The Award is open to unrepresented and unpublished authors for a novel in any adult fiction genre
Following on from the success of our inaugural First Novel Award in 2017, we are asking for submissions for the 2018 Award.
Winner: £1,000 + introduction to literary agent, Madeleine Milburn
Runner Up: £250 + manuscript review from a Bluepencilagency editor
Madeleine Milburn- leading literary agent representing some of the UK’s bestselling and award-winning authors alongside rising new talent www.madeleinemilburn.co.uk;
Fiona Mitchell – Author of The Maid’s Room www.fionamitchell.org;
The team at Bluepencilagency will oversee all submissions.
Entries: The first chapter(s) of the novel up to 5000 words.
Entry fee: £20 for each submission. Online entry only.
Closing date: June 30
The long listed writers will be contacted by email with announcements of the titles on the website on September 30.
The short listed writers will be notified on October 31 and the titles announced on the website. Those short listed will be asked to submit 20,000 words (includes the initial entry) by November 8.
The winners will be notified by email and announced on our website on November 30.
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.
- an original and unforgettable story that grips the reader.
- an attention grabbing first paragraph.
- authors must be over 18 years old at the time of entry.
- the Award is open to unrepresented and unpublished authors of fiction at the closing date of June 30.
- self-published authors are accepted. Entrants who have had other types of books published ie non fiction, memoir or poetry are also eligible.
- the work must be completed or close to completion at the closing date of June 30.
- the submitted work must not have won or been placed as runner up in another competition. Long-listed or short-listed entries in other competitions are eligible.
- authors must notify us immediately if they sign with an agent during the judging. period from July 1 – November 31 or their entry wins a prize in another competition.
- entrants may submit more than one novel 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.
- judges’ decision is final. Judges are unable to comment on individual entries.
How to submit
- please enter through the link on our website
- download your opening chapter or chapters up to 5000 words plus a 300 word synopsis and a covering letter with some information about yourself/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. 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.
Madeleine Milburn founded Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency in 2012 and her agency represents a stellar list of award-winning and bestselling authors of adult and children’s fiction. The agency’s authors consistently feature on The Sunday Times, New York Times, Amazon and international bestseller lists. Madeleine and her team are renowned for talent spotting new writers and negotiating major deals across all media including print, digital, translation and film & TV.
Fiona Mitchell is a Bluepencilagency client and author of The Maid’s Room published in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton in November 2017 and out in paperback this summer, which Emerald Street described as “A modern-day The Help”. She is currently working on her second novel and is represented by agent Rowan Lawton of Furniss Lawton. Says Fiona “I’d love to see a brilliant character-led novel with a dynamic, original voice. I adore uplifting fiction, but am also a sucker for a book that turns me into an emotional wreck. Give me tight plots and a beautiful writing style and I’m a satisfied reader.”