The Summer Festival of Writing 2020 Competitions | Jericho Writers
Summer Festival of Writing

Competitions at the Summer Festival of Writing

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

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!

This is your chance to have your work recognised in front of a captive audience of hundreds of peers, literary agents, bestselling authors and other industry professionals.

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 will be eligible to submit one piece of writing for consideration. Our team will then whittle down to a longlist of sixteen writers.

  • Eight writers will be featured in Friday Night Live JULY.
  • Eight writers will be featured in Friday Night Live AUGUST.
  • Three shortlisted writers from both of these events will be invited to a Grand Finale in September, featuring top literary agent judges Jamie Cowen and Laura Williams.

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

Closing date 30 June 2020

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!

How to enter

  1. Buy a ticket to the Summer Festival of Writing (this competition is open to ticket-holders only).
  2. Head over to the ‘Competitions’ tab on your Festival welcome page, once logged-in.
  3. Upload the opening 500 words of one piece of fiction or non-fiction via the form on this page, including your name and contact details before 30 June 2020.
  4. Shortlisted writers will be contacted in July with further details on how to record themselves reading their work out loud.

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

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.

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’!

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


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


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


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


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