The Retreat West Novel Prize

The Retreat West Novel Prize 2019

Win a publishing deal with Retreat West Books (shortlisted Most Innovative Publisher 2019 Saboteur Awards)


The Retreat West Novel Prize is an annual prize looking for new, unagented authors with exciting novels to share. Read about the story behind it here.

Judge: Amanda Saint

Amanda is an author and publisher who founded Retreat West in 2012, providing creative writing competitions, retreats and courses, and in 2017 she expanded it to include Retreat West Books indie press. Her debut novel, As If I Were A River, was a NetGalley Top 10 Book of the Month, a Book Magnet Blog Top 20 Book of 2016 and longlisted for the 2016 Guardian Not The Booker Prize. Her new novel, Remember Tomorrow, published in March 2019. To see what kind of writing she enjoys, buy one or more of the Retreat West Books titles.

1st Prize: A standard publishing contract with Retreat West Books for a paperback and ebook edition of the novel, with a £500 advance.

2nd Prize: A full MS critique and editorial report from Amanda Saint.

3rd Prize: A year’s Gold Author Membership with Retreat West.

Entry fee: £15

Deadline: 18th August 2019 – the longlist will be announced in November, the shortlist in December and the winners in March 2020. See details of the 2018 winners here.

Submission guidelines: Send the first 7,500 words only of your novel and a maximum 500 word synopsis all in the same document. The shortlisted writers will be asked to submit their full manuscript. Please read all of the Competition Rules below before entering.

About Retreat West Books: Retreat West Books is a small independent press with a social and environmental conscience. It publishes novels, memoirs and short story collections. Every year at least one anthology will be donating all profits to a nominated charity and all paperbacks are print on demand to make best use of the world’s finite resources. It’s dedicated to helping new writers bring their words to the world.

Enter here



Competition Rules

  • You must not have literary agent representation and not have had a novel published before.
  • If you have self-published a novel you are eligible to enter but not with a novel already published. You can only enter one that has not been previously published.
  • Writers that have completed the Retreat West 8 Month Novel Course or the Start Your Novel Course (Feedback Option) cannot submit the novels they have worked on during the course.
  • Submit novel extracts written in English through Submittable (you will need to create a free account) using the button below by 23.59 GMT on the deadline date (sorry late entries will not be included).
  • Do not include your name on the document or submission title but provide a short bio in the body of the email. All entries are read anonymously so any submissions showing the author’s name will be automatically disqualified.
  • Do not send more than 7,500 words. Entries that exceed the word count will be automatically disqualified.
  • The novel must be your own original work and not have been published online or in print, or have won any other competitions (longlisted and shortlisted places in other competitions is fine).
  • By entering the competition you agree to your novel being published by Retreat West Books.
  • Novels can be in any genre apart from children’s fiction and erotica. YA is allowed.
  • You can enter as many times as you like but all entries must be made separately and the entry fee paid each time.
  • The judge’s decision is final.
  • There are no alternative prizes.