Apply For The 2018 First Drafts Competition
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Apply For The 2018 First Drafts Competition

The 2018 First Drafts Competition invites submissions from unpublished women writers who identify as being of African heritage or descent. The winning entry will be published in a major new international anthology in 2019, alongside 200 notable writers including Malorie Blackman, Aminatta Forna, Warsan Shire and Zadie Smith.This is an exceptional opportunity for the winner and finalists to bring their work to the notice of publishers and agents and reach a wider audience.
• Margaret Busby OBE, writer and broadcaster
• Elise Dillsworth, literary agent
• Kelsi Farrington, New Internationalist editor
• Martine McDonagh, novelist and West Dean College programme leader for Creative Writing.
First Drafts, in its ninth year, recognises promising works in progress from writers who have not yet published a collection of stories, novel or work of narrative nonfiction. First Drafts is a collaboration between Myriad and West Dean College. In addition to publication in New Daughters of Africa, the winner will be offered a week’s writing retreat at the college, a centre of creativity and tranquillity in West Sussex.
Please send by post entries of up to 5,000 words of a work in progess (fiction, including short stories, or narrative nonfiction such as memoir) together with:
(a) a synopsis of your complete novel, nonfiction work or short story collection(b) a covering letter including your name, address, email address and contact number(c) a cheque for £10 (made payable to Myriad Editions) or a PayPal receipt (please pay via
First Drafts Competition
Myriad Editions, New Internationalist Publications, The Old Music Hall, 106-108 Cowley Rd, Oxford OX4 1JE
Please ensure that your name and contact details are included ONLY in your cover letter, and NOT on the pages of the work itself to ensue anonymous judging of your submissions
The submission deadline is Friday 6th July 2018. Longlist to be released : Monday 3 September 2018
Shortlist to be released : Monday 15 October 2018
Winner would be announced : November 2018
1. The competition is open to writers of any nationality over the age of 18 who identify as female and of African heritage or descent.
2. Only writers who have not published or self-published a book-length work of fiction or narrative nonfiction are eligible to enter.
3. Entries must be in English and no longer than 5,000 words.
4. An entry fee of £10 is required as a contribution towards administrative costs and travel expenses for the judging meetings. Entries that are not accompanied by the entry fee cannot be accepted.
5. Entries must be received by 12 noon GMT on Friday 6th July 2018. Entries received after the closing date will not be accepted.
6. Entrants are advised to retain a copy of their entries; submitted material will not be returned.
7. Entries must be double or 1.5 spaced (synopses may be single-spaced).
8. Please include the title and page numbers as headers or footers on every page; do not include your name on these pages but only on your covering letter (see above).
9. Only one entry per person is allowed.
10. The competition is not open to previous winners of the competition, nor to employees of Myriad Editions, New Internationalist Publications or West Dean College.
11. If an entry is shortlisted for another competition, the entrant must withdraw from First Drafts.
12. The judges’ decision is final and no discussion concerning the judges’ decision will be entered into.
13. The week’s writing retreat must be taken up within one year of the announcement of the winner, subject to availability, and arranged directly with West Dean College.
14. The prize cannot be exchanged.
15. The winner agrees to offer Myriad Editions first option to consider her finished work for publication.
16. The winner also agrees to work with Margaret Busby to edit her entry for inclusion in New Daughters of Africa.
17. Margaret Busby and Myriad reserve the right not to include an unsuitable entry in New Daughters of Africa.
18. Events may occur which render the awarding of the writing retreat and/or inclusion in the anthology impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the organisers. Myriad may at its absolute discretion vary, amend, suspend or withdraw the prize with or without notice.
19. Any enquiries relating to the competition should be emailed to
20. The winning entrant agrees to the use of her name and photograph in relation to publicity material. Personal details of entrants will only be retained and used by Myriad for the purposes of this competition and will not be shared with third parties.
21. Failure to meet the conditions of entry will result in disqualification from the competition

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