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Love someone to snap up your debut novel – but hate the prospect of it moldering at the bottom of that notorious agent slush pile?

Why not sidestep this process by entering one of the competitions below? Yes, there will still be a biggish number of entrants, but the organisers of these sound a tad less jaded than the hard-pressed folk in the literary agencies.

Bath Novel Award. 5,000 opening words, plus a synopsis. Those shortlisted will be expected to have at least 50,000 words available before the end of April. The winner gets a £2,000 prize plus a consultancy report from Cornerstones. One runner up will also receive a consultancy report. Entry fee is £22. Deadline: 10 April.  Details from bathnovelaward.co.uk

Yeovil First Novel Prize. 15,000 words, including a synopsis. Couldn’t find details of the prize on their site – you may be more successful in doing so! There will be something worth having, plus, of course, La Gloire. Entry fee is £11. Details from http://www.yeovilprize.co.uk

Good Housekeeping New Novel Award. (see our own post on this of 7 January) They are offering a book deal and a £10,000 advance. They’re asking for a full synopsis – two pages – plus the first 5,000 words and a 100 word biography. Deadline 31 March. BUT entry is only via a coupon in the February edition of Good Housekeeping.

Bridport First Novel Prize (Peggy Chapman Andrews Award).  5000-8000 words, plus 300-word synopsis. First prize £1,000 plus mentoring with The Literary Consultancy. Second Prize £500, plus manuscript assessed by TLC. Three runners up receive £100, plus a 50-page ms. assessment report. Entry fee £20. Details http://www.bridportprize.org.uk  Deadline 31 May.

First Novel Prize organised by literary consultancy Daniel Goldsmith Associates. Prizes: £1,000, £250, £100. They want fiction manuscripts of over 50,000-words, synopsis to be included in the same document. Entry fee: £25. Can’t see deadline date, but check details at: firstnovel.co.uk

Debut Dagger Competition. Prize: £500 plus submission to agents and editors. Entry fee £30 plus VAT. Deadline 28 February. Details http://cwdaggers.co.uk/debut

See also our own post on Myriad First Crimes competition, posted on 29 December. The prize is mentoring for a crime novel.

PLEASE PLEASE check all details on the relevant website. Like the curate’s egg, this list is good in part, dodgy in others. And good luck!

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