Spread the Word reopens competition in partnership with Bookouture for fiction writers


Bookouture is a fast-growing UK-based digital publishing imprint dedicated to publishing high-quality commercial fiction. Their editorial team is offering to provide written feedback on six fiction manuscripts by writers from under-represented backgrounds based in London, UK.

Bookouture currently has a particularly strong interest in crime and thriller, gripping women’s fiction and compelling historical fiction. The publisher is also keen to find a wide range of new voices across all genres, including saga, romance, suspense and mystery.

We define writers from backgrounds that are currently under-represented in publishing as:

● Having a low household income
● Being working class
● Having experienced a lack of academic and/or vocational training opportunities – i.e. having not been able to study/train to their full potential due to low income, ill health, being a carer etc.
● Being or having been a carer
● Having experienced homelessness
● Being a single parent
● Having a disability
● Being from a BAME background
● Being a member of the LGBTQ+ community

How to apply
Applications will open from 2pm on Friday 29 January 2020 and close at 11:59pm on Friday 28 February 2020.

What we will need from you to apply:

  • A sample of your manuscript of up to 2,000 words from the start of the novel

  • A two to three line pitch for your novel (including mention of genre)

  • A brief synopsis (no more than one page)

  • A full manuscript of your book of no more than 110,000 words in total. Your manuscript will only be reviewed if your application for feedback is successful.

Only one entry per applicant will be accepted. This opportunity is only for complete fiction manuscripts.

You can apply here: https://spreadtheword.submittable.com/submit

Please note this opportunity is only for writers based in London. 

Longlisting for this opportunity will be on the basis of your two/three line pitch and your 2,000-word extract. Longlisted writers will have all of their submitted material forwarded to Bookouture, who will then choose which manuscripts will be read by a member of the Bookouture team.

Please note that you must have a completed manuscript to apply for this opportunity, though it can be in its early drafts.

Initial selection will be on the basis of your pitch and your 2,000-word extract. Selected writers will have their full manuscripts and pitch read by a member of the Bookouture team. Deadline for submissions is 11.59pm on Friday 28 February 2020. Successful applicants will be notified by 31 March 2020 with the written feedback to be given to them by the end of April 2020.

Writers selected for this opportunity will receive top-line feedback on their manuscript from an editor at Bookouture on the editorial strengths and weaknesses of their book, and how their pitch could be made more stand-out in order to better appeal to agents and publishers.

Do check out these useful links before sending your submission in:

A Pocket Guide to Writing a Synopsis

Top tips from Bookouture’s editors

If you have enquiries about this opportunity or the application process, please e-mail [email protected].

Published 31 January 2020