Penguin Michael Joseph Christmas Love Story Competition

Deadline date - 14th February 2021

Do you have an idea for a magical festive love story? Would you like the chance to write a bestselling novel? Well, Penguin Michael Joseph’s Christmas Love Story competition might be for you!

Penguin Michael Joseph are thrilled to be launching an exciting competition to give new writers from the UK and Republic of Ireland the opportunity to have their novel published in the run-up to Christmas 2022.

They're looking for your most festive, romantic and feel-good ideas for the perfect Christmas love story that readers can curl up with. 

If you can’t resist The Holiday, want to spend Christmas at the Island Hotel, fell in love on One Day In Decemberor simply just love Christmas, and think you can write a good festive story, then read on...

What's on offer?

The winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin Michael Joseph and they hope to publish your novel in the run up to Christmas 2022 in both paperback and eBook. They'll also help connect you with an agent.

Who are we looking for?

They're looking for unpublished writers of all ages and backgrounds who are currently residents in the UK or Republic of Ireland. If you have a manuscript you are working on, or a Christmas love story idea ready to be put onto paper, they would love to hear from you.

How do I enter?

At this first round submission stage, they're asking for your Christmas Love Story pitch, which should be no longer than 200 words, plus 1,000 words of your manuscript.

Please email your entry to
by midnight on 14 February 2021.

Your pitch can be included in the body of the email, but please attach the manuscript as a separate document (word or pdf). You should also include your full name, preferred email address and contact phone number.

What's the timeline?

  • The submissions inbox is open from 23 December 2020 until midnight on 14 February 2021. All applicants will receive a response as to whether or not they are through to the second round during the week commencing 16 March 2021
  • They will then ask all applicants who are through to the second round to submit a longer plot synopsis of no more than 1,000 words (or one side of A4) along with an additional 2,000 words of their manuscript by midnight on Sunday 18 April 2021
  • After that they shall select the winner, who will be contacted in May 2021

Who decides the winners?

The entries will be judged by a panel from the Penguin Michael Joseph editorial team, including Fiction Editor Rebecca Hilsdon, and London Evening Standard journalist, Phoebe Luckhurst, author of 2021’s most exciting romantic comedy The Lock In