first novel award


Win £1,000, plus mentoring from The Literary Consultancy and possible publication for your first novel

Judge:  Naomi Wood in conjunction with:

The Literary Consultancy

The UK’s leading manuscript assessment and editorial advice service will provide expert appraisal and mentoring for the winner through their Chapter and Verse Mentoring Scheme. 

TLC Chapter and Verse Mentoring

“[The] combination of personal attention and truthful critical advice is ideal for anyone who is serious about their writing.”
Joanna Briscoe, author of Sleep With Me (Bloomsbury)

The Literary Consultancy’s Chapter and Verse mentoring scheme was set up in 2007 with a pilot fund from Arts Council England. It now supports a yearly cohort of writers through their book projects across fiction, non-fiction, poetry and short story collections, with writers working one-on-one with a mentor over six online sessions, concluding with a full TLC assessment of the completed manuscript. We are delighted to be offering a place on the Chapter and Verse scheme to the winner of this year’s Peggy Chapman-Andrews First Novel Award to support them in developing their work.

Further details on the scheme can be found here, and a testimonials page with comments from previous mentees can be found here.

A.M. Heath Literary Agents 

Founded in 1919, A.M. Heath is one of the UK’s leading literary agencies, representing contemporary authors, rising stars and some of the iconic writers of the 20th Century

•Open to writers resident in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland with a part-written* or completed novel in any adult fiction genre.  The winning writer must not have previously published a novel nor be represented by a literary agent (although you may have self published or have been published for other genres such as poetry, short stories, non fiction)

•Judged anonymously

•Entry format will be the first chapters of the novel, a minimum of 5,000 words and a maximum of 8,000 words in total, plus a synopsis of 300 words 

•Bridport Prize readers will sift the entries to reach a longlist of 20 which will be submitted to The Literary Consultancy and A.M. Heath Literary Agents, who will further shortlist to 5 and choose the winner and runner-up with the named judge, Nathan Filer.

•Entry fee: £20 (for each entry, writers can enter any number of times) 

* If the novel is part-written, a minimum of 15,000 words must be available at the longlist stage and a minimum of 30,000 words must be available at the shortlist stage

 Tinder Press

Tinder Press, launched in 2013, is an imprint of Headline and their home for literary fiction. Headline is a division of Hachette – one of the largest publishing groups in the UK. 

The Prizes:

•£1000 first prize, plus a runner’s-up prize of £500 and 3 prizes of £100 for shortlisted writers

•The prizewinner will receive a personal critique from an acclaimed literary author (the named judge)

•One to one appraisal and mentoring over a period of time from The Literary Consultancy to assist with the completion of the novel for the winner

•The winning first chapters will be published on the Bridport Prize website, and if, after the mentoring process, the finished novel is suitable, A.M. Heath Literary Agents will have first option to represent the winner and to offer it to a publisher they recommend*

•The runner-up will receive written professional feedback from The Literary Consultancy , plus a place on one of their Industry Days and the first chapters will be published on the Bridport Prize website 

. Three shortlisted writers will receive a manuscript assessment of up to 50 pages from The Literary Consultancy plus a place on an Industry Day 

* Should the finished novel not achieve a high enough standard for publication, A.M. Heath Literary Agents has the right to refuse representation



Closing date: 31st May 2019

•Longlist of 20 selected by 17th July 2019 and the list posted on the website by 6pm that day.

•Longlisted asked to submit 15,000 words (includes the initial entry) by 23rd July 2019

•Shortlist selected by 28th August 2019 and the list posted on the website by 6pm that day

. The 5 shortlisted entrants must be able to submit either the completed novel or a minimum of 30,000 words (includes what has already been submitted) by 1st September 2019

•Winner plus runner-up chosen by named judge and industry partners by 7th October 2019 

•Winner, runner-up and the other 3 shortlisted writers are invited to BP prizegiving on 19th October 2019 


Rules / Terms & Conditions


Judge 2019 - Naomi Wood



“I have entered the Bridport Prize numerous times, and encourage every writer I meet to do the same. Being shortlisted way back when I first started out gave me a huge boost, and placing third in 2017, more than a decade later, was even more satisfying.”

Ben Hinshaw (USA) 3rd Prize, short story competition 2017

What now?

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