2023 Novel & Picture Book Awards Longlists

We’ve had an intense, but enjoyable, few weeks reading the entries for this year’s WriteMentor Novel and Picture Book Awards. Thanks again to everyone who submitted their work.

The readers were fairly unanimous that the standard had improved again this year – this is represented in the drop of entry numbers. People are perhaps seeing this as a competition to only send in their very best work and that was reflected in what we read overall. This is one advantage of removing the feedback element for all.

The novels listed below will be sent onto our brilliant panel of commissioning editors, librarian, and bookseller, to be read and a shortlist selected.

But before we reveal the longlist for the awards, a huge shoutout and thanks to our early round of author readers, who read a LOT of entries to help identify the strongest entries for our list.

Emma Finlayson-Palmer, Carolyn Ward, Piu DasGupta, Jodi Herlick, Julie Marney Leigh, Clare Harlow, Philip Kavvadias, Aoife Doyle, Amy V Borg, Polly Owen, Meredith Vigh, Donna David, Becky Wilson, Sophia Payne, Clare Helen Welsh, Maureen Tai, Fiona Barker, Priscilla Mante, Alice Hemming, Ellie Lock, Sue Cunningham, Tess James-Mackey, Emily Randall-Jones, Melissa Welliver

With a total of 816 entries, we had a wide range across all age categories, but with a majority in the Picture Book age range. Teen and Chapter Book were again the least numerous, though higher than previous years. We expected to see an uptick in Young Adult entries in line with current industry trends, but this didn’t materialise. However, we did see a big drop in Middle Grade entries.

Here are the fulls stats, followed by the longlists:

Picture book longlist

A Moo and a Poo
Big Pink 
Billy’s Big Brothers
Don’t Let The Night Go
Down The Drain
Dung Beetle Doug
Every Cloud
Fatima & Nani – Best Friends Forever
Hares Versus Tortoises
Harry’s Monsters
Hey, Artist! This Bear’s In The Wrong Book
I Hate Halloween!
Malcolm’s Maaarvellous Fleece
Medals for Marvin
Norah and the Lost North Dragon
Oh Drat! I Smell a Rat!
Ryan versus Lion
Story Trees
Strictly Dog Dancing
The Dinocorn
The Fibs
The Hermit Crab Shell Swap
The Lemur Who Loved To Win
The Monster Train
The Simple Tale of Slug and Snail
The Tale of Slygo the Slow Worm
Trick Insect
What’s That Smell at the Dinosaur Hotel?
Who Ate My Cheese?

Novel longlist

A Time of Hares and Serpents
Blood of Gods and Girls
Curse of the Possum O’Hair
Forever Island
Girls Can’t Be Highwaymen
Hazel and the Last Sea Dragon
Heirs & Heiresses
High Achievers
Inky’s Island
Living the Game
Maisie and the Space Catapult
My Favourite Psychopath
Nan Crabapple is Spellbound
Ruby Madder’s Field Guide to Poisonous Plants
The Alpaca Kidnapper
The Cipher Engines
The Dreamcatcher’s Apprentice
The Eco-Warrior and the Princess
The In-Spectres
The Magic of Science
The Nighthawk Detectives
The Other Side
The Time-Consuming Adventures of Harper Smedley
When a Star Dies

Readers Favourites

Forever Island
Hazel and the Last Sea Dragon
Mark of the Gods
Nan Crabapple is Spellbound
Sheep Number 4 
Strictly Dog Dancing
The Daring Misadventures of Hiroto Okami
The Dinosaur Next Door
The Fibs
The Time-Consuming Adventures of Harper Smedley
The Unquiet Ones
What’s That Smell at the Dinosaur Hotel

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