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International Novel Prize

We're changing the game when it comes to writing competitions. Your journey starts here.

The 2023 Novel Prize is now open for submissions

Open to authors from all around the world, we're looking for the best and boldest new manuscripts. If you've finished or are currently working on a novel, then we'd love to read it. Please review the rules and submissions guidelines below before submitting. Good luck!

Entries earmarked for 'Longlisting' in the 2023 Prize

The entries below are the entries that have been earmarked to be re-read in November as we prepare our Longlist. Appearing below does not guarantee a place on the Longlist, it instead means that your work has moved to the next round of judging. If your work does not appear below, then it has not been selected and has been unsuccessful in this year's prize. The below entries are listed in no particular order.

  1. Timothy Jay Smith - Checkpoint

  2. Priscille B. Fatuma - Transformation

  3. AM Sutter - Darkness Bleeds

  4. Caroline Garrod - Nothing But The Truth

  5. Vyvyan Evans - The Babel Apocalypse

  6. James Davies - Somebody Else's Story

  7. Hazel Compton - FairyCon

  8. Zena Ryder - In the Sweet By and By

  9. Ellen Morris Prewitt - In the Name of Mississippi

  10. Smita Diwase - The Serpent Grove

  11. Morgan Karpiel - Bloodlands

  12. James Landy - Idios

  13. Jon Ackroyd - The Birdwatcher

  14. AJP Whyte - The Trinity

  15. Daphne Dahlman - The End of the Day

  16. Ewa Bird - When The Moon Turned Red

  17. Javairia Qadir - Cigarette Lights

  18. Rebecca Montemurro - Cascading Death

  19. Anne Freeman - Me, That You See

  20. Beth Bartlett - Life Below

  21. Simone Noakes - Octopus

  22. Kira Archibald - The Beginning and End of Love

  23. John White - First Evil

  24. Katie Idle - You Have No Idea

  25. Catherine Martin - The Medici Conspiracy

  26. Tony Irvin - The Highway of Darkness

  27. Maayan Dantonio - The Stars Beyond the Dark

  28. Clare Owen - Creatures of a Brief Season

  29. Sarah Frances Armstrong - The Dancing Man Under the Bridge

  30. Tony Irvin - Waking the Sleepers

  31. Maxwell Law -  The Sayer 

  32. Naomi French - Glass Song

  33. Sofia Baquedano - this is my worst nightmare please be nice to me

  34. Eileen Kandalaft - Never Heard of Her

This list contains entries from the Super Early Bird and the Early Bird submission phases.

Novel prize overview
  • The 2023 Novel Prize is open to authors from all countries, provided their submissions are in English.

  • To be eligible to enter, authors must be unrepresentedAuthors which have been previously published but are currently unrepresented are eligible to enter. Self-published authors who are unrepresented are eligible to enter.

  • Entrants are asked to submit the first 5,000 words of their manuscript.

  • Manuscripts may be finished or part-finished at the time of submission. All manuscripts must have a finished (or projected finished) length exceeding 70,000 words.

  • All genres are accepted, with the exception of work aimed at children, and erotic fiction. Young Adult books are accepted.

  • Entrants may make as many entries as they wish. Each entry must have its own entry fee paid.

  • The prize will be run across three phases; the Super Early Bird, Early Bird, and Final Submission phase.

  • Revised versions of previous entries (either made in previous competitions or earlier phases of the same competition) are accepted.

  • The prize will be judged internally, with all winners selected at our discretion.

We look forward to reading your work.


Grand Prize: £1,500

Runner Up: £500

Shortlist: 4x £100

Longlist: All longlisted pieces (along with the winning pieces), will be forwarded directly to our full list of affiliated agents.

Dates and deadlines
  • Super Early Bird submission deadline: 1st April 2023

    • Results announced: 1st June 2023​

  • Early Bird submission deadline: 1st July 2023

    • Results announced: 1st September 2023​

  • Final Phase submission deadline: 1st October 2023

    • Winners and longlist announced: 1st December 2023​

Note: Those entering in the Super Early Bird and Early Bird phases may edit and resubmit their manuscripts in a later competition phase if they wish. All re-entries must have a valid entry fee paid at the time of submission.

Entry fees
  • Super Early Bird: £16.00

  • Early Bird: £18.00

  • Final Phase: £20.00

Note: We are no longer offering critical feedback, and are instead focusing on adding more agents to our list and improving our service to our entrants.

Sponsored Entries and Fee Concessions

  • We are extremely pleased to once again offer sponsored entries and fee concessions for the 2023 Novel Prize.

    • Sponsored Entries: Available to those of extremely limited means who are unable to pay the entry fee. Please email us prior to entry to discuss a sponsored entry should you feel you qualify.​

    • Fee Concessions: Fee concessions are available to those of limited means, as well as students. If you feel you fall under this category, please email us prior to entry if you feel you qualify.

Note: There are a limited number of sponsored entries available, so please only reach out if you need to. Our entry fees go towards the prize funds, as well as paying our judges for their time and energy. Thank you.

What to submit
  • One PDF document containing:

    • A title page including the name of the manuscript, the genre, the word count (current and projected if unfinished), and your name and email address

    • A 100 word elevator pitch of your novel

    • The opening 5,000 words of your manuscript (10% margin)

    • A 300-400 word synopsis summarising the key plot points of your novel

  • Please endeavour to submit your novel in Times New Roman, size 12, 1.5 or 2.0 line spaced for ease of reading. If this is not possible, please use another easily readable font.

  • If possible, when naming your file, use the format: <TITLE>, <Author Name> - Grindstone Submission

Note: Entries must be submitted in PDF format. 

Further rules and terms
  • Entrants may submit from any country provided their entry is in English.

  • Entrants may submit as many entries as they wish. Each entry must have its own fee paid at the time of submission.

  • Entrants may submit to multiple prizes at the same time.

  • Entrants will not be able to revise or replace their entries once submitted.

  • Entrants must be 18 or over to compete.

  • Currently self-published works are eligible to be entered.

  • The competition is judged at our sole discretion and no communications will be entered into regarding the results of any submissions or our reasoning for accepting or rejecting any entries.

  • We reserve the right to disqualify any entries we deem to be plagiarised, hateful, gratuitous, or offensive at our discretion.

Please be respectful of both this competition and our readers. We hope that you enjoy competing, and good luck with your submission.


Please email with the subject line 'Novel Prize Rules Query' if anything above is unclear. Please bear in mind it may take several days to respond. Thank you.

How to submit

If you are ready to submit your work, please do so using the button below. You will be taken to an integrated form, where you may submit and pay for your entry. We no longer require entrants to sign up for an account to compete in our competitions, and all announcements and results will be handled via email and social media. Before entering, please add to your contacts list to ensure you don't miss an email!

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