Best Novel Opening for Children or Young Adults 2022

Submissions from 1st March 2022 to 22nd August 2022, midnight UK time

Entries are invited for the opening 1,200 words of a longer novel for children aged seven to eighteen. You don’t need to have finished writing your manuscript to enter.


Top 10 Shortlisted Entries

Your story included in The Winners’ Collection, which is sent to literary agents and publishers to help your work get noticed.

Your story and biography included in our Winners’ Gallery on the Searchlight Awards’ website, which agents, publishers, friends and family can access.

Your story included in our annual Searchlight Awards’ Anthology, which features the best entries from all our competitions in the last year.

First Prize

All the above, with your story recognised as the Competition Winner and £1000 in cash.

Key Information

1st March 2022 to 22nd August 2022, midnight UK time

Judge: Amber Caravéo of Skylark Literary

Word limit: 1,200 words, not including the title

Entry fee per story: £14

Results published: 27th January 2023

Please read the rules below before entering the competition

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Shortlisted entries will be published on our website, in our Anthology and in the Winners’ Collection for UK literary agents and publishers. Please tick if you wish to opt out of being published in any of the following:
Please ensure that your uploaded document doesn't contain your name, as these files will be sent to the judges. Each upload will automatically be linked to your entry.
Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, Max. file size: 512 MB.
If you are shortlisted, we will contact you for a short biography and photo. These will be posted on our website alongside your story.
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Competition Information