The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize closed for submissions on 1st March 2019. The 2020 Prize will reopen for submissions in January 2020. 

How do I enter? 

The Prize is split into two separate categories – an award for the best published adventure novel and a award for the best unpublished manuscript by a debut author. We only accept fiction.

Award Details

Best Published Novel | Prize: £15,000

  • Novels must be published by a recognised trade publisher
  • Entrants may submit multiple works by the same author so long as they are published between 1st May 2018 - 30th April 2019. Proof copies will be accepted
  • Entries must be submitted digitally, as a .pdf file. We are also able to accept .epub and .mobi files

Best Unpublished Manuscript | Prize: Publishing deal with Bonnier Books UK

The winner will have their manuscript published by Bonnier Books UK, in a publishing deal with a writer's advance of £15,000. The book will be published in 2020. 

In addition, each of the shortlisted writers will receive three months of one-to-one manuscript development with literary consultant, David Llewelyn, intended to help each writer reach the standard necessary for submission to agents and publishers.

  • Submissions must exceed 50,000 words in length, the ideal length is 75,000+ words
  • The author must not be represented by a literary agent
  • The author must not already have a novel published by a recognised trade publisher
  • Self-published books are eligible
  • Entries must be submitted digitally, ideally as a .pdf
  • Entrants may submit multiple works

Read the full submission criteria for both categories here.

Our definition of adventure writing can be found here.

To receive reminders of the key dates and all news relating to the Adventure Writing Prize, you can sign up to our mailing list.