Enter the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition here


Our Search for a Bestseller has now closed! Thank you to everyone who has submitted their work to us – we are very much looking forward to reading all the entries and discovering a new, literary talent. Look out for news of the shortlisted entries on 1st March 2014.

Full FAQs, Help and Tips…

If I notice a mistake or would like to enter a different novel, am I able to resubmit?

Unfortunately, once the competition has closed we aren’t able to accept corrections to entries or accept other novels.

If I make it to the shortlist, how long does my novel have to be?

At least 80,000 words in length.

If my novel is shortlisted, when do I need to have completed the full novel?

You need to have finished the novel by August 30th 2014, although the winning entrant will have the opportunity to revise their work with Quercus.

If I’m not successful, will I still get editorial feedback?

We have received a large number of entries to the competition so, unfortunately, it is impossible to give editorial feedback to everyone individually.

If I submit my novel to another publisher or literary agency after the closing date, will my entry still be eligible?

Shortlisted entrants will be contacted by 1st March 2014. If you aren’t lucky enough to be shortlisted, you will, of course, be free to submit to a publisher or literary agency after this date.

If I enter the competition and win, do I have to be published by Quercus and represented by Furniss Lawton?

Yes. If you write the winning novel it will be published by Quercus and represented by Furniss Lawton.

Will my book be published abroad?

Yes, Quercus will publish the winning novel in the Commonwealth and US, and will also aim to secure translation deals for the book.

Who will handle film and TV rights in my book?

Furniss Lawton will handle the TV and film rights in the winning novel on behalf of the winning author and Quercus.

Is there anyone I can call with questions? What do I do if I have a question you haven’t answered on the site?

If you have a question that hasn’t been answered elsewhere on the site, please drop us a line at beabestseller@jamesgrant.co.uk and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Terms and Conditions


The website: www.richardandjudy.co.uk/beabestseller (the “Website”) is the website run by Richard & Judy, WHSmith and Quercus Publishing PLC (“us”/”we”/”our”) for Richard & Judy’s “Search for a Bestseller”.

Competition: through the Website, we propose to run a writing competition in order to find a new, unpublished author to be called “Search for a Bestseller” (the “Competition”).

Competition period: the Competition begins on 29th August 2013 and ends on 1st January 2014 (the “Competition Period”). We will continue to accept Competition entries until the end of the Competition Period but we will not consider any entries submitted after this period.

By entering the Competition you accept, without limitation or qualification, the Competition terms and conditions set out below (these “Terms”) without modification. By entering the Competition, you acknowledge that you are bound by these Terms. This is the case notwithstanding any subsequent acknowledgement by you of these Terms.

Please note, any phrase in these Terms introduced by the term “include”, “including”, “in particular” or similar expression shall be construed as illustrative and shall not limit the sense of the words preceding that term.

The Terms

1: In order to enter the Competition, entrants must comply with these Terms:

1.1: be at least 18 years old. Proof of identity and age may be required. Use of a false name or address will result in disqualification;

1.2: be a resident of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland;

1.3: only one entry is allowed per person. Each entry must be made directly by the person entering the Competition;

1.4: have not previously submitted your partial novel (the “Extract”) to a publishing company or literary agency, and have not previously had a novel published or released into the public domain in any format, including but not limited to the internet;

1.5: have not had any other novel published in any format whether under the entrant’s name or a pseudonym;

1.6: are not represented by a literary agent;

1.7: the Extract must be between 10,000 (ten thousand) to 12,000 (twelve thousand) words long and must be supported by your biography, of no more than 500 (five hundred) words and a synopsis of the complete novel of the Extract, of no more than 1,000 (one thousand) words, which can only be submitted on the application page of the Website

1.8: the Extract must be a piece of original fiction, excluding children’s and teenage fiction;

1.9: the Extract is original to you and you are the sole author of the Extract and own all rights in the Extract;

1.10: have the right to enter the Competition and are not prevented from doing so by any other agreement.

1.11: any Extracts that are incomplete, illegible or indecipherable will not be valid and shall be deemed void.

