2020 WriteMentor Children’s Novel Award – THE LONGLIST

Thanks to everyone who entered this year’s WMCNA. We are very proud and honoured that so many of you chose to enter. Indeed, we were slightly overwhelmed with the final number of 447 entries that we received, which is more than 200 more than last year!

As a result, this announcement has been slightly delighted to ensure every entry was read 4 times, twice by an experienced adult reader or by a kid reader, in your target audience (as much as was possible).

We received wide variety of entries, from PB up to YA, from Historical to Futuristic.

Funny was the biggest genre (143 entries – 32%), followed by Adventure (129 entries – 28.9%) and then Fantasy (last year’s most abundant with 119 entries – 26.6%).

23% of novels entered featured a BAME main character.

In terms of age groups, check out the lovely pie chart below, which shows us that PB’s were the most populous with YA taking a big reduction from last year.

Screenshot 2020-02-23 at 21.25.00.png

One thing that was noted by our readers, and especially by kid readers (who found many of the MG entries inappropriate for their age group) was that many of you are labelling your YA novels as MG. We understood this to be a direct correlation, if not causation, resulting from the much talked about decline in YA sales in the UK.

It’s not a problem for an adult reader mostly, but do take care with your content if you’re moving from YA to MG please. Do your research as to what is appropriate to include and what is not. You may receive notes on this in your feedback.

So, to our longlist, well we have 53 entries on it this year (as you know, we like a LONG longlist, to encourage as many of you as we can to keep going with those novels.) as well as a list of Readers Favourites, which include both entries which longlist and some which didn’t, in the hope, again, that it may provide you with some comfort and encouragement.

Our list has 20 PBs, 3 CBs, 18 MGs and 12 YAs. This reflects quite well the entry numbers and ensures we have the best from each category on the list, though this was how the numbers fell naturally once we counted 2 factors – the average reader score (top 30 included) and those with 4 YES votes (an additional 23).

1 writer has 4 novels on the list, and 1 writer has 2 novels.

If you have been longlisted, please reply to Stuart’s email (which you will receive shortly) with your full manuscript by 11.59pm on Sunday 1st March, 2020. This is the same for PB writers, as you may have made small changes since you first submitted.

And if you’re on the list, as reading is blind, do not mention your title on social media please. But definitely DO celebrate being on the list.

And do remember, whatever the result, you will all have your feedback on the way. (Please allow at least 1 week for this to be distributed. If you are on the longlist, you will not receive your feedback until your participation is finished.)

Here’s the longlist


“It’s weird,” said the beard.
49 Sisters
A Bundle Of Fluff Isn’t Nearly Enough
A Half-Pint of Hero Blood
A Murmuration of Starlings
A Sea Full of Wonder
Childish Spirits
Dexter Drake and the Devils of Endling
Edie, Dan and Laura
Endless Earth
Faruq and the Wiri Wiri
Finlay And The Sandy Beakers
Grow Me a Rainforest
Hattie the Housefly
I love you, Sunshine
Jackie and the Cosmic Beanstalk
Kali’s kismet
Little Seed
Mirrored Snow
Molehill Mountain
My Mummy’s a Witch
Playdate in Space
Pupil K
Smoke and Mirrors
Sticky Lizzy
The Angel’s Tear
The Curry Catastrophe
The Eternal Return of Clara Hart
The Failed Genius Club
The Far Side of the Galaxy
The Giants of Machu Picchu
The Girl Who Talked to Ghosts
The Go Away Rain Dance
The Lord Of The Hat
The Memory of Swimming
The Mind-Boggling Adventures of Cark Parker
The Pumpkin’s Wish
The Witch with an Itch
Uniquehorn Unicorn
Witch is Not Going to the Doctors

Well done to everyone on the list! 🎉


Here’s our Reader Favourites

(this is just for info and to give those who didn’t make the longlist an extra boost! And please note that not every reader listed a favourite)

Adult Readers:

49 sisters
A Bundle of Fluff Isn’t Nearly Enough
A Half Pint of Hero Blood
A Scarf for Sorcha
Dexter and the Dark Unicorn
Endless Earth
Grave of Horses
My Name Is Sunshine Simpson
Old Pirate Jim And The Buckets Of Gold
Pupil K
Seajet Jo
The Lord of the Hat
The Second Choice
The Snow Circus
Witch is Not Going to the Doctor’s

Kid Readers:

49 Sisters
A Half-Pint of Hero Blood
A Lifetime Dwells Within
A Taste of Home
Black Sheep
Captain Granny
Dogs of Doom
Endless Earth
Faruq and The Wiri Wiri
Grow Me A Rainforest
Half Witch
Harley Hunter Boxer Detective
Hattie the Housefly / The Puddle Monsters
Little Seed
Magical Ghanapati
Maya’s Remarkable Music Tree
Miss Elder’s Fairy Tale Academy
Mist of Change
Party Animal
Sun Soul
The Battle for Lawrie Lewis
The Curse of the Goldicoot
The Fairy Who Flew To The Moon
The Giants of Machu Picchu
The Grail In Between
The Great Sky Squabble
The Lights of Altero
The Umbra Tales
Toast and Peanut Butter
Twmbalwm Tale
Witch is not Going to the Doctor’s

If you have got to this point, and not seen your novel listed, I am truly sorry. I’d love to have listed a 100 more, but we must also keep the standards high, too.

But here’s my emotions to you all right now – I know how tough it is:


Keep writing – keep writing that story, whatever the feedback says. Yes, make the adjustments (or not – read my post on this) and get on with finished, polishing and making that book the very best it can be.

After all, many of you will still go on to get agents and get published. One factor which will separate those of you who will and those who won’t – persistence. Please persist, please keep trying, please keep going and get in touch with me in a year or 10 and tell me all about it. I’m rooting for you.

May the Force be with each and every one of you!

And to our readers, our adult ones listed below and our 100 or so kid readers, thank you for making this possible. Here’s to the longlist reading next!

Alexandra Page, Clare Helen Welsh, A.J. Sass, Carolyn Ward, Anna Orridge, Anne Boyere, Dale Hannah, Ellie Lock, Emma Finlayson-Palmer, Emma Read, Florianne Humphrey, Hannah Kates, Julie Sykes, Jodi Herlick, Julie Marney Leigh, Kathryn Lougheed, Kathryn Clark, Lindsay Galvin, Lydia Massiah, Melissa Welliver, Stephen Catling, Alison Donald, Polly Owen, Fiona Barker, Jenny Moore, Bonnie Swanson.

1 thought on “2020 WriteMentor Children’s Novel Award – THE LONGLIST”

  1. Pingback: WriteMentor 2020: A YEAR IN REVIEW | #WriteMentor - for all writers of children's fiction

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