Richard and Judy in search for Quercus star

W H Smith Book Club stars Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan have launched a competition to find a new author. The winning writer will be published by Quercus with support from WHS.

The "Search for a Bestseller" competition opens today (29th August), and submissions will close on 1st January 2014.

Writers are asked to submit between 10,000-12,000 words of a novel of any genre aimed at adults through the Richard and Judy Book Club website along with a synopsis for the rest of the book.

A team of editors from Quercus will then decide upon with winner with Richard and Judy and literary agents from Furniss Lawton. The winning author will receive a publishing deal worth £50,000 from Quercus and the right to sell their novel around the world. 

Madeley said he and his wife were “proud” to have helped launch the careers of a growing list of debut authors, but this time the pair wanted to go “a step further”.

Finnigan said: “Few things beat finding a new author’s work to read and recommend to other people. We’ve experienced the excitement of being there at the beginning of a word of mouth bestseller with so many of our debut novelists—but we are so excited to be getting involved at the very first step this time and to help make an aspiring writer’s dream come true”.

Mark Smith, c.e.o. of Quercus added that he was “thrilled” to be working with Richard and Judy to find new writing talent. “We know there is a wealth of undiscovered talent out there and we are excited to start the search today,” he said.

The new Richard and Judy Autumn Book Club has also launched today, starting with The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (HarperCollins). Jackie Wing, W H Smith business unit director for books, called the novel the “next Gone Girl”. She added: “It’s a brilliant and original high concept thriller that will have everyone talking about it.”

The other seven titles on the list are Instructions For A Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell (Tinder Press); Heartbreak Hotel by Debbie Moggach (Vintage); Never Coming Back by Tim Weaver (Penguin); The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier (HaperCollins); The Twins by Saskia Sarginson (Piatkus); The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty (Penguin); and Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus (Pan Macmillan).