Sunday, 6 October 2013

New prize for an unpublished novel

A new prize, worth £500, is on offer for an unpublished novel in the Exeter Novel Prize competition. It's for all authors whether published or not, the only condition being that the novel must not have been published in any form. Full details including rules and how to enter are available on the Creative Writing Matters site.

But hurry because the closing date is 31st October.

So all you 2012 NanNoWriMo winners, if you haven't yet done anything with the novel you wrote last year, now could be the time.

Or if it's a crime novel you might want to enter the Telegraph Harvill Secker Crime Writing Competition for a publishing deal and £5,000. Deadline for entries - and you don't have to have completed the novel yet - is 30th November.

Which leads me on to the topic of entry fees.

Almost all writing competitions charge fees. In the case of the Telegraph it's £5, they say to cover admin costs; for the famous Bridport Prize for short stories, it's £8; and for the inaugural Exeter Prize it's £12.

Now in both the Telegraph and Bridport competitions you stand to win £5,000. Which makes the Exeter Prize of £500 look a bit stingy. And which causes me to ask, 'what exactly does the fee cover?'

I've always defended fees in the past saying the prize money has to come from somewhere but the organisers say that the prize has been donated by Exeter Writers so presumably the fee is for admin. But £12 per entry seems an awful lot of admin.

I'd be interested to know how it's spent. I've no doubt it's totally legitimate but I'm puzzled. Any ideas?

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