The Writers College
Global Novel Writing
Struggling to write your first novel? Tired of not knowing if your idea’s any good, or how to tie up all those half-written chapters?
Well, we’ve got a solution for you.
The Writers College Global Novel Writing Competition is open for entries.
We are searching the world for the next big thing in literary circles! And it could be YOU.
Regardless of where you live in the world, you can enter. Win up to 24 months of mentoring with an award-winning writer to the value of $4000.00.
We are looking for a writer:
- with a fresh voice and style,
- a publishable novel concept,
- seriously passionate about writing,
- with excellent grammar and punctuation skills,
- who wants professional mentoring to create a polished, finished, publishable novel.
To enter, submit a short novel proposal in any genre before 31 July 2022.
Congratulations to our shortlisted aspirant novelists!
We are absolutely delighted with the calibre of the entries in our inaugural Novel Writing Competition. We have managed to agree on our shortlist amid tight competition among the front-runners.
Their submitted manuscript excerpts are intriguing, well written and potentially marketable.
In no particular order, our shortlisted writers are:
Xander Angelos (Canada)
Hermienke De Kock (SA)
Lynette Hagenson (NZ)
Jeffery Dingler (USA)
Juliet Slattery (NZ)
Our judges are currently finalising their choices for the top three places. See you on 30 September for the exciting final placement announcement.
A big well done to everyone who entered. Preparing a proposal is no small feat, and you did so well. We hope you enter again in 2022.
We are thrilled to announce our winners for The Writers College 2021 Novel Writing Competition.
The winning novel manuscripts were original, bold and creative. They attracted the judges’ attention with their flair and authenticity. In a world where it can seem like everything is just a knock-off of something else, these writers went one step further by incorporating what we know about our current time period into the story itself.
We’re proud to award the three finalists mentorships at The Writers College where they will be complete and polish their manuscripts under the supervision of award-winning authors.
‘Fracture’ – by Lynette Hagenson
‘Mother of Exiles’ – by Jeff Dingler
‘Morwong Island’– by Juliet Slattery
In fourth place is ‘Germinate’, written by Xander Angelos, and fifth place is awarded to Hermienke De Kock for ‘Pink Noise’.
Congratulations on a magnificent achievement.
Read the judges’ comments on the top three stories below.
A special word of thanks to our short story judges: Sonny Whitelaw, Alex Smith, Fiona Ingram and Andrew Salomon.
The judges’ ratings and comments for the top three stories
- The main character is well formed within the first lines, so the reader can make that all important emotional connection. The concept is highly original, yet the reader immediately grasps what’s going on, as the author has successfully grounded the reader in the critical ‘who, what, when, where, and why’ familiar elements of storytelling. That’s tricky to do in the first lines of any story, much less one with the complexity of time loops. Time travel stories are inherently migraine-inducing for writers, but there is no hint of that here; this is very smooth, which is exactly what you want to achieve as a writer. The language and imagery are excellent; also tough to achieve when your character is dead and relating events, perceptions, and insights from inside the head of an orc. A good cliffhanger keeps the reader wanting more. If the author has continued to keep this clarity of writing, keeping the reader grounded while taking them on what promises to be a plot-twisting story, then it should be highly marketable. The only red flags would be the speed and ease with which the author could potentially lose the reader if this clarity slips off the rails at any point. The way to avoid that is by preventing the character becomes too distracted by esoteric details at the expense of staying focused on the story and keeping the plot moving. Sonny Whitelaw
- Wonderfully quirky and hilarious. Fiffle, Vark and the whole set-up is thoroughly original and the writing has such wit and zing that I want to read on even though the storyline feels outlandish and possibly unsustainble across the length of a novel. Alex Smith
- An offbeat premise that is appealing in its oddness and with great potential for a story that could be humorous but also poignant. Andrew Salomon
- I had to laugh reading this. I have never read anything like it. Kind of a cross between Terry Pratchet, an acquired taste, and dark horror, but somehow very appealing. The premise initially sounds confusing but actually unfolds in a surprisingly coherent way. I loved the imagery, in places very gruesome. The characters are appealing albeit ghastly. I love the black humour. I encourage the author to finish Fiffle’s adventure. Fiona Ingram
