The Borough Press collaborates with Cheltenham Festival and LBA Books to launch literary competition

We are delighted to announce that The Borough Press has teamed up with Cheltenham Festivals and LBA Books to launch the Cheltenham First Novel Competition. The winner will receive a £10,000 advance and publishing contract with The Borough Press, and representation by Luigi Bonomi at LBA.

The competition launched at the Cheltenham Festival on Sunday 15th October, where our Publishing Director, Suzie Dooré, and MD of LBA, Luigi Bonomi, led a panel, ‘How to Get Your Novel Published’.

Entrants are invited to submit the first three chapters of their literary or literary-commercial novel, or the first 15,000 words.

The winner of the competition will be selected by judges from HarperCollins, LBA and Cheltenham Festivals based on their work’s quality and commercial potential.

For full terms and conditions please see below.

Suzie Dooré said: “Borough are always looking for the best new voices, and I’m excited to discover a new literary superstar. The Borough Press and Cheltenham are the perfect partners, and I’m delighted Luigi will be judging the entries alongside us and representing the eventual winner!”

Luigi Bonomi said: ‘ I am thrilled to be working with The Borough Press and The Cheltenham Literary Festival on this exciting new competition.  The Cheltenham Literary Festival has been a great champion of new writers and the thought that tomorrow’s bestseller should be discovered through them is entirely fitting.’


Competition Terms and Conditions


  1. This competition is promoted by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (“HarperCollins”), The News Building, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF.
  2. This promotion is open to all UK residents except employees of HarperCollins, LBA Books or Cheltenham Festivals (or their parent, subsidiaries or any affiliated companies) and their immediate families, who are not allowed to enter the competition.
  3. Entrants must submit the the lesser of: (i) the first three chapters of their literary or literary-commercial novel; or (ii) the first 15,000 words (but in any case no more than 15,000 words), as a typed, double-spaced hard copy on A4 paper, stapled. All entries must be clearly marked at the head or foot of the first page with the entrant’s name, address, email address and the title of their novel. Entrants should also attach a brief synopsis of the entire plot of their novel, even if the novel is not yet completed. Entries should be sent to Cheltenham First Novel Competition, The Borough Press, HarperCollins Publishers, The News Building, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF. Novels in genres other than those specified above will not be considered, thereby excluding – among other genres – children’s and Young Adult fiction, genre fiction (straight science fiction, fantasy, horror or crime) and romantic fiction. Non-fiction will also not be considered. We will only consider entries from writers who have not previously published in novel form, with this or any other work, and who are not already represented by any literary agency.
  4. Closing date for entries is midnight on 31st January 2018. No entries received after this date will be accepted. No purchase necessary. Only one entry allowed per person.
  5. The prize is a publishing contract with The Borough Press, an imprint of HarperCollins and guaranteed representation from literary agent Luigi Bonomi of LBA Books. An advance on royalties of £10,000 (ten thousand pounds) for World rights is included. In entering this competition you agree that, if you win, in order to receive your prize you will need to enter into (i) a contract with HarperCollins on its standard author agreement terms; and (ii) a contract to sign with LBA Books, on LBA’s  standard terms whereby Luigi Bonomi – as the winner’s agent – receives 15% of the novel’s royalty earnings once the advance has earned out. If more than one entrant is deemed a suitable winner, both or all will receive the same prize. In entering, the winner accepts that they will be contractually obliged to deliver a full version of the novel to HarperCollins and LBA Books no later than 31st August 2018. In addition to the winner/s, some finalists may have the opportunity to discuss their work with Luigi Bonomi of LBA Books, who may choose to represent them but is not obliged to, and by entering this contest you agree to be contacted by LBA Books.
  6. The prize is non-refundable, non-transferable and subject to availability. No guarantee is given as to the quality of the prize.
  1. No cash or prize alternatives are available.
  2. HarperCollins reserve the right in their reasonable discretion to substitute any prize with a prize of equal or greater value.
  3. The winner of the competition will be selected by judges from HarperCollins, LBA Books and Cheltenham Festivals based on their work’s quality and commercial potential, and notified in the first instance by e-mail, no later than 31st March 2018.
  4. In the event that in the judges’ opinion no entries meet the criteria to win the contest, HarperCollins reserves the right not to select a winner and to close the competition without awarding the prize.
  5. All entrants will retain copyright in their entry, however the winner(s) will be expected to licence the copyright to Borough Press under the terms of their contract with HarperCollins. Unsuccessful applicants will not be notified, and we regret that we cannot return any entries.
  6. The first portion of the prize, being a quarter of the publication advance, will be delivered to the winner upon signature of their publishing contract.
  7. Any application containing incorrect, false or unreadable information will be rejected. Any applications made on behalf of or for another person or multiple entries will not be included in the competition.
  8. The judges’ decision as to who has won the competition shall be final.
  1. To obtain the name of the prize winner/s after the closing date, please write to The Borough Press, HarperCollins Publishers, The News Building, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF.
  2. The entry instructions are part of the Terms and Conditions for this competition.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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