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The Terry Pratchett First Novel Award


Sir Terry Pratchett had this to say:

Anywhere but here, anywhen but now. Which means we are after stories set on Earth, although it may be an Earth that might have been, or might yet be, one that has gone down a different leg of the famous trousers of time (see the illustration in almost every book about quantum theory).

We will be looking for books set at any time, perhaps today, perhaps in the Rome of today but in a world where 2000 years ago the crowd shouted for Jesus Christ to be spared, or where in 1962, John F Kennedy’s game of chicken with the Russians went horribly wrong. It might be one day in the life of an ordinary person. It could be a love story, an old story, a war story, a story set in a world where Leonardo da Vinci turned out to be a lot better at Aeronautics. But it won’t be a story about being in an alternate Earth because the people in an alternate Earth don’t know that they are; after all, you don’t.

But this might just be the start. The wonderful Peter Dickinson once wrote a book that could convince you that flying dragons might have existed on Earth. Perhaps in the seething mass of alternate worlds humanity didn’t survive, or never evolved — but other things did, and they would have seen the world in a different way. The possibilities are literally endless, but remember, it’s all on Earth. Maybe the continents will be different and the climate unfamiliar, but the physics will be the same as ours. What goes up must come down, ants are ant-sized because if they were any bigger their legs wouldn’t carry them. In short, the story must be theoretically possible on some version of the past, present or future of a planet Earth.


1. By entering this competition, you agree to accept and be bound by these terms and conditions. All entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions of this competition.

2. This competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over who is a resident of the UK, other countries of the British Commonwealth, and the Republic of Ireland, except for employees (and their families) of Transworld Publishers, a division of The Random House Group Limited (Publisher) and any other company connected with the competition.

3. The closing date for the competition is 31st December 2012 (Closing Date).

4. Each entrant must submit the following in order to enter the competition:

(a) a complete and previously unpublished work of fiction of not less than 80,000 words and not more than 150,000 words aimed at adult readers and written in the English language (Novel); and
(b) a synopsis of the Novel in the English language of no more than 600 words,
(together, Entry).

5. Each Entry must:

(a) be emailed to the Publisher at pratchettprize@transworld-publishers.co.uk;

(b) include the entrant’s full name and contact details (including a home address and a telephone number); and
(c) be submitted as a Word document with double spacing in font size 12 point ‘Times New Roman’.

6. Each entrant warrants to the Publisher that:

(a) they have not previously had a full length novel written or co authored by them (under any name) published under a valid ISBN; and
(b) their Novel is original to them, does not infringe copyright or any other intellectual property right and does not defame or invade the privacy rights of any third party, or infringe any other legal rights, regulations or laws.

7. Each entrant can submit one Entry only, and may not re-submit work that was entered for the Terry Pratchett First Novel Award in 2010.

8. The winning entrant will be offered an advance payment against royalties of £20,000 on entering into a publishing contract with the Publisher (Prize) and will be required to agree to license exclusive world publishing rights in all print, electronic, audio and any other media formats in the Novel to the Publisher on acceptance of the Prize. At the Publisher’s discretion, shortlisted entrants may also be offered publishing deals with the Publisher. Subject to any such contractual agreement, entrants will retain their legal rights to their Entries.

9. Entries that do not comply with these terms and conditions (by example Entries received after the Closing Date) will not be accepted by the Publisher. The Publisher is not responsible for delayed or lost Entries. Entrants are advised to retain a copy of their Entries.

10. A shortlist of six entrants will be contacted by the Publisher by 31st March 2013. The publisher will select the winner from the shortlisted entrants and the winner will be announced by 31st May 2013.

11. Events may occur that render the awarding of the Prize impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the Publisher and the Publisher may, at its absolute discretion, vary, amend, suspend or withdraw the Prize with or without notice.

12. Winning and shortlisted entrants agree to the Publisher’s use and publication of their name, country of residence and photograph in relation to the Publisher’s publicity activities.

13. The Publisher will use the personal details of entrants only for the purpose of this competition. Personal details will not be kept on file by the Publisher and will not be passed on to any third parties.

14. The shortlisted entrants and winner’s names will be available on www.terrypratchett.co.uk from 31st March 2013 and 31st May 2013 (as applicable).

15. The Publisher’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into in relation to this competition. No cash alternative will be offered.

16. These terms and conditions are subject to English law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

17. The contact details of the promoter of this competition are: Transworld Publishers, 61-3 Uxbridge Road, London W5 5SA,