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Undiscovered writers' prize, Penguin Michael Joseph

Undiscovered writers' prize, Penguin Michael Joseph

locationUnited Kingdom
ExpiresExpires: 05/08/2024
Editorial / Writing / Storytelling

Closing date: 5th August 2024


This is an exciting opportunity to win a book deal and the chance to be published by Penguin Michael Joseph!

Penguin Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin Books, is a leading publisher of commercial fiction and non-fiction.

We are proud to be entering our second year of The Penguin Michael Joseph Undiscovered Writers' Prize to find new authors from underrepresented backgrounds who we can bring to the widest possible readership.

Last year, we asked for submissions in the crime/thriller genre and were thrilled to announce Claire Wilson, whose debut novel Five by Five publishes 29th August 2024, as our first Penguin Michael Joseph Undiscovered Writers Prize winner.

This year we are looking for love! If you’re a budding romance author we want to hear from you. We’re looking for a commercial romance with a romantic love story at its heart.


What's the prize?

The winner of the Penguin Michael Joseph Undiscovered Writers' Prize will receive a publishing contract with Penguin Michael Joseph, worth at least £10,000, and representation by the Janklow & Nesbit agency. All shortlisted writers will also receive one-to-one editorial feedback and guidance from an editor or agent.


Eligibility criteria

If you feel that your community, or your background, needs a stronger voice and a platform in publishing we would love to hear from you.

We’re looking for writers from any background that’s currently deemed under-represented in UK publishing, including but not limited to writers from a socio-economically marginalised background, Black, Asian and ethnically diverse writers, LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) writers or disabled writers.

This will be self-defined by the applicant during the application process.


How to apply

You can enter via the form by clicking the 'Apply' button, and all you need to include is the first 5,000 words of the book, and a short pitch. A pitch just means a little bit of information about the book, and especially about what will make a reader want to pick it up. For example, you should think about questions like what the story’s about, and what makes it unique? You don’t need to tell us all the details about what will happen, but you should be clear about what’s going to be the thing that will keep us gripped, whether it’s a mystery to be solved, or a threat to be overcome.


We’ll contact everyone by 9th September 2024 to let them know if they’ve made it to the next round, when we’ll ask for a longer piece of writing from the novel to help us choose our shortlist – we’ll also give you time to write that.

On 25th November 2024 we’ll announce our shortlist, and again give them a little more time to write a bit more of the novel before making their final entry. The winner is due to be announced 14th February 2025.

Please state in your application that you found this opportunity through Creative Access.

Level of experience

  • Aspiring

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