Hookline Novel Competition
Deadline 31 January, 2011
The Hookline Novel Competition is moving into its fourth year.
It is open only to students and graduates of MA writing programmes. But rather than select a winner ourselves, the judges are book group readers from around the UK.
This is the first writing competition to link serious new writers with serious consuming readers.
The competition takes 10 months and is in two stages:
Stage 1 - Students and graduates of MA writing courses submit the first three chapters and a 300-word synopsis of their novel.
Each book group receives a selection of writers’ work to read and, from these early chapters, they choose the writers who should move to the 2nd stage.
Stage 2 – Short-listed writers submit their completed manuscripts. These are distributed to book groups and rated on four criteria: plot, character development, writing style and, most importantly, reader satisfaction.
The winning writer, and those whose works are popular among readers, receive a publishing contract from Bookline and Thinker Ltd
So far we have published The China Bird by Bryony Doran, a graduate of Sheffield Hallam University. This tale of secrecy, love and eventual understanding explores our perceptions of beauty and lust and has been well received.
The Half-Slave by Trevor Bloom of City University is set in post-Roman France. Readers loved its drama and detail – while many acknowledged that it was not a novel they would normally take from a shelf. The Historical Novel Review said the ‘deftly woven plot strands made this a gripping story.’
A Young Woman’s Guide to Carrying On by Jilly Wosskow of Sheffield Hallam University took Hookline in a totally different direction with a comedy that made readers laugh out loud as it followed two women from the seventies through love, lust and marriage.
Village Fate by PJ Davy of Lancaster University is a pastoral tale that uncovers nasty secrets in a chicken shed.
This year we will publish two more works from the competition. Seven Days to Tell You by Ruby Soames of Manchester Metropolitan University follows a marriage in trouble as a couple attempt to bridge the gap of separation.
The 2010 Hookline Winner was Rachel Crowther of Oxford Brookes University with The Baby in the Phone Box (working title). This tale of motherhood, friendship and secrets was hailed as ‘compelling’ by our book group readers.
Hookline Books now have an international rights agent and we hope to see our novels published in other countries.
The book group readers involved in Hookline contribute a huge amount of time and effort, and we must treat them well. As a result, we typeset the works and use print-on-demand technology to bind the introductory chapters. In the 2nd Stage we typeset and bind the short-listed works into individual book form (shortlisted writers receive a copy of their own title). This, in addition, to the mailing of books costs money.
With this in mind, we must charge a submission fee of £50 – printing costs and mailing take up this and much more.
Rules and conditions of the Hookline Novel Competition can be found on our website at: http://www.booklinethinker.com/hookline-information.html
Following from last year, we are asking for electronic Word submission only.