Friday Night Live

An amazing opportunity that could lead straight to an agent - and a book deal. Here's how it works:

  • You send us up to 500 words from your manuscript.
  • We'll pick the seven entries we like the best.
  • The seven shortlisted writers will read their work out on Friday night.
  • We'll have some expert judges to offer their views ...
  • But the final vote will be left to the Festival audience.
  • The winner gets a bottle of fizz. Better still, you'll get the attention of every agent in the room.

**You need to be booked to attend the Festival to enter this competition**

In its inaugural year, the winner of the comp was Shelley Harris, who was offered representation by a number of different agents as a result. She signed up with Conville & Walsh, who had multiple publishers interested. Weidenfeld & Nicolson won the auction ... and the book is now available from all good bookshops. In 2011, Cicely Havely won this comp - and she too was promptly signed up with an agent (Piers Blofeld from Shiel Land) soon afterwards. In 2012, Anand Nair won and went on to achieve the same success, as too did runner-up Anne Corlett, who is now represented by Lisa Everleigh of the Richford Becklow Literary Agency. *And in 2013* Last year, after reading for Friday Night LIVE , writer Deborah Install, was approached on the spot by agent Jenny Savill and is now the proud owner of a six-figure publishing deal. This could easily be you this year, you just need to enter! You can read more about Deborah's story here!

Best Opening Chapter

Here's how it works:

  • you send us your opening chapter (up to a max of 3000 words) plus a one-paragraph description of the book.
  • We'll winnow the entries down to a shortlist of 6 or so, then we'll pass on those entries to our judging panel of super-agent, Jo Unwin, and topselling author of Jubilee, and past Night LIVE winner, Shelley Harris.
  • They'll then pick a winner and two runners-up.
  • The winner gets a bottle of fizz, and the attention of a key player in the industry.

**You need to be booked to attend the Festival to enter this competition**

A former runner-up, Claire McGowan, is now a published author and her book, The Fall, can be found in all good bookshops. And Gideon Roberton, another runner-up, secured the services of David Headley, the literary agent. JC Martin was published by a brilliant indie press in the US. And some other shortlisted candidates are now very close to having agents of their own too.


How to Enter:

To enter, please just email us by 29th August. Your email should have "Friday Night Live" as the subject and you should attach an excerpt from your manuscript (max 500 words) as a Word document or PDF file.

We will acknowledge receipt of entries by 3rd September. Thereafter only the seven shortlisted candidates will be notified of their success - by 8th September. Please don't email us to chase us! We have enough to do around then.

One entry per ticket. If you're chosen as one of the seven, you will need to be present on the Friday night, so do make sure your ticket includes the full Festival weekend - or at least make sure that you can get to York for that evening.

Entries by 26th August please. Email us with your entry using "Best Opening Chapter" as the subject line of your email. You should attach the opening chapter of your MS (up to a max of 3000 words) preceded by a short one para summary of the book. Those things should be in a single document, which may be either a Word document or a PDF file.

We welcome fiction and non-fiction; work aimed at adults or children; and any genre at all.

If your book contains a prologue, we suggest you skip that and send the first chapter instead - but we don't know your book and can't advise you. It's up to you to make the call. Just send us a maximum of 3000 words drawn from the start of your book.

We will acknowledge receipt of entries by 3rd September. Shortlisted candidates only will be notified by 8th September. Winner and runners up will be announced at the Gala Dinner on Saturday night. Winner & runners up will be invited to read a short extract from their work following the dinner - but that's optional.