Hall; artist, Tom Phillips CBE RA; and travel writer, Colin Thubron CBE.

The list was chosen from 144 submissions published in the UK between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2017.

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, first awarded in 1969, is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK.

The 2017 longlist, or Man Booker ‘Dozen’, of 13 novels, is:

Title Author (nationality) (imprint)

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (US) (Faber & Faber)
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Ireland) (Faber & Faber)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan-UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Ireland) (Canongate)
Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (UK) (4th Estate)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK) (JM Originals)
The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (India) (Hamish Hamilton)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (US) (Bloomsbury)
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (UK-Pakistan) (Bloomsbury)
Autumn by Ali Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
Swing Time by Zadie Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (US) (Fleet)

Chair of the 2017 judges, Baroness Lola Young, says:

‘Only when we’d finally selected our 13 novels did we fully realise the huge energy, imagination and variety in them as a group.  The longlist showcases a diverse spectrum — not only of voices and literary styles but of protagonists too, in their culture, age and gender.  Nevertheless we found there was a spirit common to all these novels: though their subject matter might be turbulent, their power and range were life-affirming – a tonic for our times.

Together their authors — both recognised and new — explore an array of literary forms and techniques, from those working in a traditional vein to those who aim to move the walls of fiction’.

Arundhati Roy makes the list with her second work of fiction, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness; Roy’s debut novel won the then Booker Prize in 1997. She is joined by four previously shortlisted writers: Ali Smith (2001, Hotel World; 2005, The Accidental; and 2014, How to Be Both); Zadie Smith (2005, On Beauty), Sebastian Barry (2005, A Long Long Way Down; 2008, The Secret Scripture; and longlisted in 2011 for On Canaan’s Side) and Mohsin Hamid (2007, The Reluctant Fundamentalist). It is a third longlist appearance for Jon McGregor (2002, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, 2006, So Many Ways To Begin).

Three debut novels are recognised by the judges this year, two of them written by the youngest authors on the list: Elmet by Fiona Mozley, aged 29, and History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund, aged 38. The third is George Saunders’ first full-length novel, Lincoln in the Bardo.

Three independent publishers are longlisted: Canongate, Faber & Faber and Bloomsbury. They are joined by Penguin Random House imprint Hamish Hamilton (which publishes four of the 13 titles), 4th Estate, and Hachette UK imprints: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; JM Originals; and Fleet. The latter two are new imprints and this is the first time they have had a title on the Man Booker Prize longlist.

Luke Ellis, CEO of Man Group, comments:

‘Congratulations to all the authors who have been longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize. The longlist recognises the hard work and creativity of thought of these exceptional writers, and inclusion is an important achievement. As ever, we are we are very proud to support the Man Booker Prize and the valuable role it plays in promoting literary excellence and endeavour.’

The shortlist and winner announcements

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Wednesday 13 September at a morning press conference at Man Group, the sponsor of the prize. The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.

The 2017 winner will then be announced on Tuesday 17 October in London’s Guildhall at a black-tie dinner, one of the highlights of the publishing year. The ceremony will be broadcast by the BBC.

The winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize receives £50,000 and can expect international recognition. In the week following the 2016 winner announcement, sales of The Sellout by Paul Beatty increased by 658%. To date over 360,000 print copies of the Oneworld edition have been sold, and 26 foreign language rights deals have been secured – 19 of which were sold since his win.

Beatty made history in 2016 as the first writer from the United States to win the Man Booker Prize. Prior to 2014 only citizens of the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland or Zimbabwe were eligible for the prize.

At a Man Booker reception held in New York last week, Beatty stated that winning the prize has broadened his world and said:

‘I’ll be in Hackney or I’ll be in Calcutta and somebody will stand up and give an amazing diatribe on what this book has meant to them, how this book has touched them. And not all the time, but often, it’s not about how the book is American or it’s set in LA, but about all these bigger things.’

The leading prize for quality fiction in English

First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading prize for literary fiction written in English. The list of former winners features many of the literary giants of the last four decades: from Iris Murdoch to Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan to Hilary Mantel.

The rules of the prize were changed at the end of 2013 to embrace the English language ‘in all its vigour, its vitality, its versatility and its glory’, opening it up to writers beyond the UK and Commonwealth.

The Man Booker Prize is sponsored by Man Group, an active investment management firm. 

Via: http://themanbookerprize.com/news/man-booker-prize-2017-longlist-announced

Not the Booker Prize 2017 | The Guardian

Not the booker prize

Today, on Writer’s Blog – The Guardian tell us all about another year of Not The Booker Prize, and how you can get involved by nominating your favourite book:

The Not the Booker prize is back and it’s nine years old – old enough now that I really should stop expressing surprise at its continuing development. If it were a child, it would be safely past the stage of sighing heavily when I remark how much it’s grown. It would simply roll its eyes and walk off. And we don’t want that, because the award remains a source of fascination, intrigue and – best of all – unexpected and wonderful novels.

