PFD runs a Queer Fiction Prize for new LGBTQIA+ writers to find emerging talent. Winners will be signed to PFD and supported in writing to the end of their novels. There are two separate categories for Adult and YA & Children’s fiction, and this year the Adult category will be judged by Tufayel Ahmed alongside agent Cara Lee Simpson, with the YA & Children’s category judged by Pil Van Martin alongside agent Silvia Molteni.
Anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+ and who is un-agented and in the process of writing a piece of fiction is eligible to enter. Submissions do not necessarily have to be about LGBTQIA+ experiences as long as the writer identifies as such, though we are especially interested in stories with LGBTQIA+ characters or themes.
Works do not need to be complete as the prize will be representation at PFD and support in writing to the end of your novel.
How to submit:
The prize is free to enter. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading for the category you are entering along with the title of the book and your name. For example:
YA The Alchemist by Kevin Jones
ADULT Second Chances by L. Miller
In the body of the email, please write a cover letter introducing yourself and your book. Then attach a three chapter sample of your work plus a synopsis (no more than 1-2 pages of A4).
Applications open on the 1st December 2022 and close on the 1st March 2023.
The shortlists will be announced in May 2023 and the winners soon after in June.
Tufayel Ahmed (he/him) is a journalist, author and lecturer born and raised in East London. He is the author of This Way Out, published in July 2022 to critical acclaim. His works centre bold and diverse characters from South Asian, Muslim and LGBTQ backgrounds and encompass themes of love, family, cultural difference and privilege.
Tufayel is currently entertainment editor at Insider, and previously worked as senior editor at Newsweek and news editor at PinkNews. He was a finalist for journalist of the year at the 2017 Asian Media Awards and has had bylines featured in CNN, The Independent, VICE, Forbes and more. He has taught journalism at London South Bank University, delivered the prestigious Wolfenden Lecture at the University of Reading, and interviewed the likes of Ariana Grande, Morgan Freeman and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
Tufayel is judging the adult category alongside agent Cara Lee Simpson.
Pil Van Martin (they/them) is an author and illustrator working in London.
Their first two books, Ariadnis and Anassa, a futuristic fantasy duology about the nature of heroes and the heroics of nature, are published by Quercus/Hachette (under the name Josh Martin). They are currently working on a middle grade fantasy novel under the mysterious working title The Spick and the Span.
Pil is judging the YA & Children’s category alongside agent Silvia Molteni.
I haven’t finished writing my novel. Can I still enter?Yes. You need only have completed the first three chapters and have an outline or synopsis for the rest.
I have previously written short story, essay or poem which has been published. Can I still enter?
Yes, as long as you have not had a full-length novel or picture book published previously.
Can I enter a short story?
No. The submission needs to be the first three chapters of a planned full-length work of fiction.
Can I submit more than one entry?No. You can submit one entry only.
Is there a word limit?
We ask that you submit no more than approximately 12,000 words. There is no lower word limit, but the more you write, the more likely it is for us to see your potential.
What should the synopsis look like?The synopsis will be 1-2 pages of A4 outlining key plot details and anything else you deem relevant to give the judges a sense of how the rest of the book will pan out. Even if the novel is unfinished, we do need the ending to be outlined in the synopsis so that we’re able to judge the plot as a whole.
Do I need to have a final title for the submission?
I am not resident in the UK, can I still submit?
Yes. We are open to submissions regardless of nationality or resident status as long as the submission is written in English and adheres to our other eligibility criteria.
I have submitted my novel to another competition. Can I enter it for the PFD Queer Fiction Prize too?Yes, as long as you adhere to the other eligibility criteria.
Does my entry need to be centered around LGBTQ+ themes?
The prize is open to any debut full-length worth of fiction from an LGBTQ+ author, regardless of content. However, we are especially keen to see work with LGBTQ+ themes or characters, however and to whatever degree you choose to interpret or implement that in your work.