Bestsellers, Booker Nominees and Debuts: Richard Osman,
Collum McCann and Abi Daré on Longlist for the
2021 Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award
Goldsboro Books today (Thursday 17th June) announced the twelve titles longlisted for the 2021 Glass Bell Award. Now in its fifth year, the Glass Bell Award celebrates the best storytelling across contemporary fiction, regardless of genre. The 2021 longlist heralds a particularly strong year for debut novels: eight out of the twelve longlisted titles are first novels – including the bestselling sensation The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman and The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré, both of which were nominated for the British Book Awards.
Spanning crime, literary, historical, fantasy and science fiction genres, the Glass Bell longlist also includes the Booker-nominatedApeirogon by the critically acclaimed Colum McCann; and Three Hours, the Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling thriller from Rosamund Lupton. They are joined by two highly anticipated second novels, The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton, whose high-concept debut thriller The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle won the Costa First Novel Award; and The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel, whose debut thriller The Roanoke Girls was a #1 bestseller.
The longlist also includes two fascinating debuts which skilfully reimagine historical events: The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi,set in an alternate Elizabethan England, and The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant, which follows a failed second French Revolution. Also longlisted is Clare Whitfield’s gripping historical thriller People of Abandoned Character, a compelling take on the Jack the Ripper story. They are joined by two critically acclaimed debut crime novels – Blacktop Wasteland by S. A. Cosby, which was longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger, and the extraordinarily inventive Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi. Rounding off the list is The First Sister by Linden Lewis, a sweeping debut space opera.
The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi (Mantle)
Blacktop Wasteland by S.A Cosby (Headline)
The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré (Sceptre)
The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant (Harper Voyager)
The First Sister by Linden Lewis (Hodder & Stoughton)
Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton (Viking)
Apeirogon by Colum McCann (Bloomsbury)
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (Viking)
Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi (Michael Joseph)
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton (Bloomsbury Raven)
People of Abandoned Character by Clare Whitfield (Head of Zeus)
David Headley, Goldsboro Books co-founder and MD, and founder of the Glass Bell, says:
‘I can’t believe that this is our fifth Glass Bell Award. My team and I are incredibly proud of the prize that we’ve built over the last few years, celebrating contemporary storytelling of all genres. Stories unite and entertain us, and after the year we’ve had, this couldn’t be more important.
‘I think that this year’s longlist might be the most varied and diverse we’ve ever had – with everything from speculative historical thrillers to a thoroughly modern space opera, to one of the most imaginative crime novels I’ve ever read. And I am delighted to see how many debut novelists we have on the longlist this year! If this list is anything to go by, the future of publishing is strong.’
The Glass Bell Award is judged by David and his team at Goldsboro Books. It is the only prize that rewards storytelling in all genres – from romance, thrillers and ghost stories, to historical, speculative and literary fiction – and is awarded annually to ‘a compelling novel with brilliant characterisation and a distinct voice that is confidently written and assuredly realised’. The shortlist of six will be announced on 5th August, with the winner, who will receive both £2,000, and a beautiful, handmade, engraved glass bell, to be announced on 30th September.
Last year, the American novelist Taylor Jenkins Reid was awarded the Glass Bell for her ‘immersive’ and ‘captivating Daisy Jones and the Six, which tells the story of the rise and fall of a fictional 70s rock band. Previous winners are Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave, The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne and VOX by Christina Dalcher.