Announcing the 2022 WriteMentor Novel-in-Development Award winner
An award for writers of both finished and unfinished children’s manuscripts of any genre and age group, judged by a guest agent
The winner is Lucas Maxwell with children’s novel You Have Selected Power Drive.
“This has a unique, powerful voice and the writing is gorgeous. Within one chapter I was already completely immersed in the main character’s story and the family dynamics felt very real,” said Chloe.
Lucas was selected from a shortlist of nine writers. As the the winner of the Novel-in-Development Award, Lucas receives a year of one-to-one mentoring via WriteMentor’s Spark service, working with a published children’s author to develop a manuscript of choice.
This is the second year WriteMentor has run its Novel-in-Development Award, open to both finished and unfinished children’s novels. This year, the award received almost 500 entries.
Chloe also selected two runners-up, The Undead Journals of Alex Abbot by Louise Austin and How to Help a Hero by Rebecca J. Carlson.
Of Louise’s story, Chloe said: “This is an entertaining concept that has lots of fun with well-loved supernatural creatures. Judging from the synopsis, the main character goes on a real journey. It has a strong voice and genuinely made me laugh out loud.”
Commenting on Rebecca’s entry, Chloe added: “I love the idea of a society that essentially trains sidekicks! This feels like it has a lot of scope for big adventure and from the synopsis I can see it has a lot of heart. I like the moral message (the question of what defines a hero) that is central to the story.”
As runners-up, Louise and Rebecca win a one year membership to WriteMentor’s Hub, a community learning platform for children’s writers.
Honourable mentions go to Jason Lang’s Uncle Ulric’s Home For Unusual Animals, described as a “cute idea” that kids would like, and Jo Dutton’s Lexi Lambert’s Suburban Murder Squad, praised by Chloe for its writing and the “nice touch” of a dog bringing characters the clues.
The full shortlist
|Across The Moonlight Bridge||Vikki McLean|
|An Awkward Conversation With Hitler||Rob Love|
|Grace Hopgood and the Drowned Town||Ruth Cooper|
|How to Help a Hero||Rebecca J. Carlson|
|Lexi Lambert’s Suburban Murder Squad||Jo Dutton|
|The Undead Journals of Alex Abbott||Louise Austin|
|Uncle Ulric’s Home For Unusual Animals||Jason Lang|
|You Have Selected Power Drive||Lucas Maxwell|