June 7, 2018
Kamila Shamsie wins Women’s Prize 2018
Kamila Shamsie has won the 2018 Women’s Prize for fiction with her novel Home Fire. Published by Bloomsbury in 2017, Home Fire was also shortlisted for the 2017 Costa Novel Award and longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize. It is Kamila’s seventh novel, and her first win of the Women’s Prize, having been shortlisted twice before.
Home Fire is a story which Sarah Sands, the Chair of the Women’s Prize judges, praised for its ‘astonishing prescience’ and ‘the breadth of its ambition’. On picking it as the winner, Sands said: ‘It was extremely difficult, because of the richness and variety of the shortlist… But when we set out to decide what felt like the story of our times, [Home Fire] was the right choice.’
A reworking of Sophocles’ Antigone, Home Fire tells the story of three siblings in a British Muslim family and what happens when one member joins the media arm of Isis.
In praise of Home Fire, Sands said: ‘Shamsie is funny and exact about the Muslim experience, what it means to be challenged on your identity, what it means choosing between public and private… Her nuance, her sympathies, really make you challenge your own lazy thinking on all this,’ she said. ‘The different characters were all so well-realised that you have sympathy for all of them – even the brother, that was the extraordinary thing. There’s no question what he did was wrong, but you feel sympathy, that it was a terrible misjudgment, that there’s no going back.
‘To humanise a political story in that way really does show what literature can do, that it can tackle a hard subject that otherwise would never have that sense of layered sympathy and understanding. It really advanced our understanding of the whole issue of identity.’
The novel should also be considered ‘a really good page-turner’, said Sands.
‘It is very readable, it’s extremely well written, it’s well plotted, it’s something that could easily be a brilliant television series or film. It’s not that you’re thinking, ‘This is a novel about politics, I need to plough through’,’ she said. ‘It doesn’t feel as if she is straining to recreate Antigone – you could read it without thinking about Sophocles at all. In a way, that just gives it a resonance.’
See a clip of Kamila’s announcement and speech here.
May 18, 2018
Deviant Minds shortlist revealed
We are delighted to announce our shortlist for the Deviant Minds crime and thriller competition.
Deviant Minds was a competition open to unagented authors with an unpublished adult crime novel or thriller. We received many brilliant entries to the competition and we have now – with difficulty – chosen a shortlist of five titles. The writers will at this stage be requested to submit their entire novel to the Deviant Minds team. The winning novel will be chosen and announced on 9th July. The Deviant Minds prize is an offer of representation at AM Heath and the promise of digital publication from Corvus, Atlantic Books.
And the shortlisted titles are:
HOLD YOUR TONGUE
THE BORROWED BOY
ALL OF MY PASTS
THE UNFORGIVEN DEAD
We would like to offer a huge congratulations to our shortlisted writers, and a thank you to everyone who entered Deviant Minds. We were treated with some excellent reading and we wish the best to all the crime and thriller writers out there, as well as everyone who shared and promoted the prize.
May 1, 2018
Victoria Hobbs to judge Caledonia Novel Award 2019
Calling all new writers! The Caledonia Novel Award opens for entries 1 May 2018 and seeks unpublished and self-published novelists, offering a prize of £1000. The prize is open to adult and young adult writing, and to all genres of fiction.
We are delighted to announce that AM Heath Literary Agent Victoria Hobbs will be judging the award this year.
Victoria represents a broad range of authors in fiction and non-fiction, many of whom are bestselling and prize-winning. She is always looking for debut writers and new voices, and is open to submissions across all genres.
In her Q&A with the Caledonia Novel Award, Victoria unpacks what she loves to read, what she looks for in a writer, some of the highlights of her career as an agent, and her advice for entrants to the Caledonia Novel Award.
The Caledonia Novel Award has an excellent reputation for recognising writers at the beginning of their careers and many former winners have found success and publication. The deadline for entries to the 2019 competition is 1 November 2018.
April 30, 2018
Zoë King to join AM Heath
We are thrilled to welcome Literary Agent Zoë King to AM Heath.
Zoë joins AM Heath after working as an Agent and Partner at The Blair Partnership since the agency’s launch seven years ago.
Starting in June, Zoë will be open for submissions at AM Heath and actively looking to develop her list. Her core interests are in commercial non-fiction.
Bill Hamilton, MD of AM Heath says: ‘AM Heath are delighted that Zoë is joining the agency bringing such depth and breadth of experience, especially in author branding and commercial non-fiction. As we head towards our centenary and expand the company to represent new generations of prestigious and bestselling authors, we are very happy to add her highly complementary skills to A M Heath’s successful team of agents.’
Zoë King says: ‘After seven great years at TBP I am looking forward to finding and developing new voices. I am excited to be joining the team at AM Heath.’
March 16, 2018
Kamila Shamsie’s HOME FIRE longlisted for the Women’s Prize
We are thrilled that Kamila Shamsie’s breathtaking and brilliant novel HOME FIRE has been longlisted for the Women’s Prize 2018.
HOME FIRE was also longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize, and shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2017.
‘Astonishing… A novel so breath-taking in the calm and witty and unshowy and inexorable telling of its story that, as I was reading it, I kept finding myself not sitting on the sofa anymore… Shamsie fuses the formal continuum of the novel with the refusal to compromise that’s in classical tragedy; she fuses the hope with the hopelessness. The result is powerful… she produces what I think you can truly call a contemporary classic.’ – Ali Smith