The Festival Competitions

You need to be booked to attend the Festival to enter these competitions 


  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.

This year could easily be your year, you just need to enter! And to do just this, all you need to do is: 

Email us by 21st August. Your email must have "Friday Night Live" as the subject and you should attach an excerpt from anywhere in your manuscript (max 500 words) as a Word document or PDF file. Please include your booking ref. in the body of the email. 

We will acknowledge receipt of entries by 30th August. Thereafter only the seven shortlisted candidates will be notified of their success - by 2nd September. 

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.


  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 (name/s to be announced!). They'll then pick a winner and two runners-up.

Email us by the 21st August 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. Please include your booking ref. in the body of the email. 

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 30th August. Shortlisted candidates only will be notified by 2nd September. Winner and runners up will be announced at the Gala Dinner on Saturday night. The winner will be invited to read a short extract from their work following the dinner - but that's optional.


More Comps Coming Soon...