Spotlight First Novel Award: highlighting the writers of the future.

Spotlight First Novel Award is our way of celebrating and encouraging new writers. After some tough deliberations we are pleased to announce the winner of this year’s competition is Shylashri Shankar.

Blood Caste is a murder mystery set in nineteenth century India under the British Raj.

Other strong contenders were: The Artist: Lucy Steeds. A Cypress Tree has no Shadow: Kevin NeillUnder The Storm Shield. James Lancaster. October One: Olugbenga Adelekan.  

Shylashri Shankar has won a Stage One mentoring package and transitional support. We will be profiling her and her novel in the coming months. 

Thank you all for making our decision so difficult!


Spotlight First Novel Award is an annual competition designed to encourage writers at every stage, from laying down a challenge—to write an eye-catching first page and knock a synopsis into shape—to nurturing the winner through the key pre-submission stage. Further information about the competition.

Profiles focus on the key elements that will sell your novel. How do profiles work? See what other writers had to say.

Stage One Mentoring is designed to support and challenge writers aiming for publication. See how it could work for you. Further information about Stage One Mentoring. 

Spotlight Feedback Offers. Could your pages be improved? Quite possibly. Spotlight Feedback offers invaluable feedback at a subsidised rate. Spotlight Feedback offers.

Next StepsNo matter what stage you reached take time to congratulate yourself on knocking your first page and synopsis into shape. You have dreamed a novel into being. You have thought about how to represent it to a wider audience. You are on your way!  

Next Year’s deadline: 14th February 2023

 Spotlight First Novel Award is our way of celebrating and encouraging new writers 





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