Guidelines, How to Submit,
Feedback Service

Entries are free.

The Novel prize closes at midnight BST August 30.

The Short Story and Flash Fiction prizes are now closed

Guidelines for NOVELS

  • The prize is for a thriller in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.
  • Thriller genres include crime, mystery, historical, sci-fi, cyber, comedy, psychological, spy, suspense, political, satirical and disaster. We are not at this time looking for horror or fantasy novels.
  • For the purposes of this Prize, ‘murder’ does not include incidents where people in general or specific groups of people are the targets or victims, e.g. war, terrorist attacks, hostage situations, sabotage.*
  • The competition is open to authors of any nationality who are over the age of 18 on the closing date.
  • Submissions may be traditionally or self-published, or first published in English (print or e-book) within 18 months of the closing date (Jan 2019) or not yet published anywhere. Translations are welcome.
  • Graphic novels following the same criteria are very welcome.
  • Entries may be submitted by authors, agents or publishers.
  • If you entered an unpublished novel previously, you are welcome to enter it again if the novel is now published/self-published, or if you have been rewriting or polishing and it is still unpublished.
  • *Where there is any ambiguity, the deciding factor will be whether a female character was targeted or died because she was a woman.

How to submit

  • The first 5000 words plus a one-page synopsis of each entry should be submitted as AS ONE DOCUMENT via the SUBMISSIONS page in pdf, .doc or .docx file format.
  • First 5000 words: Double spaced, 12pt.
  • One-page synopsis: Single spaced, 12pt.
  • The title of the novel should be at the top of the document, but no identifying name of author or submitter should appear on the document itself. Entries will be read blind
  • If entering a graphic novel, submit the first 20 pages plus a one-page synopsis as a PDF.
  • If you are unable to enter online, get in touch via the Contact page and we will be happy to accept your postal entry, or arrange payment by invoice if required. 
  • If you are ordering our FEEDBACK SERVICE (details below) please put (FEEDBACK) after the title in that submission.
  • Completed novels will be requested by the end of September and must be at least 50,000 words. Graphic novels, no length restriction. As we may request the additional material at any time, novels should ideally be completed before entering.
  • Complete novels called for must be submitted as pdf documents or as published books. This time we will require the name of the author and whether (and when) the novel was published/self-published or is not yet published.
  • By submitting work for the Prize you are agreeing that ALL criteria have been met and you have accepted these terms and conditions.
  • You are also agreeing that we may contact you and add your name to our database to keep you informed about the Prize. Your details will never be shared or sold to third parties.
  • Any entry failing to meet the criteria will be disqualified.

Entries are FREE. Multiple submissions are welcome.

NOTE: In order to help writers and publishers in these difficult times, we have replaced the original cash prize for one author with FREE entries for all.  Publicity for winners will be issued to press worldwide.

Entries are strongly welcomed from BAME and working-class writers and those from other under-represented groups.

Feedback service

In our first year, many writers who submitted unpublished work said they would appreciate feedback on their entry. Last year we implemented that as a paid service which was taken up by a number of authors. We are repeating the offer this year. The feedback service can be requested at the time of entry or any time up until 31st December.

One of our industry readers or judges will produce a 3-5 page report on your one-page synopsis and 5000 word opening chapters. This will be sent to you by email within a month of your order.

The report costs £65 and covers:

  • First impression
  • Strength/originality of ideas
  • Character
  • Style
  • Dialogue
  • Brief recommendations


Click here

Enter Staunch Book Prize


Copyright will remain with the author, but we reserve the right to publish up to the first 5000 words of each shortlisted novel on the Staunch Book Prize website.

The shortlist will be announced on 2nd November 2020. The winner will be announced on 25th November 2020, the International Day For The Elimination of Violence Against Women. 

Request Feedback Service