Friday Night Live at the Festival of Writing – Jericho Writers
Jericho Writers
167-169 Great Portland street, 5th Floor, London, W1W 5PF
UK: +44 (0)330 043 0150
US: +1 (646) 974 9060

Friday Night Live at London Festival of Writing

Writers have walked away from the Friday Night Live festival competition with offers of representation. Will this be your year?

Submissions are now open for this year’s Friday Night Live*

Our flagship competition is back and will be held live on stage at London Festival of Writing 2024!

All Saturday and Weekend ticket holders to the London Festival of Writing are eligible to submit one piece of writing for consideration for Friday Night Live*.

To enter, simply send us the first 500 words of your manuscript. Fiction and non-fiction submissions are welcome. All entries will be read twice by our team of readers before the shortlist is announced.

*Friday Night Live will actually be on Saturday. We know it’s weird. We would rename if we could, but apparently Saturday Night Live was taken!

How does it work?

Friday Night Live will take place from 18:00 BST on Saturday 29 June 2024, starting with a drinks reception in the foyer, followed by the ceremony in Trinity & Goodman Suite and the gala dinner. Only Saturday and Weekend ticket holders can attend. Workshops on Saturday end at 17:00 BST, so you’ll have time to leave the venue and change into your evening finest if you wish. Tiaras and tuxedos are encouraged!

The ceremony itself will feature a panel of six special guest literary agents and will be hosted by the excellent Debi Alper. The eight finalists will be invited on stage to read their entries. The panel will give feedback on their openings and, at the end, we’ll invite the audience to vote for their favourite. The winner will then be invited on stage to speak to the audience about their work and what they’re going to do with their prize!

The Prize

One winner will be chosen from our eight finalists live on the night. They will win:

  • A Manuscript Assessment from Jericho Writers.
  • Lifetime membership to Jericho Writers.
  • A 30-minute one-to-one with a literary agent who specialises in the winning entries’ genre.
  • Eternal glory!

The Rules

  • Only London Festival of Writing Saturday and Weekend ticket holders can enter Friday Night Live.
  • If you’ve entered any of our other competitions or a previous Friday Night Live, you may also enter this year’s Friday Night Live.
  • The deadline for entry is 10am BST on Saturday June 1 2024. Judging will commence immediately, so please ensure your entry is submitted in plenty of time!
  • All entries will be read by two reader judges and given a mark of ‘no’; ‘maybe’; ‘yes’; or a ‘Golden Yes’. The longlist will be made from the entries with the highest overall mark across both readers.
  • We encourage everyone to apply for Friday Night Live, no matter your background or where you are in the world. However, if you have an agent or are traditionally published, we ask that you leave this opportunity for those who could most benefit from it.
  • Finalists will be contacted on 21 June 2024. We will be in touch in due course about the event.
  • If you have any further access needs or requirements, please do get in touch with our team at who will be happy to help.

Enter Friday Night Live

Your entry must:

  • Be in a word document or PDF.
  • Contain the first 500 words (ish) of your manuscript in any genre (to the nearest sentence end).
  • Not contain your name, as judging is done blindly.
  • Include the title and genre of your work at the top, if you can.

Note: If you can’t see the below form it will be because you’re either not logged in, or you’ve not purchased a Saturday or Weekend ticket. If you’ve purchased a Sunday ticket and you’d like to upgrade to a full weekend ticket, get in touch with us.

Watch a previous Friday Night Live

Wondering what the Friday Night Live final looks like? Check out 2022’s hosted by Debi Alper, featuring 6 agent judges.

Frequently asked


When is the in-person Friday Night Live?

It is at the London Festival of Writing on Saturday June 29 from 18:00. Yes, it’s on a Saturday – but it’s still the Friday Night Live we all know and love. Humour us!


How many people will make the shortlist?

Eight entries will be chosen. They will read their work on stage in front of the live audience. 


I’ve already entered the First 500 competition, can I also enter Friday Night Live?

If you’ve previously entered the First 500 Competition or a previous Friday Night Live, you may also enter this year’s Friday Night Live, even if you were a finalist.


Will agents be in attendance?

Yes. six agents will join the panel and comment on the finalists’ work, although they don’t choose the winner! Remember that a lot of agents will be in the audience, so it’s a great chance to get your work heard by industry experts. 


How is the competition judged?

It is judged by the audience! The winner will be chosen via digital vote. 


I am terrified of public speaking, help!

A member of the Jericho Writers team can read your work on your behalf.


Where do I go for more information on accessibility?

We’d love to hear from any writer who is concerned about accessing the London Festival of Writing and will always do our best to help where we can. Contact our team on  


I can’t see the answer to my question here. Who do I contact?

Our team is made up of writers and readers who are passionate about the written word. If you have a question, pop it over to us at and we’ll be happy to help.  

Please note that we’re a small team and currently experiencing a high number of calls and emails. We promise we’ll get back to you as soon as we possibly can. 


I’m only coming on Sunday, can I still enter Friday Night Live? 

Unfortunately only Saturday and Weekend ticket holders can enter Friday Night Live. If you’d like to upgrade from a Sunday ticket to a Weekend ticket, please reach out to us.