Debuts dominate the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Longlist

Goldsboro Books today announced the thirteen titles longlisted for the 2018 Glass Bell Award, a prize introduced last year to celebrate the best storytelling across all genres of contemporary fiction.

Seven debut novelists, including Gail Honeyman for her remarkable breakout bestseller Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Omar El Akkad, author of the disturbingly prophetic American War, compete against literary heavyweights John Boyne, Anthony Horowitz and Jon McGregor. The winner of the prize, which rewards 'compelling storytelling with brilliant characterisation and a distinct voice that is confidently written and assuredly realised', will receive both £2,000, and a beautiful, handmade, engraved glass bell, to be awarded at a party at the bookshop on 27th September 2018.

The full longlist is:

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (Transworld)
American War by Omar El Akkad (Picador)
The Nix by Nathan Hill (Picador)
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (HarperFiction)
The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz (Century)
Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land (Michael Joseph)
The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd (Century)
You Don't Know Me by Imran Mahmood (Michael Joseph)
Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (4th Estate)
The Ice by Laline Paull (4th Estate)
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough (HarperCollins)
The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell (Bloomsbury Raven)
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent (4th Estate)

GB Longlist 2018 Poster-1.jpg

The prize is judged by Goldsboro Books founder and MD David Headley and his team at the bookshop, and the six finalists will be announced on 30th August. David says:

‘This hugely impressive longlist celebrates the depth and breadth of contemporary fiction today. Featuring both established and debut authors, it reflects an extraordinary range of themes, styles and concerns, from religious intolerance, climate change and the flaws in our justice system, to the challenges of rural life and…ghosts! Whittling down these wonderful, pacey and varied novels to just six will be a tremendously daunting process.’

The winner of the 2017 Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award was Chris Cleave, for his extraordinary Everyone Brave is Forgiven (Sceptre), the moving and unflinching novel about the profound effects that the Second World War had on ordinary citizens back at home in Britain.

• Celebrated novelist John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, is longlisted for his sweeping odyssey The Heart’s Invisible Furies which spans 70 years of modern Irish history.

• Leading the debuts on the longlist is Nathan Hill’s intricate and multi-stranded mystery The Nix, in which an English professor searches for the truth about his estranged mother, who has been accused of domestic terrorism.

• A remarkable debut novel about a young woman set apart from society, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman has been met with extraordinary success, hitting The Sunday Times #1 bestseller spot, won the British Book Awards Debut of the Year, and Book of the Year, as well as being longlisted for the Women’s Prize.

• From the author of the international bestselling teenage spy Alex Rider series, and whose oeuvre also includes pastiches of both Sherlock Holmes and James Bond, The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz is a unique and modern mystery, which sees Anthony himself help solve a crime.

• Crime debuts have been very well represented. Ali Land’s chilling psychological suspense Good Me Bad Me, about the daughter of a child-killer, has also been a Richard & Judy pick.

Amy Lloyd won the Daily Mail/Penguin Random House First Novel Competition with her gripping psychological thriller The Innocent Wife, about a woman who falls in love with a convicted murderer.

• Criminal barrister Imran Mahmood drew on his own experiences from the courtroom to write You Don’t Know Me, told as a monologue in which a young man accused of murder addresses the jury directly.

Jon McGregor’s Reservoir 13, a meditation on rural life in the wake of the disappearance of a teenager, previously won the 2017 Costa Novel Award and the 2018 British Book Award Fiction Book of the Year, as well as being shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Goldsmith Prize, and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

The Ice is Laline Paull’s second novel, an environmentally conscious mystery set in the rapidly warming Arctic.

• Previously known for critically acclaimed young adult and supernatural writing, Sarah Pinborough’s psychological thriller Behind Her Eyes had the entire internet demanding #wtfthatending

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell, was a departure for the historical novelist – a spine-tingling ghost story, in which a young pregnant widow moves into her late husband’s crumbling estate, where she is haunted by disturbingly lifelike wooden figures known as companions...

• One of the most talked about debuts of 2017, My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent is a harrowing story about love, abuse and wilderness.


For all media enquiries please contact Sophie Goodfellow or Stephanie Speight at FMcM Associates
on +44 207 405 7422 or email or

Notes to editors

About The Glass Bell Award

Launched in 2017, the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award is awarded annually to an outstanding work of contemporary fiction, rewarding quality storytelling in any genre. The winner of the Glass Bell will receive £2,000 in prize money, and a handmade, engraved glass bell. The jury of ten consists of team members from Goldsboro Books, DHH Literary Agency and The Dome Press. There is no fee, or limit to the number of books that a publisher may submit, allowing both established and debut authors a chance to win. 

About Goldsboro Books

Goldsboro Books is an independent bookshop, based in central London, specialising in signed first edition books. Providing an expert, knowledgeable team and a carefully curated range is at the heart of the business, delivering the best book-buying experience for every customer. Goldsboro Books aims to interest and inspire book lovers, readers and collectors and provide the finest quality signed books in the world. Goldsboro Books was founded in 1999 by two friends and book collectors David Headley and Daniel Gedeon. Their reputation for spotting quality books early on, an expert eye on the future collectibles, along with enthusiasm and passion for bookselling excellence has grown with the business and Goldsboro Books has become a world-famous and much admired bookshop. Their global reputation grew in 2013 when they were the only bookshop in the world to have signed copies of The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, who of course turned out to be none other than J.K. Rowling. 

About DHH Literary Agency

The DHH Literary Agency is an editorially led agency run by passionate book lovers. With a range of experience from bookselling and collecting, in house editorial, and television, their agents are commercially aware, well-connected and skilled at helping authors develop their ideas. Founded by David H Headley in 2008, the agency is dedicated to discovering and nurturing talented authors, whether debut or established, providing attentive, honest and personalised representation. 

About The Dome Presss

Set up in 2016 by David Headley, The Dome Press is an independent publisher whose name is taken from the successful and much celebrated The Dome periodical that was published in London's Cecil Court by The Unicorn Press in the late 1800s. Its ethos is to champion great storytelling and give authors a voice, closely echoing The Dome periodical's objective. The Dome Press aims to discover and nurture both new and established writers alike, providing a fresh outlook, enabling new life to be breathed into a writer’s work - something they are passionate about. As the Managing Director of one of London's leading bookshops, Goldsboro Books, and the DHH Literary Agency, where he represents a number of talented and bestselling authors, David Headley has a wealth of experience in bookselling and takes pride in being able to anticipate what readers will want to read next.