Mackintosh and de Waal make inaugural Glass Bell Award longlist

Mackintosh and de Waal make inaugural Glass Bell Award longlist

Kit de Waal, Clare Mackintosh and C E Morgan are some of the authors competing on the longlist for the inaugural £2,000 Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award, which celebrates contemporary fiction.

The prize is for a novel written in English published the previous year in the UK and is open to both established and debut authors.

The longlist of 13 was arrived at by a judging panel consisting of managing director David Headley and his team at Goldsboro Books, based on what they have read and enjoyed throughout the previous year. The nominations range from literary fiction through to grip-lit and YA and were revealed at Goldsboro's Crime in the Court event last night (29th June).

Author de Waal, who recently won the €15,000 Kerry Group Irish Book of the Year, is recognised for My Name is Leon (Viking), a story about a mixed-race nine-year-old boy who enters the care system when his mother is unable to look after him; Mackintosh is longlisted for her second novel, psychological thriller I See You (Sphere) following on from her debut, a Richard & Judy book club pick, I Let You Go; and Kentucky-based author Morgan made the longlist for Baileys-shortlisted work The Sport of Kings (4th Estate), a multigenerational story both about horse racing and about race.

Other "standout" novels on the 2017 longlist are Ian McGuire's Man Booker-longlisted whaling tale The North Water (Scribner), also the winner of the RSL Encore Award; Elizabeth Strout's My Name is Lucy Barton (Viking), longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016 and the Baileys Women's Prize 2016; and Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Underground Railroad (Fleet), which even former president Barack Obama has given his seal of approval to as the last book he read in office.

Penguin Random House has three longlisted books in the running in total, with nominations for two novels from Viking's stables plus Sylvain Neuvel's debut Sleeping Giants (Michael Joseph), a thriller and first in the author's Themis Files series.

Hachette meanwhile can claim four longlisted books with Chris Cleave's Everyone Brave is Forgiven (Sceptre) and Adam Hamdy's Pendulum (Headline), a book James Patterson called "one of the best thrillers of the year", as well as books from Whitehead and Mackintosh.

Simon & Schuster has one title on the list, The North Water by Ian McGuire (Scribner), while two are from independent publishers: Charlie Jane Anders' All The Birds in the Sky (Titan Books) and Harry Parker's Anatomy of a Soldier (Faber).

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, a book which Pan Macmillan won in a six-figure auction, and Beth Lewis' debut literary thriller Wolf Road (Borough Press) round off the list.

According to Golsboro Books, when choosing the winner, the team will look for a novel that is "compelling, possesses brilliant characterisation with a distinct voice that is confidently written and assuredly realised."

The shortlist will be announced on 1st September and the winner on 28th September.