Frequently Asked Questions
What are the rules around publication dates?
Entries to the Published Comedy Novel Award must be published no earlier than 2 March, 2019. Entries to the Published
Humorous Graphic Novel Award must be published no earlier than 2 March, 2015. There are no date restrictions around entries to the Unpublished Comedy Novel Award.
Am I eligible to submit a self-published novel?
CWIP recognises how valuable self-published novels are as a category. With HarperCollins continuing the generous offer to the winner, we are working with the two categories of published and unpublished. We hope to expand in future years to either incorporate self-published with the published novel category or create a new category. This is a great area – and we are determined to expand the prize in future years - so watch this space!
For our new category, the humorous graphic novel, both self-published and micro published novels are acceptable.
Can a previously self-published author enter a new unpublished novel?
If an author has previously self-published work, but has never had representation by a mainstream publisher, then she is eligible to enter a new current work that is as yet unpublished. Please refer to the unpublished prize category guidelines.
If published in another genre do you enter published or unpublished?
If you have not previously published a novel then you are eligible to enter the unpublished prize category. If you have had articles, academic papers, plays, short stories, poetry or non-fiction published then you are still eligible as an unpublished novelist.
Are we allowed to enter more than one book by the same author?
I have written a novel that is signed to a crowdfunding publisher, am I published or unpublished?
If you are already signed to a crowdfunding publisher, you are not eligible to enter the unpublished prize. But please do enter it in the future once you have reached publication!
My unpublished novel is less than 85,000 words. Can I still enter it?
Completed unpublished novels are required by Harper Collins to be 85,000 words or more. This total word count is to ensure that the entries are all suitable length for publication.
Can I resubmit my unpublished novel if it didn't make the longlist last year?
If the novel has been substantially re-worked and offers a very different content and feel, then please feel free to resubmit.
Is the competition only open to residents of the UK?
Entrants do not necessarily have to reside in the UK. The competition is open to female authors, writing in the English language, of any nationality over the age of 18 on the closing date. For the published category, the novel must be published in the UK. The graphic novel can be published elsewhere if it is in the English language and available for sale in the UK, whether through a bookshop or an online book retailer.
Why must I pay £10 for unpublished entry fee whereas published don’t pay entry fee?
It is normal for prizes to request an entry fee to cover administration costs relating to unpublished manuscripts, whereas these processes are not needed for published novels.
Does the publishing deal include representation from an agent, to help navigate legal implications?
Agent representation is not yet included in the publishing deal.
Are e-books and audio books eligible?
We are sorry that we cannot accept e-books and audio-books this year. We hope to be able to open up more categories in future years.
Is non-fiction eligible?
All novels entered this year into the unpublished and the two published prizes must be fiction. We hope to be able to extend our reach in future years to non-fiction, but this year only full length works of fiction are eligible.(See guidelines for each prize for page/word length.)
Are children’s books eligible?
If your children's book is also suitable for adult readers and is a full length comic novel it is eligible.(See guidelines for each prize for page/word length.) Please note that it will be judged by adult readers as a book for adult readers. You may therefore wish to consider alternative prizes specifically for children's books.
Are Young Adult books eligible?
If your Young Adult book is also suitable for adult readers and is a full length comic novel it is eligible. (See guidelines for each prize for page/word length.)Please note that it will be judged by adult readers as a book for adult readers. You may therefore wish to consider alternative prizes specifically for YA books.
Do you accept short stories?
This year short stories are not eligible. Please see the guidelines for each prize for page/word length. We hope to revisit the terms in future years.
Is the Published Category competition open to authors published in Ireland?
For 2020, authors in the published prize categories must have their books published in the UK but can also be published in Ireland.
Is poetry accepted?
This year we can only accept full length comic novels or full length graphic novels. (See guidelines for each prize for page/word length.) In the future we hope to be able to accept a wider variety of genres. Please follow us on social media for announcements.
Are plays accepted?
Plays are not eligible this year. In the future we hope to be able to accept a wider variety of genres. Please follow us on social media for announcements.
Are second editions accepted?
If a novel has been significantly reworked and republished within the time-frame it will be considered as a new novel rather than a second edition and is therefore eligible even if the title remains unchanged. Second editions that have received only minor changes or a new cover will not be eligible.