Competitions at the Festival of Writing | Jericho Writers

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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

The Friday Night Live competition is open to Full Festival Weekend ticket holders only.

Once you have purchased your ticket:

  • Compile an extract of 500 words from your manuscript into a new Word document. Documents should be double-spaced and in Times New Roman font, size 11. Please do not put your name on this document.
  • Email this to info@jerichowriters.com with the subject ‘Friday Night Live competition entry’. Please include both:
    1. Your full name / your pen name.
    2. The name under which you purchased your Festival ticket.

Entries must be submitted before 20 August 2018. The authors who have been chosen to read at Friday Night LIVE will be contacted before the Festival begins.

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 open to all Festival ticket holders.

Once you have purchased your ticket:

  • Create a new document that contains the first chapter of your manuscript, only. Documents should be double-spaced and in Times New Roman font, size 11. Please do not put your name on this document.
  • Email this to info@jerichowriters.com with the subject ‘Best Opening Chapter competition entry’. Please include in your accompanying email the following details:
    1. Your full name / your pen name.
    2. The name under which you purchased your Festival ticket.

Entries must be submitted before 20 August 2018. The authors who have been shortlisted will be contacted before the Festival begins.

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 open to all Festival ticket holders.

Once you have purchased your ticket:

  • Write your 150-word elevator pitch into a Word document. Documents should be double-spaced and in Times New Roman font, size 11. Please do not put your name on this document.
  • Email this to info@jerichowriters.com with the subject ‘Pitch Perfect competition entry’. Please include both:
    1. Your full name / your pen name.
    2. The name under which you purchased your Festival ticket.

Entries must be submitted before 20 August 2018. The authors who have been shortlisted will be contacted before the Festival begins.

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?

Apply for our fully-funded Festival Bursary, 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.

Closing date: 23 July 2018

How to submit

Click here for full details of the bursary and how to apply. 

Please send us up to 2,000 words of your current fiction, or non-fiction project, along with a one-page synopsis as a single Word document attachment, to info@jerichowriters.com.

  • Title the subject of your email: FOW18 Bursary.
  • Please include a short bio in the body of your email (max 300 words).
  • Please only include one attachment, and ensure you save that as your name.
  • Attachments should be Word doc (.doc or .docx) files, or saved as a PDF (.pdf).
  • Please format your extract with double line spaced, 11pt Times New Roman font.
  • Please ensure that the extract is your own work, fiction or non-fiction. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to judge picture books or screenplays/scripts.
  • We recommend that you send the opening 2,000 words of your book and that you check it thoroughly for errors before sending.
  • Please note that we won’t be able to accept multiple entries, or alter entries once they have been sent.
  • All entries must be received before 23 July 2018.
  • Entry is free and the winner(s) will be notified by 1 August 2018.

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