The Watson, Little Prize

The Watson, Little x Indie Novella Prize

Watson, Little in association with Arts Council funded writers’ forum Indie Novella are together delighted to announce the Watson, Little x Indie Novella Prize, this year devoted to celebrating emerging voices from underrepresented communities and welcomes fiction of all lengths.

What is the Watson, Little x Indie Novella Prize?

Founded in 1971, Watson, Little Ltd is a long-established literary agency that offers a full service to its clients across all aspects of media. It has an outstanding track record, and has represented a number of celebrated, bestselling and prize-winning authors over the years.

Indie Novella is an online hub providing free advisory services to aspiring writers and a free online forum to help make novel writing and publishing more transparent and accessible. In celebration of this commitment, we are jointly launching a Fiction Prize for emerging writers.

The Prize is for fiction of all lengths (novels, novellas, stories), open to all unpublished (self-published are accepted) UK-based authors aged 16 and over, and invites entries under the following three themes, that are particularly timely and relevant in today’s society.

Competition Themes

Community – One thing the recent pandemic has taught us is we need to celebrate the importance of Community. Therefore, we’re looking for distinctive, original, authentic stories inspired by a strong sense of place and community. Be it novels and novellas resonating with a vivid sense of place, tales of diaspora, or stories centred around a particular group of friends or family, we are interested in what community means for you.

Climate – With temperatures in the UK breaking 40 degrees this summer, our second theme focuses on climate. This could be any interpretation of ‘cli-fi’, exploring any dramatic experience or narrative – whether romantic, crime, historical or other – in the context of our environment and climate change. Basically, stories which tackle climate whichever way an author can inventively and engagingly imagine.

Crime – An old favourite and with huge capacity for reinvention. We’re looking for crime fiction which breakaway from the mainstream and are told from fresh and different perspectives.

The Prize

Winning entries will receive a one page report and one hour session from an agent at Watson, Little. If, after this process, the finished novel is suitable, Watson, Little Literary Agents will have first option to represent the winner and to offer it to a recommended publisher.

Additionally, winners and commended entries will receive a short, written report from Indie Novella, with reviews from all judges, and an extract of their novel will feature in an exclusive Prize anthology, made available as a memento for participants, containing exclusive artwork created for participants by Indie Novella Creative Director, Callum Hood.

Entry Rules

Please submit your opening 5,000 words. PLUS 300 word synopsis which should form the first page of your submission. Please include a 300 word synopsis as the first page/s of your entry. Judges need to see where your story is headed.

Long listed entrants will be asked to submit their full manuscript for the next stage of the judging process. From this, judging will be based on the first 20,000 words. Entrants unable to comply will be disqualified.

Eligibility

The Prize is open to writers aged 16 and over living in Britain (including the Channel Islands and Isle Of Man) and Ireland (Northern Ireland and Republic Of Ireland). Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and by submitting you are confirming that the work is your own. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.

Entrants to the categories must not have previously published a novel, (although self-published and ebooks are accepted). Novel entrants who have had other types of books traditionally published e.g. poetry, memoir, nonfiction, are eligible to submit. Entrants must not be signed with a literary agent during the period of the prize.

If your entry has been long-listed or shortlisted in other competitions, and provided it has not won a prize or been published, it is eligible. Simultaneous submissions are allowed but will become ineligible should they win a prize elsewhere or be published prior to the date of prize giving.  

You must inform us immediately should your entry be published or win a prize elsewhere.

Entries submitted posthumously are not eligible.

Entries will be accepted here from 1st January to 14th February 2023, with shortlists announced in April. Winners will be announced 31st May 2023.

Terms & Conditions

The Watson, Little x Indie Novella Prize has specific rules. Please ensure you read the rules carefully before entering the competition. Entry implies acceptance of all the rules and failure to comply may result in disqualification.

Watson, Little Prize Terms & Conditions