The winner of the 2023 TLC Pen Factor Prize has been announced, after an electric Live Pitch session held online on July 20th, as part of TLC’s Being a Writer Festival. After an evening of inspiring live pitches to industry judges Megan Carroll (Watson, Little), Emma Leong (Janklow & Nesbit), and Serena Arthur (Trapeze, Hachette), the winner was announced as Ptissem Abourachid with her commercial fiction offering The Checklist.
The Checklist follows the lives of best friends Ines and Yasmine, who may as well be spinsters according to their fellow Moroccans. In a last-ditch attempt to find their happily ever after, Yasmine goes against Ines and chooses Omar, ditching her ideal-husband checklist, only to have it replaced with a far more sinister one that ends up putting both their lives in danger...
“Ptissem has such a clear vision for who she wants her story to reach and has used her own story to create a really commercial hook for a novel that we can see going far with the help of the TLC Pen Factor Prize.”
TLC Pen Factor Judges 2023
Our congratulations to Ptissem 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.
Ptissem wins a prize package worth over £2,000, including professional feedback from a TLC Editor, and a range of opportunities with Prize partners that reflect the values of the Festival:
Write & Shine will provide the winner with a place at a Write & Shine workshop (worth £29).
Arvon will provide the winner with x1 At Home Writing Week (worth £425)
TLC will provide the winner with one Manuscript Assessment (worth £650) and an Editor one to one (worth £160).
Liz Champion will provide a ‘First Draft’ Coaching session bundle (worth £240)
Spread the Word will provide the winner with a free year-long membership (worth £25)
Royal Society of Literature will provide the winner with a free year-long membership = (worth £50)
TLC will provide the winner with a free year-long membership to Being a Writer (worth £99)
Ptissem Abourachid, The Checklist
Karen Gold, Bleeding The Blues
Alexandra Limia-Dieguez, The Sleepover
Kim Lasky, Experiment On A Girl
Trisha Andres, To All My Mothers
Mitelia Tribbett, What If You Came Home
Philip Godfrey, Chameleon
Rosemary Bird-Hawkins, Louie Albright
Tali Sarnetzky, Love Unmasked
Anna Biggs, The Contrabandist
Kendra Smith, Lessons In Life
The TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition is a competition for new, unpublished writing across fiction and non-fiction, open exclusively to Being A Writer Festival ticket-holders.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 eleventh 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.