By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Winner To Be Announced September 30One 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
- The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi (Pan Macmillan/Mantle)
- Blacktop Wasteland by S.A Cosby (Hachette/Headline Books)
- The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré (Hachette/Sceptre)
- The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel (Hodder & Stoughton)
- The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant (HarperCollins / Voyager)
- The First Sister by Linden Lewis (Hachette / Hodder & Stoughton)
- Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton (Penguin Random House / Viking)
- Apeirogon by Colum McCann (Bloomsbury)
- The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (Penguin Random House / 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)
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 us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.