If any of these terms are not clear to you, please do contact us at And Other Stories: northernbookprize@andotherstories.org

The prize is open to submissions of unpublished, completed book-length works of literary merit written in English by a writer, of any nationality or descent, who lives in the North of England or who has a strong connection to the North. The author’s previous history is not important for the prize’s judging – the author can be a prize-winning household name or have never before submitted a line anywhere.

The prize is open to fiction and narrative or literary non-fiction (see ‘What Can You Enter?’ below). To be considered, work does not have to be of a ‘Northern’ flavour or have a ‘Northern’ theme, although what ‘Northern’ means to different writers is one of many questions writers may be asking.

Who is a Northern Writer? (Residence or Other Claim)

The North of England is defined for the purpose of this prize as the area from the southern boundaries of Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire (West, South and East) up to the Scottish border, ie up to and including Northumberland and Cumbria.

However, we know cultural boundaries are fluid and have a wild card opportunity too: writers living outside the defined North of England may enter, on the condition that they include a short (under 200 word) statement that anonymously explains their verifiable, plausible claim to being a Northerner and why they see fit to enter the Northern Book Prize.

If you win an award you will be asked to prove your place of residence and identity, however you retain the right to publication under any name you choose.

What Can You Enter?

We accept unpublished book-length (minimum 17,000 words in total; no maximum) works of literary merit for this award, whether fiction or literary or narrative non-fiction. And Other Stories’ mission is to support writing of exceptional literary merit and you can best get a sense of our definition of that by looking at the books we have published. You may not submit simultaneously elsewhere.

The Prize is open to:

  • prose fiction, whether a collection of short stories, (a) novella(s) or a novel;
  • non-fiction of literary quality. Literary or narrative non-fiction can include anything from essays, memoirs and oral history to nature writing and other non-fiction genres and hybrids, as long as the book has a literary, crafted nature. Please only enter writing where the way the book is told has artistic merit and is as important as the content.

The Prize is not open to:

  • works of non-fiction interested almost exclusively in conveying facts, scholarly dissertations or research, text books, instruction manuals, reference books, handbooks, year books, cookbooks, how-to-books, travel guides and other guidebooks;
  • works that are not written primarily for adults;
  • types of literature that are not in prose, including drama, poetry, picture books, comics and graphic novels, whether for adults, children or young adults;
  • mystery, crime, fantasy, sci-fi or romance fiction and other kind of formula literature – exceptions will be made for works that are an example of a renewal or subversion of the genre’s expectations. Please spend a few sentences explaining this in your book description on the entry form.

The manuscript should be double-spaced, 12pt, and the pages numbered. Include the book’s title but not your name, as the judges read anonymous submissions.

The entry must be the entrant’s own original creation and must not infringe upon the right or copyright of any person or entity. Co-authored entries will not be accepted. Only one entry per person. Works previously entered to the Northern Book Prize in a previous year cannot be entered again, even if revised.

Previously published writers and writers who have existing contracts, or who have previously held contracts, with publishers for works of fiction or non-fiction are eligible to enter.

A writer is not eligible to submit a manuscript that has been published in full, or is under contract for publication, or for which the author or author’s representative (eg agent) is currently seeking a publishing deal. In other words, simultaneous submission elsewhere is not accepted. ‘Published’ is taken to mean published in full in any publicly accessible form, e.g. anthology, magazine, newspaper, whether in print or online.

Judging Timeline and Process

And Other Stories will make final decisions on eligibility. Our decisions will be final and no communication will be entered into on the subject.

To be eligible submissions arrive by 11.59 pm (GMT) on Thursday 2nd January 2020. Entries that are incomplete, are corrupted or submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

And Other Stories will carry out the initial in-house ‘eligibility check’ and manage an internal sifting of the entries, before sending an unannounced selection of entries to the judges at a date before 1st February 2020. At this point, all entrants who have not been chosen will be informed by And Other Stories, in order that they can submit the manuscript elsewhere. The judges will meet in March 2020 and at that point the winner and the other writers will be informed. The prize will be announced publicly in spring 2020.

While And Other Stories always works editorially with an author to develop a book before publication, this prize can only judge the manuscript received, not the potential that may be in it.

We apologise that we are unable to give feedback on entries that do not win.

Further Conditions for the Winner

The winning writer must be available to participate in a prize ceremony that may be programmed at a venue in the North of England in 2020. Winning authors will be expected to resource their own travel and accommodation costs in relation to attending the event. Winners who are under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The winning writer must be willing to participate in media and PR for the prize around the time of the ceremony, related events and later at the time of the book’s publication.

And Other Stories will have the exclusive world right to publish the winning novel in print, ebook and audiobook form and to represent foreign rights on the author’s behalf for the winning novel. The author will be contracted with a standard agreement, including royalty rates comparable to those of other writers on their list.

And Other Stories reserves the right not to award the prize, as well as to make multiple offers of publication.

And Other Stories reserves the right to vary the rules and conditions of entry and to make any amendments to the published schedule as deemed necessary.

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