We asked Carolyn to tell us what winning the inaugural Award meant to her:
“Winning the 2017 Bluepencilagency First Novel Award marked a real breakthrough in my writing life. The slightly overwhelming news that I had won first prize (I found myself shaking uncontrollably!) was followed by an exciting week involving a London photo-shoot with the judges, and the sight of my face in the publishers’ trade magazine The Bookseller.The lovely Bluepencilagency team gave me the chance to meet the judges literary agent Eve White and best selling author Saskia Sarginson and to talk about my novel in some depth with Eve. This was a fantastic opportunity and one that is rare in the writing prize world.
My win coincided with finally finding an agent, David Haviland at the Andrew Lownie Agency. David and I are now in discussions with publishers about my novel Half of You, a process that is exciting and nerve-wracking. But winning the Bluepencilagency competition has given me a basic confidence that my novel is a good one and this, I would say, is the most valuable reward an aspiring writer can get.”