Here's our 2018 Winner & Shortlist
The Caledonia Novel Award 2018 Winner
We are delighted to announce that the winner of the Caledonia Novel Award 2018 is The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal.
Our 2018 Caledonia Novel Award Judge
“I was so impressed by the standard of entries for the Caledonia Novel Award 2018, and it’s been an utter joy to judge. We had such a range of genres from impressive Young Adult and beautiful book club fiction to epic historical fiction and unique thrillers.
Many congratulations to all the entrants; you made my job very challenging! Hugely well done to all those who made the long and shortlists: your work has affirmed my belief that the future of storytelling is very exciting indeed, and I wish you all the best in your literary endeavours. Most importantly, thank you for giving me the opportunity to read your work."
2018 Winner of the Caledonia Novel Award
The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal
Elizabeth grew up in Edinburgh and lives in East London. She completed UEA’s Creative Writing MA in summer 2017, where she received the Malcolm Bradbury Award. Prior to UEA, she read English Literature at Oxford University where she wrote her dissertation on clutter in 1850s Victorian literature (which involved substantial research into the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood). Elizabeth is also a potter, and has her own business, Limehouse Ceramics, based in the studio at the bottom of her garden. She is 29 and lives in East London.
“I started work on The Doll Factory in my final months at UEA. I thought of writing a novel about a collector, and a novel about a Pre-Raphaelite model; and then I realised that they were the same book, and it all came together. I have always been fascinated by the energy, precocious talent and unconventionality of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and the meaning found in objects both in paintings and obsessive collecting (which links well to the objectification of women). It all seemed ripe for dark and seedy Victorian London, where mass-production was underway, the Great Exhibition was built just at the moment when the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood tipped towards acceptance; and throughout there was a sense of darkness and decay just underneath the polite veneer. My characters grew from there – a lonely, deluded collector and an artist’s model who yearned to be recognised as a painter in her own right. I was quickly hooked on the idea: once I had built a detailed plot and read as many research texts as I could get my hands on, it all came together and I loved writing and editing it.”
Dark Barn by L P Fergusson
L P Fergusson is a writer based in Oxfordshire. She was awarded an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction at Oxford Brookes University and won the Blackwell’s Prize for MA Creative Writing. She has been shortlisted for several competitions including the Orwell Society Dystopian Short Story Competition and was published by Oxfordshire Libraries in their eBook Short Story Competition. She is the editor of the blog With Love from Graz which was featured on BBC Radio Wales, Radio 2 and the BBC4 programme A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley.
“I was inspired to write this story of a young English widow who finds an injured Luftwaffe officer on her remote farm at the height of the Second World War when I discovered that a German plane had crashed on the Downs above our village. My heroine makes the fateful decision to help the pilot but their liaison is discovered, leading to great danger for both of them. Although romance is the primary narrative, I wanted the novel to tell a parallel story of the horrors of war, the humanity of enemy soldiers and the psychology of collaboration.”
Angel Derby by Mary Ann Kurtz
Mary Ann Kurtz was born and grew up in middle America. Before moving to London, she completed a Master of Science at New York University and worked as a specialist product designer for international financial institutions. She began writing short fiction when her daughter was born and went on to earn a Master of Arts in Creative Writing. Her stories have appeared in a number of anthologies. She is based in London with her daughter where she divides her time between writing and working as a Bio-energetic therapist.
“The idea for Angel Derby grew out of my mother’s frustration at being grounded by her six young children and learning to fly as a means of escape. She wallpapered our kitchen with aeronautical maps and told endless stories about the female pilots she knew. Her dream was to complete in an all-women’s cross-country air race, but she never got around to it.”
Four Degrees by Julie Carrick Dalton
Julie Carrick Dalton’s short fiction has appeared in the Charles River Review, The MacGuffin, and the anthology Turning Points: Stories of Choice and Change. She workshopped Four Degrees in GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator, a year-long, MFA-level novel-writing program, and she holds a Master’s in Creative Writing from Harvard University Extension School. As a journalist, she has published more than a thousand articles in The Boston Globe, BusinessWeek, The Hollywood Reporter, and other publications. Married with four children, she also owns and operates a 100-acre organic farm in rural New Hampshire, the backdrop for her novel. Julie has very recently secured representation with Writers House in New York.
