The BPA Pitch Prize 2020

Now in its second year, the Pitch Prize is a competition for un-agented writers looking for representation for a work of fiction.

Judge: Jane Finigan, literary agent at Lutyens & Rubinstein

Prize: For up to seven writers

Pitch your novel to Jane Finigan. Receive editorial feedback and recommendations. Industry insights and advice on next steps.

The team at Blue Pencil Agency will oversee all submissions.

Entries: We accept submissions of the first 500 words and a 300 word synopsis. You need to have written at least the first 10,000 words of the novel although we only require the first 500 words.

For tips and advice on what Jane is looking for, join us on zoom November 12 from 6.00 – 7.30 pm. For more details and to sign up go to our online events.

Entry fee: £10 for each submission. Online entry only


Submission Deadline: November 29, 2020

Winners Announcement: January 2020

The winners will be notified by email and announced on our website

One on one meetings with Jane in person or Skype:  January/February 2021


Jane Finigan, Literary Agent at Lutyens & Rubinstein

Assistance to writers on low incomes or from under-represented backgrounds

This year we are offering up to 10 free entries for UK based writers on low incomes or from communities currently under-represented in publishing.

If there are more than ten applications the most promising ten submissions will be selected by the BPA team.

Please click here to Contact BPA with your application and, if relevant, proof of financial eligibility such as: Jobseeker’s Allowance; Disability Benefit; Income Support; Working Tax Credit; Child Tax Credit; proof of being a full-time student; Housing Benefit; proof of being a full-time carer.

All details will be kept confidential.

What we’re looking for:

• any genre with the exception of children’s fiction and non-fiction. YA is permitted provided there is an adult crossover.
• a strong voice.
• the makings of an original and compelling story.
• an attention grabbing first paragraph.


  • Authors must be over 18 years old at the time of entry.
  • The Prize is open to unrepresented authors of fiction at the closing date of November 24, 2020.
  • Clients of BPA who have had full manuscript reviews are not eligible to enter however those who have been to a retreat or workshop are still eligible providing they did not follow up with an editorial service.
  • Writers must advise the organisers if they accept representation during the judging period.
  • Published authors are accepted as long as they don’t have an agent.
  • The first 10,000 words must have been completed at the closing date of November 29, 2020.
  • Entrants may submit more than one pitch but as separate entries.
  • Entries must be written in English.
  • Entries can only be submitted electronically via this site and payment made via PayPal.
  • Entrants may withdraw entries but fees cannot be refunded.
  • Judge’s decision is final. Judge is unable to comment on individual entries.
  • Copyright remains with the author, however we reserve the right to publish extracts of up to 300 words on our website as well as the opening lines on Twitter.
  • By submitting, entrants are agreeing for BPA to keep a record of their email address for marketing purposes only. This information will not be shared with third parties. Entrants can unsubscribe from all communication at any time.

How to submit

  • Please enter through the link on our website
  • Upload your first 500 words plus a 300 word synopsis and a covering letter with some brief information about yourself/your career as a writer.
  • Please ensure that the file name is the title of the story and ensure that this is also in the subject line of your email.
  • Entries must be in either a doc., docx, or pdf. No other formats will be accepted.
  • Entries must be double spaced in a clear font (Times New Roman or similar) and pages numbered.
  • The novel’s title must be on every page but your name should not appear anywhere on the story.
  • The covering letter should include the following details: your name, the title of your novel, your email address and telephone number, a brief CV or publication history and the genre of your novel if applicable (e.g. uplit, romance, contemporary, historical, psychological thriller, fantasy, crime, women’s, literary)
  • Go to the Shop page and click on the paypal button to pay the fee.
  • If payment is made using a different name, it is essential you include that name in the email you send with the story.

Before entering, please ensure to familiarise yourself with the Rules, Terms and Conditions, and Privacy Policies. Entering the Blue Pencil First Novel Award is taken as your full agreement.

7 November Q & A with Jane Finigan and Claire Fuller

2020 Pitch Prize Judge


Jane Finigan | Literary Agent

Jane Finigan is a partner at Lutyens & Rubinstein Literary Agency. Her list is a small but perfectly formed and spans an eclectic mix of fiction and non-fiction.  She represents critically acclaimed and award winning novelists including Claire Fuller, Lisa Owens, Ned Beauman, Sarah Haywood and bestselling non-fiction writers including Meera Sodha, Simon Parkin and Alex Beard. She works closely and collaboratively with her authors and is always on the look out for powerful, intelligent, witty and unexpected new voices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get representation with Jane?

Not necessarily. The Prize offers a chance to pitch your story and get editorial feedback and industry insights. There is no obligation for Jane to take on any of the winners, although she might invite you to submit directly to her once the novel is finished.

I’ve had a novel published, am I still eligible to enter?

Yes, as long as you don’t have an agent.

I’ve only just started writing the novel, can I still enter?

Yes, as long as you’ve written the first 10,000 words and you have a clear synopsis so you know where the story is heading.

I’m away for the whole of February, if I’m a winner can the meeting take place another time?

The one on one sessions will be arranged at a mutually convenient time during February 2020 and can be done by skype if not in person. It is unlikely that Jane will be able to commit outside of this timeframe.

I’ve got several ideas. Can I pitch them all?

You may submit more than one entry but they need to be submitted and paid for individually.