Literary agency Conville and Walsh has launched a competition to find new novels "that people just can't stop talking about".
The agency is offering a prize of £1,000 and possible representation to an unpublished work in its new Word of Mouth competition, which will be judged by author Matt Haig, alongside Dulwich Books' Sheila O'Reilly and joint head of translation rights at Conville & Walsh, Alexandra McNicoll. They will be joined by agents Susan Armstrong and Sophie Lambert, as well as longtime reader for the agency, David Llewelyn, who will be the honorary chair.
C&W said: "The Word of Mouth Prize will focus on novels that people just can’t stop talking about. We’re looking for fiction that is brilliantly written but accessible, has depth but isn’t dense and is innovative but identifiable. We’d love to find novels with that must-read quality, which would be perfect for book club discussions. These are the kind of books that can become a word of mouth phenomenon, and which Conville & Walsh are known for representing."
The prize is open to both published and unpublished authors, as long as they are unagented and the submitted work has not been published by a publishing house. Writers can submit from anywhere in the world, but must write in English, and the novel should be completed, or close to completion, with at least 30,000 words written. Submissions are open now and will run until 31st January 2015. More information can be found on the agency's website.