Got a question?

Find the answers to our most frequently asked questions.

What is an emerging writer?

We define emerging writers as unagented authors who are yet to accept a publishing deal for any novel or children’s fiction book which includes an advance payment. An advance is a signing bonus that is negotiated and paid to the author before the book is published.

Can I enter a manuscript I’ve entered before?

Yes, resubmissions are always welcome and several winning manuscripts have been later drafts of books we’ve seen before. We match all entries with best fit readers and select fresh eyes for resubmitted work.

Can I enter more than one manuscript?

Yes, you may enter as many books as you wish.

Which prize is best for YA – adult prize or children’s prize?

Young adult novels can be entered for either The Bath Novel Award or The Bath Children’s Novel Award, or both. The main differences between the prizes are:
-Our adult prize is shortlisted by adult readers and older teens, and judged by a literary agent who primarily represents adult fiction authors. Our children’s shortlist is chosen by children and teens, and judged by a literary agent who primarily represents adult fiction authors.
-Our adult prize receives more entries than the children’s prize so is the more competitive of the two.
-Full manuscripts of novels entered for The Bath Novel Award must be at least 50,000 words. There is no minimum word count for the full manuscripts of books entered for the Bath Children’s Novel Award,
-Our adult prize is open for submissions from 1st December to May 31st, while our children’s prize is open from 1st June to 30th November.

Can I send more than 5,000 words?

Novels are longlisted on the basis of the first 5,000 words plus one page synopsis. To keep the prize fair for all writers, any material over this word count is not read. In the first rounds, readers vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question ‘do this extract and synopsis make you want to read the full?’. We therefore recommend editing to a point within your first 5,000 words which is most likely to leave voters eager to vote ‘yes’ to reading more.

Can I enter multiple versions of the same manuscript?

Yes. Please state “alternative version” in brackets after the title on your entry form and we’ll make sure we match each version with different readers.

Must my manuscript be finished?

Authors of longlisted extracts will need to submit a full manuscript for the shortlist judging stages. Full manuscripts are requested at the end of June for The Bath Novel Award and mid December for The Bath Children’s Novel Award. It doesn’t need to be your final draft but it does need to be a complete draft.

What do you look for in a synopsis and should I reveal how my book ends?

Your synopsis should include a clear summary of your main plot including the ending. For novel submissions, please do have a read of our post How to Write a Strong One-Page Synopsis for a summary of the key elements we hope to find..

Is there a minimum word count for full manuscripts?

For The Bath Novel Award, full manuscripts must be at least 50,000 words long. For The Bath Children’s Novel Award there is no minimum or maximum word count.

Can I get feedback on my entry?

All shortlistees win feedback on their full manuscript in the form of a compilation of award readers’ and judges’ voting comments.

All listees win feedback on their opening ten pages and synopsis from an editorial director at Cornerstones Literary Consultancy.

If your novel is not listed and you are looking for editorial guidance we can recommend the editors at Cornerstones Literary Consultancy. Bath Novel Awards entrants receive a discount and you can find out more about Cornerstones’ editorial services here

Can co-authored books win?

Yes. We ask that all authors are named and a separate email given for each on the entry form. Should a co-authored book be longlisted we ask for formal confirmation of how any prizes would be allocated in the event of a win. To enter a book authored by two writers, please type the first author’s full name in the first box and the second authors full name in the second box on the entry form. If you have more than two authors please drop us an email with the additional author names to entries (at) bathnovelaward.co.uk

Are self-published books eligible to win?

Yes. Books can be unpublished, self-published or independently published without advance payment.

Do you send an entry confirmation?

Entries trigger an auto-confirmation email. If this hasn’t reached your inbox this is usually due to your email provider’s filter settings. It’s worth adding our email entries@bathnovelaward.co.uk to your address book and also checking your spam box. If you think you might have given us an incorrect email address please drop us an email and we’ll check that for you.

I’ve accepted a publishing deal (with advance) since entering, can I still win?

Writers who accept a publishing deal with advance payment prior to our winner’s announcement are no longer eligible to win. If your deal arrived after being listed we will honour that listing.

Is it okay to be in another competition concurrently?

Yes – we recognise that exclusivity is not in writers’ best interests so will never ask you for this

Can authors be any age?


Do you accept memoirs?

Autobiographical novels are eligible to win. We are not the right prize for memoirs aimed at the non-fiction reader.

Do you accept graphic novels?

We accept the texts of illustrated chapter and picture books, but we are not the right prize for graphic novels and books where the illustrations are the story, as opposed to an extension of the text.

My manuscript includes illustrations which are integral to reader’s understanding of the story, can I enter them?

As we can only consider the text elements of manuscripts, we recommend inserting an alt text  visual description in place of any images which are integral to the plot.

Do you accept posthumous novels?

Yes. In the event of the novel listing, we would seek reasonable confirmation that you own the deceased author’s work and that they expressed no objection to their work being submitted or an extract being published.

I have a different question, how do I get in touch?

Drop us an email at info@bathnovelaward.co.uk