Staunch Book Prize is open for entries
21st February to 14th July 2109.



  • 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 published, or provably FIRST self-published in English (print or e-book) within 18 months of the closing date, or not yet published. They must be in English. Translations are welcome.
  • Entries may be submitted by authors, agents or publishers, but must be in the required format via the Submissions form.
  • If you entered an unpublished novel last year, you are welcome to enter it again if the novel is now published/self-published, or if you have been rewriting or polishing and it is still unpublished.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.


  • The first 5000 words of each entry, double spaced, 12pt, plus a one page synopsis, single spaced 12pt, should be submitted AS ONE DOCUMENT via the SUBMISSIONS page in pdf, .doc or .docx file format.
  • The title of the novel should be at the top of the document, but no identifying name/s of author or submitter should appear on the document itself. Entries will be read blind.
  • If you are ordering our FEEDBACK SERVICE (details below) please put (FEEDBACK) after the title in your submission.
  • Completed novels will be requested by the end of August and must be at least 50,000 words. 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 by arrangement). This time we will require the name of the author and whether the novel is published/self-published or 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.

There is an entry fee of £20 for each entry. Multiple submissions are welcome.

We can offer up to 10 FREE ENTRIES to low income writers of any age. Closing date for applications 30th May. Contact us to apply.

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

*If you are unable to enter online, get in touch via the Contact page and we will be happy to accept your postal entry. 

Feedback service

Last year, many writers who submitted unpublished work said they would appreciate feedback on their entry. So this year we’re offering a paid feedback service for any unpublished submission which can be ordered 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 will cover:

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

The cost is £65.

Enter Staunch Book Prize

The short list will be announced on 1st November 2019. The winner will be announced on 25th November 2019, the International Day For The Elimination of Violence Against Women. The winner will receive a prize of £1000.

I was shocked and delighted to find a literary prize willing to read unpublished manuscripts, doubly so to be short-listed!
Joyce Thompson, shortlisted for Staunch Book Prize 2018 with her unpublished novel Cops & Queens.

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.

“I’m proud to be the inaugural winner of the Staunch Book Prize and I look forward to discovering the writers – and their books – who win it in the future.”  

Jock Serong, winner 2018 with On The Java Ridge.

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