- The powerful characterisation brings this story to life from the outset, taking hold of the reader and making it all but impossible to ignore our own moral obligation to travel to Texas with Joshua. The theme and concept of bearing witness, of protesting against socially abhorrent and inhumane practices, and the impacts of refugees is neither new nor original. It’s the writer’s ability to package the story that makes it original. And you are achieving that through Joshua. He is a fiction archetype; the ‘everyman’ reluctant hero called to the quest. This type of character archetype is even more compelling when there is no manifest reward for Joshua at the end of his quest; he seeks justice for the most vulnerable. Joshua’s narrative voice is clear from the outset. Through him, the settings and imagery breathe life into story from the first lines, and then continues to do so. The theme will become more compelling in the coming decades, as ever more people are forced to flee their homes, their cultures and with them their identifies, and seek refuge elsewhere. The power of this story is in its potential to force us all to confront our own moral high grounds and realise they’re quicksand. This makes it a highly marketable story from a compelling writer. Sonny Whitelaw
- Intelligent, thought-provoking writing of a very high standard which grapples with a serious issue. This author has a clear vision, strong characters, rich place, brilliant detailing and is without doubt a talented writer. The opening chapter is heavy on backstory for the first four pages – there’s too much explaining, it makes it dry. I would like to be plunged into the moment with characters and dialogue, so I can connect. For me as a reader, I would like to story to start on page 5 when Dad says he is a little worried about this narrator who is into LARPing. This would pique my interest – so that I would like to want to find out what that LARPing is. (don’t want the history of LARPIng before I even care about it). Alex Smith
- The story feels highly contemporary in its subject matter, with an intriguing narrator. Sustaining the reader’s keen interest throughout the novel would require careful planning. Andrew Salomon
- The author has an excellent writing style that draws the reader in. I found myself immersed in the story which unfolded coherently and logically. The characters are realistic and believable, especially Blake. I could picture them as real people. The social issues theme was well done and did not become didactic. I enjoyed the footnotes. Fiona Ingram
- Intriguing from the outset, with the role of social media in a small community a fresh approach. The settings and the situation with the council is highly credible and realistic but not original. Beautifully rendered and realistic characters, and that perspective is what brings originality to the story, because they’re honest and very real. However, waffly points of view make it difficult to zero in on the story versus the plot, so my attention keeps wandering, hence, I can’t become fully emotionally invested. Excessive adverbs and adjectives are used to ‘tell’ the reader about characters and events, rather than allowing the characters to ‘show’ their world and how events unfold. Showing the reader through the characters would trigger the crucial emotional investment from readers. Stylistically, it reads like an extremely well written proposal for a documentary, television series, or outline for a novel. I suspect the author wants this to be a character-driven novel. In this case, understanding and developing the nuances of a point of view would bring this novel to life and potentially make it highly marketable. Sonny Whitelaw
- An absolute joy to read. Hilarious, delightful, it immerses the reader in this island, its characters and quirks. I would like to have seen a plot outline – hopefully the great start that the novel has is sustained in a sound plot to follow (even thought it is a character-place-driven story, a satisfying storyline will make this an absolute gem). Would want to read this novel without doubt. The FB threads are fun and work well, but also, just wouldn’t want too much to be FB threads. Alex Smith
- The writer’s direct experience of the setting and its people translate convincingly to the story. The fine detail of the very localised focus helps the manuscript feel authentic and believable. Andrew Salomon
- This is not a new theme but is very relevant and pertinent to our times. I like how the author has handled it and made the characters and the setting equally important. The style is concise and succinct, which fits the story flavour. The concept is feel-good without being clichéd and the crisp writing makes it appealing. I enjoyed the author’s style, which draws the reader in. Fiona Ingram
31 July 2022
31 August 2022
30 September 2022
- First Prize: Win the full Write a Novel Course (value $4000; 24 months of mentoring with an award-winning writer up to 70 000 words)
- Second Prize: Win the part Write a Novel Course (value $1695; 12 months of mentoring with an award-winning writer up to 25 000 words)
- Third Prizes: Win the part Write a Novel Course (value $1695; 12 months of mentoring with an award-winning writer up to 25 000 words)
Fiona Ingram [BA Hons (Natal), MA (Wits)] is a multi-award winning author of adult and children’s fiction. She has written eight historical romances (published by USA publisher Bublish), including Married at Midnight, The Wayward Miss Wainwright and Lord Blackwood’s Valentine Ball.
