The TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition is a competition for new, unpublished writing across fiction and non-fiction, open exclusively to Writers’ Day ticket-holders.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 THE OPPORTUNITY FOR AN UNPUBLISHED NOVELIST TO SHOW THEIR WORK TO AN AUDIENCE OF FELLOW WRITERS, LITERATURE FANS, AND – MOST TERRIFYING OF ALL – INDUSTRY EXPERTS, IS AN INVALUABLE ONE.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
The TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition is for previously unpublished works of full-length fiction/non-fiction. The deadline for submissions is Monday 5th June at midday. 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 Emma Paterson (Rogers, Coleridge & White), Editor Angelique Tran (Bloomsbury UK), Director of OWN!IT Crystal Mahey-Morgan, and literary agent Ed Wilson (Johnson & Alcock).
Due to the generous support of our TLC Pen Factor partners, we are able to offer the following prize package, worth over £1,000, to the winner of the TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition 2017.
Spread the Word
1-year London Writers’ Network membership. Benefits include discounts on workshops, events and masterclasses and networking events.
Urban Writers’ Retreat
One-day weekend retreat in London, in a bright studio space with fellow writers. No distractions, and time to focus. Lunch provided.
One-year Promoted Membership including free entry to events, publishing updates, discounts on services from partners, free entry to London Book Fair 2018 and many more benefits.
Marketing mentoring for writers, to help you think about your ‘brand’ as a writer, your creative vision, and how to approach marketing your book. 2x 2-hour sessions
Head & Heart
1.5 hour consultation to take you through the practicalities of book production, design and printing processes with publishing expert Lucy Llewellyn.
RRP £112.50 (£75/hour)
Poetry Translation Centre
6-workshop season ticket pass. Discover poets from around the world and think in fresh ways about language and how we use it to tell stories. Each workshop attended earns you points towards free PTC chapbooks and poetry collections.
Penned in the Margins
A book bag from this award-winning publisher including Count from Zero to One Hundred, Marginalia, The Good Dark, Forgive the Language and Saboteur Award-winning novella The Lost Art of Sinking
National Book Token
Plus one year’s editorial support from TLC, including a full manuscript assessment (ave. value £500), a one-month digital showcase platform for the work, and an invitation to an in-house day at our base, Free Word, with a literary agent and publisher.
Full submission guidelines will be issued once you have booked a ticket. The below is a summary of key points.