As before, the response and quality of entries has been amazing. Thanks to everyone who took part. It takes a lot of bravery to put your work out there, pitching on social media and then sending to a total stranger. That's such an achievement, well done.
I know it's disappointing if you're not selected, but it's important to remember I can only choose one mentee and that my choices for the shortlist are entirely my own, subjective and based on the kind of work-in-progress I feel comfortable taking on. For that reason, some manuscripts, although wonderful, were still rejected. Not because they weren't 'good enough' but because I didn't feel I'd be able to add value.
Mentoring, as I've discovered working with Nikki Smith over the last few months, is a joy, but also a responsibility. I want to get it right, which means I've had to make some tough choices. Especially as the pitches and submissions were all so good.
In no particular order, here is my shortlist. Many congratulations!
Standing Water - Anna Carr
The Forrest's End - Kate Galley
Shifting Sands - Asha North
I will now be reading these entries again in more depth to make my final choice of just one.