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?

Friday Night Live at London Festival of Writing 2023

Our flagship competition is back at the live on stage London Festival of Writing!

All ticket holders to the London Festival of Writing are eligible to submit one piece of writing for consideration for Friday Night Live regardless of what day they have tickets to. You are not eligible to submit if you were shortlisted for the First 500 Novel Competition.

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.

How Does it Work?

Friday Night Live will take place at 17:00 BST on Saturday* October 28th 2023 in Tuke Hall. If you’re a Sunday-only ticket holder and only arriving for the competition, please arrive at Regent’s University reception by 16.45 where you’ll be guided to the event.

The event will also feature six special guest literary agents and will be hosted by the excellent Debi Alper. We’ll kick off with an introduction from them on who they are and what they’re looking for, then we will invite the eight finalists 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 by clapping the loudest for who they’d like to win. 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!

*Yes, Friday Night Live is on a Saturday – but other than that, it’s still the same competition we all know and love.

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

  • All London Festival of Writing ticket holders can enter Friday Night Live.
  • If you’ve previously entered the First 500 Competition 2023, you may also enter Friday Night Live. If you made the shortlist for the First 500 Novel Competition, you are not eligible to enter.
  • The deadline for entry is 9am BST on Monday October 9th. 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 October 18th. 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 at the London Festival of Writing

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.

Entries will open on September 4th. Already got your ticket? Go to the My Festival page to submit your entry.

Watch last year’s Friday Night Live

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

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Frequently asked


When is the in-person Friday Night Live?

It is at the London Festival of Writing on Saturday October 28th at 17:00. 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 2023, you may also enter Friday Night Live. If you were a finalist for the First 500 Novel Competition, you are not eligible to enter.


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 biggest applause decides the winner. 


I am terrified of public speaking, help!

A member of the Jericho Writers team can read your work on your behalf. Alternatively, you can submit to our online Friday Night Live, which uses pre-recorded videos rather than live readings. 


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.