Text Box:    Novel Opening Chapter & Synopsis Competition 2015

The results of the 2015 Novel Opening Chapter & Synopsis Category are as follows:

 

Winner: The Swan Road by Sara Lennon

Runner-up: Call of the Koel by Melissa Nesbitt

 

Judge’s Report from Steph Patterson senior editor at Crooked Cat Publishing

I was honoured again to be asked to judge the finalists in this year’s Flash 500 Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis competition – and what an exciting job it was!

2015 saw the bar raised in many ways: submissions included crime, thrillers, historical fiction, mystery, fantasy, romantic fiction and literary delights. The attention to detail in each submission was superb, the writing throughout of a high quality, and the plot ideas exhibited great imagination. All finalists can be proud of themselves.

It was tough reducing the numbers one by one until I reached ‘my’ final five (including a Nordic thriller, a literary novel, and three very different historical fiction novels ranging from the Norman invasion to World War I). And then the real work began, as any of those five could have ended up as the winner quite easily.

I’m delighted to say that the winner is The Swan Road. Set in 1066, it begins when King Harold is about to face the wrath of the Normans as the Duke of Normandy arrives on England’s shores with his followers. Beautifully written, the tone and description fitting the era, it has the beginnings of an intriguing historical novel. You can sense the danger in the air. Many congratulations to the winner!

The runner-up, Call of the Koel, is a beautifully-told tale of a young girl sold into servitude in 1860s Hong Kong.

A very close third was a Nordic thriller, ALT, with a gripping style and an intriguing plot. Well done!

Thank you for allowing me to judge this competition again. It’s a real pleasure.

Stephanie Patterson

Senior Editor

Crooked Cat Publishing

 

Short list in alphabetical order

Alt by Carolyn Gillum

Assemblage by Anna Orridge

Burning Wolfhound by Justin Tuijl

Buttermilk Alley by Sonia Velton

Call of the Koel by Melissa Nesbitt

In Your Image by Jennifer Porter

Incurables by Helen J Reynolds

Jacoby James by Stewart Grant

Strangers on a Bridge by Louise Mangos

Swan Road by Jamie D Stacey

The Swan Road by Sara Lennon

The Tin Woman by Jane D'Arcy Baker

U by Tracey Sandham

Waking the Past by Maggie Aldhamland

Yours Ever by Jasmina Svenne

 

Long list in alphabetical order

Alt by Carolyn Gillum

Assemblage by Anna Orridge

Bankers Don’t Cry by Anna Koenig

Burning Wolfhound by Justin Tuijl

Buttermilk Alley by Sonia Velton

Call of the Koel by Melissa Nesbitt

Convolutions by Frankie O'Reilly

Dead and Alive by Annette Caseley

Delhi Winter by Damyanti Biswas

Finding Alice by Sarah Lally-Marley

Going Back by Raili Taylor

How to be Brave by Gail Aldwin

Hunting the Light by Vanessa Savage

In Your Image by Jennifer Porter

Incurables by Helen J Reynolds

Jacoby James by Stewart Grant

Locks by Ashleigh Nugent

One Act of Defiance by Rachel Malcolm

Poetic Licence by Pamela Scobie

Silent Dawn by C L Raven

Strangers on a Bridge by Louise Mangos

Swan Road by Jamie D Stacey

The Chernobyl Privileges by Alex Lockwood

The Dust of Melita by Clare Hawkins

The Gates of Janus by Karen Murdarasi

The Nameless by Stuart White

The Potency by Scott Williamson

The Swan Road by Sara Lennon

The Tin Woman by Jane D'Arcy Baker

The Truth about Danni by Deirdre Palmer

U by Tracey Sandham

Waking the Past by Maggie Aldhamland

Wayland’s Revenge by Lesley Lodge

Wimmera by Mark Brandi

Yours Ever by Jasmina Svenne