1.12: agree to the following judging criteria:

 (i) – we will shortlist several entries, the number of which will be at our discretion and shortlisted entries will be notified by 1st March 2014 and those entries that do not make the shortlist will not be notified;

 (ii) – the winner (the “Winner”) will be chosen by a panel of judges comprising representatives of Quercus Publishing PLC, WHSmith PLC, James Grant Media, Furniss Lawton and Richard & Judy;

 (iii) – there will only be one Winner and the decision of the judges are final. No correspondence shall be entered into about the judges’ decision;

 (iv) – the Winner will be contacted in writing by us by 1st September 2014;

1.13: the Winner must respond to notification from us within 21 days to be eligible for the Prize (as defined below). If the Winner cannot be contacted or is unable to comply with these Terms, we reserve the right to offer the Prize to the runner-up selected by the same panel of judges referred to above;

1.14: the Winner must agree to:

 (i) – personal appearances and other promotional activity as required by Quercus Publishing PLC or Furniss Lawton;

 (ii) – their name and image being used for promotional activity by Quercus Publishing PLC, WHSmith PLC, James Grant Media, Furniss Lawton and Richard & Judy; and

 (iii) – sign a publishing agreement with Quercus Publishing PLC to represent the Winner and to act on his/her behalf for worldwide publishing and ancillary rights in the completed novel;

 (iv) – sign a representation agreement with Furniss Lawton to represent the Winner and to act on his/her behalf for worldwide publishing and ancillary rights in the completed novel as well as the Winner’s next work of fiction.

2: Only entries which comply with the requirements set out in these Terms and have submitted their Extract correctly through the application page will be valid and entered into the Competition.

3: The Prize: the Winner will receive a publishing contract worth £50,000 (fifty thousand pounds) and the Winner’s completed novel shall be published by Quercus Publishing PLC and the worldwide publishing and ancillary rights shall be exploited by Quercus Publishing PLC, subject to any editorial requirements and in a manner of Quercus Publishing PLC’s choosing and the Winner shall be represented by Furniss Lawton, subject to the entry into appropriate agreements with such parties. The completed novel shall also be sold and promoted by WHSmith PLC in its stores. Quercus Publishing PLC shall also endeavour to sell the completed novel in other retail outlets. The prize is as stated and is not transferable to another individual.

4: The entrant will retain all copyright in the Extract and the completed novel

5: Eligibility: in addition to any eligibility restrictions set out in the above, the Competition is only open to a person who is not and whose immediate family members or those living in the same household are not employed by Quercus Publishing PLC, WHSmith PLC, Furniss Lawton, Richard & Judy or any of their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, or advertising or promotion agencies (the “Competition Coordinators”).

6: The Competition Coordinators will use, store or otherwise process any personal information that relates to and identifies you, including but not limited to your name, postal address, e-mail address, telephone number and any other information collected on entry to the Competition, to the extent reasonably necessary to run this Competition, contact you regarding its outcome and provide you with information about them or any of their services or products. The Competition Coordinators will only process your personal information for the purposes described in these Terms and will not give your personal information to any third parties.

6.1: Your information may, for the purposes set out in these Terms, be disclosed for processing to:

 (i) – the Competition Coordinators’ employees, affiliates, group companies and their employees and successors in title to their businesses;

 (ii) – third party consultants, contractors or other service providers who may access your personal information when providing services (including but not limited to IT support services) to the Competition Coordinators;

 (iii) – government bodies and law enforcement agencies and in response to other legal and regulatory requests; and

 (iv) – auditors or contractors or other advisers auditing, assisting with or advising on any of our business purposes, in any jurisdiction where we operate.

6.2: By submitting any personal information to us you consent to the use of the information as set out in these Terms.

7: These Terms and Conditions may be modified or cancelled at any time without warning. Quercus Publishing PLC, WH Smith PLC, James Grant Media, Furniss Lawton and Richard & Judy assume no liability for loss or damage to submitted entries due to negligence which the works are in their possession. Quercus Publishing PLC, WHSmith PLC, James Grant Media, Furniss Lawton and Richard & Judy may withdraw from this Competition due to unforeseen circumstances or unsatisfactory submissions.

8: These Terms and any disputes or claims arising out of or in connection with them or their subject matter or formation (including non-contract disputes or claims) shall be governed by and construed in all respects in accordance with English Law.