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The Crucible First Novel Award

We're very excited to finally reveal the new Novel Award we'll be running this winter!

We took a long look at how the traditional competition set up works and decided to change things up a little. We love our Novel Prize, and it's becoming one of the most prestigious in the UK thanks to our wonderful community of writers. But we thought we could also offer something a little different.

And after a lot of discussion, we came up with The Crucible First Novel Award! Check out the quick FAQ we put together below to see what all the fuss is about.

What is the Crucible First Novel Award?

The Crucible Award is a novel competition being run for writers of crime, thriller, and mystery novels (and their sub-genres) that is open to all unpublished and un-agented authors with a finished manuscript. Self-published or independently-published authors are ineligible to enter.

When does it run?

We will be accepting entries from early November, with a final deadline for submissions on the 1st of February 2021.

How much will it cost?

The Crucible award will be completely FREE to enter.

What will I need to submit?

We're asking for a 150-word elevator pitch and the first 5,000 words of your finished novel.

What are the prizes?

There is no remuneration or monetary prize on offer for this award, and there will be no 'winner' as such. We'll choose the best 20-30 entries and compile them into the Crucible Chapbook, which will then be handed directly to both the judging agents and a list of agencies.

Who are the judging agents, and what do they do with the chapbook?

We're proud to already have Catherine Cho of the Madeleine Milburn Agency, Hellie Ogden of the Janklow and Nesbit Agency, and Lucy Morris of Curtis Brown Books as our judges so far, with the aim to welcome more. Each judging agent will select at least one novel from the chapbook to request a full manuscript. What happens after is down to fate!

What about the list of agencies?

We've been in contact with all the biggest agencies in the UK, and have arranged to send to the chapbook directly to them following the conclusion of the competition, for their reading pleasure. The novels included will be endorsed by us, and will therefore receive the full attention of the agencies reading.

When are the results?

We'll be handing the chapbooks to the judging agents on May 1st, and will reveal the manuscripts that have been requested on June 1st. We'll then send the chapbook to our list of agencies just after.

Will there be feedback?

No, we're not going to be able to provide feedback to entries during the Crucible Award.

Will your normal prizes still run in 2021?

We're changing up our competition set-up so we can focus more on fiction. As such, we're combining our flash and short story competitions, and exploring other, non-competition options for poetry.

When will we hear about the changes in more detail?

We'll be sending out an email, as well as posting another blog that covers all the changes you'll see over the next few months, including our new website, new dashboard changes to make submitting easier, and our new prizes.

When will the competition schedule be released?

After the new year.


Thank you for your support! If you have any questions, email us at

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