The Grindstone International Novel Prize is one of the largest and most renowned novel prizes in the UK. Open to unrepresented writers from all over the world, we are proud to champion new and unsung authors, helping them find representation and publication.

Our previous competition winners include domestic and international bestsellers like the amazing Wahala by Nikki May, and we're honoured to work with the best agents, agencies, and publishing houses in the UK and beyond.  Some of our affiliated agencies include Curtis Brown, Conville & Walsh, the Paper Literary Agency, the Good Literary Agency, the Soho Agency, and so many more. We send all longlisted work to all of our affiliated agencies, maximising your chances of finding representation.

Entrants are asked to submit the first 5,000 words of any finished or part-finished manuscript aimed at YA and adult audiences, accompanied by a brief synopsis. Entry details and rules can be found by clicking the button below.



Entrants will need to register a free account in order to submit. This account lets you view your entries, results, and feedack, which means no more missed emails or announcements.



We accept PDF uploads for our competitions, which can easily be generated in Word, Google Docs, and every other word processing software. It allows us to efficiently judge and read your work.



We use PayPal as a secure payment option, allowing entrants to either pay using a PayPal account, or by using a debit card. 100% safe, and simple to use, PayPal is trusted the world over.



When the competition announces, you'll see the results of your entry right there in your dashboard. No more missing emails or announcements. And it'll stay there forever, too.



Who judges competitions at Grindstone?

Our judging team is made up exclusively of professional readers and editors with industry experience.

​How does Optional Feedback work?

Entrants who request feedback on their work compete alongside those who choose not to pay for it. Those paying the feedback supplement may include two questions on the front page of their submission to guide their feedback if they wish. Otherwise, our judges will give feedback on what we feel requires the most attention.

How do we receive this?

After the results deadline, entrants who paid for feedback will receive a performance report viewable on their User Dashboard. This contains a series of pre-generated feedback responses designed to give some general advice based on the scores ascribed during the marking and judging period. The Judges Comments at the bottom of the page are the personalised response from your judge.

Is the User Dashboard completely free of charge?

Yes. Registering and maintaining an account at Grindstone is completely free, and will remain that way. There're no hidden charges, no fees, and no bills to pay. Competitions, though, do have entry fees, payable at the time of submission.

Do I have to sign up?

Yes. In order to enter, we require users to sign up for an account. This means you can submit and receive results without hunting for lost emails or missing announcement dates. Your entries stay right there in the dashboard for as long as you have an account and feedback and results will always be viewable.

Do you really show the shortlists to literary agents?

We know that the end goal for a lot of writers is to have their work picked up by an agent and published. And that's why we work hard to bring onboard top agents to preside over our competitions and read the best entries. But it's not just the agent judging who might be interested. We're in contact with many agencies in the UK who ask to receive our chapbooks. We send them along following competitions, where they're read with interest by agents, who may then reach out to you, should you place in one.

How do the cash prizes work?

You win them, we send them to you. It's as simple as that.

How does copyright work at Grindstone?

You retain the copyright to your work. All that we ask is that you give us permission to publish it either online or in our anthology/chapbooks. But that's optional too. Full details on this can be found on our Terms page linked at the bottom of this page.

Who are you, and how did this all start?

We're writers, like you. We were tired of the same old competition set-up -- emails with attachments, long judging periods and missed announcements, weird payment methods which meant multiple tabs, cheques in the post, and bank transfers to random accounts. And we thought the best way to change that was to do it ourselves. So, we set out to make something great, and it turned into Grindstone. Simple, straightforward, and made with writers in mind. We handle submissions through the website, and then send the best ones to literary agents.

What's the best way to stay up to date?

Registering an account will add you to our mailing list (which can be unsubscribed from using the link at the bottom of our emails), but we also have a thriving social media network. Find us on Facebook and Twitter using the links at the bottom of the page. 

Need something else? Get in touch.