Romance, crime and science fiction novels are among the five shortlisted books for the £20,000 Kindle Storyteller Award, which this year received a record number of submissions.
Now in its fifth year in the UK, the award celebrates new, independently published books across all genres, with the winner receiving a £20,000 cash prize, a golden Kindle and a marketing campaign on Amazon.
The prize is open to any work in the English language published on Kindle Direct Publishing between 1st May and 31st August, 2021.
Escape to Hummingbird Hotel, a "feel-good romance comedy" by Daisy James is up for the award, alongside Mary Kingswood's regency romance Stranger at the Villa. J D Kirk, a thriller, mystery and crime fiction writer, has been shortlisted for An Isolated Incident, the 11th instalment in his DCI Jack Logan series. The Corfe Castle Murders by Rachel McLean is also on the shortlist, which is completed by science-fiction writer Tao Wong with A Thousand Li: The Second Sect, the fifth novel in his most recent fantasy series.
This year, the judging panel features broadcaster and author Clare Balding, author Nicola May, 2020 winner Anna McNuff, Sacha Black from the Alliance of Independent Authors, Darren Hardy, author and editorial programmes manager at Amazon UK, and Michaella Parkes from the Amazon Books editorial team.
Balding said: “It’s clear we have felt the need to get creative over the last year and escape our everyday lives by putting pen to paper and creating a new world. It’s great to see another record year for the Kindle Storyteller Award. Self-publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing really animates the market and I’m looking forward to reading all the great stories.”
Hardy added: “It’s fantastic to see the number of submissions to the Kindle Storyteller Award grow each year and the quality continues to be of the highest standard – I’m looking forward to getting stuck into each shortlisted book and finding our winner.”
The winner will be announced in October.