Novel Fair FAQs

Novel Fair FAQs

What date is Novel Fair 2021? 

Friday 12 February 2021 

When is the deadline for my submission? 

Friday 25 September 2020 

How do I submit my manuscript? 

You can submit your manuscript online via Submittable once submissions are open

Do you accept Memoir, Autobiography, True Stories? 

No, we only accept works of fiction in the novel form of at least 50,000 words 

Do you accept Novellas, Short Stories or Poetry? 

No, we only accept works of fiction in the novel form of at least 50,000 words 

How much of my novel should I submit? 

Submit 10,000 words  

Can I enter with my novel of under 50,000 words? 

You can enter the first 10,000 words of your novel but if you are shortlisted you will need to submit the full novel within five days of notification on Friday 4 December 2020.

How long should my synopsis be? 

300 words 

Can I submit random chapters from my novel? 

This is not advised as the judges won’t get a proper sense of the plot or characterisation.

Is the entry fee refundable? 

No refunds will be given  

How can I pay for Novel Fair? 

You can pay the entry fee when you submit your novel online via Submittable  

Can I enter if I have self-published a book before? 

If you have a self-published novel with an ISBN then all of the following conditions will apply:  

  • the work submitted to the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair cannot be the published piece of fiction (i.e. the Irish Centre Novel Fair will only accept new, original work) 
  • the applicant can have a maximum of one published piece of fiction 
  • the published work must not have sold more than 1,000 copies through any medium (i.e. print or e-book) 
  • in the process of publication, the applicant cannot have successfully engaged with or had access to a professional publisher, distributor or editor 
  • the published work cannot have been reviewed professionally (i.e. by any recognised print or broadcast media, or online review) 

I have an agent/representation, can I still apply? 

No, the competition is limited to unpublished novelists who have not signed with any agents or publishers. Applicants who have already had a novel accepted by a publisher, or have previously had a novel published, will not be eligible. 

Can I enter if I have had a short story or an essay published in an anthology? 

Yes, in this case you would be eligible 

What is the prize? 

Twelve shortlisted entrants will be anonymously selected by a judging panel to take part in the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair on Friday 12 February 2021. Each writer will have a stand at the Fair where they will present the synopsis of their novel, the finished novel itself, and biographical material.  

 Will I hear from anyone? 

You will receive an automatic email response when your payment and manuscript have been received 

I have submitted to the Novel Fair before, can I submit again? 

Yes, you can submit again 

Can I submit more than one work? 

No, we allow only one submission per writer 

Is the Novel Fair for Irish novelists only? 

Entries are welcome from anywhere in the world, however, in order to be eligible, applicants must be available to attend the whole day of the Fair on Friday 12 February 2021 

How do I know if I was successful? 

We will send you an email on Friday 4 December 2020 if you have been successful. 

What will happen at the fair?

Each shortlisted  writer will be given 15 minutes to pitch their novel to top Irish and international publishers and literary agents, giving novelists the opportunity to bypass the slush pile, pitch their ideas and place their synopsis and sample chapters directly into the hands of the publishers and agents. 

To get a sense of the format and proceedings at the Fair, please have a look at the video of Novel Fair 2020 at this link Novel Fair 2020 Video