The competition is open to children's novels in any genre by previously unpublished women novelists, but it must be for children who are able to read for themselves or for young adults. Crossover fiction (i.e. that aimed at children and adults) is eligible. Nonfiction, and fiction intended for adults is not eligible. To qualify as a novel, your book must total at least 30,000 words.
1st Prize: £5,000
- Malorie Blackman, award-winning children's author
- Julia Churchill, literary agent specialising in children's books for Greenhouse Literary Agency
- Julia Eccleshare, children's books editor at the Guardian newspaper
Please note: This is NOT an annual competition. The next children's novel competition is planned for 2015.
WHO IS THE COMPETITION AIMED AT?
- Women who’ve always wanted to write a children's novel, but could never find the time. You only have to write 30,000 words minimum for this competition, so even starting from scratch, there’s plenty of time.
- Women with an unfinished manuscript languishing in a bottom drawer. (Could this be the impetus you need to finish it?)
- Women who took up the write-a-novel-in-a-month challenge with NaNoWriMo and have a rough first draft. (Why not polish it up and send it to Mslexia?)
- Women who’ve submitted their completed novels over and over, and have despaired of finding an agent. (If you reach our shortlist, they’ll all sit up and take notice.)
SOME REASONS TO ENTER
- Being shortlisted will put your novel at the top of any agent’s or editor’s in tray
- We guarantee an anonymous reading, so your book will be judged on the same basis as those by ‘a friend of a friend of the editor’
- We will work with the future publisher of the winning entry to chronicle the book’s progress in the magazine and on our website
- 12 shortlisted authors will be invited to a networking event and introduced to a specially invited group of literary agents
- £5,000 – need we say more?
- Your novel can be in any genre, but must be for children who are able to read for themselves or for young adults. Crossover fiction (i.e. that aimed at children and adults) is eligible. Nonfiction, and fiction intended for adults is not eligible. To qualify as a novel, your book must total at least 30,000 words.
- You may submit up to 3,000 words, which must be the first 3,000 words of the novel. Any preface is included in your 3,000 words. There is no need to submit a synopsis.
- Please complete your novel before entering. Shortlisted entrants will be asked to submit a full manuscript and synopsis for the final stages of the judging process. Entrants unable to comply will be disqualified.
- Please submit your work typed, double-spaced on A4-sized paper, single sided, with pages numbered.
- Your novel will be judged anonymously, so do not put your name on the pages of your novel. Use a separate cover page with your name, address, telephone number and email address, plus the title of the novel you are submitting.
- No alterations may be made to a novel extract once submitted.
- Your submission will not be returned, so please keep a copy. If you want confirmation that we have received your postal entry, please enclose an SAE labeled ‘Acknowledgement’. We do not send copies of the result to entrants.
- The winner will be contacted in February 2013 and announced in the Mar/Apr/May 2013 issue of Mslexia.
- Copyright for each novel remains with the author. Mslexia will negotiate the right to use extracts from the winning novel in its magazine and on its website, as well as using extracts from the novel and any related material for PR purposes.
- This is a competition for unpublished novelists. Women who have had a novel published commercially, for any age group, in any country, are not eligible.
- Women who have had other types of books published (e.g. poetry, memoir, nonfiction), but have not had a novel published, are eligible.
- Self-published manuscripts are eligible.
- Novels should be in English (or English dialect) and should not have been published or accepted for publication by a commercial publisher.
- Novels should not be a translation of another author’s work.
- You do not have to subscribe to Mslexia to be eligible, but you do have to be a woman. We will accept novels from women of any nationality from any country.
- Employees of Mslexia are not eligible.
HOW TO ENTER
- Send your novel extract by post or enter online.
- If entering by post, mark your envelope ‘Children’s Novel Competition’ and send it postmarked no later than 10 September 2012 to Mslexia Publications Ltd, PO Box 656, Freepost NEA5566, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1BR. We regret FREEPOST is not available for entries from overseas.
- If entering online, be sure to follow the instructions on the website carefully. Novel extracts should be sent as a single attachment.
- The entry fee of £25 allows you to enter an extract from one novel. You may enter as many novels as you like, provided each novel extract is accompanied by the £25 entry fee.
- Entry fees must be in pounds sterling. If you want to use a different currency, please pay online via PayPal, which will convert your fee automatically into pounds sterling.
- You can pay by cheque (payable to Mslexia Publications Ltd) or by debit or credit card (phone +44 (0) 191 233 3860 with your details). You can also pay online via our website, but in this case you must include with your entry a note of the date on which you paid, and the email address you used, so that we can trace your payment.
For submissions: enter the competition here