2017 Contest

The University of Gloucestershire 2017 Novel Writing Contest

So you’ve honed your skills in the workshop, studied the craft in our lectures, and now feel as though you’re ready to move beyond the short form and embark on the long, arduous, labourious, at-times-seemingly-impossible task of writing a novel.  Well, then this is the place for you.  The 2017 University of Gloucestershire Novel Writing Contest opened for submissions on February 1st, 2017, and closes on May 31st, 2017.  As with previous years, each of the three finalists will receive a cash prize and a professional industry critique from Becky Thomas at the Fox Mason Agency.  Before putting together your submission package, it might be a good idea to check out Becky’s reading tastes on our main contest page, and peruse the Johnson & Alcock website, to get a sense of the playing field.  After that, well, it’s all up to you.  Be sure to carefully read our guidelines below, and follow them when submitting, lest you face instant and immediate disqualification with no hope of parole (kidding, kidding…not really).  Other than that, good luck and get writing!


1) The contest is open to Creative Writing students at the University of Gloucestershire.

2) This includes single honours students, joint students, MA students, and PhD students.  It also includes (because we like to be welcoming) any student who is registered on a Creative Writing module at UoG this academic year.

3) If you have previously won the contest we ask that you don’t re-enter to allow others the opportunity. However, if you have been shortlisted or placed 2nd or 3rd you are welcome to submit again – though please submit a different project (or, alternatively, a project that has been substantially reworked).

Submission Guidelines

1) Submissions open on February 1st 2017 and close on May 31st, 2017 at midnight.

2) You are asked to submit the first chapter(s) of a novel (3,000 words max) and a synopsis (3-500 words).  Those who’ve taken our Novel Writing class, HM5105, will have an advantage; those who haven’t might have to do a bit of research.

3) These should be submitted as an MS Word or Open Office document (.doc, .docx, or .odt).  The manuscript and synopsis should be submitted as part of the same document, with the synopsis appearing first.

4) All submissions should be in standard manuscript format.  Again, those who’ve taken our Writing Business module, HM6101, will have an advantage, but others should check out the guidelines here.

5) All entries are anonymous.  Your name should not appear on the manuscript or synopsis anywhere, but in your accompanying submission email please include your name, student number, and the title of your piece.  After selection, we will match your submission with your email using the title.

6) In the subject line of your email, please specify your title.

7) Email all entry materials to uognovelcontest@gmail.com

8) If an entry doesn’t adhere to these requirements, it will be disqualified.

How It Works

1) The judges will be our prose lecturers: novelists D.D. Johnston, Tyler Keevil, Lania Knight, Kayleigh Moore, and Martin Randall.

2) They will read all the entries, and come to a consensus on the submissions that make the shortlist.

3) These will be forwarded to Becky Thomas, at the Johnson & Alcock Agency, who will select the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.  Each will receive a professional industry critique from Becky and her team.

4) No correspondence will be entered into and the judges decisions are final.

5) The prizes will be: 1st place: £100; 2nd place: £50; 3rd place: £25