Terms and Conditions: The Virago/The Pool New Crime writer award

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Terms and Conditions for The Pool and Virago competition

  1. The prize for this competition is an opportunity to have a book published by Virago, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group Limited (“LBBG”) with an Advance of £7,500 and for the Winner to receive two hours of mentoring with Jill Dawson courtesy of Gold Dust Writers Mentoring. The prize will be awarded to a debut writer for the most original and exciting proposal for a suspenseful, intelligent, original crime or thriller novel appropriate to the Virago list; Virago was founded in 1973 to celebrate women’s writing and some of the imprint’s most acclaimed authors, both on the front list and the Virago Modern Classics list, have drawn on the crime and thriller genre, including Daphne du Maurier, Patricia Highsmith, Stella Duffy and Sarah Waters (the “Criteria”).
  2. Entrants to the competition are required to submit a Proposal for a crime novel that fulfils the Criteria consisting of (i) a 500 word synopsis of the plot of the novel and (ii) the first 5,000 words of the novel. The Proposal must be in English and must be double spaced.
  3. The entries will be judged on the quality of the writing and storytelling, how well it fits the Criteria, and the potential based on the synopsis for a full length novel that would fit with books published under the Virago imprint. A shortlist of up to six Proposals (the “Shortlisted Proposals”) will be chosen from entries received in accordance with these Terms and Conditions by editors from Virago and The Pool. The entrants who submitted the Shortlisted Proposals (the “Shortlisted Entrants”) will each receive a set of six books by Patricia Highsmith.
  4. The Winning Proposal will be chosen from the Shortlisted Proposals by a second panel of six judges comprising novelist, journalist and co-founder of The Pool Sam Baker; Virago Deputy Publisher Sarah Savitt; novelist Erin Kelly; literary agent Jo Unwin; Emily Iredale from Scott Free Productions and journalist Coco Khan (together the “Judges”). The winning Proposal will be the one that best meets the Criteria, and has the best quality of writing and the most potential to be a full-length novel for the Virago imprint. The judges’ decision is final.
  5. The entrant who submitted the Winning Proposal (the “Winner”), will (subject to Paragraphs 6 and 7), once they sign the contract referred to in Paragraph 6 below, receive two hours (including reading time spent by the mentor) of mentoring with Jill Dawson via Gold Dust Writers Mentoring (Gold Dust) to take place within twelve months of the Winner being announced. The times and dates of the mentoring will need to be arranged between the Winner and Gold Dust. If Jill Dawson is not available, or not available when the winner is available, Gold Dust will arrange mentoring with another mentor. The prize does not include any travel or other expenses in connection with the mentoring and there is no cash alternative if the winner is unable to take up the opportunity of mentoring or if she does not sign the contract referred to below.
  6. The Winner will be offered a publishing contract, such contract to be agreed between the Winner and LBBG. The contract will set out the terms and conditions relating to publication of the book including but not limited to the advance of £7,500 to be paid against royalties, the royalty percentages, details of the rights to be granted and other provisions relating to delivery and production of the book. The Winner will be required to grant all rights in all languages throughout the world.   In the event that no agreement is reached between the Winner and LBBG, LBBG will be at liberty to consider and select another of the Shortlisted Proposals for publication as a book and if the entrant of that Shortlisted Proposal reaches agreement on the contract, then she will be entitled to the mentoring referred to in Paragraph 5 above. The original Winner may not in such a case refer to herself as the winner of the prize for this competition.
  7. LBBG reserves the right to not select any Winner from the Shortlisted Proposals if a suitable entry that meets all the criteria set out above cannot be found. In that case the Judges will select the most promising of the Shortlisted Proposals and the entrant who submitted that Proposal (the “Runner Up”) will be awarded £300 plus the two hour mentoring referred to in Paragraph 5 above and on the same basis as stated above.
  8. By submitting the Proposal the entrant undertakes and warrants that the Proposal will consist of her own original work and will not infringe the intellectual property rights of anyone. If a third party’s material is used such lyrics of a song, the entrant will secure the necessary permission and will provide it to LBBG on request. The entrant further warrants that the work will not contain any material which is defamatory, private or confidential or which is unlawful in any way. Any entry in breach of this clause will be disqualified from being considered for the shortlist or by the Judges
  9. Entries must be submitted by sending the Proposal by email to Entries may only be submitted between 12:01am GMT on Monday 27 February 2017 and 11.59pm BST on Sunday 21 May 2017. Any entries received outside these specified times and dates and any entries that do not meet the requirements of these Terms and Conditions will not be eligible for entry to the competition.
  10. The names of the Winner or Runner Up and the Shortlisted Entrants will be announced on Friday 29 September on the Virago website and on The Pool website. They will be informed via email. Their names may also be publicised in other media or on social media sites.
  11. As Virago is an imprint for women authors, the competition is only open to women. Entrants must be aged 18 or over, resident in the United Kingdom and must not have had any book published previously in any format. The competition is not open to employees of LBBG or The Pool (UK) Limited, their families, or to anyone professionally connected to the competition or to the judges either themselves or through their families.
  12. An entrant may only submit one entry. Further entries will be disqualified. Entries will not be accepted via agents, third parties or in bulk.
  13. LBBG is not responsible for contacting or responding to entrants who provide unclear or incomplete information or for entries that are lost, misdirected, delayed or destroyed.
  14. LBBG reserves the right to cancel the competition and to alter the details of the Prizes or judging panels without notice.   No cash alternative or other alternatives to the Prize will be provided.
  15. The names and email addresses of entrants (“Information”) will be collected by LBBG and will be used in accordance with its privacy policy which can be found here and here

The Shortlisted Entrants will be asked to provide their postal addresses in order that they may be sent the books referred to above. Their names and addresses will be shared with LBBG’s distributor so that their prize may be sent to them and will be deleted after the later of posting the books or once the Winner or another Shortlisted Entrant signs the contract referred to above or once it is determined that there will not be a Winner. The Information will be shared with The Pool (UK) Limited. The Pool (UK) Limited will be deemed to be the controller of the Information transferred to them and will use it in accordance with their Privacy Policy which can be found here and here

  1. No purchase is necessary to enter the competition.
  2. By entering the competition, each entrant agrees to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
  3. These Terms and Conditions and any disputes or claims (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of these Terms and Conditions shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England, whose courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction.
  4. This competition is being organised by Little, Brown Book Group Limited, Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0DZ.

3 Responses to "Terms and Conditions: The Virago/The Pool New Crime writer award"

  1. Lucy Toseland-Bolton Posted on 3rd March 2017 at 9:08 am

    Is it possible to enter as joint writers rather than as an individual?

  2. Wanda Sellar Posted on 21st March 2017 at 2:19 pm

    I would like to enter the crime writing competition but am I to understand from Point 11 that I am barred from doing so if I have had a book published in any format. I have had five non-fiction books published. Does that bar me from entering this competition? Could you please clarify that I have understood correctly.
    If I have understood correctly, is it possible to submit chapters and synopsis of my book to your publishing house independent of the crime writing competition?
    Many thanks
    Wanda Sellar

    • admin Posted on 29th March 2017 at 12:39 pm

      Hi Wanda,
      Unless your non-fiction is academic writing/academic books you are unfortunately unable to enter this competition, as it is for unpublished writers.
      Outside of this competition we are only able to accept submissions via an agent, and we are unable to respond to any unsolicited material.

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