Sally Bramley (pictured) has won the £1,500 Caledonia Novel Award 2021 for her literary novel Structural Damage, a love story set on a clifftop Yorkshire farm about to fall into the sea.
The international, Edinburgh-based award for unpublished and self-published novelists rewards the writer of the best novel from the UK and Ireland not only with a monetary prize but a specially designed trophy by Edinburgh artist Lucy Roscoe and a free place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre.
Bramley has also now signed with Laura Williams at Greene & Heaton, a competition judge.
"This novel swept me away, and it was a clear winner to me as soon as I turned the last page," Williams said. "The story of a Yorkshire farm about to fall into the sea after centuries of coastal erosion runs alongside the love story of two people who have missed all their chances. How do you move forward when you’ve lost everything you’ve ever known? How do you grab hold of life when you feel it slipping away? This is a beautiful literary novel, set among wind-battered clifftops and beaches, and I fell in love with it with my whole heart. I was thrilled to offer Sally representation, and I can’t wait for readers to meet Manny and Pearl!"
Williams added that both the shortlist and longlist has been particularly strong; the prize attracted more than 500 entries from 28 different countries.
"I was so looking forward to judging the Caledonia Novel Award, and it was just the experience I’d hoped it would be," she said. "It was a pleasure to dive into so many different stories from all over and of every different genre. The calibre of entries was exceptionally high, and it was deliciously difficult to select the shortlist from the longlist, and then the winner from these six novels. The shortlist ranges from heartbreaking literary fiction to a brilliant YA adventure story, from stunning true crime to gripping historical fiction. It was a pleasure to read each and every one of these stories."
Highly commended for her novel Weyward, shortlistee Emilia Hart has accepted an offer of representation from Felicity Blunt at Curtis Brown.