Are you an aspiring writer with experience of single parent family life?

We’re thrilled to be launching the ‘One in Four’ new writer competition, in partnership with Trapeze Books and The Pool. Together, we want to find a new talent to write a novel that celebrates single parent families.

Trapeze Books
 is a new imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, publishing books that start conversations. Their authors include Tilly Bagshawe, Sharon Bolton, Cara Delevingne, Jem Lester, Sarah Millican and Madeleine Shaw.

The Pool is an award-winning digital platform that makes interesting, inspiring, original content for busy women.

What’s it all about?

We want to hear from debut writers who have experience of single parent family life, whether you have been or are a single parent, or you’ve grown up in a single parent family.

This fantastic opportunity seeks to challenge the social stigma that single parents too often face, and celebrate the brilliant job that the one in four families headed by a single parent do.

Trapeze Books are offering the winner a publishing contract and advance of £10,000 as well as three hours of mentoring by Sunday Times bestselling author Tilly Bagshawe. This amazing opportunity will be awarded to a writer with the most original and exciting proposal for a contemporary novel that celebrates single parent families.

Six shortlisted entrants will be invited to the Trapeze Books offices for a group mentoring session. Entries will be judged by novelists Jem Lester and Tilly Bagshawe, Rosie Ferguson chief executive of Gingerbread, The Pool journalist Marisa Bates and Sam Eades senior editor at Trapeze Books.

How to apply

Writers must submit the first 5,000 words of a novel, a 500-word synopsis plus a few lines about themselves and their experience of single parent family life to OneInFourSubmissions@orionbooks.co.uk.

The deadline for submissions is 23:59 GMT on 4 December 2017. The winner will be announced March 2018.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Why are Trapeze Books, Gingerbread and The Pool launching this competition?

A: Trapeze Books, Gingerbread and The Pool are thrilled to provide a unique opportunity for aspiring writers who have experience of single parent family life. The competition seeks to celebrate single parent families and family diversity.

Q: Why have a competition that ‘celebrates single parent families'?

A: We are looking for a contemporary, fictional novel that shines a light on the experiences of growing up in a single parent family or being a single parent. We want to challenge the often-negative stereotype society can hold of single parents, and celebrate the brilliant job they do.

Q: Who can apply?

A: We welcome entrants who have experience of single parent family life, whether you’ve been or are a single parent, or you’ve grown up in a single parent family.

Q: Is this competition only for women?

A: No – we welcome entrants who have experience of single parent family life, whether you’ve been or are a single parent, or you’ve grown up in a single parent family. The competition is not gender specific.

Q: How much do I need to write for the short bio?

A: We want to understand your experience living in a single parent family. We expect to receive no more than half a side of A4.

Q: How do you define a new talent?

A: We are looking for new writers who have not yet published their story through a traditional publisher.

Q: What if you've self-published a novel?

A: We can accept a writer who has self-published whether this was fiction or non-fiction, but the work submitted must be new.

Q: Do I need to have finished my novel to enter the competition?

A: No. We are only asking for the first 5,000 words of a novel plus a 500-word synopsis.

Q: Do I automatically receive the £10,000 award?

A: No – in order to receive the £10,000 award, the winner of the competition will sign a contract between themselves and Trapeze Books, which outlines the terms and conditions of the publishing contract.

Q: What if I need more than three hours of mentoring?

A: Tilly Bagshawe has kindly agreed to three hours of mentoring. This agreement forms part of the terms and conditions outlined in the winner’s publishing contract. You will also receive one-to-one editorial feedback from the Orion team as part of the publishing process.

Q: What if I miss the deadline?

A: Writers must submit the first 5,000 words of a novel, a 500-word synopsis plus a short bio to OneInFourSubmissions@orionbooks.co.uk by 23.59 GMT on Monday 4 December 2017. We can only accept entries sent to this email address by the deadline.

Q: Is this competition for UK residents only?

A: Yes. Applicants must be UK residents.

Q: Can the novel be any genre?

A: Yes. The novel can be of any genre as long as it is fictional and involves a single parent family in some way. The book needs to be inspired by true-life events.

Q: What if my ‘single parent family life experience’ isn’t positive?

A: We understand that single parent families face many challenges. The book can cover the full range of emotions, but must have a strong story with a beginning, middle and end.

Q: Can the novel be autobiographical?

A: We are looking for a fictional novel that is inspired by true-life events.

Q: Who is the novel targeted at?

A: The novel needs to target to adults only.

Q: What needs to be included in the ‘proposal’?

A: The proposal should be a synopsis. It should be no longer than one page and cover the main points of the story. This includes who the characters are, when it’s set, what happens to them and how is it resolved. This article provides helpful tips on how to write your synopsis.