THE BOROUGH PRESS is inviting un-agented submissions of literary novels for a limited two-week period between 1st and 14th May 2017.

We are looking for authors from all backgrounds, who have written a literary novel in keeping with the spirit of The Borough Press list: fiction which couples passionate, intelligent writing with energetic, page-turning plots. Literary/genre crossovers are acceptable, but straight genre novels will not be considered. Our Publishing Director Suzie Dooré has partnered with literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes, of Curtis Brown, and the successful author will secure a £10,000 book deal with Borough Press and representation by Cathryn Summerhayes.

Shortlisted for Imprint of the Year in the 2017 British Book Industry Awards, The Borough Press is home to writers including Joanna Cannon, Tracy Chevalier, Lionel Shriver and Susie Steiner. We are running this open submissions period as an opportunity to discover and bring to market a new literary voice. Unpublished writers can submit the first three chapters or fifty pages, a synopsis of their novel and an author biography, by emailing: boroughsubmissions@harpercollins.co.uk

We held our first open submission in 2014 and discovered Andrea Bennett, whose debut novel, GALINA PETROVNA’S THREE-LEGGED DOG STORY, has now been published in six languages. The novel was widely reviewed, Bennett was interviewed in the Observer and on BBC Front Row, and appeared at literary festivals including Edinburgh. Borough will publish her second novel TWO COUSINS OF AZOV in July.

All submissions will be read by our editors and completed novels will be requested from the best writers to review further. A shortlist will be compiled and judged by Dooré and Summerhayes. Entered novels must be complete, written in English and at least 70,000 words long. Full terms and conditions below.


1.This competition is promoted by the Borough Press is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers (“HarperCollins”), The News Building, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF

2.This promotion is open to all UK residents without a literary agent except employees of HarperCollins or Curtis Brown (or their parent, subsidiaries or any affiliated companies) and their immediate families, who are not allowed to enter the competition.

3.All submissions must be sent by email to the designated Open Submission email address: boroughsubmissions@harpercollins.co.uk

4.Submissions must be sent between the hours of 00:01 1st May 2017 and 23:59 14th May 2017 No entries received after this date will be accepted. No purchase necessary.

5.Submissions that have been sent by post or means other than email to the correct email address will not be accepted.

6.Each submission must be taken from a completed manuscript of no less than 70,000 words and the submission should contain:

a) The first three chapters or fifty pages, in either case no more than 10,000 words, of a complete novel with sequential page numbering included, with the first page being the title page;

b) Synopsis of whole book, including the complete plot and the story’s end (maximum 500 words); a one paragraph summary of the book; a short list of the main characters; and

c) Author biography, to include any blogs and/or social media information, any creative writing courses attended, short stories published, prizes won, literary or media mentors and contacts, etc (maximum 1 page).

7.The submission must be in Word format throughout all documents; all documents must be submitted at the same time, attached to a single email (the attachments each to be clearly individually marked as ‘manuscript’, ‘synopsis’, and ‘author biography’); the chapters of the manuscript are to be in one document, NOT sent as separate documents. In addition, each of the three documents should be marked IN THE FILE NAME with the author’s name and the title of the novel and this information should also be marked on every page of each document.

8.In the ‘Subject’ area at the top of an entrant’s submission email, entrants should put the title and their (pen) name.

9.In the body of the email, authors must provide their full name, address, and phone number.

10.Submissions that do not meet requirements of these Terms and Conditions shall not be read.

11.Any submission containing incorrect, false or unreadable information will be rejected.

12.Any submission made on behalf of or for another person, or multiple submissions, will not be read.

13.Novels submitted must be:

a. within the literary or commercial-literary genre.

b.in prose.

c.written in English.

d. not have been previously published/self-published or posted on publishing websites, forums or access platforms such as (but not limited to) Wattpad, Smashwords, Lulu, FanFiction, Completely Novel.

e. not have had an ISBN.

14.No correspondence between The Borough Press, HarperCollins or the hopeful authors can be entered into, unless at The Borough Press’s request, and we will not respond to unsolicited communications.

15.The winner/winners of the Open Submission period agree to be published by The Borough Press for an advance on royalties of £10,000 (ten thousand pounds) for World rights, and represented by Cathryn Summerhayes, both subject to contract.

16.The winner of the prize will be notified by 31st July 2017.

17.The prize will be delivered to the winner upon signature of the contracts.

18.The prize is non-refundable, non-transferable and subject to availability. No guarantee is given as to the quality of the prize.

19.No cash or prize alternatives are available.

20.HarperCollins reserve the right in their reasonable discretion to substitute any prize with a prize of equal or greater value.

21.As part of the contract the winning author must be:

a. prepared to undertake editorial work on their novel

b. prepared to undertake publicity and promotional responsibilities

22.There is no obligation on The Borough Press to publish any of the entrants to the Open Submission, in print or in ebook, or to offer any sort of editorial advice.

23.There is no obligation on Curtis Brown to represent any of the entrants to the Open Submission.

24.The Borough Press’s decision is final; unsuccessful entrants will not be notified and no feedback will be provided on unsuccessful entries.

25.You will retain all copyright in your submission and by submitting your novel you grant HarperCollins a licence to copy your submission and share it with its affiliates solely for the purpose of reviewing it.

26.Neither HarperCollins nor The Borough Press will be able to return any submissions, so make sure you have a copy stored safely before you submit.

27.Any personal information you give us will be used solely for reviewing your submission and will not be passed on to any other parties without your agreement. HarperCollins’ privacy policy can be found at: http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/legal/Pages/privacy-policy.aspx

28.HarperCollins will not be responsible unless required by law, for any loss, changes, costs or expenses, which may arise in connection with this open submission and HarperCollins can cancel or alter the open submission at any stage.

29.HarperCollins’ decision as to who has won the competition shall be final.

30.To obtain the name of the prize winner after the closing date, please write to the Borough Press – Open Sub Comp, HarperCollins Publishers, The News Building, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF.

31.The entry instructions are part of the Terms and Conditions for this competition.

32.By entering the competition you are agreeing to accept these Terms and Conditions. Any breach of these Terms and Conditions by you will mean that your entry will not be valid, and you will not be allowed to enter this competition.

33.By entering this competition, you are agreeing that if you win your name and image may be used for the purpose of announcing the winner in any related publicity with HarperCollins, without additional payment or permission.

34.Any personal information you give us will be used solely for this competition and will not be passed on to any other parties without your agreement. HarperCollins’ privacy policy can be found at: http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/legal/Pages/privacy-policy.aspx

35.Under no circumstances will HarperCollins be responsible for any loss, damages, costs or expenses arising from or in any way connected with any errors, defects, interruptions, malfunctions or delays in the promotion of the competition or prize.

36.HarperCollins will not be responsible unless required by law, for any loss, changes, costs or expenses, which may arise in connection with this competition and HarperCollins can cancel or alter the competition at any stage.

37.Any dispute relating to the competition shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales and will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.