On 1 May Impress Books is launching the 2018 Prize for New Writers. The independent publisher, based in Devon, is once again on the hunt for unpublished talent. Now in its 12th year, the prize was created to champion and nurture new voices.
Winners of past prizes have gone on to sell rights across the globe, and those shortlisted have enjoyed multiple book deals with Impress. The prize is a publishing contract with Impress Books in both print and eBook, and a £500 advance.
Writers submit a 6,000 word sample of their manuscript, a synopsis, publishing rationale, and author biography to Impress. A shortlist is created by the Impress team, and this is then sent to a panel of external judges who decide on a winner.
We will be announcing the 2018 panel in the coming months. The panel will consist of published authors, booksellers, agents and one member of the Impress team. The prize is open to all writers who have not been traditionally published before (this makes eligible self-published authors, or writers who have had other work published including short stories, poetry, and academic work).
We accept both fiction and non-fiction entries across all genres, but do not accept poetry. This is an amazing opportunity for emerging, unpublished writers to have their work assessed by experts and considered for publication by Impress.
TIPS: Do your homework. Read both inside and outside the genre you’re writing in. Keep an eye on the current market, and figure out where your book fits in with the current trends.
Network with other authors. Either on social media or at events, make an effort to reach out to authors whether their work is similar to yours or not. You’ll make contacts, and learn a lot about the life of a published author. Going to events is another must, you’ll often find like-minded writers, and may bump into an agent or two!
Get some distance. Write it down, walk away for a few weeks and then come back to your manuscript with fresh eyes. If by the time you’ve finished your book there is a sentence that has never been tweaked, polished and edited then there is probably something wrong with it.
Know the difference between a blurb and a synopsis. The blurb is what ends up on the back of the finished product, something to entice the reader. On the other hand, publishers need to have a full synopsis of the plot, we need the spoilers to know where the plot is going. The 6,000 word sample is just the beginning. By all means submit your dream blurb, too, but ensure the synopsis is prioritised.