Novel Opening Results 2021

We are delighted to announce the final results for our Best Novel Opening for Children or Young Adults 2021 competition. Hundreds of entries flew in from all around the world and our longlist reflected this with longlistees living in India, America, Ireland and the UK.

Thank you to everyone who entered. We were bowled over by your impeccably crafted and wonderful stories. Thanks also to our dedicated reading team and to our judge, literary agent Gill McLay. It was incredibly difficult to decide which of the twenty-two outstanding, longlisted stories should be awarded a place in the top ten.

Here are the results.

Best Novel Opening for Children or Young Adults 2021


Swordfern by EJ Robinson

Shortlisted Entries

Birds of a Kinder Climate by Bronagh Curran

Children Pie by Stewart Ashton

Chimera Moon by Charlotte Teeple-Salas

Oscar Looms is Looking by Julia Hubery

Out of Time by Claire Lewis

The Art of Wrestling Tigers by Vishaka Sriram

The Others by Sarah Merrett

The Riddle of Stanbridge Hall by Cate Haynes

When We Return by Steve Blackman

Many congratulations to our final 10. You captivated us with your original stories and distinct voices and left us desperate to read beyond the novel opening. Congratulations as well to all our entrants. Your stories are excellent and deserve success. Keep working on them!

Published in
21 March 2022
Last Updated
21 March 2022