Writer's Resources

Novel Writing Competitions 2018

Finish Your Novel

Novel Writing Competition List for 2018. Updated: 2 April 2018 These competitions are for unpublished or self-published novels and novellas for international writers, plus a couple for UK residents only. It’s a long list, updated monthly, so bookmark this page! I can’t vouch for any of these comps personally, but if you have experience of them, I’d love to hear from you. Good luck!

More Competitions:

Please be sure to check the websites for more information, submission requirements and deadlines.

Adventure Writer’s Competition

Sponsored by the Clive Cussler Collector’s Society. Annual competition to recognise and celebrate adventure writing. Open to unpublished novels and published novels that have sold no more than 5,000 copies. Must be an action-adventure novel. Win $1,000 plus marketing help with your novel. Open for entries.

Entry Fee: $25

Deadline: 1 July 2018

Submit: complete manuscript. Check website for full submission details and rules.

A Woman’s Write

International prize for an unpublished novel written in English. Open to women only. All submissions receive a critique. Prize $500 and certificate! Runs every year and opens on 1st January.

Entry Fee: $40

Deadline: 30 November 2018

Submit: first 50 pages, a detailed synopsis and bio. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Bath Novella-in-Flash Award

Annual prize for novellas of between 6,000 and 18,000 words, where each flash (or chapter) is no more than 1,000 words. Win £300 plus publication in print and digital anthology. Two runners up receive £100 each. Any subject or theme, but must be in English and written for adults or young adults. Open for entries.

Entry Fee: £16

Deadline: 14 January 2019

Submit: full manuscript via email. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Bath Novel Award

International prize for aspiring and self-published novelists. Win £2,500, plus literary agent introductions. Long-listed entrants will be asked to submit their complete manuscript (min. 50,000 words). One long-listed entrant also gets access to an online editing course worth £1,800 from Cornerstones Literary Consultancy. Open for entries.

Entry Fee: £25

Deadline: 30 April 2018

Submit: first 5,000 words and 1 page synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Betty Trask Prize

For first novels in a traditional or romantic style by authors under the age of 35. Open to Commonwealth citizens only. Entry may be published or unpublished. Win £20,000. Prize money must be used for foreign travel. A Society of Authors Prize. Opens in September each year.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 30 November 2017 *CLOSED*

Submit: For published novels send 4 copies of the book; for unpublished novels send 1 copy of the manuscript. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Bridport Prize: Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award

Win £1,000 plus mentoring and possible publication of your first novel. Open to UK residents only. For a complete or nearly complete (min. 15,000 words) novel in any adult fiction genre. Shortlisted entrants will have to submit at least 30,000 words for final judging.

Entry Fee: £20

Deadline: 31 May 2018

Submit: the first 5,000 to 8,000 words, plus a 300 word synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Caledonia Novel Award

International competition for unpublished and self-published novels in any genre for adults or YA. Win £1,000, plus a free place on a week-long residential writing course in Scotland (for the best novel from the UK & Ireland). Long-listed entrants will be asked to submit their complete manuscript (min 50,000 words). Opens in May.

Entry Fee: £25

Deadline: 1 November 2017 *CLOSED*

Submit: the first 20 pages plus 200 word synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Cinnamon Press Debut Novel Prize

Annual competition open to authors who have not previously been published. Win a year of mentoring worth £1,000 plus a publishing contract with Cinnamon Press.

Entry Fee: £12

Deadline: 31 July 2018

Submit: first 10,000 of your novel. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Claymore Award

Open to unpublished manuscripts in thriller, mystery, crime, Sci-Fi, fantasy, and more. Win possible publication and agent representation. This is an international competition but many of the prizes require your presence in the USA.

Entry Fee: $40

Deadline: 1 April 2018 *CLOSED*

Submit: first 50 pages and online submission form. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Award

International annual competition for unpublished crime writers. Self-published writers can enter if they’ve never been traditionally published. Win £500. All shortlisted entrants receive a professional assessment of their work. Opens on 1 October each year.

Entry Fee: £36

Deadline: 28 February 2018 *CLOSED*

Submit: first 3,000 words, a 500–1,000 word synopsis, plus entry form. Check website for full submission details and rules.

