The UK’s Goldsboro Books Names ‘Glass Bell’ Award Longlist

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The Goldsboro Glass Bell Award is selected by the booksellers of one of London’s most prominent independent retailers.

Goldsboro Books in Cecil Court, London. Image: Goldsboro Books

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Winner To Be Announced September 30
One of the most highly regarded independent bookstores in the British capital, Goldsboro Books is in its fifth year with its Glass Bell Award.

The distinction here is that among the United Kingdom’s dense entanglement of awards programs–many of which vie with each other for the sunlight of press attention all year–the jury for this prize is booksellers. David Headley, the co-founding managing director of the store (which has locations both in London and in Brighton), makes the selections with his retail team.

Those booksellers also make the point that their program “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 characterization and a distinct voice that is confidently written and assuredly realized.” The program does seem to focus only on long-form fiction.

This year’s longlist, released today (June 17) leapfrogs some of the awards news we’re still catching up with from the crush of publishing events in this month and last. While we have those stories in the works for you, we’ll move ahead with this one, as we enter the scant 10 days or so that lie between the digital editions of Bologna Children’s Book Fair and London Book Fair, in this summer of “gazillions of hours of programming,” as one seasoned industry player has just put it to us.

The winner of the Glass Bell gets exactly that, an engraved glass bell, and £2,000 (US$2,786).

One cheering note from the program is that of the 12 longlisted novels here, eight are debut efforts.

Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Longlist 2021

A shortlist of six titles is expected August 5 and a winner’s announcement on September 30.

Last year, the winner of the award was American writer Taylor Jenkins Reid for Daisy Jones and the Six (Penguin Random House/Arrow).


More from Publishing Perspectives on publishing and book awards is here, and more on the United Kingdom’s market is here.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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