Could YOU write a bestseller and win £20,000?

A plot that grips, moves and intrigues… could YOU write a bestseller and win £20,000? Enter the Daily Mail first novel competition

  • There’s still time to enter your book in The Daily Mail’s first novel competition 
  • You’ll win the life-changing £20,000 advance, plus your book will be published
  • We are looking for a fresh, original story, packed with believable characters 

There’s still time to enter the Daily Mail’s First Novel competition and win a life-changing £20,000 advance, as well as seeing your book published by one of the country’s leading publishers, Penguin Random House.

In addition, the competition winner will be given the professional services of successful literary agent Luigi Bonomi.

We are looking for a fresh, original story, with believable characters and a plot that grips, moves and intrigues.

There’s still time to enter the Daily Mail’s First Novel competition and win a life-changing £20,000 advance (stock photo)

Your entry can be a contemporary story about families or relationships, a thriller, or an historical adventure; it can be funny or sad — as long as it is aimed at adults (not children) and is previously unpublished in any format (including eBook or self-published). The only categories that are not allowed are sagas, science fiction and fantasy. Entrants must be 16 or over.

We don’t need the finished novel — just the first 3,000 words, plus a 600-word synopsis of the complete work: beginning, middle and end.

See the How To Enter box (right) and the full terms and conditions you must sign up to, which are online.

The judges will be Selina Walker, publisher at Century and Arrow, Luigi Bonomi, novelist and TV presenter Fern Britton, crime writer Peter James and the Daily Mail’s Literary Editor, Sandra Parsons.

How to enter 

Please read carefully because any entries that do not meet the rules will be discounted. Full terms and conditions, which you must agree to and be bound by, are available online at

1. Submit your entry consisting of the first 3,000 words of your novel in the English language, plus a synopsis of the rest of the plot in no more than 600 words. All entries to be printed on A4 paper with double spacing in font size 12 point Times New Roman.

2. Entries are to be posted to: Daily Mail First Novel Competition, c/o Penguin Random House Group, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA, by 5.30pm GMT on Friday, June 14, 2019. Entries received after this date will not be judged. (DO NOT SEND YOUR ENTRY DIRECT TO THE DAILY MAIL.)

3. All entries must include a cover sheet with your full name and contact details (including home and email address). You must also confirm that you have read the full list of terms and conditions online.

4. Entrants may submit only one entry. No manuscripts will be returned, so keep a copy.

5. All entries must be original, previously unpublished works of fiction on any subject or genre apart from sagas, science fiction or fantasy. Entrants must not have previously published a novel — this includes novels that have been self-published or are available only as eBooks.

6. Entrants must not be currently represented by a literary agent.

7. All entrants must be in a position to deliver their complete manuscript no later than January 30, 2020, should they win.

8. The competition, which is free to enter, is open to anyone aged 16 or over who is a resident of the UK or Republic of Ireland, except for employees (and their families) of the Penguin Random House UK group, Associated Newspapers Ltd and any other company associated with the competition.


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