Bonnier Books UK has partnered with WriteMentor for its 2024 Novel and Picture Book Awards. 

Through this partnership, Bonnier Books UK will support WriteMentor in the discovery of new writing talent in both children’s and young adult fiction. Editors from across Bonnier Books UK’s Children’s division will collaborate with UK and US agents to judge the four award categories and name winners from each.

Templar Books will champion the Picture Book category, with Sophie Hallam, Head of Templar Books, and Amelia Warren, Commissioning Editor for Picture Books at Templar Books, judging picture book submissions with Alice Williams of Alice Williams Literary.

The Chapter Book and Middle Grade categories will both be supported by Piccadilly Press. Georgia Murray, Commissioning Editor at Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press, will be judging chapter book submissions with Lauren Gardner of Bell Lomax Moreton. Ruth Bennett, Editorial Director for Children’s Fiction at Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press, will be judging middle grade submissions with Becky Bagnell of Lindsay Literary Agency.

Finally, Hot Key Books will champion the Young Adult category, with Hot Key and Piccadilly Press Commissioning Editor, Ella Whiddett, and Executive Publisher, Emma Matthewson, judging submissions alongside Kesia Lupo of the Bindery Agency.

Speaking about the partnership, Stuart White, Founder of WriteMentor, said: “The WriteMentor team is very excited to be teaming up with Bonnier for this year’s awards. Their enthusiasm to help discover new talent, an ethos that aligns perfectly with ours, has been infectious. I can’t wait to see what this year’s award brings, not only for our respective winners, but also to everyone who enters who may get an opportunity to have their work read by leading industry professionals. Bonnier’s pertinent ethos that ‘every book matters’ is one that WriteMentor wholeheartedly agrees with, and we hope this partnership will help bring new stories and voices to as many readers as possible.”

Helen Wicks, Managing Director of Children’s Trade at Bonnier Books UK added: “All of us on the children’s team are so proud to be supporting the WriteMentor Novel and Picture Book Awards – and to get a thrilling first look at the incredible emerging talent putting their stories forward. We’re excited to discover new voices, perspectives and untold adventures for young readers everywhere – and our editors are already itching to get stuck in and read the submissions!”

Readers can submit here.

Submissions for the award will be open internationally from Monday 11th December 2023 to Sunday 31st January 2024. The shortlist will be announced in February 2024 with winners revealed during an online awards ceremony later in the year. The winners of each category will receive £250 and one-year free membership to the Hub, WriteMentor’s online community platform. 

Many previous shortlistees and winners of WriteMentor’s awards have gone onto achieve publishing success. Louise Finch’s shortlisted novel, The Eternal Return of Clara Hart, was also shortlisted for four national awards: the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing, the YA Book Prize, the Branford Boase Award as well the Great Reads Award 2022. Two authors are published by Scholastic: Sue H Cunningham, won the 2020 WriteMentor Novel Award, and Kathryn Foxfield, whose shortlisted YA thriller, Whisper Pier, is now published as Good Girls Die First. Alexandra Page’s winning novel, Wishyouwas, is now published by Bloomsbury, and Sophia’s Payne’s winning picture book, Faruq and the Wiri Wiri, was published by Templar Books this year.