The Daily Mail and Penguin Random House launch crime-writing competition

The winner will join Tony Parsons and Harlan Coben on Century's crime fiction list

The Daily Mail and Penguin Random House have today relaunched a major competition to search for a new crime-writing talent.  The winner of the First Novel competition will receive a £20,000 advance and publishing contract with Century, an imprint of Penguin Random House UK, and the services of literary agent Luigi Bonomi.

The competition was first launched in 2016 and won by Amy Lloyd for her debut Red River, chosen amongst over 5,000 entries.  Such was the strength of entries in the crime and thriller genre that the decision was taken to focus the competition on entries in this area.

Selina Walker, Publisher of Century and Arrow said, “What last year’s competition proved to us is that there is an abundance of untapped talent and potential out there. It’s always exciting to be able to reach out to aspiring crime-writers, and I am thrilled that we are joining up with the Daily Mail again this year to find another big bestseller!”

Luigi Bonomi added “This is an absolutely terrific opportunity for all aspiring writers.  I have every confidence we are going to discover a future bestseller in this year's entries and I wish all of you the very best of luck!"

The competition will be judged by a panel of experts:

-          Sandra Parsons, Literary Editor, The Daily Mail

-          Selina Walker, Publisher, Century & Arrow, Penguin Random House

-          Luigi Bonomi, Managing Director, LBA

-          Simon Kernick, bestselling crimewriter

Entrants are invited to submit the first 5000 words of their novel along with a 600 word synopsis. The submissions must be in the crime and thriller genre and entrants must not have had a novel published before.  The deadline for entries is 5 May 2017. 

Red River
, Amy Lloyd's winning entry from 2016, will be published with Century in January 2018, and rights have already been sold to the U.S., Canada, Poland, France and Holland.

In conjunction with the competition, Penguin Random House UK are offering an exclusive 20% discount on two online creative writing courses at The Writers' Academy — a ten-week Creative Writing For Beginners course normally costing £499 (£399 incl discount) and a 14-week Constructing A Novel course, normally costing £799 (£639 incl discount).

The Writers’ Academy offers online creative writing courses with expert help and advice, including videos and articles from well-known authors, and the unique opportunity to engage with Penguin Random House editors during Q&A sessions.

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