Best Novel Opening for Children or Young Adults

Submissions from 20th August 2021 to 22nd November 2021

We invite submissions for the opening 1,200 words of a novel for children aged eight 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, plus a one-to-one call with literary agent Gill McLay and £500 in cash.

Key Information

Submissions from 20th August 2021 to 22nd November 2021, midnight UK time

Judge: Gill McLay of Bath Literary Agency

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

Entry fee per story: £11

Results published: 21st March 2022

Please read the rules below before entering the competition

Enter Now

This competition is now closed.

Competition Information