Competitions at the Summer Festival of Writing

Come away from your Festival with a prize money can’t buy

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This competition has now closed 

Every year, writers walk away from our Festivals with offers of representation. And – funnily enough – our competition winners make up a HUGE proportion of these!

The Longlist for Friday Night Live 2020 has now been decided! See the full list of names below and join us for our three, celebratory live events in July, August and September.

Friday Night Live

More writers have left Friday Night Live with an offer of representation than any other competition we’ve ran in the past fifteen years.

All ticket holders to the Summer Festival of Writing were eligible to submit one piece of writing for consideration. We received over 500 entries for the competition this year and the standard truly blew our readers away! We are so pleased however to announce the Longlist of entries that have made it through to the next stage.


Rachael Dunlop – His Mother’s Son

Jane Carlton – Before  

Paul Campbell – The Descent of Chloe Jackson  

Wiz Wharton – Ghost Girl, Banana  

Marian Smith – Answers to Absolutely Every Question  

William Wittenberg – A Murder on the Border  

Kat Hill – The Shieling  

Carys Shannon – Truth Like Water  



David Congreave – Moonshine  

Nollaig Frost – The Mothers  

Tamara Henriques – Love With Strings  

Nicola Dahlin – Double Agents and Other Crap Ideas 

Lucy Kilbey – Roads to Rome 

Fiona Muxlow – Reasons Why Doris Wants To Kill Me  

D.C. Smith – The Last Bird  

Johanna Spiers – Social Death 

Congratulations to these writers! We’ll feature videos of each of them reading their work live as part of the Summer Festival of Writing on July 31 and August 21. The live audience will then vote for their top three entries in each event to go through to the Grand Finale in September, featuring top literary agent judges Jamie Cowen and Laura Williams.

Whether you are Longlisted or not, this event is the highlight of every single Festival. Don’t miss a word!

The prize

  • A Manuscript Assessment from Jericho Writers.
  • A 30-minute one-to-one with a literary agent who specialises in the winning entries’ genre.
  • Ongoing personal support from our team in your hunt for publication.
  • Eternal glory!

Join us for our celebratory events

We’re inviting all ticket-holders to the Summer Festival of Writing to watch the readings live and vote for their favourites.

We’ll also be sharing behind-the-scenes data and reader feedback on all entries, so you can see how writing competitions such as this one whittle down to a Longlist.

Don your glad rags, crack open the bubbly and join us for a celebration of wonderful writing! Festival tickets are still available here. 

The Format

The longlist events

Two webinars in July and August will decide who makes it through the grand finale in September.

Your host will play recordings of the selected writers reading their entries. They’ll then read notes from the judges on why these entries were chosen.

At the end, we’ll invite the audience to vote for their favourite. The top three will go on to be included in the final event in September.

The grand finale

This event will feature three special guest literary judges: Jamie Cowen from The Ampersand Agency; Laura Williams from Greene & Heaton and one more US literary agent (TBC).

We’ll kick off with an introduction from them on who they are and what they’re looking for at the moment.

We’ll then play recordings of the six shortlisted entries for everyone to hear. The agents will also receive these in advance to read through. Agents will then give their expert feedback on the openings for everyone to hear.

At the end, we’ll invite the audience to vote for their favourite via an in-chat poll. The winner will then be invited into the chat to speak to the audience about their work and what they’re going to do with their prize!

Previous success stories

A huge number of Friday Night Live writers go on to be published. Here are just a few:

joanna cannon trouble sheep goats

Joanna Cannon

six-figures and a TV deal

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep was published by The Borough Press (HarperCollins) in Spring 2016. Joanna won Friday Night Live at our 2014 Festival of Writing. She walked away with seven offers from literary agents. That novel was published to huge acclaim and got a TV deal, and her follow-up sold for a massive £300,000.

felicity yap yesterday

Felicia Yap

“It made a huge difference!”

‘Friday Night Live’ shortlisted author, Felicia Yap, was snapped-up by Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown soon after our 2015 Festival of Writing. Her brilliant high-concept thriller, The Day After Yesterday, was bought by Headline’s Alex Clarke for a six-figure sum. The book has since been optioned for film. Felicia attended our Festival of Writing 2015 and in her words, ‘it made a huge difference’!

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Claire McGlasson and how the Festival helped

Another Friday Night Live short-listed author, Claire McGlasson, found her literary agent Laura Williams at the Festival of Writing 2017. Her debut novel The Rapture will be published by Faber in 2019, but has already been optioned by Hillbilly Television.

Join some of the biggest names in global publishing for this extra-special summer event – all from the comfort of your own home.

The Summer Festival of Writing is a ground-breaking new digital festival, specifically for writers looking to hone their craft and get published traditionally, or independently. Whether you’re just starting out, or are a seasoned professional, your ticket will give you full access to over 50 events over 3 months.

See below for an overview of what’s in store during the Festival, or see our programme for full details of each session.

This Festival has been specifically created to be accessible to writers from all over the world. For more details on the basic technology requirements you’ll need to access these events, see our FAQs.

“I loved the festival. I learned loads and now feel re-energised to write more. Fabulous sessions.” – Chloe R

Your Festival at a glance

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We kick things off with workshops covering writing, wellbeing, editing, publishing and self-publishing. Highlights include:

  • Mini course – Practical plotting
  • Folio Literary
  • Adam Croft
  • Juliet Mushens
  • Joanna Penn
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Things are heating up with some of the biggest names in traditional and indie publishing on hand to answer questions. Highlights include:

  • Clare Mackintosh
  • Mini-course – Self-editing
  • Dave Gaughran
  • Bookouture
  • Amazon Publishing
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With two mini-courses and extra-special guests, August brings incredible sessions to your living room. Highlights include:

  • Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell
  • Mini-course – Commercial Fiction
  • Mini-course – Self-Publishing
  • Sam Copeland
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We bring things to a close with some more outstanding workshops and an extra-special competition for ticket-holders.

  • Mini-course – Sophie Hannah
  • Picador Books
  • Friday Night Live
  • Closing party

Get 50% off when you become a member

All tickets give you access to every event this summer, spanning over 50+ webinars from presenters all over the world.

Can’t make every event? You’ll also have full access to replays of every event until 30 September 2020, for you to watch at your leisure.

Become a member of Jericho Writers and save 50% on your ticket

Jericho members get half-price tickets to the Summer Festival of Writing, plus access to hundreds of recorded masterclasses, video courses, agent search engines and regular webinars. Find out more about joining, here.

Book a one-to-one with a book doctor, publisher or literary agent

Want direct feedback on your work? Book a one-to-one and choose from an expert list of our most trusted tutors, agents and publishers. Find out more about one-to-ones here