Competitions at the Festival of Writing | Jericho Writers

Festival of Writing - Back soon

The Festival of Writing will be back in September 2019

Competitions and special events

At the Festival of Writing

Festival of Writing competitions

Find out more about how to submit your work to competitions running throughout the Festival of Writing weekend. They might just change your life.

Friday night live

This competition is famous for changing the lives of writers.

Every year, the winners of this extra-special event go home with valuable feedback and potential literary agent leads. In 2014, Joanna Cannon left with seven offers from literary agents, and went on to be published to critical acclaim.

What’s involved?

Delegates may submit a 500 word extract from the opening of their work book in any genre no later than 20th August 2018. We’ll select a shortlist of around 8-10 authors who are invited to read their extract LIVE on stage on the Friday night of the Festival to an audience of around two hundred fellow-writers, and a panel of expert judges.

Our expert judges give feedback on the extract to the writer and the audience live on stage, so everyone can learn from the critique.

Sound scary? Don’t worry. This event is the highlight of the Festival for a reason. Both the audience and the judges support every author who reads, and champions their favorite extract. The winner is chosen by the audience amidst a real party atmosphere celebrating the work of brilliant emerging writers. That means you!

Watch this Slushpile live session from the 2018 Getting Published Day for an insight into how it all works on stage.

How to submit

This competition is now closed for entries. 

The authors who have been chosen to read at Friday Night LIVE will be contacted before the Festival begins. Good luck!

Best Opening Chapter

What’s involved?

Festival of Writing 2018

Submit the opening chapter of your novel in any genre to win a bottle of wine, and the attention of all the literary agents attending and judging.

We read all submissions and a shortlist of 10 are forwarded to the judge. The winner is announced on stage on the Saturday night of the Festival after the Gala Dinner and may be asked to read an extract from their chapter to the audience.

How to submit

The Best Opening Chapter competition is now closed for entries. 

The authors who have been shortlisted will be contacted before the Festival begins. Good luck!

Pitch perfect

What’s involved?

Festival of Writing 2018

Does your elevator pitch have what it takes to win? Submit yours to our literary agent judge for the chance to win their attention, and a bottle of wine.

All entries are submitted ahead of time and a shortlist of twelve are forwarded to the judge. The winner is announced on stage on the Saturday night of the Festival after the Gala Dinner and may be asked to read their pitch to the audience.

Find out more about what makes a brilliant elevator pitch.

How to submit

The Pitch Perfect competition is now closed for entries. 

The authors who have been shortlisted will be contacted before the Festival begins. Good luck!

Please note that ticket holders can apply to as many different competitions as they wish throughout the Festival, but cannot make multiple entries to the same competition.

Why not try your luck with all three?!

The Jericho-Marjacq Bursary for under-represented writers

What’s involved?

This fully-funded Festival Bursary, is in partnership with literary agents at Marjacq Scripts Ltd.

We’ve teamed up with literary agency Marjacq Scripts Ltd to offer a fully-funded weekend ticket to the Festival of Writing to a talented under-represented writer. Inclusive of travel, accommodation, food, workshops and unique extras, this is a fantastic opportunity for any writer whose opportunities are limited by mental health, disability, identity or social circumstance. There are also some great runner-up prizes for writers who we think show real promise.

This competition has now closed. 

Results

Announcing the winners and runners up of the Jericho-Marjacq Bursary 

Thank you to everyone who submitted for the Jericho-Marjacq Bursary. We were blown away by the high level of entries. So much so, that the judges at Marjacq extended the prizes to include both a shortlist and a highly-commended list.

Winner: Carrie Nelson

Runners up: Indigo Griffiths, Dominic Nelson-Ashley, Julie Farrell, Ashley Hickson-Lovence, Jarred McGinnis

Highly Commended: Cathy Mark Debjani Chatterjee Jocelyn Watson Adam Lowe

Carrie wins a Full Festival Weekend ticket as well as additional one-to-ones with the agents at Marjacq. Everyone else wins a year’s FREE membership of Jericho Writers to help them take their writing to the next level. Congratulations, everyone!

Winner Carrie Nelson, said: 

I am incredibly honoured to have won the Jericho-Marjacq Bursary – I’m still a bit speechless! This is a wonderfully generous opportunity and I can’t wait to go to York in September for what is one of the most respected events for writers around. Thank you to Diana and the team for picking me – I can’t wait to meet everyone in September!

Diana Beaumont from Marjacq Scripts, said:

I was delighted to be a judge for this and was impressed by the range and talent there was in the entries submitted. It was tough choosing a winner as there were a number with strong potential but in the end I was particularly drawn to The Three Sisters Below Strang Wood Reservoir by Carrie Nelson, an atmospheric crime novel, so big congratulations to her.

Book your place

Purchase your ticket to the Festival of Writing