WriteMentor Novel Awards winner

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

Congratulations to the winner of 2022 WriteMentor Novel-in-Development Award, selected by judge Chloe Seager, children’s agent at Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency.

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

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.

Entries to the 2023 Novel-in-Development Award will open later this year – sign up to WriteMentor’s weekly newsletter for updates and follow on Twitter.

Read the shortlist and long list announcements from this year’s award.

The full shortlist

Across The Moonlight BridgeVikki McLean
An Awkward Conversation With HitlerRob Love
Grace Hopgood and the Drowned TownRuth Cooper
How to Help a HeroRebecca J. Carlson
Lexi Lambert’s Suburban Murder SquadJo Dutton
RailersAndrew Stevenson
The Undead Journals of Alex AbbottLouise Austin
Uncle Ulric’s Home For Unusual AnimalsJason Lang
You Have Selected Power DriveLucas Maxwell

1 thought on “Announcing Novel-in-Development Award winner”

  1. Pingback: Award winner Q&A - WriteMentor - for all writers of children's fiction

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