EPIC eBook Competition

Run by the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition since 2000, the EPIC eBook awards look for excellence in ePublished books. Win a trophy (!). Multiple categories to choose between. Runs every year and opens June 2018.

Entry Fee: $25 for EPIC members; $35 for non-members

Deadline: 15 July 2018

Submit: a non-DRM pdf format version of the published book, plus entry form. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Exeter Novel Prize

International annual competition open to writers who don’t have an agent and are not currently under contract with a publisher. Win £500. Five runners up receive £75. All genres except children’s, but they will accept YA.

Entry Fee: £18

Deadline: 1 January 2018 *CLOSED*

Submit: first 10,000 words, including 500 word synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

First Novel Prize

Daniel Goldsmith Associates literary prize for unpublished and self-published novelists. Win £1,000 for a novel of at least 50,000 words in any adult genre. Open for entries.

Entry Fee: £25

Deadline: 31 May 2018

Submit: full manuscript plus synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Flash 500 Novel Opening Chapter Competition

Annual competition for unpublished novels to be judged by senior editors at Crooked Cat Publishing. Win £500. Runner up £200. Open for entries.

Entry Fee: £10

Deadline: 31 October 2018

Submit: opening chapter of no more than 3,000 words, plus 1 page synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Historical Novel Society New Novel Award

Open to historical novels of any genre, as long as the story is set at least fifty years ago. The novel must not be under contract with a publisher, but self-published novels are accepted. Your novel doesn’t have to be completed, but must be at least 60,000 words long. Win £2,000.

Entry Fee: $40 ($20 for members)

Deadline: 31 December 2017 *CLOSED*

Submit: first 5,000 words plus 500 word synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Impress Prize for New Writers

International annual prize for debuts from unpublished novelists and non-fiction writers. Your entry should be developed enough that it could be published within a year. Win publication by Impress Books plus £500 advance. Opens on 1 May 2018.

Entry Fee: £25

Deadline: 29 June 2018

Submit: sample chapter (no more than 6,000 words) plus book proposal. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Jhalak Prize

Annual prize for a published or self-published book by a BAME writer. Open to UK residents only. All genres including fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, children’s and YA. The aim is to find the best writers of colour in the country. Win £1,000.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 30 November 2017 *CLOSED*

Submit: two copies of the book by post or ebook via email. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize

Open to women novelists over the age of 21 for unpublished novels. UK residents only. Win the opportunity to attend a networking dinner plus editorial consultation. All shortlisted entrants also receive the editorial consultation. Opens in October each year.

Entry Fee: £12

Deadline: 9 February 2018 *CLOSED*

Submit: first 50 pages, plus up to 10 page synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

McKitterick Prize

For first time novels, published or unpublished, by writers over the age of 40. Win £4,000, or £1,000 for runner up. Your novel must be complete before entry. A Society of Authors prize. Opens in September each year.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 31 October 2017 *CLOSED*

Submit: For published novels send 5 copies of the book; for unpublished novels send the first 30 pages. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Mslexia Novella Competition

*NEW* Open to unpublished women novelists writing in any genre for adult or young adult readers. Your novella must be between 10,000 and 40,000 words. Win £1,000, plus the opportunity to be published by Mslexia and Galley Beggar Press. Finalists announced in June 2019.

Entry Fee: £15

Deadline: 1 October 2018

Submit: extract of 5,000 words. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Myriad First Drafts Competition

Looking for exceptional new voices. Open to unpublished writers for a novel or short story collection. Win a week-long writing retreat in West Dean College near Chichester (UK), plus editorial feedback from the judges. Winner announced November 2017. Re-opens in April 2018.

Entry Fee: £10

Deadline: 30 June 2017 *CLOSED*

Submit: 5,000 words of a work in progress plus synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

New Voices Competition

Open to novelists in all genres. Win a start-up mentoring package worth £550, including manuscript appraisal and guidance from Adventures in Fiction. Designed for first time writers in the early stages of a novel.

Entry Fee: £10

Deadline: 14 September 2018

Submit: one page synopsis and first page of the novel. Check website for full submission details and rules.

