Shortlist time is our favourite time of the year. We are delighted to reveal the nine authors and their manuscripts shortlisted for the Best Unpublished Manuscript award in the 2019 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. 

L-R, Top-Bottom: Randall Jarmon, John McIlveen, Mort Hunter, Emma Bamford, Cecily Blench, Donna Cousins, Rosanne Thomas, Carl Austin, Samuel Clark

In alphabetical order by novel, this year’s shortlist is: 

From Us by Randall Jarmon (USA)

Girl Gone North by John McIlveen (USA)

Specimens by Rosanne Daryl Thomas (USA)

The Alchemy of Annihilation by Carl Austin (USA)

The Darkest Pool by Mort Hunter (South Africa)

The Legend of Spring-Heeled Jack by Samuel Clark (UK)

The Story of Bones by Donna Cousins (USA)

These Yellow Sands by Emma Bamford (UK)

What We Did at the End by Cecily Blench (UK)

Selected through a blind review process from almost 400 manuscripts, we are delighted to see a shortlist with an almost 50% male/female split, including writers from their 20s to their 70s and representing the UK, the USA and South Africa. 

We will now be working with these nine fantastic authors over the summer, offering one-to-one manuscript development, before their novels are judged for the final prize, a publishing deal with Bonnier Books UK. You can read more about each of the authors and their manuscripts here

If you are a literary agent and interested in any of these novels, please contact Foundation Manager Georgina Brown on