A literary contest open to unpublished and independently published novelists

First Prize: £1,000

Shortlist Prize: £500

Have you written a novel that is self-published or is yet to be published? Then this is the competition for you.

In its ninth consecutive year, the First Novel Prize aims to discover an original new voice in fiction writing, across the English language world.

Entries are now closed. Shortlisting is under way. 

We will announce the shortlist on the 15th of July 2024. Thank you to everyone who has submitted their entry, we look forward to reading your work. Good luck!

The straight-forward entry process is as follows:

1) Upload the opening extract of your novel up to 5,000 words onto our website, making sure that your details are on the title page of your manuscript, followed by the synopsis and the novel within the same document. The number of words in the synopsis and your contact details should be included in the overall limit of 5,000 words.

2) Pay the £25 competition entry fee via PayPal by clicking ‘Make Payment and Submit’. After making the payment, please wait to be automatically redirected  to our website. Only if your browser does not automatically redirect you back to our website, you can click the link ‘Return to Merchant’ and you will be redirected to a page on our website confirming your successful submission. Alternatively, low-income writers qualify for a limited number of free places made available at the beginning of every month for the duration of the Prize. Find out more about sponsored places

3) You will receive an automatic confirmation email from us and a receipt for your payment, if applicable. We will now be in possession of your submission. Once checked, it will be forwarded on to the judges. If we need anything else, we will be in touch. Read full Terms and Conditions.

We no longer accept entries by post.

We look forward to reading your work!

Entries will open on the 1st of February 2025.