The entries for the 2018 competition are now being read. The longlist will be announced in April, the shortlist soon after and the winner in May. The details of who will be judging the 2019 competition will be announced soon after that.

The 2018 competition is being judged by literary agent, Diana Beaumont, at Marjacq. Diana joined Marjacq in 2017. She started agenting with Rupert Heath Literary Agency in 2011 before moving to UTA. Before that she was senior commissioning editor at Transworld. Diana was chosen as one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars of 2012.

Read the blog interview to see how to get literary agents interested: What literary agent Diana Beaumont wants



  • Submit your first chapter only through Submittable using the button below by 23.59 GMT on 28th January 2018 (sorry – any entries that have included prologues, more than one chapter and/or a synopsis will be disqualified and fees will not be returned).
  • First chapters must be written in English and can be up to 3,500 words (no minimum word count) and on any theme and subject (except children’s fiction).
  • Please use 12pt font and double spacing.
  • Name the document you upload with your novel title.
  • Do not include your name on the chapter, the title of your entry or the document you upload as it is judged anonymously – instead submit your contact details and short bio separately in the cover letter section as we cannot see this until we have chosen the shortlists. Any entries that have the author’s name on them will be automatically disqualified.
  • The novel should be unpublished and not have been accepted by a publisher – if it is accepted by a publisher after submission but before the judging takes place then it will no longer be eligible and entry fees will not be refunded.
  • You can enter as many times as you like but each entry must be made separately and the entry fee paid each time.
  • Long and shortlists will be announced in April 2018 and the winners in June 2018.
  • The 10 shortlisted chapters will go to Diana to choose a winner from and she will then provide detailed feedback on the winner’s first 3 chapters, cover letter and synopsis.
  • All of the shortlisted entries will also receive short feedback from Diana in the blog announcing the winner.