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Terms & Conditions

For 2023 Watson, Little has teamed up with writing course provider, mentoring hub and social enterprise devoted to publishing new and under-represented authors, Indie Novella, to launch the Watson, Little x Indie Novella Prize. The Prize is specifically designed to encourage diverse, new and authentic voices into publishing and this time our writing category is split into 3 themes which will be open to all authors and which we hope will encourage writers from a range of different backgrounds to bring fresh ideas and voices into the publishing arena. 


Authors looking to hone their writing skills prior to submission, or learn more about the qualities we are looking for, are also encouraged to view the exciting new writing courses developed by Indie Novella and Watson, Little and in partnership with the Arts Council England, made available completely for free as part of Indie Novella and Watson, Little’s commitment to remove barriers and make publishing fully inclusive.


Winning entries will receive a one page report and one hour session from an agent at Watson, Little. If, after this process, the finished novel is suitable, Watson, Little Literary Agents will have first option to represent the winner and to offer it to a recommended publisher. 

Additionally, winners and commended entries will receive a short, written report from Indie Novella, with reviews from all judges, and an extract of their novel will feature in an exclusive Prize anthology, made available as a memento for participants, containing exclusive artwork created for participants by Indie Novella Creative Director, Callum Hood.


Entry Criteria and Terms & Conditions

The Watson, Little x Indie Novella Prize has specific rules. Please ensure you read the rules carefully before entering the competition. Entry implies acceptance of all the rules and failure to comply may result in disqualification.


Please submit your opening 5,000 words. PLUS 300 word synopsis which should form the first page of your submission.


Please include a 300 word synopsis as the first page/s of your entry. Judges need to see where your story is headed.
Don’t Worry if you omit the word count. You won’t be disqualified
Don’t Be alarmed if your entry confirmation email isn’t immediate. 


All entries are judged anonymously. Indie Novella will be reading all entries and selecting the longlist and the shortlist. The Watson, Little agents will be reading all shortlisted entries and selecting the winners. Please do not include your name, address, phone number, email, website, twitter handle etc on the document.

Entries should be submitted between January 1st and February 14th 2023 (with the deadline closing at midnight, UK time on February 14th). Those selected for the longlist will be notified by 31st March and the shortlist by 30th April. The winners and commended entries will be announced on 31st May 2023.

Long listed entrants will be asked to submit their full manuscript for the next stage of the judging process. From this, judging will be based on the first 20,000 words. Entrants unable to comply will be disqualified.

Shortlisted entrants will not be asked to submit further material for the final stage of the judging process. However, they will be contacted to confirm they still meet eligibility criteria prior to formal announcement. Shortlisted entries will be judged on the first 20,000 words of their full manuscript.

Entries must be submitted online. No email submissions. Entries must be typed in Arial 12 pt black font, double-spaced with numbered pages and the novel’s title on every page. Save as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) with the novel title as the file name. Please do not include your name in the file name. Max 2MB file. Include the word count for the synopsis and submission on the top right first page.

Entries must be in English.

Do not add cover or title pages
Do not send illustrated work
No handwritten submissions
No Postal entrees.

It is not possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone or email.



The Prize is open to writers aged 16 and over living in Britain (including the Channel Islands and Isle Of Man) and Ireland (Northern Ireland and Republic Of Ireland).


Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and by submitting you are confirming that the work is your own. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.


Entrants to the categories must not have previously published a novel, (although self-published and ebooks are accepted). Novel entrants who have had other types of books traditionally published e.g. poetry, memoir, nonfiction, are eligible to submit. Entrants must not be signed with a literary agent during the period of the prize.


If your entry has been long-listed or shortlisted in other competitions, and provided it has not won a prize or been published, it is eligible.


Simultaneous submissions are allowed but will become ineligible should they win a prize elsewhere or be published prior to the date of prize giving.  


You must inform us immediately should your entry be published or win a prize elsewhere.


Entries submitted posthumously are not eligible.



We disqualify entries if they are named, over the word limit or have no synopsis. If you forget to add the title or word count your entry will NOT be disqualified.



Entry is free. There is no limit to the number of novel submissions.



The novel must be unpublished and not accepted for future publication. Self published authors are welcome to submit self-published or new work as long as they do not have an agent and have not had a traditional publishing contract.

The judging agent may contact long listed and shortlisted authors before the winner is announced.

The Prize expects to be recognised in any published novels associated with us.

Any entrant found to be in contravention of the terms and conditions will be disqualified.

If you have a query about eligibility, please contact



The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into. Judges are unable to comment on individual entries. The Prize reserves the right to change the judge without notice.




Worldwide copyright remains with the author but the Watson, Little x Indie Novella Prize has the unrestricted right to publish extracts from the long listed novels in our anthology and any relevant promotional material.

The Prize reserves the right to amend these rules where it deems necessary. Any changes to the rules will be posted on our website.


Please read and comply with the eligibility, rules and instructions on each individual category page and also on the rules and entry checklist page.

If any of these Terms and Conditions is held by any court of competent authority to be unlawful, invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, this will not affect the validity of the remaining Terms and Conditions which will continue to be valid and enforceable to the fullest extent permitted by law.

All information received by us from your use of the Indie Novella website will be collected and used in accordance with our privacy policy.

The Competition Rules and Terms and Conditions will be governed by English Law and any dispute will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England, Wales and Scotland.

Statutory Rights

Please note, the following Terms and Conditions do not affect your statutory rights as a consumer, as required by the Which? Web Traders Code of Practice.


Order information

Please read these conditions carefully before ordering any products from Indie Novella or Watson, Little.  You should understand that by ordering any products from Indie Novella or Watson, Little you agree to be bound by these conditions,
and you are at least 18 years old.

We display all prices for the items, delivery, and other services clearly on the website. If, by mistake, we have underpriced an item we are not liable to sell you the item at that price (provided we have not already informed you that the item has been dispatched).

Subject to errors, all the information and prices on this website are correct at time of order. If we need to change the cost of your order, we will contact you by email to confirm that you want to continue. You can, of course, cancel the order if you wish.


No goods will be transferred until paid for in full by credit or debit card via our payment providers.

Fulfilment and delivery

If you are ordering more than one item, you should be aware that they will be delivered in one consignment and only sent when all items are available. We dispatch books via 2nd Class Royal Mail, please allow 3-5 working days.

You can cancel your contract at any time up to seven working days after the day of delivery. To do this, please e-mail or write to us. If you cancel you must return the goods to us at your own expense. This cancellation policy does not affect your legal rights – for example, if goods are faulty or misdescribed.


We guarantee your satisfaction and will replace or refund any item that is damaged, within 30 days from receipt of goods. We would ask, however, that should you receive damaged goods you contact us within 24 hours of receipt of goods in order that we can deal with the problem efficiently and effectively. We will completely refund the full price of your order and delivery charge if you are not satisfied with the goods you received.

To the full extent permitted by law, you agree that neither Watson, Little or Indie Novella, nor its directors, partners or employees are liable for any damages arising out of use or in connection with the content, information, materials or products of this website.

We do not accept any liability for direct or indirect damages, any loss of data, income or profit or damage to property and third party claims, from the use of this site. However we do not limit our liability for death or personal injury, if it arises as a result of our negligence.


There will be no contract of any kind between you and us unless and until we actually inform you that the goods are available. At any point up until then, we may decline to supply the goods to you without giving any reason. At the moment that we inform you that the goods are available (and not before), a contract will be made between you and us.

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