If you have a question about the Penguin Michael Joseph Christmas Love Story competition, then take a look below to find out the answer.


Can I enter on behalf of someone else?
Yes, as long as the person you are submitting on behalf of fits the eligibility criteria, and can be contacted via email.

I've only just started my book project. Can I still enter?
Of course, providing you have enough material to complete the submission process – a pitch of up to 200 words and an extract of 1,000 words for the first round. If you make it to the second round, we will need a plot synopsis of up to 1,000 words (or one side of A4) and an additional 2,000 words of your manuscript.

Can I enter if I already have a literary agent?
Unfortunately, not. We want to discover new voices and writers who don’t already have access to the publishing industry.

Can I enter if I’ve already had work published? What if I’m self-published, published in another format or genre, or published as part of an anthology?
Applicants must not have previously written a novel published under a valid ISBN. The exceptions to this are for writer applicants who have either been published (i) as part of an anthology; (ii) by a non-for-profit publisher; (iii) over ten years ago; (iv) via self-publishing; and/or (v) published in digital/e-book format only.

Can I post my submission to you?
We are only accepting entries via email, which is open from Wednesday 23rd December to Sunday 14th February 2021. The email address is christmaslovestorysubmissions@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk

You should include your full name, preferred email address and contact phone number in the email.

Can I submit more than one manuscript?
Unfortunately not. We are accepting only one entry per applicant.

Will I get any feedback on my entry?
Due to the volume of submissions expected, we unfortunately are not able to give individual feedback.

When will I find out if my submission has been successful?
We will be announcing all shortlisted writers during the week commencing Monday 16 March 2021, and the winner will be announced during the week commencing Monday 17 May 2021.

How many winners will be announced?
We will aim to announce 1 winner.

What do I get if I win?
The winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin Random House UK, and we will try to match you with a literary agent.

Will I receive a financial advance if I win?
Yes. Your future literary agent will negotiate your advance on your behalf.

What if I win and I don’t accept the terms of the acquisition/advance? Can I take my project elsewhere?
We would hope that we can agree a deal that is acceptable to you. However, if you decide that the terms are unacceptable, you are entitled to reject them. In that event, we may select another winner from the group of shortlisted writers.

If I win, when will my book be published?
A publishing schedule will be drawn up depending on the project, and taking into account how much material is available, and a publication date will be decided collaboratively, with the winning writer, your agent, and the Penguin Michael Joseph team. We would expect to publish in the run up to Christmas 2022.

Question not answered above?

You can email us at christmaslovestoryqueries@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk. We'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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