North Street Book Prize

For self-published books in various categories: Mainstream/Literary fiction, Genre fiction, Creative Non-fiction and Memoir, Poetry, and Children’s Picture Book. Win up to $3,000 plus marketing services and advice. Open to ebooks and print books. Opens 15 February 2018.

Entry Fee: $60

Deadline: 30 June 2018

Submit: details on opening. Check website for full submission details and rules.

PENfro First Chapter Competition

Run by the PENfro Book Festival in Wales. Open to unpublished writers who don’t have an agent. Your novel should be for adults or young adults. Win a review of your work and a session with full feedback from literary consultant and scout David Llewelyn. Ten shortlisted writers will also receive a consultation.

Entry Fee: £10

Deadline: 14 July 2017 *CLOSED*

Submit: first chapter up to 3,000 words. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Rubery Book Award

International book award for independent and self-published books of poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction. All genres including children’s and young adult. Win £1,500, plus three category winners of £150 each. The winning book will be read by a leading literary agency.

Entry Fee: £36 or $60 USD

Deadline: 31 March 2018 *CLOSED*

Submit: one copy of the book, plus book blurb and entry form. See website for full submission details and rules.

SI Leeds Literary Prize

Biennial competition for Black and Asian women writers. UK Residents only. Win £3,000 for a finished novel or collection of short stories. The winner also receives a free place on an Arvon creative writing course. Loads of other prizes for runners-up, and the winner’s book will be considered for publication by Peepal Tree Press.

Entry Fee: £10

Deadline: 30 April 2018

Submit: full manuscript. Check website for full submission details, rules and eligibility.

Spotlight First Novel Competition

Open to international unpublished novelists in all genres. Win a mentoring package from Adventures in Fiction worth up to £990, and a page featuring your work on their website.

Entry Fee: £16

Deadline: 14 February 2018 *CLOSED*

Submit: one page synopsis and first page of the novel. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Sunday Times/Peters Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award

For a published or self-published work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by writers aged 18-35 years. Open to UK and Irish writers only. Win £5,000, plus 3 runners up prizes of £500 for a work of outstanding literary merit. A Society of Authors Prize.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 2 June 2017 *CLOSED*

Submit: By post send 5 copies of the book, or by email send a pdf copy. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Virginia Prize for Fiction

International competition open to women novelists. Win £1,000 and possible publication by Aurora Metro Press. Your novel must be complete and never have been published or self-published. Runs every two years. Next round will open in January 2019.

Entry Fee: £15

Deadline: 1 October 2017 *CLOSED*

Submit: completed novel. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

Annual award for the best published and unpublished adventure novels. Winner of published novel receives £15,000; winner of unpublished novel receives a £7,500 grant for travel and research into next novel. Self-published e-books are eligible. Entries must be longer than 50,000 words.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 12 March 2018 *CLOSED*

Submit: for published novels send 2 copies of the book and cover letter; for unpublished novels send full manuscript, synopsis, cover letter and CV. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Wundor Short Fiction Contest 2018 – Novellas

For Novellas, Short Stories and Flash Fiction no longer than 45,000 words. Win £500 and an extract of your work published on the website, plus possible publication of the full work in print. Your entry must not have been published previously in print or online. Winner announced in June.

Entry Fee: £10

Deadline: 31 May 2018

Submit: full manuscript online. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Yeovil Literary Prize

International writing competition judged by professional writers aimed at aspiring novelists. Win first prize £1,000, second £250, third £100. Your novel must be unpublished and must not be under consideration in any other competition. Opens 1 January each year.

Entry Fee: £12

Deadline: 31 May 2018

Submit: synopsis and first 3 chapters (up to a total of 15,000). Check website for full submission details and rules.


More Competitions:

Before entering any competition make sure you check the entry requirements and rules. If I’ve missed any good novel competitions, please let me know in the comments below…

Note: This is a list of competitions I’ve compiled from information available online. I have no connection to any of the companies. Any problems or queries should be directed to the companies concerned.

More: Resources & Links for Writersresources-writers
More competitions here: Christopher Fielden
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