Terms and Conditions

The competition is open to all entrants aged 18 or over living in the United Kingdom, except employees of Macmillan Publishers Limited and their associated, affiliated or subsidiary companies, and their families, agents, or anyone connected in any way whatsoever with this competition. There is no restriction on the number of entries.

Authors’ previous work of fiction for children must be un-published in any commercially printed format. Authors who have self-published previous works, or published non-fiction, picture books and adult fiction are eligible, but the submitted manuscript must be previously unpublished in any format.

Submissions must be original and entirely the own work of the author.

Authors may submit work that is currently under consideration for other prizes, but agree to inform WRITE NOW! by email immediately should they be longlisted elsewhere. Disqualification will be considered on a case by case basis, at the judges’ discretion.

Only un-agented writers may submit work for consideration. Writers must remain un-agented until they are out of the running for the prize – in the case of the shortlisted authors this is when the winner is announced. If an author is in the process of signing up to an agent when they submit their work to the competition then they must contemporaneously inform Macmillan Children's Books and the agent involved of the situation.

Submissions should be made via the website at any time on or after the competition start date of 01/06/12. Hard copies will not be considered and will not be returned. No purchase necessary. The closing date for submissions is midnight on 01/12/12. Entries sent after this date will not be considered.

Submissions must include:

  • A short synopsis of the work (no more than one page)
  • A short biography of the author (no more than 500 words)
  • Three chapters from the submitted work: double-spaced, 12-point-type. 

The file should be submitted as a Word document or PDF and be titled with the author's surname_booktitle (or an abbreviated version thereof)

An electronic copy of the complete manuscript must be made immediately available by entrants on request by Macmillan Children’s Books after 01/12/12. Failure to do so may result in disqualification at the discretion of Macmillan Children’s Books.

Submissions should be aimed at children aged 9+, 11+ or teen and contain no explicit content.

The judges are will comprise of Macmillan editors and at least one independent adjudicator.

Longlisted entrants will be notified before 01/02/13. Only longlisted authors will be notified, and no feedback will be offered to unsuccessful entrants. Longlisted authors should not disclose their inclusion until the longlist has been officially announced by Macmillan Children’s Books.

Shortlisted entrants will be notified by 01/05/13. Feedback to unsuccessful longlisted entrants will be at the discretion of Macmillan Children’s Books. Shortlisted authors should not disclose their inclusion until the shortlist has been officially announced by Macmillan Children’s Books. Macmillan Children’s Books will require an exclusive option on all shortlisted entrants.

The winning author will be notified by 01/06/13. Feedback to unsuccessful shortlisted entrants will be at the discretion of Macmillan Children’s Books.

The winning author will be required to enter into a publishing contract with Macmillan Children’s Books in order to claim their prize, which is a cash prize of £10,000 payable within a month of the winning author being announced and for their winning entry to be published by Macmillan Children’s Books. The timing, territories and format of publication will be at the discretion of Macmillan Children’s Books. There is no cash alternative. The publishing contract with the winner will be in line with industry standards for a debut children’s novel and is non-negotiable. It will include an option on the winner’s next work for children. The winning entry will be subject to extensive editorial input by Macmillan Children’s Books prior to publication.

Entrants retain all rights to their entries, except (a) in the case of the winner who will be required under the publishing contract to be entered into with Macmillan Children’s Books to grant an exclusive license of worldwide publishing rights in respect of the entry to Macmillan Children’s Books; and (b) longlisted authors will be required to enter into a shortform licence agreement with Macmillan Children’s Books containing a short term, exclusive, royalty free licence entitling an excerpt of their work to be published in a printed anthology and online for the purposes of free distribution within the UK as part of the selection process for choosing the eventual winning entry.
The winning author will be required to make themselves available to publicise the book on and around the publication date.
By entering, all entrants agree to abide by each and all of these terms and conditions. Any submissions that do not follow these guidelines or include the required information may be disqualified at the discretion of Macmillan Children’s Books without notice to or other communication with the entrant. Macmillan Children’s Books reserve the right to amend these terms and conditions at any time. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Macmillan Children’s Books, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited of 20 New Wharf Road, King’s Cross, London N1 9RR