A literary prize for self-published authors – the Guardian is making dreams come true

The Guardian newspaper together with Legend Times has announced this week that they will be giving self-publishing even more credibility with a self-published book of the month competition.

Every month the newspaper will provide a literary prize for the best self-published novels, in any genre. The Guardian is the first newspaper in the UK to champion self-publishing on a regular basis, and this monthly prize not only aims to find the best DIY novels, but also encourages more aspiring authors to self-publish. Teaming up with award winning independent publisher Legend Times, the Guardian’s prize has been launched in response to the development of the self-publishing industry and the continued increasing presence of self-published books on the shelves and in eBook stores.

Each month the winning novel will be selected by a panel of industry expert judges, and reviewed in the Guardian. This is an excellent chance for a first time self-published writer to gain weight in the industry with an accredited recommendation from some of the industry’s most trusted representatives.

In order to have a chance of winning this new literary prize, authors will have to submit their novels digitally during the first two weeks of every calendar month. Each author will only be permitted one submission for each month, giving equal opportunities for every writer out there. A panel supplied by both the Guardian and Legend Times panel will come up with a shortlist of up to 10 titles every month which will then be read by expert judges including literary agent Andrew Lownie, Legend Press’ commissioning editor Lauren Parsons, traditionally published author Stuart Evers and HarperCollins author turned self-publishing advocate Polly Courtney.

Claire Amistead, literary editor of the Guardian, explained the decision to create this new literary prize because “the phenomenon of self-publishing over the last couple of years has become too big for any of us to ignore,” continuing to say that together with Legend Times the newspaper wants to be the catalyst to finding the biggest and brightest new authors in the dynamic self-publishing sector.

Tom Chalmers, managing director of Legend Times agreed that the aim was to find the most brilliant of self-published works out there. Explaining that self-published books are often ignored too quickly, Chalmers said that he wants to “bring these gems to the forefront.”

This next step on the path of a self-publishing revolution is a sign that our writers and their works are no less important or respected than those that have taken the traditional publishing route. The self—publishing industry has pushed hard to gain this recognition, meaning that the industry can’t be ignored or belittled anymore. For your chance to gain extra publicity in the Guardian and your book the title of “the Guardian / Legend Self-Published Book of the Month” for April, get your entries into the Guardian between the 8th and 18th of April. The winner will be announced at the end of June.

See the Guardian website for terms and conditions of entry. 

To enter the Competition you must submit an original work of fiction, written by you, in English (we will accept works that were originally written in another language but which have been translated into English), containing at least 40,000 words, as well as a synopsis of the work, to the email address self-published@theguardian.com with “Self-Published Book of the Month Submission” in the subject line.


About mereobooks

Mereo Books is part of Memoirs Publishing - a UK based independent self-publishing company with an unrivalled combination of professional know how and the personal touch. We publish a wide range of genres including memoirs, fiction, fantasy, travel, true crime, romance and self-help. We provide editing, ghost writing, sales, marketing and distribution support as required.

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