Her interest in myths and legends, ancient history and travel led to her writing the multi-award winning The Secret of the Sacred Scarab. This is the first instalment of her children’s adventure series, Chronicles of the Stone. Fiona has now completed Book Four in the series. Through her novels, she takes youngsters all over the world on amazing adventures.
She is also an animal rights advocate and writes animal rescue stories.
Andrew Salomon is an award-winning author. His debut novel Tokoloshe Song was shortlisted for the Terry Pratchett First Novel Award.
Additionally, his short fiction has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. He has also received the PEN Literary Award for African Fiction and the Short.Sharp.Stories Award.
Andrew is the author of the young adult thrillers The Chrysalis and Wonderbear. His latest novel is the dark fantasy thriller The Equilibrist. He completed an MA at the Institute for Archaeology at University College London. Some of his most memorable experiences have been at rock painting and engraving sites in subterranean caves and shelters across the world. These often find their way into his fiction.
Sonny Whitelaw has enjoyed a successful career as a writer for over 30 years. Her work as a photojournalist has appeared in dozens of international magazines, including ‘National Geographic’. She won a Draco Award for her first novel, ‘The Rhesus Factor’, and all eight of her novels, including five based on the television series ‘Stargate’, have been international bestsellers. A qualified adult educator with an MA in Creative Writing, Sonny taught writing courses to adults and teenagers in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. In 2008, she moved with her teenage son to a small lifestyle property in Oxford, Canterbury. When she’s not having an enormous amount of fun exploring the South Island, Sonny splits her time between researching and writing scientific reports, editing fiction and non-fiction manuscripts, and working on her own exciting young adult science fantasy series called ‘The Runes of Creation’.
Alex Smith is the award-winning author of five novels: ‘Algeria’s Way’, ‘Drinking from the Dragon’s Well’, ‘Four Drunk Beauties’, ‘Devilskein & Dearlove’ (published by Random House/Umuzi) and ‘Agency Blue’ (published by Tafelberg). Her work has been longlisted for the ‘Sunday Times’ Alan Paton Award, and the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal in the UK. She has won a Sanlam Youth Literature Award and the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award.
The Write a Novel Course
- Entry is free.
- All submissions and enquiries can be sent to Nichola Meyer: Nichola@nzwriterscollege.co.nz
- The competition is open to any writer living anywhere in the world.
- Entrants must submit a full novel proposal. This includes a cover letter in the body of the email, as well as one sample chapter in the body of the email. The cover letter can tell us a bit about your novel and you as the author.
- The proposal must be attached as a Word document or PDF, including the first three chapters (or up to 6000 words) of the novel, and a rough chapter synopsis outlining the contents of the entire novel. As we teach you how to put together a professional proposal on the course, we aren’t evaluating the actual proposal but rather the quality of your novel and your writing.
- Only one proposal per entrant is allowed.
- Entries can be in any genre (sci fi, spec fic, crime, romance, historical novel, humour, memoir, literary, etc).
- We only accept entries written in English.
- The competition closes at midnight on 31 July 2022. The longlist will be published by 31 August, and the winners announced and displayed on our website on Thursday 30 September 2022.
- Prizewinners will be notified via email as well as on our website; please ensure you supply a valid email address with your entry.
- Prizes will not be transferable into cash.
- Stories must not have been previously published. Entrants must own the copyright to the story submitted.
- Writers retain full copyright over their work.
- All entries will be kept in the strictest confidence and deleted once the competition is over.
- The judges’ decision is final; no disputes will be entered into.
- If your entry has not been acknowledged within three working days, please contact us as your email may have got lost in transit.
- The Writers College reserves the right to extend the competition deadline or cancel the competition should the entries not be of publishable quality or up to the required standard.
The Short Story Writing for Magazines Course
- Only e-mail submissions are acceptable. The cover letter and a sample chapter must appear in the body of the email. The proposal (first three chapters/6000 words and a chapter synopsis) must be attached as a Word or PDF document.
- Mark your email clearly with the subject line: Writers College Global Novel Writing Competition.
- Do not include your name on any page of your manuscript or chapter synopsis. All entries will be judged blind.
- Use a font such as Arial or Times New Roman, size 12 or more. Use 1.5 or double spacing between lines.
- Make sure your story has been edited and polished. Download Grammarly (the free or paid version) if you need extra help with grammar and punctuation.