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Hachette Children’s Novel: Eligibility & Conditions of Entry

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Eligibility criteria

You must be over the age of 18 to enter. 

There is one winner for this award. The winning writer will receive a publishing contract from Hachette Children’s Books granting Hachette world rights in all languages, including audio, film, TV and merchandising, with an advance of £5,000, to be set against royalties. Royalties will be on Hachette Children’s Group’s standard terms. HCG reserves the right to offer an additional publishing deal to any of the shortlisted titles, on the same terms as the winning entry. Additionally, the winner will receive access to New Writing North’s programmes of support.

We accept debut middle-grade children’s and early teen fiction for this award.  

We accept all kinds of children’s and early teen fiction, including historical fiction, crime, science fiction, romance and fantasy. Please do not submit collections of short stories, individual short stories. Middle-grade fiction is for children aged approximately 8-11, and teen fiction is for readers aged 11/12+ and excludes high-end or explicit content including swearing, sex and drugs. We do not accept young adult fiction for this award. 

For the purposes of this award, ‘debut’ is defined as an author who has not published, nor is contracted to publish, a full-length work in children’s or early teen fiction. Writers previously published in other genres such as poetry, non-fiction and writing for adults may apply for this award.  

The initial work entered for this award will be a submission of 3000-6000 words, supported by a synopsis that fully describes the book. This must be submitted by the awards deadline. A longlist will then be invited to submit the full-length draft of their novel by 15 March 2021Full-length manuscripts must be no shorter than 25,000 words and no longer than 65,000 words.  

The Northern Writers’ Awards support new work in progress. The work that you enter for the awards must be your current work in progress. Applicants are not eligible if the work that they are submitting is currently part of a book deal that they have received a publishing contract and advance for. If you receive a book deal for your work during the judging period it is your responsibility to inform us of this fact. 

The award is open to submissions of work written in World English by writers of any nationality or descent who at the time of entering are permanently resident in the North of England. Applicants must currently live full-time in the North of England. The North of England is defined as the areas covered by Arts Council England in Yorkshire, North East and North West. We regret we are unable to accept submissions from outside these areas due to conditions in our funding from Arts Council England. Undergraduate and postgraduate students may enter if they are permanently based in the North of England. 

To be considered, work does not have to be of a ‘northern’ flavour or have a ‘northern’ theme. Writers who are writing books set in the North of England but who do not live in the region are not eligible. 

All entries must be made through the online submissions portal. To qualify, a submission must consist of two items: the online application form and the creative work in progress. To be eligible submissions to the awards must have been made by 11:59pm on 18 February 2021. Submissions received after this point in time will not be eligible for entry.  

New Writing North will make final decisions on eligibility. Our decisions will be final and no communication will be entered into on the subject. 

For more advice and guidance on your application, visit our FAQs.

Conditions of entry

All submissions to the awards must be made via the awards website.

Incomplete submissions will not be considered or acknowledged.

The work that you enter must be your own original work.

All submissions must be written by a single author.

If you win an award you will be asked to prove your place of residence and identity.

New Writing North withholds the right to withdraw and reclaim the financial value of an award if it is discovered that a writer has fabricated any information in their submission.

The awards are not open to employees and trustees of New Writing North, Hachette, or of our major supporters, Arts Council England and Northumbria University.

All winning authors must be available to participate in media and PR for the award around the time of the awards ceremony and related events.

We reserve the right to vary the rules and conditions of entry and to make any amendments to the published schedule as are deemed necessary.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your submission is eligible for the prize.

By entering your work for the awards you are confirming to us that the work that you are submitting is your own original work, and that you have read and agree to the Conditions of Entry of the awards.

We will write to everyone who entered for an award and inform them of the outcome of their application once the judging process has concluded.

We apologise in advance that we are unable to enter into individual correspondence with writers about submissions that do not win awards or to give specific feedback on every submission that is made.

This is due to the exceptionally large amount of entries that we have to process as part of the awards.We intend that entering your work for the awards is an accessible process.

If you are unclear about any aspect of the submission process please read our Frequently Asked Questions here. If your query can’t be answered this way please email us at We will endeavour to reply to your email in good time.

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