We’re thrilled to be teaming up with Borough Press and The Times for the launch of their open submission period for un-agented writers of narrative non-fiction. The winner will receive a £10,000 publishing contract with The Borough Press and representation with our literary agent Emma Bal.

Borough Press will be calling for unpublished, un-agented authors of narrative non-fiction to enter their open submission with a proposal and writing sample in keeping with the spirit of The Borough Press ethos: books to read now, stories to last forever. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • Writing on nature and the environment (for instance, books like The Outrun by Amy Liptrot or Wilding by Isabella Tree)
  • Art (books like The Story of Art Without Men by Katy Hessel or What Artists Wear by Charlie Porter)
  • Travel and place (books like This is London by Ben Judah, Flaneuse by Lauren Elkin or The Crossway by Guy Stagg)
  • Life writing and memoirs (books like This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay or A Fortunate Woman by Polly Morland)

While the books may tackle a variety of subjects, what unites Borough Press titles is a personal thread holding the narrative together. They’re looking for conversation-starting books that people want to talk about, books which might offer a new perspective or opinion on a familiar topic and, above all, immersive, literary writing that draws readers in.

Entrants are invited to submit the first two chapters/50 pages of their book (up to 10,000 words) to boroughsubmissions@harpercollins.co.uk from 1st – 31st January 2024, along with a synopsis of the book and author biography.

The winner of the competition will be selected by judges from HarperCollins, The Times and Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency based on their work’s quality and commercial potential. Entered books do not have to be complete, but must be written in English.

Editorial Director Amy Perkins said, ‘The Borough Press has been steadily building its non-fiction offering for a while now, and it’s exciting to be widening that pool by going out to discover new writers who haven’t yet found a publisher or representation. We are hoping to cast a really wide net to find currently untapped UK writing talent, while staying true to Borough’s principles of timeless storytelling.’

Literary agent Emma Bal said, ‘As an agent I have loved working with Borough Press as they’ve grown their narrative non-fiction offering, and so I’m excited to be partnering with them on this competition for aspiring authors in this space. I am hoping to see some really distinctive work and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.’

Assistant Editor Jabin Ali said, ‘Ten years marks a key milestone in Borough’s history, and the team are hugely excited to read these proposals, which we hope will spark many discussions, and find a new non-fiction book to champion on our list.’

For more information on terms and conditions go to Borough Press’ submissions page here