My publisher, Legend Press, just announced that submissions are open for the 2010 Luke Bitmead Writer’s Bursary. This is the contest that gave me my break into publishing when I won it in 2008. The prize is £2,500 and a publishing contract. You enter the first three or four chapters of your novel and a personal statement – full details are here.
If you are an unpublished novelist with a manuscript ready to submit, I’d really recommend entering. Winning changed my life completely, and it’s been fantastic to see On the Holloway Road in bookshops all over London. I’m sure last year’s winner Ruth Dugdall would agree – her winning book, The Woman Before Me, comes out in August. There’s no entry fee, so all you’re risking is the postage, and the potential rewards are huge.
Luke Bitmead was a talented writer who died tragically young, and his family set up a Memorial Fund to help fledgling novelists to get published. I’d recommend checking out Luke’s website, now run by his family and giving details of the fund and its work.