Curtis Brown First Novel Prize

Every book starts with a first line, every career with a first moment of inspiration. The Curtis Brown First Novel Prize was created to find and support brilliant new voices. We can’t wait to discover yours!

As part of its 120th birthday celebrations, Curtis Brown – in partnership with Curtis Brown Creative – has launched the inaugural Curtis Brown First Novel Prize, our mission to find the exciting new voices of the future.

Tracy Chevalier, bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring and A Single Thread, will chair the judging panel formed of Curtis Brown agents and the Curtis Brown Creative team. Read our interview with Tracy packed full of writing advice and her reading recommendations …

Curtis Brown First Novel PrizeThe author of the winning novel will be offered representation by Curtis Brown plus a prize of £3,000, while the first runner-up will receive a place on a three-month novel-writing course at Curtis Brown Creative, and a mentoring session with one of the Curtis Brown literary agent team. A further four shortlisted entrants will be offered a place on a six-week online course with Curtis Brown Creative and a mentoring session with one of the Curtis Brown literary agent team.

The prize is now open for entries.

If you’d like to enter, send us the opening (up to) 10,000 words of your novel (including any prologue) and a one-page synopsis of up to 400 words. Novels do not need to be finished before you enter the competition, but you should be able to summarise in your synopsis the main plot of your work-in-progress. The competition will close at midday on 1st August 2019.

Anyone can enter so long as they’re 18 or over, writing a novel in English and resident in the UK or Ireland. Entrants should not currently be represented by a literary agent, and novels must be unpublished. If you have self-published your work, you are very welcome to enter! The novel can be in any genre but must be aimed at adults rather than young adults or children. Full terms and conditions are posted here.

We are hugely excited to read the competition entries and to find new voices and stories. Curtis Brown agents and the Curtis Brown Creative team will choose a shortlist of six entries for the judging panel to read. Meet the agents behind the Curtis Brown 120 celebrations here. The shortlisted titles will be announced in September. Tracy Chevalier will select the overall winner and runner-up, who will be revealed on 10th October.

It’s really important to get your 10,000 word opening and one-page synopsis as polished as possible. You can view some tips on how to perfect your entry to the Curtis Brown First Novel Prize here.