Katie Munnik's "evocative story of motherhood" has been picked as the winning entry for Borough Press’ open submission period, with the author scooping a £10k publishing deal.
Munnik, a Canadian now based in Wales, has also won representation with Curtis Brown literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes as part of the competition for her story of motherhood and belonging, told by three generations of women from the 1930s to 2006.
The Heart Beats in Secret is set between Canada and Scotland and “brings together questions of women's changing freedoms and choices as well as the surprising answers we find in the stories and silences of the past”. Borough Press will publish in spring 2019.
Edinburgh-based Lynsey May has been revealed as the runner-up for The Miraculous Return of Flora Whyte after previously winning a New Writers Award and being longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition and the Bristol Short Story Prize. May will also be offered representation by Summerhayes.
The imprint opened its doors to un-agented submissions of literary novels between 1st and 14th May and received more than 350 entries.
Suzie Dooré, publishing director of the Borough Press, said: “We were so impressed with the overall calibre of entries, but in the end the judges were unanimous in their choice of both winner and runner-up. We are very much looking forward to publishing Katie’s novel, which (in keeping with Borough’s ethos of ‘Books That Make You...’) will make readers think, wonder and hopefully cry.”
Summerhayes said: “It was wonderful to see so much new writing talent on show in the open submissions, but a few stars shone far brighter than the others - and none more so than Katie Munnik's The Heart Beats in Secret.”
Munnik said: "I’m delighted that my novel has found its home. I heard from the Borough Press when I was in Canada visiting my family so I was able to share the good news face to face. It feels wonderful to know that my story will be nurtured and shared by a strong team."
The open submission was launched as an opportunity for the imprint to discover and bring to market a new literary voice. Borough Press held its first open submission in 2014 and discovered Andrea Bennett, whose debut novel Galina Petrovna's Three-Legged Dog Story has now been published in six languages.