The winner of the 2022 TLC Pen Factor Prize has been announced, after a fantastic Live Pitch session on the evening of 14th July, as part of Being a Writer Festival. After an evening of inspiring live pitches to industry judges Rachel Yeoh (Madeleine Milburn), Jamie Cowen (The Ampersand Agency), and Anna Power (Johnson & Alcock), the winner was announced as Johnny Gaunt with his gothic horror Offcumden.
The industry judges described Johnny’s work as ‘like reading a finished book’, ‘intriguing’ and ‘visceral’. Our congratulations to Johnny and all the writers listed below, and to all who entered; it is a mark of courage to submit work to a competition, and we wish you all the best with your projects.
Johnny wins a prize package worth over £2,000, including professional editorial feedback from TLC, and development opportunities with Prize partners Spread the Word, the Royal Society of Literature, Arvon, and Writing Magazine. He also receives a cash prize of £200, with the other final 4 shortlised writers receiving £50 cash prizes. In due course, we will be creating a special TLC Pen Factor Showcase, with short excerpts from the winner and shortlisted authors’ work.
Johnny Gaunt – Offcumden
Lucy Lonsdale, Great Exploitations
Muti’ah Badruddeen, Rekiya & Z
Parin Patel, Being Cornershopped
Stephanie Carty, Magnets and Mirrored Glass
An Paenhuysen, Things With Teeth
Mark Blackburn, Final Approach
Sheila Misra, Nu Treads
Barry Norton, Generative Adversary
Seema McArdle, SP & JP Investigate The Golden Goblet
Andrew Kaye, The Many Fathers
Roger Grant, Gray Matter
Mónica Ibarra Parle
Jay A Gee
Beth L. Thompson
The TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition is a competition for new, unpublished writing across fiction and non-fiction, open exclusively to Being A Writer Festival ticket-holders. Now in its tenth year, the competition started as an adjunct to TLC’s Writing in a Digital Age Conference in 2012, later becoming part of our popular Writers’ Day, held at the Free Word Centre in London. With this brand new offer, we have gone fully virtual, welcoming an even bigger audience, and continuing to showcase the work of talented writers with our live pitch session.
As a competition, TLC Pen Factor has an impressive track record for finding talent, with many of our previous finalists going on to be published – including as a direct result of meeting their agent at the event! You can read about how entering (and subsequently winning) resulted in Lizzie Damilola Blackburn landing a two-book deal with Viking here. Previous winners and finalists include Neema Shah, Guinevere Glasfurd, Adam Sharp, Abi Dare, and Fawzia Kane.