Last year, we launched a competition with Accent Press to find the UK’s next big writing talent, and asked for unpublished writers to submit three chapters of contemporary women’s fiction for the chance to win the prize of a lifetime – to get their very first book published.

Authors Katie Fforde and Jane Wenham-Jones joined our very own books editor Jo Czechowska, and Cat Camacho from Accent Press, to judge all the entires – not an easy task!

The competition was fierce, with hundreds of talented and creative writers coming forward to share their stories with the esteemed panel. After deliberating long and hard, the judges made their difficult final decision, and picked a winner whose life is about to change for good…


The winner was 56 year old, mum of three, Lynne Shelby, who will have her very first novel, ‘French Kissing’, published by Accent Press in Autumn this year. Lynne said that she hasn’t, “stopped smiling” since she got the news and added, “I’m proof that you don’t know what you’re capable of until you try”.

The judges also chose a second prize winner and five runners up, who all submitted wonderful entries:

Second Prize: Little Chef – Kristen Bailey

Runners Up:

Highly Commended – Baby Number 2 – Catherine Miller

Summer by the Sea – Wendy Grace

An Everyday Tale of an Ordinary Girl – Louise Peskett

Far From the Tree – Fay Keenan

The Truth About You, Me and Us – Kate Field

Congratulations to all our winners and runners up and thank you to everyone who submitted their stories; it’s been a great opportunity for us and Accent Press to discover some wonderful new talent and the stories were all very much enjoyed by our judges.