The 1-2-1 session with Hattie Grünewald as a result of winning the BPA Pitch Prize was invaluable. She offered real insight into the pitching process, as well as astute, detailed feedback on my synopsis. The whole experience gave me the confidence to submit my work to twelve other agents, eight of whom requested the full manuscript. I am delighted to say I have signed with Alexander Cochrane at C&W Agency. I honestly don’t think I would have had the courage without the accolade and experience under my belt. Thank you BPA!
Letty Butler2022 Pitch Prize Winner
Thank you all so much for all your help and encouragement over the years. My novel, Bone Rites, first longlisted by you in 2019 then shortlisted in 2021, is going to be published by Aurora Metro books this October, after winning the 2022 Virginia Prize for Fiction. It’s been a long road, but from the moment you chose one of my sentences as one of your #BPAfavouritelines, I’ve had faith in this book!
Natalie Bayley BPA First Novel Award
Natalie Bayley2021 First Novel Award Shortlist
I’m delighted to announce that I’m now represented by Katie Fulford of Bell Lomax. She is my dream agent. Also thank you so much for the manuscript review from BPA editor Frances Merivale. It was amazing – detailed and well thought out.
Thank you so much for the kickstart and for the support from Emma and the BPA team.
Karen Pierce2022 First Novel Award Runner-Up
I submitted my entry to the BPA First Novel Award in February, thinking…why not? Never did I imagine that seven months later, I would receive a call from Emma Haynes, telling me that I was the winner. I’m thrilled that the judges enjoyed my story, and I’m super excited to be represented by Rowan Lawton at The Soho Agency. Thank you BPA for giving unpublished writers like me (who might have been querying agents unsuccessfully for years), this incredible opportunity to expose our work. Winning this contest has brought me one step closer to my dream of having my novel, White Yams published internationally. I couldn’t be more grateful!
Tracy Coker, winner of BPA First Novel Award 2022
Tracy CokerFirst Novel Award 2022 Winner

Amy was a Pitch Prize 2021 winner and was also longlisted for the First Novel Award 2022. Her debut novel Spoilt Creatures, a story about cults, transgressions and women’s rage was published in June by Headline’s Tinder Press. The Observer recently featured Amy in their review of the best debut novelists for 2024.

“Entering the Pitch Prize has proven to be a wonderful experience. Not only did winning it give me a much-needed morale boost, but Blue Pencil Agency’s continued support and an introduction by Emma Haynes eventually led to me signing with my wonderful agent, Charlotte Seymour of Johnson & Alcock. To anyone unsure of entering: bet on yourself and your writing, and know that you will be in a safe pair of hands with the Blue Pencil Agency team.”
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Amy Twigg2021 Pitch Prize Winner

Thank you so much for your help again, it’s lovely to feel supported in this process & I’m sure having the BPA pitch prize on my cv helped me get these agent offers so thank you for that as well!

Penny Y
I remember clearly wondering whether to send my manuscript to the Blue Pencil Award, and if it was ready. I am so glad I did – seeing my name on first the longlist, and then the short list was an incredible feeling. It was encouragement and validation, however subjective we all know it is, for something undertaken in isolation and often uncertainty. Winning it was a game-changer for me. The team at BPA seemed almost as excited as I was! Hellie Ogden offered me representation and I am now working with her as my wonderful agent on what I hope will become my debut novel. It is quite literally a dream come true.
Julia Kelly was the winner of the 2021 Award for The Lost Child. She is represented by Hellie Ogden.
BPA First Novel Award – Winner, Julia Kelly
Julia Kelly2021 First Novel Award winner

Pitch Prize Longlist 2020

I love the BPA competitions for the following reasons:

1. The BPA team’s creative spirit and enthusiasm – sharing success stories that motivate and inspire writers on their journey.

2. The competitions are open to writers worldwide.

3. The competition includes the cover letter in the ‘submission package’. (Most competitions don’t include this but I enjoy the opportunity to pitch the novel and include comparisons and why the writer feels passionate about their story.)

4. The professional and personal response to queries.

Caroline Georgieff

I entered the BPA First Novel Award having never properly shared my fiction with anyone before, and not really knowing what to expect. It was without a doubt the best twenty quid I’ve ever spent. 

First making the longlist — and then the shortlist! — was such a huge vote of confidence in my writing style and the story I was trying to tell with Brotherhood and to actually win was unreal. It helped not just in cementing my confidence in my writing (and silencing my imposter syndrome) but it also inspired me to keep working on my manuscript and to stick to deadlines when it came to editing. 

Winning during the pandemic made things feel even more unreal, but even though I couldn’t meet the Blue Pencil team in person, I felt incredibly supported and involved and was then able to meet one of the judges, FBA’s Carrie Plitt, over Zoom to discuss my manuscript. Carrie’s continued guidance and expertise (and the depth of feedback of the rest of the BPA First Novel Award judging team) was really invaluable and helped me to see my work through a new perspective, whilst supporting me to get it ready for publication. 

I am over the moon to now be signed to FBA with Carrie, and I cannot wait to see where things go next. Without sounding too cliche, it really does feel like a new beginning in terms of publishing Brotherhood and in my fiction career, and I am so pleased I decided to enter last year. It really has been an incredible experience from start to finish. 

Roisin Lanigan was the winner of the 2020 Award for Brotherhood. She is represented by Carrie Plitt

Roisin Lanigan - Blue Pencil Agency / BPA
Roisin Lanigan2020 First Novel Award Winner

I am emailing to thank you so much for taking a chance on me and telling Marina de Pass about my novel, The Silence Project. As of this week, Marina is now my agent and I am thrilled!

Because the novel was shortlisted for The Bridport Prize and was my London Library Emerging Writer submission, it was also seen by agents at A.M.Heath, but Marina has given me such brilliant feedback and encouragement that I have no doubt that she will be my ideal agent.

It’s all because of you. And the novel didn’t even make the longlist for the BPA First Novel Award, so doubly thank you for making the introduction.

Carole Hailey