Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Revealed: the winner and shortlisted entries of Stylist's fiction competition

book reading typewriter.jpg

Earlier this year, we tasked you with the ultimate challenge: to write the next hit summer read.

For our 2017 fiction competition we were looking for a novel that starred a strong female protagonist, was packed with plenty of original twists and turns and had an idea that would race off the page and leave us hungry for more.

You responded in droves and we received hundreds of brilliant entries, all of which were judged by leading literary agency Janklow & Nesbit and a panel of Stylist experts.

Here, we are thrilled to announce the winner of the competition, alongside the nine shortlisted entries.

The winner receives a three-month agency mentoring programme with literary agent Hellie Ogden of Janklow & Nesbit, as well as a place on a 2017 UK residential course or retreat run by creative writing charity Arvon. Their winning entry is also published right here on stylist.co.uk.

The nine runners up will be provided with short, personal feedback from Janklow & Nesbit UK, to help them develop their book idea.

Stylist fiction competition: the results

woman reading book

Our winning entry is:

  • Water Damage by Alison Percival

Our nine shortlisted entries are:

  • The Three Sisters by Carrie Nelson
  • Live Forever by Hope Whitmore
  • The Disappearance of Cass Graham by Louise Mann
  • We Were Goddesses by Victoria Richards
  • The Ties That Bind Us by Faiza Hasan
  • Strawberry Sins by Sandra Daniels
  • Ghosted by Clio David
  • Welcome to your Life by Carol Barnes-Burrell
  • Tales from the Land by Chloe Timms

Huge congratulations to our winner, Alison Percival, who grabbed the judge’s attention immediately with the pacy and gripping first 3,000 words of her novel, Water Damage.

Speaking about the winning extract, Hellie Ogden said, “We loved reading through the entries and huge congratulations to Alison and the nine runners up. The standard was exceptionally high.”

You can read the winning extract from Water Damage here.

Images: iStock



The most empowering feminist books: women pick their favourite reads

books reading.jpg

Book lovers, this is what your reading habits say about you

beach summer read book.jpg

Read the winning extract from Stylist’s 2017 fiction competition


The Peter Rabbit trailer has genuinely horrified Beatrix Potter fans

“They’ve… they’ve turned Peter into a frat boy!”

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Sep 2017

Practical Magic is FINALLY getting the prequel of your dreams

Flip the switch and let the cauldron bubble…

by Kayleigh Dray
14 Sep 2017

The Moomins are coming back to TV and the cast is incredible

Ready your Little My topknots

by Amy Swales
12 Sep 2017

Your £10 note is worth a LOT of money if it features this tiny detail

Oh Jane Austen, you’re spoiling us…

by Kayleigh Dray
12 Sep 2017

The Fifty Shades Freed trailer has arrived – and it’s pretty dark

Mrs Grey will see you now

by Amy Swales
11 Sep 2017

10 brilliant books to curl up with this September

From gripping crime fiction to beautiful poetry

by Sarah Shaffi
01 Sep 2017

Puberty guide causes fury with “problematic” explanation of breasts

The book said girls have breasts to make them look “grown-up and attractive”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
30 Aug 2017

The 5 biggest plot holes in Harry Potter, as exposed by fans

Accio problematic plot points!

by Susan Devaney
30 Aug 2017

50 unmissable books to kickstart your autumn reading

Your first look at the essential titles for autumn 2017

by Francesca Brown
25 Aug 2017

The 10 must-read books for anyone with siblings

There's often nothing more page-turning than the secrets between siblings

by Stylist
23 Aug 2017