Sara was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize in 2016 and has just been announced winner of the 2019 Costa First Novel Award

Sara Collins, former lawyer, has won the Costa First Novel Award for her debut, The Confessions of Frannie Langton, a Gothic romance about the twisted love affair between a Jamaican maid and her French mistress in 19th-century London. It is described by her publisher as “a jaw-dropping account of one woman’s quest for freedom and love, in a world where those rights are routinely denied because of her colour and gender, and a twisted murder mystery”.

The Costa Book Awards is recognised as one of the UK's most prestigious and popular book prizes for authors based in the UK and Ireland. Held annually, the awards welcome a wide range of books to be considered in five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book. From the winners in each of these five categories, one is selected as overall Costa Book of the Year.

Costa logo

Sara Collins’ debut novel was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize back in 2016, launching her literary career. The book was published in early 2019 by Penguin in the UK and Harper Collins in the US to critical acclaim. The Confessions of Frannie Langton has been sold for translation into more than fourteen languages, as well as being optioned for television. It has also made an appearance in numerous ‘best of’ lists by Oprah magazine, The Guardian, The Observer, Amazon, Apple and Essence, to name a few. Oprah magazine named her one of the women of summer 2019, and The Sunday Times called her “a star in the making”.

Sara says: “Little did I know when I was shortlisted that within two years I’d have signed with an agent, finished the novel, and agreed book deals in several territories as well as a TV option.”

Congratulations to Sara for another brilliant accomplishment!

About the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize

The Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize was founded in 2010 by Professor Janet Todd OBE, then President of the College. Aspiring authors are invited to submit an opening to a novel (up to the first 50 pages), accompanied by a synopsis of how the novel progresses and concludes. The Fiction Prize is for a novel by a woman over the age of 21 that marries literary merit with unputdownability. The work can be on any subject at all. We welcome submissions of literary fiction and genre fiction equally. Novels for young adults or children are acceptable if they are mainly word-based; picture books are excluded. The winner will receive a cash prize of £1,500 and a consultation with Peters Fraser Dunlop.

Feeling inspired? Are you ready to start writing your novel? The 2020 Fiction prize is still open for entries and closes 12 noon Friday 17th January 2020! Enter now.