Two Writing Competitions Seek Unpublished Novels


Photo credit: ali edwards via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Entering a writing contest can open doors for writers. If you have an unpublished novel, writing competitions sponsored by Del Sol Press and Dzanc Books might be right for you.

The 2016 First Novel Competition: April 15 Deadline

Del Sol Press is looking for exceptional unpublished novels by authors who write in English regardless of residence and nationality. The contest is open to published and unpublished writers alike whose manuscripts fall under these genres: literary fiction, mainstream/general fiction, mystery/thriller, speculative fiction, serious women’s fiction, and experimental.

Madison Smartt Bell, author of “All Souls Rising” and 12 other novels and short story collections, will judge this year’s entries. Del Sol Press will award the following:

  • First Prize: $1,500 and book publication, plus 20 copies of the book, which will be published this fall.
  • Second and Third Prizes: Free tuition to the Algonkian New York Pitch Conference, where the winners will have the chance to pitch their novels to editors in the traditional commercial publishing industry.

You may enter a self-published book or a book published by a small press if you have regained the rights. There is a $30 fee to enter. Deadline for submission is April 15, 2016. Learn more about the submission guidelines.

Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction: Sept. 30 Deadline

The Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction is now accepting submissions from new and established writers, including those who are agented. Your novel must be unpublished.  Dzanc is looking for “daring, original, and innovative writing.” There is a $25 fee to enter. Deadline is on Sept. 30, 2016.

The winner will receive a $10,000 book advance and his or her novel will be published in the fall of 2017. The publisher also has writing competitions for nonfiction books and short story collections. Read the complete submission guidelines.

Read a story about the New York Pitch Conference:

New York Pitch Conference: The Art of Selling Your First Book


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