Best Novel Opening for Children or Young Adults 2023


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 entry included in our Pitch Book of winning stories, which is sent to literary agents and publishers to help your work get noticed.

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

First Prize

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

Key Information

1st May 2023 to 31st August 2023, midnight UK time

Judge: Silvia Molteni of PFD Literary Agents

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

Entry fee per story: £14

Results published: 26th January 2024

Please read the rules below before entering the competition

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Competition Information