This year’s search starts right here. You can nominate any book eligible for for this year’s Man Booker prize – that is to say basically any novel originally written in English, by a writer of any nationality, published in the UK between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2017. (As with the Man Booker, US authors are now allowed).

Way back in 2009, we set up the prize to see if the wider reading community could do any better than the official Booker jury, asking: “Does the blogging crowd have more wisdom than the panel? Can we come up with a more interesting shortlist than the judges? Can we pick a better winner? Or will we, indeed, choose the same one?”

On all those questions the jury is still out. Well, apart from the last one, which so far has been a big, fat “No”. We’ve always had a great competition and spotlit some superb books. But we’ve also ended up reading some stinkers. That in itself has been fascinating, provoking important discussions about the nature of prizes and online democracy, about book marketing and self-promotion. It has also, let’s be honest, been a big part of the fun.

Yet while all that debate is worthwhile and enjoyable, our ultimate aim is still to discover fine books. So this year we’re following an excellent suggestion from Fourpaws, in the hope of tipping the scales ever so slightly more in favour of quality. The longlist proceeds as normal in the comments below this post; a great, joyful free-for-all to which everyone can contribute. And a shortlist of five books will be chosen as they were last year, by asking you to vote for two books (from different publishers) that you’d like to champion. But! A sixth book will be chosen by last year’s fine panel of judges. We’ll be asking the 2016 judges to nominate a book they think merits a wild-card entry – a route straight on to the 2017 shortlist. Then we’ll see how that book stacks up against those chosen by the traditional process.

Once we’ve got a shortlist of six books, we’ll read each in turn, at the rate of roughly one a week, and post pieces inviting further discussion, debate, and hopefully a bit of praise and a lot of love. Then we’ll have the final vote, in combination with a new panel of judges chosen, as always, from those who contribute to the discussion of the shortlisted books. Then – oh delight! – the winner will receive a rare and precious Guardian mug. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a judge, or anything else, then just check out the competition’s deadly serious terms and conditions.

All set? Then let’s hit it. To vote, please leave a comment at the bottom of the Guardian’s article by following this link, including the word “nomination”, with the title and author of one book you think should be considered for the 2017 Not the Booker prize. If you can supply a publication date and the UK publisher, that would be very useful. Nominations will remain open until 23.59 BST on Sunday 30 July.

Happy voting!

Via: https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2017/jul/17/not-the-booker-prize-2017

The Bath Novel Award 2017 Winner’s Announcement | The Bath Novel Award

Bath Novel Award 2017 Winner:

SOPHIE SNELL for THE PEAR DRUM

(Unpublished PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER)

Prize: £2,000

“I’m very excited by The Pear Drum’s commercial potential, and I loved the creepy concept and the gothic undertones.” Laura Williams, literary agent and 2017 judge.

The Pear Drum is a gripping read. Loved the fairytale elements and touches of the gothic.”  Joanna Barnard, author of Precocious and Hush Little Baby.

Sophie Snell - StorytellerSophie Snell is a traditional oral storyteller. After a first career in accountancy, motherhood rekindled her love of stories and storytelling. She found her head blossoming with characters and ideas and began travelling the country, entertaining all ages with folk tales and songs. Sophie lives with her family in a rural Derbyshire house filled with music, books, cats and steaming wet sports kit dumped on the kitchen floor.

Always fascinated by fairy tales, the spark for The Pear Drum came to Sophie after moving to the country and waking to find her hillside farm house marooned in a white sea of autumn mist. Sophie imagined a woman travelling back to her childhood home, only to find it filled with fairy tale horrors and elusive memories. Sophie put the unpacking of her removal boxes on hold, cleared a writing desk and finished The Pear Drum just in time for the Bath Novel Award 2017 deadline.

Read the opening pages of all five shortlisted novels here

Visit Sophie Snell’s website at www.sophiesnell.co.uk 

And see the winner announcement and shortlist here: The Bath Novel Award 2017 Winner’s Announcement — The Bath Novel Award

The Costa Short Story Award

In 2012 the Costa Short Story Award was launched, given to a single story and not voted for against the other categories. The public votes for the winner from three shortlisted stories selected by five judges and published on their website.

All shortlisted stories are available on this page to download and either listen to or read. The judges may also select an additional number (up to six) of Highly Commended authors each year. Those authors are notified and their details released once voting has closed.

The 2017 Costa Short Story Award

This year’s Short Story Award is open for entry from Monday 3rd July to Friday 4th August. Follow this link to enter, find details of terms and conditions, and more: http://www.costa.co.uk/costa-book-awards/costa-short-story-award/

Good luck!