The Caledonia Novel Award

Who We Are

Welcome to the Caledonia Novel Award! Now in our 10th year, we are an Edinburgh-based, international writing competition for unpublished and self-published novelists in all genres for adults and YA. We are passionate about discovering and promoting new writers, and have enjoyed many successes over the years, including Elizabeth Macneal’s best-selling The Doll Factory and Sue Divin’s Guard Your Heart, which was shortlisted for the 2022 Yoto Carnegie Medal.

Check out our past winners for more details!

The Caledonia Novel Award 2024

Open to entries: 1 May - midnight GMT 1 November, 2023

Judge: Ariella Feiner, literary agent at United Agents

Top prize: £1,500 and an exclusive framed award designed by Edinburgh artist Lucy Roscoe 

Highly Commended prize: £500

Special prize: a free place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre for the best novel from the UK and Ireland

How to enter: all details can be found on our Rules & Entry page

The Caledonia Novel Award 2024 Judge

Ariella Feiner

We’re thrilled to introduce our Caledonia Novel Award 2024 judge Ariella Feiner, literary agent at United Agents.

Meet Ariella here, and discover what she’s hoping to find amongst this year’s entries!
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Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre

Here at the Caledonia Novel Award, we are really keen to nurture undiscovered talent and encourage new writers. With this in mind, we are very excited to announce that, for the seventh year running, we are offering a special prize for the best novel submitted by an author from the UK and Ireland. This prize is a free place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre, situated in the Scottish Highlands, just 14 miles from Inverness.
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2022 Winner of the Moniack Mhor 
writing Retreat Prize

Alex Hay

Alex grew up in Cambridge and Cardiff and has been writing since childhood. He studied History at the University of York, and wrote his dissertation on female power at the early Tudor court, spending many happy hours combing the archives to find evidence of power-brokering and political manoeuvring otherwise overlooked. He has worked in magazine publishing and the charity sector, writing in the evenings and at weekends, and in 2016 he completed Curtis Brown Creative’s Three Month Novel Writing Course. He is 34 and lives with his husband near Crystal Palace in South East London.

“I started writing The Housekeepers in autumn 2020, just before the UK descended into the second lockdown, and so really I was looking to escape from reality! I’d been looking to write a novel about the Edwardians, and possession, and I’d been itching to try a heist plot, inspired by films like Ocean’s Eleven and American Hustle. When I realised I could pull those threads together, the story started to take shape. A glittering mansion on Park Lane. A group of servants, denied their dreams. And my protagonist, Mrs King, a housekeeper with a difference. Raised by petty criminals, armed with ruthless intelligence — and an audacious plan to transform her life. Immersing myself in her world was a joy. The Edwardians might seem stiff, even quaint, to us. But poring over street photography and magazine features from the 1900s, you can encounter the most brilliant flashes of modernity. People taking the tube, driving new cars, inventing new technologies and new ways to make money. I got hooked on this glamorous, seedy, electric world. And building the plot allowed me to layer in all the things I love most in books – ambition, obsession, troubled families, big houses. Writing it has been an absolute delight.”
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