Duffy wins Cheshire Novel Prize with “Mrs P Goes to Town”

Louise Jensen Duffy, a writer from Australia, has won the 2023 Cheshire Novel Prize for her historical novel Mrs P Goes to Town. The prize, a literary competition for unagented writers from around the world, was founded by Sara Cox, a former journalist and editor.

Mrs P Goes to Town is set in 1933 and follows a 64-year-old woman who inherits a fortune and gets a second chance at life after her abusive husband dies. The novel is described as a “middle-aged ‘Cinderella-story’ but with found-family and female friendships instead of a prince”.

The judges of the prize were Katie Fulford, a literary agent from Bell Lomax Morton, and Sian Bayley, a news reporter from The Bookseller. They praised Duffy’s novel for its wonderful opening, memorable characters, and deft handling of the plot. They also highly commended two other novels: The Bone Conspiracy by Elle Wild, a crime/thriller, and Lime Juice Money by Jo Morey, a literary suspense.

The prize received 1,640 entries from 22 countries this year. The longlist consisted of 32 novels, while the shortlist had 10. The winner was announced on August 4, 2023, and received a trophy, a certificate, and a £500 cash prize. The winner and the highly commended writers will also have their novels showcased to agents and publishers through the prize’s website and social media channels.

The Cheshire Novel Prize is an annual contest that aims to discover and support new and emerging writers from any genre. It accepts entries from January to June each year and offers feedback to all participants. 


Subscribe to our Newsletter
Stay up-to-date