Please make sure you have read the rules thoroughly before submitting your entry.


Your novel

  • Your novel can be in any genre, but must be for adult or young adult readers. Non-fiction, and fiction for children under 13, is not eligible. To qualify as a novel, your book must total at least 50,000 words.
  • You may submit up to 5,000 words, which must be the first 5,000 words of the novel. Any preface is included in your 5,000 words. There is no need to submit a synopsis.
  • Please complete your novel before entering. Shortlisted entrants will be asked to submit a full manuscript and synopsis for the final stages of the judging process. Entrants unable to comply will be disqualified.
  • Please submit your work typed, double-spaced on A4-sized paper, single-sided, with pages numbered and your novel’s title on every page.
  • Your novel will be judged anonymously, so do not put your name on the pages of your novel. Use a separate cover page with your name, address, telephone number and email address, plus the title of the novel you are submitting.
  • No alterations may be made to a novel extract once submitted.
  • Your submission will not be returned, so please keep a copy. If you want confirmation that we have received your postal entry, please enclose an SAE labeled ‘Acknowledgement’. Sorry, we do not send copies of the result to entrants.
  • The winner will be contacted in February 2018 and announced in the Mar/Apr/May 2018 issue of Mslexia.



  • This is a competition for unpublished novelists. Women who have had a novel published commercially, for any age group, in any country, are not eligible.
  • Women who have had other types of books published (e.g. poetry, memoir, non-fiction), but have not had a novel published, are eligible.
  • Self-published manuscripts are eligible.
  • Novels should be in English (or English dialect) and should not have been published or accepted for publication by a commercial publisher.
  • Novels should not be a translation of another author’s work.
  • You do not have to subscribe to Mslexia to be eligible, but you do have to be a woman. We will accept novels from women of any nationality from any country.
  • Employees of Mslexia are not eligible.


How to enter

  • Send your novel extract by post or enter online at
  • If entering by post, mark your envelope ‘Women’s Novel Competition’ and send it postmarked no later than 18 September 2017 to Freepost Plus RTKZ-LGXC-EBAH, Mslexia Publications Ltd, PO Box 656, Newcastle upon Tyne NE99 1PZ.
  • We regret FREEPOST is not available for entries from overseas, so please make sure you attach the relevant postage to your envelope. You can pay by cheque (payable to Mslexia Publications Ltd) or by debit/credit card (phone +44 (0)191 204 8860 with your details).
  • If entering online, be sure to follow the instructions on the website carefully. Novel extracts and cover sheets should be sent together as a single attachment.
  • The entry fee of £25 allows you to enter an extract from one novel. You may enter as many novels as you like, provided each novel extract is accompanied by the £25 entry fee.
  • Entry fees must be in pounds sterling. If you want to use a different currency, please pay online via PayPal, which will convert your fee automatically into pounds sterling.


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