Blue Pencil Agency announces the First Novel Award 2019 Shortlist. Our 2019 judges are literary agent Nelle Andrew and author of The Witchfinder’s Sister, Beth Underwood. Prizes for the winner and runner up include an introduction to Nelle as well as £1,250 in cash and an editorial report. The Award is given to unpublished writers without representation.
We received over 525 entries from writers throughout the UK and from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, the US and Canada as well as Europe. Entries were across all genres including YA, dystopian, fantasy, literary fiction, historical, psychological, crime and comedy.
The names of long and shortlisted writers will be announced along with the winners on September 30. In the meantime, many congratulations to the authors of the following exceptional six titles:
A Thousand Ways – literary
An exploration of the ways in which family and identity intertwine as well as the loneliness and bewilderment that comes from having an ill child.
Birthrite – adult horror/dark fantasy
A nature versus nurture experiment set among black and white magic witches in the 13thCentury sees two young women unite opposing factions.
Blood in the Blackout – crime thriller
In 1940 women pilots ferrying war planes for the RAF face death in the air while a serial killer stalks them on the ground.
Tell All the Bees – historical
A family saga set in Ireland in which a young librarian discovers her family’s past and the power of the honey bee messengers. Themes of truth, facts and the subjective nature of recall.
The Price of Blood – speculative
Scientists have discovered a way to delay aging using transfusions of blood from young people with teenagers competing to sell their blood to an elderly elite. A story of two families – one with everything to lose and one with nothing.
This is Just an Observation – contemporary
A fading actor accused of sexual harassment and his daughter suffer from the fallout. Explores themes of dysfunctional families and social isolation as well as the rift between millenials and Generation X.