We are excited to announce the opening of entries for the 2013 Luke Bitmead Writers' Bursary. The award was set up shortly after Luke’s death in 2006 by his family to support and encourage the work of fledgling novel writers. The Bursary is now the UK’s biggest award for unpublished authors. The top prize is a publishing contract with Legend Press, and a £2500 cash bursary.
Luke is the author of the brilliant White Summer (the first novel to be published by Legend Press), The Body is a Temple and co-author of Heading South. Information about Luke can be found at www.lukebitmead.com.
We are pleased to be continuing this brilliant bursary for a sixth year, and hope to follow in the success of our previous winners Andrew Blackman (On the Holloway Road), Ruth Dugdall (The Woman Before Me), Sophie Duffy (The Generation Game), J.R. Crook (Sleeping Patterns) and last year’s winner Joanne Graham (Lacey’s House published 1st May 2013).
Submissions from writers will be accepted from today 1st May until Friday 2nd August 2013
Only adult fiction is eligible for this bursary, no children's books or non-fiction. The judging panel will consist of Luke’s Mother Elaine, Legend Press, Sam Mills and Ruth Dugdall.
How to submit
Novels must be already completed before entry. Unfinished manuscripts will not be accepted. Your entry should be sent by email and should include the following:
- A completed entry form - Download Entry form for the Luke Bitmead Bursary
- The first 3-4 chapters of your novel (Word or PDF document only)
Submissions should be sent to: email@example.com
Entrants must be aged 16 or over. There is no upper age restriction for entry but all submissions must be from first-time, non-published authors – particularly those who are talented but whose personal or financial circumstances are making it especially hard for them to focus on writing as a career.
The 2012 bursary was inundated with entries and we look forward to reading your work and discovering more talented authors to join our fantastic alumni!
For all enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Previous Winners
Andrew was the first ever winner of the Luke Bitmead Bursary. His winning novel On the Holloway Road was published by Legend Press in Spring 2009. Andrew has recently published his second novel A Virtual Love with Legend Press which is receiving a host of brilliant reviews.
Andrew has recently moved to Crete, after living in Barbados and the UK. Before this he spent six years in New York, where he worked as a staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal. His work has also been published in Monthly Review, the Cincinnati Post, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Seattle Times, Tampa Tribune, Toronto’s Globe and Mail, Post Road, Carillon, Smoke, and in books by Twenty Stories Publishing, Greenacre Writers and Leaf Books, and he won the 2004 Daniel Singer essay prize. Andrew has a degree in modern history from Oxford University and a Master’s in journalism from Columbia University. His new novel A Virtual Love, deals with the issue of identity in the age of social networking.
Ruth's winning novel The Woman Before Me was published by Legend Press in 2010. The book has gone on to sell over 40k copies in print and digital, was the winner of the CWA Debut Dagger and was shortlisted for the People's Book Prize, the New Angle Book Prize and the Brit Writer's Novel Award. A new edition of the book will be published on 31st October 2013. Ruth has also published two novels since winning the bursary The Sacrificial Man and The James Version. Ruth is regarded as one of the most exciting new crime writers in the UK and has rights sold internationally including in Germany, USA, Australia, Turkey, India and Italy. Ruth's writing is inspired by her 10 years experience working as a probation officer in high security prisons.
Sophie was our 3rd winner for her fantastic novel The Generation Game. The novel was published in 2011 and also won the Yeovil Literary Prize. Legend Press has since gone on to publish Sophie's second novel This Holey Life in 2012. Sophie's writing has a growing and loyal fanbase and her writing has received endorsements from Wendy Holden, Katie Fforde, Margaret Graham, Kate Long, Laurie Graham, Hello Magazine and the Daily Mail to name a few. Sophie lives in Devon, where she is currently working on her third novel. Sophie is interested in what family is, and how our past shapes our here and now. Memory, childhood, loss and love are recurrent themes in her novels.
J.R Crook's winning novel Sleeping Patterns was published by Legend Press in 2012. This experimental novella has received fantastic reviews since publication, with reviewers gripped by the unique style of Jamie's writing. J.R. Crook grew up in a small town in South Devon, before moving to London in 2002 to undertake a degree at The University of the Arts. In 2005, shortly after graduating, he moved into a series of bedsits in North London to begin writing what would eventually become his debut novel, Sleeping Patterns. He is 29 and currently living in Ealing, London, where he is working on his second novel. Sleeping Patterns is a novel of intricate layers, hidden within each a tale of love, uncertain meanings, and the relationship between writer and reader.
Last year's winner Joanne has just published her winning novel Lacey's House on 1st May 2013. Lacey’s House is the poignant and beautifully crafted story of two very different women whose lives are altered irrevocably when they meet. The novel is inspired primarily by Joanne’s grandmother, who she describes as an incredible character, independent, funny and occasionally very rude. Her grandmother lived a difficult life battling with depression, having lost two children at a young age, and in the 60’s was treated with electric shock therapy and was lobotomised.