Books  |  Apr 9, 2019

Tracy Chevalier to Judge Inaugural Curtis Brown First Novel Prize

Curtis Brown is now accepting submissions for the inaugural Curtis Brown First Novel Prize, a mission to find the voices of the future, launched in partnership with the Curtis Brown Creative writing school. The Prize is open to un-agented novels both finished and unfinished, across all genres of adult fiction. 

Tracy Chevalier, bestselling author of Girl With A Pearl Earring and A Single Thread, will chair the judging panel formed of Curtis Brown agents and the Curtis Brown Creative team.

The author of the winning novel will be offered representation by Curtis Brown
plus a prize of £3,000, while the first runner-up will receive a place on a three-month novel-writing course at Curtis Brown Creative, and a mentoring session with one of the Curtis Brown 120 agents.  The remaining four shortlisted entrants will be
offered a place on a six-week online course with Curtis Brown Creative and
a mentoring session with one of the Curtis Brown 120 agents.

Competition entries (consisting of a 400 word novel synopsis and the opening 10,000 words of the novel) should be submitted via our website. The closing date is 1st August 2019.  The winner will be revealed on 10th October.

Tracy Chevalier commented: “I remember all too well how hard it was at the beginning to find a way to get my work read by people in the industry. With this prize Curtis Brown is giving new writers a clear and helpful hand-up into the 
publishing world. I am looking forward to reading some surprising, challenging,
entertaining work!”

The 120 team – Lisa BabalisBecky BrownCatherine ChoLucy
 and Norah Perkins – commented: “This is an incredibly
exciting opportunity to discover new voices. With no requirement for a
finished manuscript, and a set of prizes that will allow people the space,
encouragement and motivation to keep writing, we’re hoping to hear from
people at the beginning of their writing journey, and whose stories have
yet to be told. The winner will have the opportunity to join an illustrious roster of both long-term clients, including Daphne du Maurier, David Mitchell and Tracy Chevalier, and more recently launched voices like Laura Marshall and Jane Harper – all of whom have been part of Curtis Brown from their very first novels.”

Anna Davis, Managing Director, Curtis Brown Creative Ltd commented: “Curtis
Brown Creative is all about discovering exciting debut novels, and we
couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Curtis Brown 120 on this prize,
and to offer places on our courses to the runners-up. Frankly I can’t wait
to start reading the entries!”

Gordon Wise and Sheila Crowley,  Managing Directors of the Curtis Brown Books
Department commented: “We are absolutely delighted that Tracy Chevalier, who
was once a Curtis Brown debut novelist herself, will be the judge for the
inaugural First Novel Prize. As an agency, Curtis Brown has always
supported the voices of tomorrow and we are proud to be continuing that

For more information and the full terms-and-conditions, visit