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International Novel Prize Special Guest Judge Revealed - And More!

Updated: Jun 29, 2018

This is the International Novel Prize update you've been dreaming about.

We've got some very special news - lots more prizes up for grabs, and we're welcoming to the Grindstone family this awesome person...

Not sure who this is? Keep reading and find out!

It’s been such a year already! We’ve met some great people, had nothing but support and encouragement from everyone we’ve spoken to, and set our sights even higher.

Yeah, that’s right - we’re just not content with how much we’re doing, and how much we’re giving, so we’ve only gone and put a little more skin in the game. How, you ask? Well, how does a free place on a course at one of the most prestigious and highly rated online creative writing schools grab you?

Grindstone Literary are proud to announce that Curtis Brown Creative are gifting a placement on one of their six-week online writing courses - Starting to Write Your Novel, Write to the End of Your Novel, or Edit and Pitch Your Novel - for our International Novel Prize!

Check out the full details for these amazing courses by clicking here!

But, that’s not all! While one lucky writer will receive a totally free place on a six-week course of their choice, we were so excited by the idea that we decided to up the ante even more and secure discounts for every person who places on the shortlist. That’s right - every person who gets shortlisted for our International Novel Prize will not only have their work published in our year-end anthology, but will also get a discount coupon for a six-week course of their choice (Starting to Write Your Novel, Write to the End of Your Novel, or Edit and Pitch Your Novel), run by Anna Davis, Managing Director of Curtis Brown Creative! If that’s not a prize to die for, we don’t know what is.

You can read the full course details here:

What is the International Novel Prize?

Writers from all around the world are invited to submit the first chapter, or up to 3000 words of their Novel for consideration. Our competition is judged based on the opening of the work only, and not the full manuscript! We’re looking for the most intriguing, gripping, poignant, powerful, and wonderful openings around, and we’re going to reward them all handsomely.

The entry fee is £20, yes - we know that’s quite a lot, but have you seen what’s up for grabs?

Every single entrant into this competition will have their work read, in full, by a professional writer or editor, and will receive no less than 300 words of personalised, critical feedback. Whether you win, or not, you’ll get your feedback, as well as a placement, to the nearest 10%, so you know exactly how you finished in the standings.

On top of that - those who place on shortlist will have their work published in our year-end anthology, alongside a brief author interview, overview from us as to why we chose their piece, and personal introduction for their own work.

But, that’s not all. We’re also going to give discounts to every shortlisted writer so they can enroll on one of Curtis Brown Creative’s six-week online writing courses - Starting to Write Your Novel, Write to the End of Your Novel, or Edit & Pitch Your Novel. The choice will be yours, depending on which course suits you the best.

You can read the full course details here:

You can’t be serious - there’s more? Yep. Curtis Brown Creative are also providing one free place on a course, which will be awarded to a writer of our choosing, determined through popular vote!

And yet, there’s even more to be had. Our Winner and Runner Up will also receive cash prizes! The Grand Prize is £1,000, and the Runner Up Prize is £100 - which isn’t to be sniffed at.

And we left the best, and biggest announcement to last.

Without further ado, we are so, so excited to reveal that this year’s winner will be chosen by…

Emma Finn

Of C+W Literary Agency

Click here to read Emma’s bio and learn more about C+W

Emma will be reviewing the shortlist in the final weeks of November, and selecting the pieces that they believe deserve to win. That’s right, a Literary Agent will be reading your work, giving it their full and undivided attention.

If that’s not reason enough to enter, I don’t know what is. But, if you can believe it, we’re actually making it even better for you.

Entrants aren’t restricted to entering one novel. You can enter as many as you’d wish. And, the best thing of all - we don’t even need them to be finished. Because we’re only asking for the opening chapter, and judging it based on how intrigued and excited we are by it, you’ll be able to submit, and compete with an unfinished manuscript!

If you place on the shortlist, and your work is chosen as the winner or runner up, then things will just follow a natural course of events. We’re not making any promises of stardom or wild riches, but having your work read and selected by an agent is going to be a huge deal. And, if you place on the shortlist, you’re already knocking on the door, and enrolling on one of the Curtis Brown Creative courses may just give you the edge you need to really make that final push!

We’re asking a lot for entry fees - we know - but with risk comes reward, and we wanted to make the reward as big as it could be.

We never let anyone walk away from a Grindstone Competition empty handed, and this one is no exception!

Details Recap:

Grindstone's 2018 International Novel Prize

Closing Date: 28th September 2018

Longlist Announced: 16th November 2018

Shortlist and Winners: 1st December 2018

Entry Fee: £20

Max Word Count: 3000 Words / 1st Chapter

Personalised Feedback: 300+ Words

Grand Prize: £1,000

Runner Up: £100

Shortlist: Publication and a Discount for a Curtis Brown Creative Six-Week Course (Choice of Starting to Write Your Novel, Writing to the End of Your Novel, Edit & Pitch Your Novel)

Plus, one lucky shortlister will receive a free place on their choice of one of the above courses.

Long and Shortlists are judged and decided by the Grindstone Literary Judging Team - the Winner and Runner Up will be selected by Emma Finn of C+W Literary Agency.

Every entrant will receive personalised feedback and an placement in the standings to the nearest 10%.

Note: Novels of all genres are accepted, however it is unlikely that work aimed at children, or work that contains gratuitous sexual content or graphic violence will place highly. Historically, work that fulfils these criteria does not score well across our judging metrics. If you are intent on submitting work of this nature, then please do get in touch beforehand.

If you’d like to get in contact regarding anything you’ve read here, then please do reach out to us either on Twitter @GrindstoneLit, or via email at

As always guys, thanks for being you, and for all the support. If you think this sounds like a good opportunity, and you want to help us help more writers, please share the word and spread the love!

The reason we’re able to offer so much is because the support we receive from you. We’ve come a long way in a short time, and that’s down completely to our community. Help us grow by letting everyone know how great it is to be a part of Grindstone.

Thanks so much guys - we can’t wait to read your work!

Until next time,


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