Frequently Asked Questions
How will I know if my submission has been received?
After completing the submission form, you should be taken to a confirmation page and will also receive an automated email from email@example.com notifying you that your submission has been received successfully.
What do I do if I have not received a confirmation email?
If you do not receive an email straight away please do check your junk or spam folder, as it might go into there. If you continue to have issues, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to help.
Who can enter?
Discoveries is open to women aged 18 and above residing in the UK or Ireland and writing in English.
What is your definition of someone who is 'residing in the UK or Ireland'?
We define 'resident of the UK or Ireland' as someone who is one of the following:
- Present in the UK or Ireland for 183 or more days within a year.
- The person’s only home in the UK or Ireland (i.e. no overseas home), and the person spends at least 91 consecutive days there within a year.
- The person works full-time in the UK or Ireland within the course of the year without significant breaks.
Please email email@example.com if you wish to clarify your eligibility.
Does it cost anything to enter?
Discoveries is free to enter.
Does my novel have to be in a particular genre?
Discoveries accepts novels in any genre of adult fiction.
May I enter my YA/children’s novel?
The novel must be aimed at adults rather than young adults or children.
Do I have to finish my novel in order to enter?
Discoveries doesn’t require writers to have finished a novel – only to have started one. Entrants will be required to submit only the first 10,000 words of their novel and a synopsis. The word limit of 10,000 words is a maximum and you are free to submit less if you wish.
What do I need to include in my synopsis?
Your synopsis should be a summary of the main plot of your novel. Don’t worry if you feel as if this isn’t completely fleshed out or that it may change as you write more, but we’d just like to know what direction your plot and story is currently going in and how it may end.
When can I submit my entry?
Discoveries will open for entries from 20 September 2023 and close at 11.59 pm on 8 January 2024.
How many times can I enter Discoveries 2024?
Writers eligible for Discoveries 2024 may only submit one entry.
I entered Discoveries 2021, 2022, and 2023 – can I resubmit my entry to Discoveries 2024?
Yes, you can! We hope that the time between prizes will have provided space for more writing and development, and we encourage you to take advantage of our free online resources as you prepare your submission this year, to give you the best possible chance of getting further in the prize this time around.
Can I access or revise my submission text after submitting it?
No, once you have submitted your material you will be unable to make any changes to it. We advise that you keep a copy of your material saved elsewhere as you will not be able to access the submitted material after you’ve sent it off for the Prize.
I have entered my contact or personal details incorrectly to the submissions form. Can I amend this?
If you have input information that will prevent us from contacting you or refers to incorrect personal information (e.g. your name) please email firstname.lastname@example.org to correct this.
I have previously self-published my writing – am I still eligible?
This novel must be unpublished. If you have previously self-published other work, you are still welcome to enter.
Since submitting to Discoveries I have been offered representation by an agent / a publishing deal – am I still eligible?
You are not eligible for Discoveries if you are currently represented by a literary agent. If you accept an offer of representation by an agent or accept a publishing deal after you have submitted your work for Discoveries, then you become ineligible. Please let us know if this is the case, and we will withdraw your entry.
I have published academic work previously – am I still eligible?
Yes, you are eligible to enter Discoveries if you have previously had academic work, including monographs, published by an academic press for an academic readership.*
I have published other non-fiction previously – am I still eligible?
If you have previously published a non-fiction book with a traditional, non-academic publisher, then you are not eligible for Discoveries. If you have self-published your other writing, or had your writing published in magazines or online, then you are eligible for Discoveries.*
I have published poetry previously – am I still eligible?
If you have previously published a collection of poetry with a traditional publisher, then you are not eligible for Discoveries. If you have had a poem included in an anthology published by a traditional publisher, or in a publication or magazine, you are eligible to enter.*
I have had my writing published in magazines or online – am I still eligible?
If you have previously published your other writing in magazines or online, then you are eligible for Discoveries.
I have had a short story or short stories published– am I still eligible?
If you have previously published a collection of short stories with a traditional publisher, then you are not eligible for Discoveries.
If you have previously published a short story or short stories in magazines, anthologies published by traditional publishers or online, then you are eligible for Discoveries.
I have published YA/Children's fiction previously - Am I still eligible?
If you have previously published a YA/Children’s fiction with a traditional publisher, then you are not eligible for Discoveries.
If you have previously published a YA or Children’s fiction in magazines, anthologies published by traditional publishers or online, then you are eligible for Discoveries.
If I’m having trouble submitting via the online form, what do I do?
We’re so sorry you’re having trouble with the form! First of all, try refreshing the web page and starting again (we recommend typing your entries into a separate document so that you don’t lose your work if you need to refresh the page). If you are still struggling, you can write to us at email@example.com and we’ll try to help.
Please note that this inbox will be monitored regularly, but you may not get an immediate response.
My formatting has disappeared when I enter it into the online form – what do I do?
Please don’t worry if your formatting (italics/bold/indenting) disappears when you enter your text into the online form. It will appear correctly when we view it!
How will Discoveries be judged?
A longlist of sixteen and shortlist of six writers will be selected by a judging panel. The 2024 judging panel will be chaired by Kate Mosse, international bestselling novelist and Founder Director of the Women’s Prize; and includes esteemed writers Natasha Brown and Rowan Hisayo Buchanan; Jess Molloy, Curtis Brown literary agent; and Anna Davis, Founder and Managing Director of Curtis Brown Creative.
What are the prizes?
The winner of this Prize, now in its third year, will receive an offer of representation from Curtis Brown and £5,000.
One promising writer, named the ‘Discoveries Scholar’, will also win a free scholarship to attend a three-month Writing Your Novel course with Curtis Brown Creative (worth £1,800).
All six shortlisted authors will also have access to mentoring with a Curtis Brown agent, a free place on a six-week online writing course with Curtis Brown Creative and a studio session focused on writing and recording for audio with Audible.
All sixteen longlisted authors will receive a bespoke, two-week online Discoveries Writing Development Course taught by Women’s Prize shortlisted author Charlotte Mendelson and an annual Audible subscription.
When are the winners announced?
The key dates for Discoveries are:
- April 2024: Longlist of Discoveries announced
- May 2024: Shortlist of Discoveries announced
- May 2024: Winner of Discoveries is announced
I have a question not covered in the FAQs.
Please email the Discoveries team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*If you are unsure if these terms surrounding previous non-fiction, academic and/or poetry publications apply to you please email email@example.com.
Please note that this inbox is monitored regularly, but you may not receive an immediate response.