Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, soon to be made into a film.
WINNER: La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One by Philip Pullman – The first book in Pullman’s eagerly-awaited new trilogy, this tells the story of 11-year-old Malcolm and his efforts to protect the baby Lyra.
A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge – Makepeace has been possessed by a ghost, which may be her only defence in a time of dark suspicion and fear. Which is worse: possession – or death?
Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean – Summer, 1727. A group of men and boys are abandoned on a remote sea stack to harvest birds for food. Is it the end of the world? How can they survive?
A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood –When the Cardew family arrives in sleepy Cornwall for the summer, they draw 16-year-old Lou into a world of glamour… but is there something dark at the family’s heart?
Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles – Paige Turner finds out that Bennett’s Books – her haven and beloved place of work – is under threat of closure. Can she save the day? And will she be able to get gorgeous artist Blaine out of her head?
A J Pearce (Dear Mrs Bird) –AJ was born in Hampshire, UK. She began writing as a hobby in 2005. In 2012 she came across a 1939 copy of a weekly women’s magazine and the idea of a writing a novel set in wartime London was born. Since publication, translation rights for her debut novel, Dear Mrs Bird, have been sold in a further twelve countries and the novel has been optioned for development for television. AJ was chosen as one of The Observer’s New Faces Of Fiction Debut Novelists 2018. She is currently writing her second novel.
Tommy Orange (There There) – Tommy Orange is a recent graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow, and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California, and currently lives in Angels Camp, California. There There is his debut novel.
Polly Clark (Larchfield) – Polly Clark was born in Toronto, Canada in 1968 and was brought up in Cumbria, Lancashire and the Borders of Scotland. Selected in 2004 as one of Mslexia magazine’s ten-best poets to emerge in the last decade, her collections have, among other accolades, won the Eric Gregory Award and been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. She produces the Literature Programme for Cove Park, Scotland’s International Artist Residency Centre, where she programmes a range of writers and events, and currently lives in Helensburgh – the setting for her debut novel about W.H. Auden, Larchfield.
Joe Heap (The Rules of Seeing) – Joe Heap was born in 1986 and grew up in Bradford, the son of two teachers. In 2004, he won the Foyle Young Poets award, and he is a published poet. He studied for a BA in English Literature at Stirling University and a Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. Joe lives in London with his long-suffering girlfriend, short-suffering baby, and much-aggrieved cat. The Rules of Seeing is his first novel.
Laura Carlin (The Wicked Cometh) – Laura Carlin left school at sixteen to work in retail banking and it was only after leaving her job to write full-time that she discovered her passion for storytelling and exploring pockets of history through fiction. She lives in a book-filled house in beautiful rural Derbyshire with her family and a very naughty cat. When she's not writing she enjoys walking in the surrounding countryside. The Wicked Cometh, a deliciously dark and chilling novel set in 19th century London, is her first book.
Preti Taneja (We That Are Young) – Preti Taneja was born in England. As a child, she spent most of her holidays in New Delhi. Her career has included human rights reporter, filmmaker in Iraq, Jordan, Rwanda, and Kosovo, and editor of Visual Verse, an online anthology of art and words. Preti's debut novel, We That Are Young, is published in the UK by Galley Beggar Press, and in India by Penguin Random House.
WINNER: Sarah J. Harris (The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder) – Sarah J. Harris is an author and freelance education journalist who regularly writes for national newspapers. She became fascinated by synaesthesia and face blindness during her work as a journalist. Sarah previously wrote YA under a pseudonym and The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder is her debut adult novel. She lives in London with her husband and two young children.
Sophie Mackintosh (The Water Cure) – Sophie Mackintosh was born in South Wales in 1988, and is currently based in London. Her fiction and poetry has been published in Granta Magazine, The White Review and The Stinging Fly, amongst others. Her short story ‘Grace’ was the winner of the 2016 White Review Short Story Prize, and her story ‘The Running Ones’ won the Virago/Stylist Short Story competition in 2016. The Water Cure is her debut novel.