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

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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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

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

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


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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Commissioning Editor at Stylist. Follow her on Twitter