HarperCollins imprint The Borough Press is launching the inaugural Cheltenham First Novel Competition in association with Cheltenham Festivals and LBA Literary Agency.
The competition to find a "literary superstar" for The Borough Press list is open solely to first time novelists writing a debut "literary or literary-commercial novel" and who do not already have representation at a literary agency.
The winner will receive a £10,000 advance and publishing contract with The Borough Press, as well as representation by Luigi Bonomi at LBA, who for the past two years has also offered his services to the winner of the Daily Mail and Penguin Random House's First Novel Competition for crime fiction (this year's winner announced today).
The winner of the Cheltenham First Novel Competition will be selected by judges from HarperCollins, LBA and Cheltenham Festivals based on their work’s "quality and commercial potential".
Entrants will be invited to submit the first three chapters of their novel, or the first 15,000 words, by midnight on 5th January 2018.
Fiction in the following categories - children's, YA, genre fiction (straight science fiction, fantasy, horror or crime), romantic fiction - and non-fiction are not eligible. Full terms and conditions can be seen on The Borough Press website.
The competition will launch at the Cheltenham Festival on Sunday 15th October, when Bonomi and Suzie Dooré, publishing director of The Borough Press, will be running a panel called How to Get Your Novel Published.
Doore said: “Borough are always looking for the best new voices, and I’m excited to discover a new literary superstar. The Borough Press and Cheltenham are the perfect partners, and I’m delighted Luigi will be judging the entries alongside us and representing the eventual winner.”
Bonomi added: "I am thrilled to be working with The Borough Press and The Cheltenham Literary Festival on this exciting new competition. The Cheltenham Literary Festival has been a great champion of new writers and the thought that tomorrow's bestseller should be discovered through them is entirely fitting."