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Gransnet and HQ writing competition for women over 40

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Article by ERMurray © 1 July 2019.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().

Gransnet are delighted to announce that, together with HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins, they are launching a fiction writing competition for women writers over the age of 40. They will specifically be looking for stories featuring a leading character aged over 40.

Applicants are invited to submit 20,000 words to HQ by 30 September 2019. Five shortlisted writers will receive editorial feedback, with the overall winner being offered a publishing contract with HQ.

Judges of the competition include Gransnet editor Cari Rosen, HQ Publishing Director Kate Mills, author Sarah Morgan and journalist Nina Pottell.

Terms and Conditions

This competition is promoted by HarperCollins UK of The News Building, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF.
The first prize for this competition is a publishing contract with HQ, an imprint of HarperCollinsUK. ‘Winner’ means the winner of the first prize.
There will be five shortlisted entrants who will each receive a written critique of their submission from an HQ editor.
The first prize will be awarded for the most original and exciting work of fiction of any genre, featuring a leading character over the age of 40, and excluding science fiction, fantasy, erotica or Young Adult genres (the ‘Content Criteria‘).
The competition is open to female writers over the age of 40. Entrants must be resident in the UK or Ireland. Entrants must not have had a book published in any format previously by a UK or Irish publisher or be under contract for publication by such a publisher. These requirements are referred to as the ‘Entrants’ Criteria’.
Entrants are asked to submit a one page synopsis and the first 20,000 words of their unpublished novel, which needs to be a completed work of at least 85,000 words. If selected for the LONGLIST you will be asked to submit a full manuscript.
Entrants should submit the first 20,000 words of their unpublished novel, double spaced, 12pt, plus a one page synopsis, AS ONE DOCUMENT.
This can be work that has previously been written by the entrant but MUST be unpublished.
Submissions must be in English and must be double spaced. Submissions should be in Word format and the name of the document should be your own name, followed by HQ Prize. Submissions must be made to HQPrize@harpercollins.co.uk
Submissions will be judged on the originality of the writing. Judges will not be looking for a perfectly polished piece but for something that shows imagination and writing skill.
A longlist of up to ten submissions (the ‘Longlisted Submissions’) will be chosen from entries received in accordance with these Terms and Conditions by members of HQ editorial team.
Longlisted entrants who are asked to send in a complete manuscript will be judged on the originality and quality of the writing, and the potential based on their synopsis for a full-length book. The editorial team at HQ will choose a shortlist of five submissions (the ‘Shortlisted Submissions’).
The Shortlisted Submissions will be submitted to the judges HQ Publishing Director Kate Mills, Gransnet editor Cari Rosen, author Sarah Morgan and journalist Nina Pottell (the ‘Judges’).
The Judges will then select the Winner.
The winning submission will be the one that best meets the Content Criteria, has the best quality of writing and the most potential to be a full-length book, and is from an entrant who meets the Entrants’ Criteria. The Judges’ decision is final.
The Winner will be offered a publishing contract with HQ for publication in ebook. HQ may, if it chooses, offer a contract for publishing in print as well as in ebook.
HQ reserves the right not to select a Winner from the Shortlisted Submissions if no suitable entry meeting the Content Criteria can be found.
By submitting their work entrants undertake and warrant that their submissions will consist of their own original work and will not infringe the intellectual property rights of anyone. If a third party’s material is used – such as lyrics of a song – the entrant will secure the necessary permission and will provide it to HQ on request. The entrant further warrants that the work will not contain any material which is defamatory, private or confidential or which is unlawful in any way. Any submission in breach of this clause will be disqualified from being considered for the shortlist or by the Judges.
Submissions must be submitted via email to HQPrize@harpercollins.co.uk in Word format. Submissions may only be submitted between 12:01am BST on 27th June 2019 and 11.59pm BST on 30th September 2019. Any submissions received outside these specified times and dates, and any submissions that do not meet the requirements of these Terms and Conditions, will not be eligible for entry to the competition.
The Winner will be announced on 6th December.
The competition is not open to employees of HarperCollins UK or their families, or to anyone professionally connected to the competition or to the Judges either themselves or through their families.
An entrant may only submit one submission. Further submissions will be disqualified. Submissions will not be accepted via agents, third parties or in bulk.
HarperCollins UK is not responsible for contacting or responding to entrants who provide unclear or incomplete information or for submissions that are lost, misdirected, delayed or destroyed.
HarperCollins UK reserves the right to cancel the competition and to alter the details of the prizes or judging panels without notice. No cash alternative or other alternatives to the prizes will be provided.
The names and email addresses of entrants (‘Information’) will be collected by HarperCollins UK and will be used in accordance with GDPR rules and HarperCollins’ privacy policy, which can be found at https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/corporate/privacy-policy/. Information will not be shared with anyone outside HarperCollins without an entrant’s permission.
Entry to the competition is free.

By entering the competition, each entrant agrees that the entire Entrants’ Criteria have been met and agrees to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. Any entrant failing to meet the Entrants’ Criteria will be disqualified.
These Terms and Conditions and any disputes or claims (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of these Terms and Conditions shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England, whose courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction.


Follow Elizabeth online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Elizabeth Rose Murray lives in West Cork where she writes, fishes, and grows her own vegetables. Her first book for young adults Caramel Hearts (Alma Books) was published June 2016. Her debut novel for children aged 10-12, The Book of Learning - Nine Lives Trilogy 1 (Mercier Press) was chosen as the 2016 Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Citywide Read for Children and the follow-up The Book of Shadows - Nine Lives Trilogy 2 was shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards. The final installment The Book of Revenge will be published in February 2018.

Elizabeth has poetry and short fiction published in journals across the UK and Ireland - including Ogham Stone, Southword, South Circular, Esc and 3am - and has been shortlisted in various competitions including TV3AM Short Story, Francis MacManus, and Aesthetica Creative Works. She has also performed in Ciudades Paralelas: Station - a live writing installation.

Hoping to encourage new writers, Elizabeth provides manuscript reports and online writing courses through Inkwell Writers and Big Smoke Writing Factory. She is a regular at literary festivals, and offers adult workshops on writing for children and young adults, as well as multiple events and workshops for children and teens.

You can connect with Elizabeth on Twitter @ERMurray, Facebook www.facebook.com/ERMurray.Author or her blog www.ermurray.com