Pitch to Win 2023 Winners

We are delighted to announce the results of this year’s Pitch to Win competition. It was a close call between all of the shortlisted pitches and novels and we wish we could have given them all the prizes!

So well done to all who made it to the final round – your pitches are great and your novels sound equally fab! And HUGE congrats to our winners!

First Place – Where We Kept The Light by Anil Classen

The pitch: When Nilan wakes from a coma, his estranged father decides to cook a series of dishes from their shared past, each one highlighting a specific memory, in the hope of forgiveness.

Why we chose it: It feels unique, connects us to the main characters, and gives us both conflict and hope, while posing questions about why the protagonist is in a coma and what the father needs forgiveness for. The idea of the dishes the father cooks for his son being linked to memories is poignant and beautiful.

About the author: Anil Classen is a German writer of Indian descent living in Switzerland, with an academic background in Psychology, English and Journalism. He divides his time between Zurich, Hamburg and Cape Town, each of these being called home at one stage of his life.

Anil wins: a fully-mentored space on the year-long Novel Creator Course starting in September 2023.

Second Place – The Post Box by Sharon Richards

The pitch: Six strangers face interconnected, life-changing consequences when a post box is deliberately set alight in post-war Britain. Letters about adoption, inheritance, even blackmail, are affected. Bereaved Paul, once devastated by a message never received, is determined to deliver every one.

Why we chose it: Love the idea of the interconnectedness of these strangers being woven together through Paul’s mission to deliver the letters. It instantly places us in a time and place, connects us to a narrator who we instantly feel empathy for and we want to know all about all the messages past and present!

About the author: Sharon has written two young adult novels, both shortlisted for the Cinnamon Pencil Mentoring prize. She recently won a place at a writing masterclass with Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri (judged by Ben Okri himself). She’s a member of Manchester Women’s Writers and ‘The Post Box’ is her first adult novel.

Sharon wins: a non-mentored space on the year-long Novel Creator Course starting in September 2023.

Third Place – Letters To My Future Self by Ruth Trippitt

The pitch: A physics student who is torn between career and love, writes a letter to her future self. She receives a reply from 35 years into the future, and this version of herself has a stark warning about things to come…

Why we chose it: So many big questions ignited about time and space and the nature of reality, as well as about the conflicts the protagonist has in her present day, which are then added to by the letter full of warnings. We want to know the answers to them all!

About the author: With ten years international film and television experience, Ruth’s strengths lie within writing, development and script editing. She attended the National Film and Television School, obtaining a Scripted Development Diploma. She has script edited shows for ITV, BBC, and Netflix. ‘Letters To My Future Self’ is her first novel.

Ruth wins: a place on the Mini Novel Course starting in Autumn 2023.

Congratulations again everyone – we are really looking forward to working with you to develop these exciting novels!