Jericho Writers
4 Acer Walk , Oxford, OX2 6EX, United Kingdom
UK: +44 (0)345 459 9560
US: +1 (646) 974 9060

Friday Night Live at York 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 York Festival of Writing 2022

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

This year – to keep the playing field level – we are hosting two Friday Night Live competitions: one at the York Festival of Writing, on stage and in-person; and one at the Summer Festival of Writing, online. All ticket holders to the York 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. We will not accept duplicate entries, so please only enter either the York Festival of Writing’s competition, of the Summer Festival of Writing’s competition!

Please note that there are no heats this year.

Entries are open now for both competitions and close at midnight on July 4 BST 2022

Finalists will be contacted on Monday August 1 2022

How Does it Work?

Friday Night Live will take place at 20.30BST on September 2 2022 in Central Hall

The event will also feature three 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!

The Prize

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

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

The Rules

  • All weekend ticket holders may enter this competition but please note if you are also attending our Summer Festival of Writing, you must choose between the virtual Friday Night Live and York Friday Night Live – you cannot enter both
  • The deadline for entry is Midnight BST on Monday 4 July. Judging will commence immediately, so please ensure your entry is submitted in plenty of time!
  • All entries 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.
  • 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 all York Festival of Writing ticket holders to submit to Friday Night Live, no matter your background.
  • Eight finalists will be contacted at the beginning of August. 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 [email protected] who will be happy to help.

Enter Friday Night Live at the York Festival of Writing

Please note that you can only enter one Friday Night Live Competition


Watch last year’s online Friday Night Live

Wondering what the Friday Night Live final looks like? Check out 2020’s hosted by Sarah Ann Juckes featuring Debi Alper, Davinia Andrew-Lynch and Katie Greenstreet.

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Frequently asked


When is Friday Night Live?

It is at the York Festival of Writing at 20.30. It follows a buffet dinner and drinks reception. 


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. 


Why aren’t you doing heats this year?

Good question! This is to keep the playing field as level as possible. The York Festival of Writing’s Friday Night Live competition only has one ‘heat’, and that’s the final. It will be the same for the Summer Festival of Writing. 


Why can’t I enter both Friday Night Live competitions?

We’ve worked really hard to give equal opportunities to people who can’t attend the in-person York Festival of Writing. The Summer Festival of Writing is free to all members, and therefore all members are able to enter. 


Will agents be in attendance?

Yes. three 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 Summer Festival of Writing 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 York Festival of Writing and will always do our best to help where we can. Contact our team on [email protected].  


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 [email protected] 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.