It's never easy judging a competition and this year's entrants to the Debut Novel Prize were a particularly knotty group to unpick. But, at last, we managed to decide on a 15 strong long list to go over — and over — to arrive at the final short list of:
- Katy Green: The Pig Baby;
- Mina Bancheva: Secret Life;
- Sarah Connell: Whenever ;
- Joanne Reardon: Weight of Bones; and
- David Cundall: Yetunde's House.
Each one of these novels had plenty of style and ideas, a lot of honest humanity and some exciting risk taking. A very hard choice, but, after a lot of consideration, the prize went to the novel that struck us as having the most distinctive voice, an elegant delivery and intriguing premiss…
So, congratulations go to Sarah Connell and her novel, Whenever, the winner of the 2017 Debut Novel/Novella Prize.
Well done all the writers who took part, especially those on the short- and long-lists, and a hearty thank you for letting us read your work. We hope to see more from you in the future.
Congratulations again to Sarah and we look forward to working with her towards Whenever's publication in the spring of 2019.
Read the full adjudication of this year's competition.
Photo by Altantios