Competition: Write Your Own Love Story with eharmony

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Write your own love story

Are you an aspiring author? Trapeze Books and eharmony present a creative writing competition to find the next great love story

Do you have a great love story to tell? Are you an aspiring romance writer? eharmony has teamed up with Trapeze Books to launch ‘Write your own love story’ – a creative writing competition to find the next great love story.

To enter, you’ll need to submit the first 5,000 words of a love story, accompanied by a synopsis and short biography to lovestories@orionbooks.co.uk

The winner will be offered a publishing contract with Trapeze – worth £10,000 – as well as mentoring from Trapeze author Anna Stuart.

And one lucky runner-up will win a place on the Curtis Brown Creative Online Novel-Writing Course, worth £200 –  a prestigious part-time course, lasting six weeks!

Before you enter, be sure to check out Anna’s guide to writing a synopsis here.

Shortlisted entries will be judged by agents and editors from C+W Agency and Trapeze Books, representatives from eharmony, and journalist and editor, Sarah Shaffi.

The competition will be open to entries from 16th May until 30th July 2018. The shortlist will be announced in October and the winner in November.

What are the judges looking for?

Sue Armstrong, agent at C+W says: ‘I’m delighted to be a part of this competition and very much hope we find not just a powerful love story but an exceptional new voice in fiction. I’ll be looking for great storytelling, vivid characters and emotional impact whether it’s gothic, contemporary, speculative, grounded, romantic or dark. All love stories are welcome.’

Sam Eades, editor at Trapeze Books says: ‘From high-concept contemporary romances like The Time Traveller’s Wife through to darker tales of obsessive love in Wuthering Heights, I’m looking for a timeless tale that will appeal to the widest possible audience.’

Start your own love story

So, what are you waiting for?

To enter, simply submit the first 5,000 words of a love story, along with a synopsis and short biography to lovestories@orionbooks.co.uk before 30th July 2018.

And you can find answers to some frequently asked questions here

Good luck!

Competition terms and conditions

  1. The winning prize for this competition is an opportunity to have a book published by Trapeze, an imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Limited (“Orion”) with an advance on royalties of £10,000 and for the Winner (as defined in Paragraph 7) to receive three hours of mentoring with the author, Anna Stuart. The prize will be awarded to a debut writer for the most original and exciting proposal for a love story (the “Criteria”).
  2. The Runner Up prize is a place on the Curtis Brown Creative Online Novel-Writing Course, worth £200, which is a part-time course, lasting six weeks (“Runner Up Prize”). The Runner Up can choose from one of the following online courses:
  1. Starting to Write Your Novel
  2. Write to the End of your Novel
  3. Edit & Pitch Your Novel

Details of all courses are viewable on www.curtisbrowncreative.com. The course must be redeemed before the 23.59 GMT on 31 December 2018. After that date, the prize expires. The Runner Up Prize will be awarded to a debut writer who has delivered an original and exciting proposal for a love story (the “Criteria”).

