Spotlight First Novel Award 2023

Deadline: 14th February 2023

Spotlight First Novel Award is our way of celebrating and encouraging new writers. It offers the opportunity to win intensive professional input at a key stage and is designed to boost confidence. Now heading for its twelfth year, the award has a well documented knack of highlighting the writers of the future.  

This is your chance to hone your manuscript under the guidance of a professional novelist working in the same genre. The preparation of a public profile provides a crash course in image, pitch and presentation.  

Winning prize: 

Professional input worth up £1950.00 inc:

  • A Stage One Mentoring package.*
  •  Spotlight on you and your novel.*
  • Your first page or synopsis posted online. 

*A Stage One Mentoring package for a novel of up to 550 pages/170,000 words including a full manuscript appraisal, a development strategy and two consultations.

*A dedicated page on the Adventures in Fiction website including a profile of you and your novel.

Stage-One Mentoring

This is the first key stage of the tried and tested six-stage Apprenticeships scheme. It is an intensive three-part package designed to identify a context and to develop an overview.

Find out more: Mentoring Packages. About Apprenticeships.

Can you write a winning synopsis?

A synopsis is a key document for the novelist. This is the place to set out your ideas in condensed form. It operates on a number of levels; initially as a projection of the novel you aim to write, in the intermediate as a working tool and finally as a selling tool.

We are offering one lucky winner a major showcase plus invaluable input and support. 

Entry Requirements

A one-page synopsis

The first page of your novel

Entry fee: £16.00* 

*We can accept applications by post or online.


Synopsis: 12 pt. Aim for space and a half

First page: 12 pt. Double-spaced

Use your surname as the filename. I.e. SURNAMEpg, SURNAMEsyn. If sending both pages as one doc, SURNAME2.)

Include your name and contact information on both pages. 

Postal Entries

Send your first page and your synopsis, along with a cheque for £16.00 made payable to Adventures in Fiction to:

Adventures In Fiction

14, Grosvenor Avenue
N5 2NR
(If you would like an acknowledgment, please include a stamped self-addressed postcard.)

Online Entries

Step 1. Sign up now. Pay the entry fee of £16.00 here

Step 2. Email Us

Include title and confirmation (date of payment)
+ Attach your first page and synopsis (preferably as word documents.) 

We will acknowledge receipt. (If you do not receive an acknowledgment please do get in touch. Check your spam folder first!)

The winner should be prepared to submit the full manuscript of their novel (12pt, double-spaced, single side of the paper only) to Adventures in Fiction by the beginning of April.

This is an excellent opportunity to promote your work and gain some valuable input and support.

Best of luck!

Terms and Conditions

 The competition is open to unpublished novelists in all genres, regardless of location. (Adventures in Fiction has a broad national and international client base.)   

  • Current and previous apprentices are not eligible.
  • Novelists commercially published (in English) are not eligible.
  • Self published writers are eligible.
  • Your competition entry will not be returned.
  • We respect your copyright. (For your peace of mind, we recommend that you add your copyright as follows: © Your Name 2012)
  • Submissions should be original works written in English.
  • Application window closes at midnight, 14th February.
  • We cannot enter into discussion about individual entries.
  • Our decision is final.
  • Applications without an entry fee will be inadmissible.
  • The entry fee applies to a single entry.
  • Multiple entries are eligible on a fee per entry basis.
  • We cannot be held responsible for entries lost in the post.
  • For the purposes of correspondence, entry automatically includes permission to add your details to our mailing list. (You can unsubscribe at any time!)  
  • Mentoring consultations offered within a limited (three month) timeframe only.


  • The longlist and the shortlist will be posted on Facebook and announced on Twitter.
  • We may contact finalists for further information.
  • We will notify the winner via email.
  • The winner and finalists will be announced on the website.








Spotlight Successes

Cows Don’t Jump. Philip Bowne. 
(Neem Tree Press. 2020)

The Tango Effect. Kate Swindlehurst. 
(Unbound. 2020)

Folk. Zoe Gilbert.
(Bloomsbury 2018)

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