How to enter

The prize is now open.

Below are the submission guidelines for this year’s prize:

All entries to be made via Submittable. 



Terms and Conditions:

The submission of any entry will be deemed to imply the acceptance of these conditions of entry.


  1. All entries must be submitted in the English language.
  2. All entries must be original and the author’s own unaided work.
  3. Only one submission per entrant – please see the Submission Process below for detailed guidelines.
  4. Submissions must not infringe any copyright or contain defamatory or otherwise unlawful matter.
  5. All entrants must be over the age of 16 and a permanent resident in the United Kingdom.
  6. Only debut Middle Grade or Young Adult fiction writers may submit work for consideration. A debut Middle Grade or Young Adult fiction writer is defined as a writer who has not had a Middle Grade or Young Adult novel or collection of short stories accepted for publication or published before the closing date above.
  • Authors with only picture books published are eligible**.
  • Authors who have only published non-fiction books or who have only been published in newspapers, magazines, anthologies or non-print medium (i.e. radio, web, etc.) are eligible**.
  • Authors who have self-published are eligible **.
  • Authors with adult fiction published are eligible**.
  • Authors who have been commissioned to write Middle Grade or Young Adult fiction which was not their own idea, under a pseudonym, are also eligible**.

** Full details of any previously published work must be included with the author biography, in order to confirm eligibility.

  1. It is a condition of entry that any entrant whose submission is accepted for publication by any publisher anywhere in the world between the closing date for entries and the date of the award ceremony will immediately withdraw their entry by notifying the organizers via
  2. Previously shortlisted entries for this prize are not eligible.
  3. The closing time and date for the competition is 23:59.59 on 29th June 2018 and submissions will not be accepted after this date.



  1. All submissions to be made via Submittable. Each submission should be accompanied by a diversity monitoring form. Please download and complete a Diversity Monitoring Form.
  2. Entry fee: fee of £10. A request for payment will be emailed once submission is received. Submission will only be entered into the competition once payment is received.
  3. Only one submission per entrant.
  4. Once received, entries cannot be amended.
  5. Entries must be a maximum word count of 4,000 words and must be the first 4,000 words of an already finished novel.
  6. Submissions should be typed in font Times New Roman, font size 11, in a Microsoft Word document format with numbered pages.
  7. Submissions must bear the title of the entry in the “Header” of each page.
  8. Entries must include a synopsis of the work (up to 500 words), which includes 8-12 years (middle grade) or 12+ (young adult).
  9. Entries must include a short biography of the author (up to 200 words). In addition to this word count, full details of all previously published work must be included with the author biography, as in point 6 of Eligibility criteria above. This should be in a separate document to the entry.
  10. Entries must include the total word count of the novel.
  11. Any submissions that do not comply with the terms and conditions as here detailed or include the appropriate information will be disqualified.



Judging for the prize will be as follows:

  1. Stage 1 – a team of readers will read all submissions and select the shortlist, which will comprise a maximum of 5 titles.
  2. Stage 2 – the authors of the shortlisted titles will be contacted on or before 3rd August 2018, and will be required to submit the full manuscript. Failure to provide a full manuscript in the time requested will result in the shortlisted title being withdrawn from the selection process.
  3. Stage 3 – the full manuscripts for the shortlist will be put to the judging panel, which will assess the entries. The judging panel will consist of: the author, Alex Wheatle, a Penguin/Random House Children’s Editor, a HopeRoad Publishing Editor and literary agent, Catherine Pellegrino of Marjacq Scripts.
  4. Stage 4 – the panel of judges will convene to decide the winner of the prize.
  5. The decisions of the judges are final and binding, and Commonword Diversity Young Adult Fiction Prize or its partners will not enter into correspondence or negotiations regarding the results.
  6. Due to the high volume of submissions, only shortlisted entrants will be contacted on or before 3rd August 2018. Any entrant not contacted by that date should assume they have been unsuccessful.
  7. The Commonword Young Adult Fiction Prize winner will be announced at an award ceremony in Manchester. More details will be available when the shortlist is announced.
  8. Details of the winner will be made available on the Commonword, HopeRoad Publishing, Penguin Random House and Marjacq Scripts Ltd websites after the award ceremony.



  1. The entrant agrees that upon entering the prize, PenguinRandomHouse and HopeRoad publishing have joint right of first refusal (the right to make an offer to the winner which matches any offer the author has received from any other sources) and that the winning author shall him or herself decide which of the offers from our partners, Penguin and HopeRoad they wish to take up.
  2. The Promoters will use any data submitted by entrants only for the purposes of running the competition, unless otherwise stated in the entry details. By entering this competition, all entrants consent to the use of their personal data by the Promoters for the purposes of the administration of this competition and any other purposes to which the entrant has consented.
  3. The Promoters will publish any shortlisted entries to their websites and may use them for promotional purposes.
  4. By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  5. Photos of the winner and shortlisted authors from the award ceremony may be used by the Promoters for promotional purposes.
  6. The Promoters are Commonword of No 3 Planetree House 21-31 Oldham Street Manchester M1 1JG; Penguin Random House Children’s, of 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL; HopeRoad Publishing at and Marjacq Scripts Ltd at


For further information please contact:

Charlotte Maxwell:  or email Phone: 0161 832 3777