WriteMentor Novel and Picture Book Awards 2023 – THE WINNERS

We have reached the final stage of our search for the best unpublished novels and picture books out there for kids!

Published authors, commissioning editors, librarians, booksellers, and library agents have all read the entries and we’ve come to a final conclusion.

But first, here’s our shortlisted entries (with readings to view if you wish – just click on the title to watch!)

Picture Book

Every CloudVicki Minchin
Fatima & Nani – Best Friends ForeverSaira Shah
Hares Versus TortoisesTracy Curran
LabracadabradorTom Woods
Medals for MarvinLaura Heath
RocktopusLaura Howard
Story TreesCatherine Friess
The FibsRachel Burrows
The Monster TrainVikki Marshall


Curse of the Possum O’HairEllen Stonaker
Hazel and the Last Sea DragonVikki Marshall
Maisie and the Space CatapultAmy Tilston
Nan Crabapple is SpellboundCate Haynes
Ruby Madder’s Field Guide to Poisonous PlantsMichelle Heimburger
Sea-BornBarrie Stevenson

Winners and Runners-up

Picture book award

First place:

Fatima & Nani – Best Friends Forever by Saira Shah

Joint runners up:

Labracadabrador by Tom Woods

Hares Versus Tortoises by Tracy Curran

Novel award

First place:

Nan Crabapple is Spellbound by Cate Haynes

Joint runners up:

Ruby Madder’s Field Guide to Poisonous Plants by Michelle Heimburger

Curse of the Possum O’Hair by Ellen Stonaker

Congratulations to our winners and runners-up!

Thanks also due, of course, to our early author readers and our industry judges on the longlist and shortlist stages.

Opening Rounds: 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

Novel longlist judges: Eishar Brar, Editorial Director, Knights Of | Tom Bonnick, Editorial Director, HarperCollins Children’s Books | Jo Clarke, Librarian 

Picture Book longlist judges: Alice Bartosinski, Senior Commissioning Editor, Picture Books, Nosy Crow | Charlie Castelletti, Editor, Macmillan Children’s Books | Sanchita Basu De Sarkar, Bookseller, Children’s Bookshop, London

Shortlist judges: Christabel McKinley, Agent, David Higham Associates | Rachel Petty, Agent, The Blair Partnership | Lucy Irvine, Agent, Peters Fraser & Dunlop | Molly Jamieson, Agent, United Agents

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