Frequently asked questions

Answers to common questions...

Which books will be eligible for WGRA 2017-2018?

In light of the many changes taking place in the publication of fiction, we amended our submission criteria in 2013, 2014 and 2016. The current criteria are:

Titles must be:
a) debut novels
b) written by British or Irish authors currently resident in the British Isles
c) first published between 1st September 2016 and 31st August 2017. The publication dates refer to the paper version of a novel, not the electronic or online version.

Unfortunately we cannot accept:
a) graphic novels;
b) novels that are produced only in online or electronic format; c) novels where the author has directly or indirectly paid for the printing and publication costs; or
d) novels where the author has previously published novel(s) under another name.

How are books submitted?

For the adult award, publishers or authors can submit any books that meet all the criteria, but only a maximum of two titles can be submitted by each publishing imprint. Submission for the 2017-2018 prize, the fifteenth WGRA, opens on 1st July 2017 and closes on 31st August 2017. There is no submission form, nor a submission fee.

Submissions (four copies will be needed) should be made to

Gwen Goodhew
8 Waverton Mill Quays
Chester CH3 7PX

For the next children's award in 2017-2018, publishers or authors of debut novels suitable for 9-11 year-olds can submit books before 30th October 2017.

Submissions (four copies will be needed) should be made to

Sue Buckley
17 Brown Heath Road
Chester CH3 7PP

What if I have a complaint?

A written copy of the WGRA complaints procedure can be obtained on request from Gwen Goodhew (address above).

What are the key dates for next year's award?

  • 31st August 2017 – last date for submissions
  • September 2017 – books distributed to reviewers
  • January 2018 – long list of 20 books drawn up
  • March 2018 – short list of 5 agreed
  • June 2018 – Voting and announcement of winner
  • October 2018 – Presentation dinner for winning author as part of Chester’s Literature Festival

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How is the winner chosen?

A team of 100 or more keen readers complete a review sheet for each book they read and include a score between 0 and 10. Using these scores a long list of about twentyfive and later a short list of five titles is drawn up. Multiple copies of these five books are distributed at meeting places around the village and everyone is invited to read. All readers are sent ballot papers and a vote takes place in late June or early July.

What does the winning author receive?

Following the very welcome sponsorship of Illingworth Seddon, a prize of £1000 is associated with the Award. At the presentation dinner, the winner has his/her name added to the trophy that stays in the village. More importantly, authors receive endorsement from the general reading public. Generous sponsorship from Urenco is used to enable a prize of £500 to be given to the winner of the Children's Award.

Who are the previous winners of Waverton Good Read Award?

  • 2004 Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • 2005 Jonathan Trigell – Boy A
  • 2006 Marina Lewycka – A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
  • 2007 Nicola Monaghan – The Killing Jar
  • 2008 Paul Torday - Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
  • 2009 Tom Rob Smith - Child 44
  • 2010 Andrew Sharp - Ghosts of Eden
  • 2011 Helen Simonson - Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
  • 2012 Christie Watson - Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away
  • 2013 Rachel Joyce - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
  • 2014 Gavin Extence - The Universe versus Alex Woods
  • 2015 Matthew Frank - If I Should Die
  • 2016 John Donoghue - The Death's Head Chess Club

When will evening meetings be held for readers/ reviewers and who will be the speakers?

  • Meeting venues and speakers are announced on this web site throughout the year on the Events and Meetings page. From 2017 they are usually on Tuesday evenings in Burley Hall, Waverton.
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