Yesterday I found out my first manuscript, Neither Slave nor Free—an as-yet-unpublished historical novel set in the first-century Roman Empire—was put on the Long List for the 2022 Chaucer Book Award for Early Historical Fiction! This means the manuscript was among thirty-five novels (some of which already have publishing deals) selected to remain in the running for the award.
The contest is run by Chanticleer Book Reviews, a website dedicated to helping authors achieve their publishing goals and promoting the best new books. According to the Chanticleer website, the "Chaucer Book Awards recognize emerging new talent and outstanding works in pre-1750s Historical Fiction…”
After five-and-a-half years of work and little exposure of the manuscript—except for a small team of crack readers within my personal circle, and one editor that I hired—it is gratifying to get this kind of positive feedback from readers with whom I have no personal connection. It feels like a sign the book could have legs, and it increases my hope of getting it published.
The next milestones in the award contest include selections for the Short List, the semi-finalists, the finalists, and of course the winner. I’ll post again if I make it any further in the contest.