ACW Novel Writing Competition


We are offering £100 as the first prize in the ACW Novel Competition.  The first-placed entrant will also be given the opportunity for an interview in Christian Writer magazine about his/her book.  The second and third-placed entrants will be awarded £10 book tokens and also some publicity for their novels in Christian Writer.

Tony CollinsFay SampsonOur judges are Tony Collins and Fay Sampson.  Tony Collins has spent a lifetime in Christian publishing, most recently at SPCK, but now works as a freelance editor.  The author of Taking My God for a Walk, Tony is currently working on a volume of publishing confessions.  He is a Methodist local preacher and married to novelist and Christian author Pen Wilcock.  Fay Sampson has written fifty-five books: children’s novels; adult fiction ranging across fantasy, historical and crime; books on Celtic and Anglo-Saxon church history; prayer books.  She is an editor for the writing consultancy Jericho Writers and Adult Fiction Adviser for ACW.

Tony is looking for well-developed characters, arresting storylines, fecundity of imagination, and a facility with the English language.  Both our judges are listening for a sureness of authorial voice demonstrating that the writer is in love with language.  If they are going to spend hours with an author, they want to enjoy their company.  Fay once asked her editor what book she would most like to arrive on her desk, and the answer she received was, ‘The one I’m not expecting.  With a freshness of vision that will make me sit up and take notice.’

As the first prize has a higher value than in other ACW competitions, ACW members will be asked to pay a £5 entry fee and non-members a £8 entry fee.   Please use the PayPal link below to make payments.  Only one entry per entrant, please.

Entry Requirements

Your entry must be

  • Sent by email to the Competitions Manager at before midnight on Sunday, 1 November 2020.
  • The first chapter of your novel, no longer than 2000 words (excluding the title). If your first chapter is much shorter, please send just that.
  • Unpublished, either in print or online.
  • The entrant’s own work.
  • Written in English.
  • Typed, in a plain font (such as Arial or Times New Roman) and double-spaced, with wide margins.
  • Saved in Word format (.doc or .docx). (If you don’t have access to Word, contact the ACW Competitions Manager before submitting.)
  • Contain no identifying marks (such as your name). Double-check!  This is very important.  If you do accidently include your name on your story, your entry will be disqualified and your entry fee will not be reimbursed.

Please also send, with your first chapter, a COVER SHEET – a separate document – displaying your name, postal address, email address, telephone number and PayPal receipt number.  On the cover sheet, please also type the following:

My entry to the ACW Novel Competition is unpublished, my own work and I hold the copyright. 


ACW Flash Fiction Competition

Judging is now complete.   Congratulations to our winners:

  • 1st prize:  Veronica Bright – Beyond Imagining
  • 2nd prize: Ann Bulley – Mind the Gap
  • 3rd prize:  Jan Godfrey – Playtime.

The first-placed entry, ‘Beyond Imagining’, will appear in the summer edition of Christian Writer, and Veronica Bright, who wrote this story, receives a book token for £25 as her prize.  The author of the second-placed entry, Ann Bulley, receives a book token for £10.  The judges, Allison Symes and Fran Hill, will discuss in Christian Writer how they chose the winners and also provide useful advice about writing flash fiction in general.

Altogether there were 76 entries.  A big thank you for all entrants.  Rosemary Johnson, Competitions Manager, says that it is a joy to see so many ACW members, and some non-members, from previous competitions, entering over and over again.  As you all know, you win some and you lose some.


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