“Four Degrees grew out of my love of the forests, mountains, and lakes of New Hampshire. The basic concept of my novel is that everything that happens in my book — drought, beetle infestation, wildfire, farm foreclosure, migrant-worker job losses, a widening racial rift, and the discovery of a long-buried body — are all directly tied to a four-degree rise in temperatures in New Hampshire, which is a real statistic. I wanted to illustrate that everything, and everyone, is linked to the environment, and that even a seemingly small change can upend every aspect of human existence. People tend to think of climate change as a looming, apocalyptic disaster, but as a New Hampshire farm owner, I can tell you that in small ways, it’s already happening.”
The Fate of a Golden Boy by Susan Hurley
Susan Hurley is a writer and medical researcher who holds honorary professorships at two Australian universities. Her research has influenced health policy in areas including the treatment of asthma, HIV/AIDS and tobacco control and has been published in international journals including The Lancet. Her articles and essays have appeared in The Australian, Kill Your Darlings, The Big Issue, Great Walks and elsewhere. In 2017, Susan’s story The Death of an Impala was shortlisted for the Peter Carey Short Story Prize. She lives in Melbourne, Australia. Susan has recently secured representation with Curtis Brown Australia.
“The Fate of a Golden Boy originates from a 2006 London drug trial that ended tragically. The six healthy men who volunteered all suffered a life-threatening immune system meltdown. First-in-human trials are inherently perilous but in this instance scientists subsequently claimed that the drug’s toxicity was foreseeable. That was the starting point for my novel. It takes readers to a biotech milieu where optimism has segued to hubris; moneyed elites, inexperienced in drug development, are in charge and a calamity of the London trial’s ilk looms.”
The Revision of Eleanor Reddy by Eva Sandoval
Eva Sandoval is an American writer, born to immigrant parents from Italy and Guatemala. She lived in Gulf Coast Florida, New York City, Osaka and Dublin before settling in Terracina, Italy in 2010. Her food and travel writing has appeared in many outlets, and her fiction has been published by various American web journals. Eva holds an M.Phil in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin. She is currently working on her second novel.
“The Revision of Eleanor Reddy was inspired by a grave injury I suffered when I was young. Before the injury, I hadn’t been all that great. I was petrified of everything and dreamed about the things I was too afraid to try – becoming a writer, seeing the world. To say that things have turned out very well for me is a gross understatement: since my complete recovery, I’ve lived in four different countries and have become a professional food and travel writer. But for years, I was haunted by dark thoughts: what if I’d been someone else, someone who had no coping skills, who wasn’t fortunate enough to have had loving family and friends by her side? My novel is the highly-fictionalized exploration – and, ultimately, exorcism – of those dark Could-Have-Beens. I’m all too aware that my case is the exception. Sometimes, the happy ending isn’t a yoga retreat in India, but a miserable girl-woman admitting for the very first time, ‘My unhappiness is my own fault and it’s time to change.’”
The Caledonia Novel Award 2018 Longlist
Angel Derby by Mary Ann Kurtz
Blind Tribute by Mari Anne Christie
Bye Bye Baby by Ruby Speechley Published by Hera Books in 2019 as Someone Else’s Baby
Dark Barn by L P Fergusson Published by Canelo Publishing in 2019 as A Dangerous Act of Kindness
Four Degrees by Julie Carrick Dalton Published by Forge Books in 2021 as Waiting for the Night Song
It Must Follow, As the Night by Paula Hunter
Lost Journals of Sundown by Ben Orlando
The Breath of Fishes by Deirdre Lockwood
The Creed by Lucie McKnight Hardy Published by Dead Ink in 2019 as Water Shall Refuse Them
The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal Published by Picador in 2019
The Fate of a Golden Boy by Susan Hurley Published by Affirm Press in 2019 as Eight Lives
The Revision of Eleanor Reddy by Eva Sandoval