  1. Entrants to the competition are required to submit a proposal for a novel that fulfils the Criteria consisting of (i) a 500 word synopsis of the plot of the novel and (ii) the first 5,000 words of the novel (“Proposal”). The Proposal must be in English and must be double spaced.
  2. The entries will be judged on the quality of the writing and storytelling, how well it fits the Criteria, and the potential based on the synopsis for a full length novel that would fit with books published under the Trapeze imprint. A shortlist of up to six Proposals (the “Shortlisted Proposals”) will be chosen from entries received in accordance with these Terms and Conditions by editors from Trapeze. The entrants who submitted the Shortlisted Proposals (the “Shortlisted Entrants”) will each receive a set of six books published under the Trapeze imprint. The shortlisted entrants will also be invited for a group mentoring session at Orion’s offices (at the address below).
  3. The winning Proposal will be chosen from the Shortlisted Proposals by a second panel of six judges comprising: journalist Sarah Shaffi; C + W agent Sue Armstrong; a representative from eHarmony; Trapeze editor Sam Eades; Trapeze editor Katie Brown; and Trapeze author Anna Stuart (together the “Judges”). The winning Proposal will be the one that best meets the Criteria, and has the best quality of writing and the most potential to be a full-length novel for the Trapeze imprint. The judges’ decision is final. The judging will take place by 1 November 2018.
  4. The Runner Up will be chosen from the Shortlisted Proposals by the Judges. The Runner Up Proposal will be the one that meets the Criteria, has an excellent quality of writing, and that the Judges believe will benefit from the Runner Up Prize. The judges’ decision is final. The judging will take place by 1 November 2018.
  5. The entrant who submitted the winning Proposal (the “Winner”), will (subject to Paragraphs 9 and 10), once they sign the contract referred to in Paragraph 9 below, receive three hours (including reading time spent by the mentor) of mentoring with Anna Stuart to take place within twelve months of the Winner being announced. The times and dates of the mentoring will need to be arranged between the Winner and Ms Stuart, and will be in person or by phone/ skype.  The prize does not include any travel or other expenses in connection with the mentoring and there is no cash alternative if the winner is unable to take up the opportunity of mentoring or if he or she does not sign the contract referred to below.
  6. The entrant who submitted the runner up Proposal (the “Runner Up”) will be contacted by Orion and given the necessary information to be able to arrange enrolment on the online course directly with Curtis Brown Creative and to be given full information about course participation including terms and conditions. The prize does not include any travel or other expenses in connection with the course and there is no cash alternative if the Runner Up is unable to take up the opportunity of participating in the online course offered by Curtis Brown Creative.
  7. The Winner will be offered a publishing contract on terms to be agreed between the Winner and Orion. The contract will set out the terms and conditions relating to publication of the book including but not limited to the advance of £10,000 to be paid against royalties, the royalty percentages, details of the rights to be granted and other provisions relating to delivery and production of the book. The Winner will be required to grant to Orion all rights in the book in all languages throughout the world.  The book will also include information about the competition.  In the event that no agreement is reached between the Winner and Orion, Orion will be at liberty to consider and select another of the Shortlisted Proposals for publication as a book and if the entrant of that Shortlisted Proposal reaches agreement on the contract, then he or she will be entitled to the mentoring referred to in Paragraph 5 above.  The original Winner may not in such a case refer to himself or herself as the winner of the prize for this competition.
  8. Orion reserves the right at its sole discretion to not select any Winner from the Shortlisted Proposals if a suitable entry that meets all the criteria set out above cannot be found. In that case the Judges will select the most promising of the Shortlisted Proposals and the entrant who submitted that Proposal (the “Second Prize Winner”) will be awarded £500 plus the three hour mentoring referred to in Paragraph 7 above and on the same basis as stated above. The Runner Up will be decided after a Winner or Second Prize Winner has been chosen.
  9. By submitting the Proposal the entrant undertakes and warrants that the Proposal will consist of his or her own original work and will not infringe the intellectual property rights of anyone. If a third party’s material is used such as lyrics of a song, the entrant will secure the necessary permission and will provide it to Orion on request.  The entrant further warrants that the work will not contain any material which is defamatory, private or confidential or which is unlawful in any way.  Any entry found to be in breach of this clause at any stage of the competition will be disqualified immediately.
  10. Entries must be submitted by sending the Proposal by email to lovestories@orionbooks.co.uk. Entries may only be submitted between 12:01am BST on 16 May 2018 and 11.59pm BST on 30 July 2018. Any entries received outside these specified times and dates and any entries that do not meet the requirements of these Terms and Conditions will not be eligible for entry to the competition.
  11. The names of the Winner OR Second Prize Winner, Runner Up and the Shortlisted Entrants will be announced at the beginning of December 2018 on the websites of Orion and eHarmony. The Winner or Second Prize Winner, Runner Up and the Shortlisted Entrants will be informed via email. Their names may also be publicised in other media or on social media sites.
  12. Entrants must be aged 18 or over, resident in the United Kingdom and must not have had any book published previously in any format (including self-published books). The competition is not open to employees of Orion, Curtis Brown Creative or eHarmony, their families, or to anyone professionally connected to the competition or to the judges either themselves or through their families.
  13. An entrant may only submit one entry. Further entries will be disqualified.  Entries will not be accepted via agents, third parties or in bulk.
  14. Orion is not responsible for contacting or responding to entrants who provide unclear or incomplete information or for entries that are lost, misdirected, delayed or destroyed.
  15. Orion reserves the right to cancel the competition and to alter the details of the prizes or judging panels or date of notification of the Winner or Runner Up without notice. No cash alternative or other alternatives to the prize will be provided.
  16. The names and email addresses of entrants (“Information”) will be collected by Orion and will be used in accordance with its privacy policy which can be found here http://www.orionbooks.co.uk/Information/Privacy.page The Shortlisted Entrants will be asked to provide their postal addresses in order that they may be sent the books referred to above. The names and addresses of Shortlisted Entrants will be shared with Orion’s distributor so that their prizes may be sent to them. Orion will not share the names, email address or postal addresses of entrants with eHarmony, Curtis Brown Creative or any other third party. All personal data provided by entrants will only be used by Orion for the purposes of the competition and will be deleted after the later of: (i) posting the books; (ii) after the Winner or another Shortlisted Entrant signs the contract referred to in Paragraph 9; or (iii) after it is determined that there will not be a Winner.
  17. No purchase is necessary to enter the competition.
  18. By entering the competition, each entrant agrees to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
  19. These Terms and Conditions and any disputes or claims (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of these Terms and Conditions shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England, whose courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction.
  20. This competition is being organised jointly by eHarmony and Orion but is being run by The Orion Publishing Group Limited (company number 02663988) whose address is Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0DZ.
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