Novel Writing Competitions 2011

We all know how hard it is to get a novel published from the slush pile. However, if you’ve won a competition with your manuscript (or even just been placed) it will make your covering letter stand out from the masses. So if you’ve got an unpublished manuscript in the drawer why not polish it up and try one of these competitions (or you could write something from scratch…)

Nemesis Debut Novel Competition

Nemesis is a small publisher looking for a debut novel to publish in 2012.

Manuscripts for the competition should ideally be between 70,000 and 130,000 words with no restriction on genre. There is no entry fee and email submission is preferred. All entries must be accompanied by a synopsis of no more than 1,000 words and an author bio of no more than 500 words.

The closing date is 14 August 2011 and the winner will be announced by 30 November 2011. Full details are here.

Mslexia Novel Writing Competition 

Mslexia is looking for novels by commercially unpublished women novelists. Any genre is acceptable apart from books aimed at under 13s. The finished novel must be at least 50,000 words.

First prize in this competition is £5,000 plus Mslexia’s stamp of approval, which will ensure agents and editors are keen to read your full manuscript.

Submit the first 5,000 words of your novel in the first instance but the manuscript must already be complete. Short-listed entrants will then be asked to submit their full manuscript. 

Closing date is September 30th and the winner will be announced in the MAR/APR/MAY issue of Mslexia. Full details are here.

World Book Night Books

If reading novels rather than writing them is more your thing then see here for a chance to become the next owner of my World Book Night books. There’s only a day or so to subscribe to this blog and thus get yourself in the draw.


  1. #1 by Annie on May 30, 2011 - 11:46 am

    Hi Sally

    thanks for this very useful information. I shall have a go.

  2. #2 by Sarah on May 30, 2011 - 1:03 pm

    Thanks for these links Sally, now to see if I can be ready in time 🙂

    • #3 by Sally Jenkins on May 30, 2011 - 4:42 pm

      Annie and Sarah – Good Luck with the competitions! It’s can be helpful to have a deadline to work to.

  3. #4 by Madeleine on June 2, 2011 - 1:30 pm

    Thanks for the prompt Sally. I will try to stir my stumps to enter one of these. :O)

  4. #6 by Anne Harvey on June 14, 2011 - 7:38 pm

    I’m only just catching up with recent posts. Thanks for the info about the Nemesis debut novel comp. I’m definitely going to have a go with that one!

    • #7 by Sally Jenkins on June 14, 2011 - 7:56 pm

      Anne – Good Luck with the Nemesis comp. If you don’t want to miss any posts, use the box on the right of the screen to sign up to receive each post via email (it’s free & you can unsubscribe at any time).

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