Three Great Fiction Writing Contests for UK and Irish Writers

With apologies to my readers elsewhere in the world, in this post I’m sharing details of three current fiction writing contests with big cash prizes that are open to writers in the UK and Ireland.

The first of these is the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller 2016, run by the Richard and Judy Book Club. On their website they say:

‘Search for a Bestseller’, supported by WHSmith, will be accepting manuscripts from unpublished authors from 10th March 2016 – 31st May 2016. Richard and Judy will then be leading the selection process, helped by editors and agents, to choose a winner who will receive a £50,000 publishing deal with Bonnier Zaffre and specialist advice from literary agency Furniss Lawton.

Richard Madeley commented: “Judy and I are so excited to host the “search for a bestseller” competition, it gives us a chance to keep doing what we both love- reading and discovering a fantastic title for our devoted Book Club audience. We can’t wait to read the submissions!”

To enter Search for a Bestseller, aspiring authors must submit 10,000 words of original fiction aimed at adults, as well as a synopsis of the full novel, via the entry form below. Good luck!

For anyone who may not know, Richard and Judy are UK TV personalities Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan. Their book club is said to be the largest in the UK. As well as the huge cash prize, the winner can therefore expect to get lots of publicity!

The closing date is 31 May 2016. For more information, here is a link to the contest website.

The second contest is the Daily Mail First Novel Contest. The winner of this one will receive a £20,000 advance fee, the services of a top literary agent, and guaranteed publication by Penguin Random House UK.

To enter this competition you have to send the first 5,000 words of your novel plus a 600-word synopsis of the complete work. The story can be a romance, a thriller, a sci-fi adventure, a contemporary tale or a historical one, as long as it is aimed at adults (not children) and is previously unpublished.

The closing date for this one is 16 April 2016. Full information, including how to submit your entry, can be found on this page of the Daily Mail website.

Finally, if you’re a young writer between 18 and 35, you might be interested in entering the Sunday Times/Peters Fraser and Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award.

The top prize of £5,000 is awarded for a full-length published or self-published (in book or ebook formats) work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, by a British or Irish author aged 18-35 years. There are also three awards of £500 each for runners-up.

The work submitted must have been first published in the UK and/or the Republic of Ireland, in the English language, between 1 July 2015 and 1 May 2016. Ebooks must be submitted in PDF format.

The closing date for this one is 1 May 2016. For more information, click through to this page of the Society of Authors website.

Good luck if you decide to enter any of these contests. If you win, remember that you heard about it here!

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on your own blog or social media: