Kindle Storyteller Award 2021 picks five novel contenders on shortlist for £20,000 top prize

The shortlist for the Kindle Storyteller Award 2021 features five series novels across crime, romance and science fiction/fantasy genres.

The award is now in its fifth year and saw a record number of submissions. It offers new, independently published books across all genres the chance of a £20,000 cash prize, a golden Kindle and a dedicated marketing campaign on

The judging panel features broadcaster and author Clare Balding; best-selling author Nicola May; 2020 Kindle Storyteller winner Anna McNuff; Sacha Black from the Alliance of Independent Authors; Darren Hardy, Author and Editorial Programmes Manager at Amazon UK; and Michaella Parkes, from the Amazon Books Editorial Team.

Clare Balding says, “It’s clear we have felt the need to get creative over the last year and escape our everyday lives by putting pen to paper and creating a new world. It’s great to see another record year for the Kindle Storyteller Award, self-publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing really animates the market and I’m looking forward to reading all the great stories.”

Darren Hardy, Author and Editorial Programmes Manager at Amazon UK, says:, ‘It’s fantastic to see the number of submissions to the Kindle Storyteller Award grow each year and the quality continues to be of the highest standard – I’m looking forward to getting stuck into each shortlisted book and finding our winner.’

The winner of the £20,000 prize will be revealed in October. My bet is on the first non-UK winner being A Thousand Li.

The full shortlist for the 2021 Kindle Storyteller Award is:

Escape to the Hummingbird Hotel
by Daisy James

Daisy James writes feelgood romantic comedies set in sun-filled locations. Escape to the Hummingbird Hotel is the first book in her newest series and follows the life of a celebrity florist as she deals with heartbreak and new adventures in an uplifting romantic comedy set on the island of Corfu.

Stranger at the Villa
by Mary Kingswood

Mary Kingswood is a traditional Regency romance author based in the Scottish Highlands, who published her first novel in 2014. She has now published over 40 books through KDP, including her Strangers series. Stranger at the Villa is the story of 26-year-old Susannah Winslade, who is caring for her sick stepmother, young brothers and sisters and alcoholic father, and Samuel Broughton, who is making a new start as a country physician.

An Isolated Incident
by JD Kirk

JD Kirk is a thriller, mystery and crime fiction author from Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. After publishing over 140 children’s books through an agent, he uploaded his first book to KDP and outperformed all of his children’s books combined in the first three weeks. In 2019, he penned his first crime novel and the DCI Logan series was born. An Isolated Incident, is book 11 in the series and follows DCI Jack Logan on a manhunt after a violent home invasion in the remote wilds of Glen Coe leads him into the seedy world of Scottish light entertainment.

The Corfe Castle Murders
by Rachel McLean

Rachel McLean is a crime, thriller and mystery writer from Birmingham. She self-published her first book in 2017 and has written more crime, thriller, and mystery stories. The Corfe Castle Murders is the first book in her Dorset Crime series and features DCI Lesley Clarke a straight-talking city copper as she investigates a murder at an English landmark.

Under the name Rachel McCollin, the author also writes non-fiction books about how writers can build WordPress websites.

A Thousand Li: The Second Sect
by Tao Wong

Tao Wong is a Canadian author based in Toronto who began his writing career on fan sites before self-publishing and becoming a full-time author in 2019. He now has a total of seven different series spanning a wide range of worlds within the LitRPG (literary role-playing game) and xianxia science fiction and fantasy (genre of Chinese fantasy influenced by Chinese mythology, religions, martial arts, etc). A Thousand Li: The Second Sect is the fifth instalment of his most recent series and follows Wu Ying after he was gravely injured saving his master in the previous book.

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