Novel Opening Longlist 2021

We are thrilled to announce the longlist for our Best Novel Opening for Children or Young Adults 2021 competition. With hundreds of exceptional entries to choose from it’s been incredibly difficult to whittle down the stories to just twenty two. Thank you to our amazing reading team.

Everyone who entered is an excellent writer. Whether your story is on the longlist or not, we offer you our congratulations. We’ve been so impressed with the standard we’ve seen. Keep writing and sending your manuscripts out into the world. Perseverance is key to success in publishing.  

Best Novel Opening for Children or Young Adults 2021

Birds of a Kinder Climate

Caterina and the Time Catapult

Children Pie

Chimera Moon

City of Dark Ink

Lily Nymph and the Greatest Glasshouse

My Dog, Worthington

Oscar Looms is Looking

Out of Time

Reasons to Hate Me

Sage’s Song

Sinner Selves − Dark Side of the Moon

Solomon Brown from Hero Town


The Art of Wrestling Tigers

The Deported

The Djinns of Djollywood

The Mephisto Twins

The Others

The Riddle of Stanbridge Hall

When We Return

Where Are You Really From?

Our well-respected judge, literary agent Gill McLay, will now read the longlisted entries and decide the top 10 stories, including an overall winner. Results will be published on 21st March.

If you’re one of our longlistees, feel free to shout from the rooftops but please don’t identify the title of your story on social media while judging is still taking place. Best of luck!

Thank you all for sharing your wonderful stories with us.

Published in
1 February 2022
Last Updated
28 February 2022