Thanks to Carol Bevitt for posting about this competition on her blog and thus bringing it to my attention.
Are YOU Britain’s next chick lit STAR? says the blurb for this contest, which is being run by Novelicious along with Avon (HarperCollins) and Books and the City (Simon & Schuster UK).
It’s free to enter (so nothing to lose) and you only need to submit 3,000 words (and thankfully they don’t demand a pesky synopsis either). Closing date is 3rd April 2012.
There will be two winners:
The People’s Choice Award Winner – the top twenty entries as judged by the Novelicious team will be put to a public vote in June. The entrant with the most votes will win a full manuscript critique with Avon Commissioning Editor Caroline Hogg over tea and cake in their London offices. This will be your chance to get feedback on your novel and ask any questions you have about publishing. Plus the winner gets a host of other goodies (listed on the competition website here).
The Books and The City Choice Award Winner – will be chosen from the top twenty entries by the Fiction Editorial department at Simon & Schuster UK. Their choice will win a full manuscript feedback from the editorial team at Simon & Schuster plus author mentoring and meeting with Sunday Times Bestselling author of RSVP Helen Warner, along with a couple of other things listed here.
I do have one reservation about this competition and that is the public vote for The People’s Choice Award Winner. From my own, and other people’s, experience I know that these votes can turn into a popularity contest rather than an objective judgement on the writing. The person with the most friends on Facebook or access to a large email address list tends to do better because they can encourage all their contacts to vote for them. But maybe this downside is compensated for by the other winner being chosen by Simon and Schuster. And the prizes are attractive.
Before you decide whether to enter have a look at the competition website where there is an opportunity to ask questions about exactly what is required & learn from what others have asked. Also have a look at Carol’s blog post where she emphasises the importance of one of the rules which states that your work must not have been previously published – including on a blog.
Finally, to show that real people do win competitions like this, have a look at Patsy Collins’ reaction to winning a novel writing competition – and getting her book published as the prize! Well done, Patsy!