Best First Novel Award

Best First Novel Award 2018 Winner

The Authors’ Club is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2018 Best First Novel Award is Gail Honeyman forEleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (Harper Collins).

The guest adjudicator, AL Kennedy, presented the £2,500 award at a reception at the National Liberal Club in London on 22 June. She said:

‘Gail Honeyman has a real understanding of character and a pitch perfect sense of timing. The use of humour is deft and slyly leads the reader deeper into the narrative and Oliphant’s wonderfully bizarre and well-rendered world. In a time when the broken amongst us are being either demonised, or forgotten this is a confident, well-crafted and humane narrative that celebrates a shattered life and the human being alive inside it.’

AL Kennedy faced the challenging task of selecting a winner from a powerful and wide-ranging shortlist that also included:

  • The Clocks in the House All Tell Different Times, Xan Brooks (Salt)
  • Darke, Rick Gekoski, (Canongate)
  • Dark Chapter, Winnie M. Li (Legend Press)
  • White Highlands, John McGhie (Little Brown)
  • Man With A Seagull On His Head, Harriet Paige (Bluemoose Books)

The prize is for the debut novel of a British, Irish or UK-based author, first published in the UK, and there is no age limit. The winning novel is selected by a guest adjudicator from a shortlist drawn up by a panel of Authors’ Club members, chaired by Lucy Popescu.

For further info on the award contact: lucyjpop@gmail.com


Best First Novel Award 2018 Shortlist Announced

18/4/18
Today, the Authors’ Club announces the shortlist for its annual Best First Novel Award. The shortlisted books are as follows:

  • Xan Brooks, The Clocks in the House All Tell Different Times (Salt)  
  • Rick Gekoski, Darke (Canongate)
  • Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (Harper Collins)
  • Winnie M. Li, Dark Chapter (Legend Press)
  • John McGhie, White Highlands (Little Brown)
  • Harriet Paige, Man With A Seagull On His Head (Bluemoose Books) 

Lucy Popescu (chair of the judging panel) commented: “This has been a bumper year for strong debuts exploring a range of themes. We have enjoyed many passionate discussions and are delighted to highlight such extraordinary talent. We are fortunate to have A.L.<&nbsp>Kennedy to decide the overall winner.”

Key Dates
Shortlisted authors event at Waterstones Gower Street: Thursday 7 June

The winner will be announced by A.L. Kennedy, this year’s guest adjudicator, at a dinner at the National Liberal Club: Friday 22 June

Contact: lucyjpop@gmail.com


Best First Novel Award 2018 Longlist Announced

23/3/18

The longlist for the Authors Club Best First Novel Award 2018 is as follows:

  • S.V. Berlin, The Favourite (Myriad )
  • Xan Brooks, The Clocks in the House All Tell Different Times (Salt)  
  • Rick Gekoski, Darke (Canongate)
  • Stephen Glover, Splash (Constable) 
  • Naomi Hamill, How to Be a Kosovan Bride (Salt) 
  • Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (Harper Collins)
  • Winnie M. Li, Dark Chapter (Legend Press)
  • John McGhie, White Highlands (Little Brown)
  • Harriet Paige, Man With A Seagull On His Head (Bluemoose Books) 
  • Jenny Quintana, The Missing Girl (Mantle) 
  • Allie Rogers, Little Gold  (Legend Press)
  • Tor Udall, A Thousand Paper Birds (Bloomsbury Circus)  

Lucy Popescu (chair of the judging panel) commented: ‘This has been a bumper year for strong debuts exploring a range of themes. We have enjoyed many passionate discussions and are delighted to highlight such extraordinary talent.’

The shortlist will be made public in April, and the shortlisted authors will read from their work at Waterstones bookshop, 82 Gower St, London WC1E 6EQ, on Thursday 7 June.

The winner will be announced – and the £2,500 prize awarded – by this year’s guest adjudicator, the novelist A.L. Kennedy, at a dinner on Friday 22 June at the National Liberal Club in London.

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About the Prize

From its establishment in 1954, the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award has consistently picked out novelists who have gone on to have long and distinguished careers. Early winners included Brian Moore for The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne and Alan Sillitoe for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning; other winners have included Paul Bailey, Gilbert Adair, Jackie Kay, Lindsey Davis, Diran Adebayo, Nicola Monaghan, Anthony Quinn, Jonathan Kemp, Kevin Barry, and most recently Rowan Hisayo Buchanan.

The annual prize is presented to the most promising debut novel first published in Britain during the previous year (UK editions of books first published elsewhere are not eligible). The award is administrated by the club, and members form an important part of the judging process right up to the shortlist, assisted by a formal panel also composed of club members.

Once the shortlist has been drawn up, an independent adjudicator is called in, and selecting the winning title is solely their responsibility. Recent adjudicators have included Roma Tearne, Isabel Wolff, Joanne Harris, Amanda Craig, Philip Hensher and D.J. Taylor.