The Madeleine Milburn Agency is judging two major writing competitions next year – these competitions are great opportunities for writers to get recognition from the book trade and the general public.

The Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize is the first competition that Madeleine Milburn will be judging in May 2014.

Lucy Cavendish College Cambridge has a particular interest in supporting female writers and hosts the annual Fiction Prize as a competition for unpublished female authors over the age of 21, who successfully combine literary merit with ‘unputdownability’ in their entry.

Previous winners include  Catherine Chanter’s THE WELL, acquired by Canongate Books in a ‘substantial pre-empt’, portraying a modern-day Britain where it has not rained for three years except on a piece of farmland known as The Well.

Shortlisted authors have also had much success including Vicki Jarrett’s 2011 entry NOTHING IS HEAVY published by Linen Press in 2012, and Sophia Tobin, whose 2011 entry, THE SILVERSMITH’S WIFE, will be published in 2014 by Simon & Schuster.  Madeleine Milburn represents the shortlisted author, Karen Ross, whose debut MOTHER OF THE YEAR will be published by Random House / Ebury Publishing in February 2014.

Milburn said ‘I really admire this prize, especially given the amazing talent that has been discovered over the last few years.  I’ll also be offering the shortlisted entrants one-to-one consultations at the agency.’


Bookstar 2014: Showcasing talent from all over the world

Madeleine Milburn will also be judging the Bookstar Talent show which has just been publicised in The Bookseller.   Bookstar is an X Factor style literary talent show that the organiser, Kizzi Nkwocha of Mithra Publishing, says can ‘play a pivotal role in revitalising the book industry… by doing this, we can help re-define the industry for future generations.’

Nkwocha promised: ‘Everyone’s anticipating it will be the new X Factor for literature. This has been a long time coming and if we didn’t do it, someone else would.’

Writers whose manuscripts are selected will be invited to a London venue where they will be asked to read two minutes from their novel, using a structure similar to reality programmes such as ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.  The reading will be in front of a panel of judges and a live audience.  The judges will vote to determine which authors  go through to the next rounds.  Also on the panel are Nkwocha, David Headley and the author and former Spitting Image script writer Simon Parke.

Milburn said ‘I think it’s going to be a great platform for new writers as well as revealing exactly what it takes to become a published author.  It’s also a great opportunity for me to meet more talented writers in person.  I always enjoy offering feedback and giving advice to aspiring authors at the writing conferences and events I attend.’