Pen Factor - The Literary Consultancy

TLC Pen Factor

TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition

The deadline for the 2016 TLC Pen Factor writing competition has now passed and the event has taken place.

The TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition is a competition for new, unpublished writing across fiction and non-fiction, open exclusively to Literary Conference ticket-holders. The Prize attracts entries from across the UK and beyond, and has been generously sponsored in previous years by Kobo Writing Life, Urban Writers, Byte the Book and The Curved House. Prizes have included up to a year’s editorial support from The Literary Consultancy, digital marketing consultancy and advice, web presence consultations, free one-day writing retreats, an all expenses paid author photo shoot, and free e-reading devices. A shortlist of writers is selected each year to pitch live to an expert panel of agents for feedback. Previous judges include Patrick Walsh (Conville & Walsh), Tom Witcomb (Blake Friedmann), Hellie Ogden (Janklow & Nesbit) and editor of runaway bestseller Gone Girl Kirsty Dunseath (Orion).

“IF THE TLC PEN FACTOR DIDN’T EXIST, YOU’D HAVE TO INVENT IT. THE OPPORTUNITY FOR AN UNPUBLISHED NOVELIST TO SHOW THEIR WORK TO AN AUDIENCE OF FELLOW WRITERS, LITERATURE FANS, AND – MOST TERRIFYING OF ALL – INDUSTRY EXPERTS, IS AN INVALUABLE ONE. PERSONALLY, WINNING THE TLC PEN FACTOR 2015 HAS GIVEN ME A CONSIDERABLE AND TIMELY BOOST AS MY NOVEL BEGINS TO MAKE ITS WAY INTO AGENTS’ INBOXES.”

James O’Neill, TLC Pen Factor winner 2015, Sturgeon Landing

“WINNING PEN FACTOR HAS GIVEN ME A TREMENDOUS BOOST, AS I KNEW I WAS UP AGAINST SOME VERY TOUGH COMPETITION ON THE SHORTLIST. THE EXPERIENCE WAS A GOOD ONE, AND TREMENDOUSLY AFFIRMING. I HAD COMPLETE STRANGERS COME UP TO ME AFTERWARDS AND TELL ME HOW MUCH THEY ENJOYED THE READING. THE COMPETITION WAS WORTH ENTERING JUST FOR THAT.”

Guinevere Glasfurd, TLC Pen Factor winner 2014, The Words in My Hand (Two Roads Books)

TLC Pen Factor winners and shortlisted writers have gone on to secure book deals (Guinevere Glasfurd, The Words In My Hand, Two Roads Books), be selected as a WH Smith Fresh Talent (Piers Alexander, The Bitter Trade) and be featured on prestigious international prizelists (Fawzia Kane, OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature).

“WINNING [TLC PEN FACTOR] WAS LOVELY, OF COURSE – BUT IT WAS THE CHANCE TO READ ALOUD THAT FELT LIKE THE PRIZE.”

Piers Alexander, TLC Pen Factor winner 2013, author of The Bitter Trade

TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition 2016

The TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition is for previously unpublished works of full-length fiction/non-fiction. The deadline for submissions has now passed as the Writers’ Day has taken place. Five finalists are selected to pitch their work ‘live’ in the main hall to a panel of judges at the Writers’ Day, including literary agent Juliet Mushens (United Talent Agency), publisher and editor Valerie Brandes (Jacaranda), agent Piers Blofeld (Sheil Land) and novelist Gautam Malkani (Londonstani).

The 2016 TLC Pen Factor winner will receive prizes worth £2,000 including:

  • Up to a year of TLC support including a full manuscript assessment (value circa £600) and access to an Industry Day at TLC with a literary agent and editor
  • £500 printing services from Writers’ Day sponsor IngramSpark
  • £50 National Book Token
  • 90-minute professional development planning session with literature development agency Spread the Word OR 60-minute funding bid advice session (value £90)
  • A one-day writing retreat with Urban Writers’ Retreat (value £45)
  • One year’s free Individual Membership to BookMachine (value £36)
  • A marketing mentoring package including two 2-hour consultations with marketing and branding consultancy CreateThinkDo (value £250)
  • A TLC Showcase feature on the TLC website home page and in our newsletter which reaches 4,500 dedicated writers and industry professionals

TLC Pen Factor 2016 Official Supporters

Pen Factor Supporters stitched

How to Submit

Full submission guidelines will be issued once you have booked a ticket. The below is a summary of key points. Booking is live here.

  • The competition is for previously unpublished (i.e., by an advance-paying publisher) works of full-length fiction/non-fiction (no short stories, poetry or picturebooks)
  • We require: your Writers’ Day booking reference number, a synopsis, cover letter addressed ‘Dear Agent’, brief biography, and the opening 2,000 words of your book
  • A shortlist will be selected to present work to a panel of industry experts at the Writers’ Day and will be given live feedback

TLC Pen Factor Showcase

TLC Pen Factor Special Showcase

TLC Pen Factor 2015 Winner:
James O’Neill

View Showcase

pen-factor-showcase-montage

TLC Pen Factor 2014 Winner:
Guinevere Glasfurd

View 2014 Showcase

 

Piers Bearne – TLC Showcase author

TLC Pen Factor 2013 Winner:
Piers Alexander

View 2013 Showcase

nic lim

TLC Pen Factor 2012 Winner:
Nicholas Lim

View 2012 Showcase