We are so excited to launch The New Voices Award competition, in partnership with Amazon Publishing – to address issues around inclusion and representation in commercial fiction.

#NewVoicesAward

OWN IT! has a strong reputation for our commitment to finding and supporting up-and-coming talent.

We care about contributing to creating an ecosystem where universal stories can come from a truly representative community of eclectic voices and diversity is measured through creativity. However, we understand that to do this, we first need a more level playing field so that all writers from all backgrounds feel valued and are given equal opportunities.

The team at Amazon Publishing is passionate about connecting readers with great books. This competition allows the team to work outside typical channels to discover writers who can bring a fresh and distinct perspective to commercial fiction. Amazon Publishing is especially keen for the opportunity to connect with under-represented writers from around the world.

So what are you waiting for? Send us YOUR story. #BecauseStoriesAreLife

FAQ’s

Q1. Are entries anonymous?
A1. No, please submit your name with your entry. A nom de plume or pen name is fine.

Q2. I don’t have an agent. Can I still enter?
A2. Absolutely. This competition is exclusively for unagented authors.

Q3. I’ve previously self-published the manuscript I want to submit. Is that allowed?
A3. Unfortunately not. We don’t mind if an author has previously self-published other books, but we’re looking for unpublished entries.

Q4. My novel has a prologue. Should I still submit the first 2,000 words
A4. A short prologue can be included in addition to the first 2,000 words. If your prologue is longer than 1,000 words, and you would like to submit it, please count your prologue length as part of your 2,000-word limit.

Q5. Who reads my work? How does the voting and judging process work?
A5. All entries will receive an initial read-through by someone in the OWN IT! editorial team. This is to confirm that each entry adheres to the specific entry requirements. Following this, the OWN IT! editorial team will comprise a longlist of the strongest entries. An editor at Amazon Publishing, will then review the longlist with OWN IT! judges to select the winning entry and runners up.

Q6. Is there an entry fee?
A6. No, this competition is free to enter.

Q7. Which genres are eligible?
A7. This competition is focused on finding new voices in commercial fiction. We are interested in fiction of any kind, but are particularly interested in fiction that falls under one of the categories below:

  • Crime, thrillers and mystery
  • Romance
  • Historical fiction
  • Book club fiction

Q8. What is ‘book club’ fiction?
A8. The term ‘book club’ is often used to describe fiction that sits between the worlds of literary and commercial fiction. It is not always easy to assign a clear-cut genre like ‘crime’ or ‘romance’ to these titles, which are often built around thought-provoking themes and an accessible but distinctive narrative voice. Some great examples would be Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.”

If you have any questions or queries about whether your submission matches the competition requirements please get in touch with the team, prior to submitting your manuscript, at newvoicesaward@ownit.london before September 2nd 2022.

Q9. What do you mean by ‘under-represented’ writers?
A9. We define writers from backgrounds that are currently under-represented in publishing as:

  • Being Neurodivergent
  • Being from a BAME background
  • Being a member of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Being working class
  • Being Disabled
  • Having experienced homelessness
  • Having a low household income
  • Being or having been a carer
  • Being a single parent
  • Having experienced a lack of academic and/or vocational training opportunities – i.e. having not been able to study/train to full potential due to low income/ill-health etc.

Q10. Which countries is this competition open to?
A10. This competition is open to writers over the age of eighteen living in the UK or Ireland.

Q11. Are co-written manuscripts eligible?
A11. Yes, though the prize money will be split amongst co-writers.

Q12. Do you have to be a debut author to win this award?
A12. No. Previously published authors are eligible so long as the manuscript entered has never been published.

Q13. Are the finalists or the winner guaranteed to receive a publication offer from Amazon Publishing?
A13. No, although Amazon Publishing will consider the winner for a non-binding offer of publication at Amazon Publishing’s sole discretion.

Q14. Are the finalists or the winner guaranteed to receive a publication offer of offer of literary representation from OWN IT!?
A14. No, although OWN IT! will consider the winner for a non-binding offer of publication and/or representation at OWN IT!’s sole discretion.

Q15. How do I submit my entry to the award?
A15. Please follow the step-by-step instructions on the OWN IT! website https://ownit.london/newvoicesaward/.

Q16. Why is Amazon Publishing sponsoring this award?
A16. The team at Amazon Publishing is passionate about connecting readers with great books. This competition allows the team to work outside typical channels to discover writers who can bring a fresh and distinct perspective to commercial fiction. Amazon Publishing is especially keen for the opportunity to connect with under-represented writers from around the world.

Q17. Why is OWN IT! supporting this award?
A17. OWN IT! has a strong reputation and passionate commitment to finding and supporting up and coming talent. We care about contributing to creating an eco-system where universal stories can come from a truly representative community of eclectic voices and diversity is measured through creativity. However, we understand that to do this, we first need a more level playing field so that all writers from all backgrounds feel valued and are given equal opportunities.

Q18. Where can I address specific questions about the award?
A18. Please email newvoicesaward@ownit.london.

Q19. Who will sit on the judging panel for the award?
A19. An Amazon Publishing Editor will serve on the judging panel for the award, alongside OWN IT! agents. 

Q20. Who is OWN IT!?
A20. OWN IT! Literary, TV and Film Agency was co-founded by Crystal Mahey-Morgan and Jason Morgan with the mission of representing original and authentic stories. Among OWN IT!’s recent publishing successes are Salena Godden (MRS DEATH MISSES DEATH, Canongate), Derek Owusu’s Desmond Elliott Prize-winning THAT REMINDS ME (Merky Books, Stormzy’s PRH imprint), and Courttia Newland’s A RIVER CALLED TIME (Canongate).

Q21. What is Amazon Publishing?
A21. Amazon Publishing is a leading trade publisher of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books with a mission to empower outstanding storytellers and connect them with readers worldwide. We publish emerging, bestselling, and critically-acclaimed authors in digital, print, and audio formats. With Amazon’s drive for innovation and passion for books, we merge technology and art to support our authors and help their stories change the world. Learn more here.


OWN IT! CAREERS

Start your OWN IT! Career today.

A storytelling lifestyle brand, publishing and producing powerful stories across books, music, art and film. Whether publishing, representing, or adapting for Film and TV, at the heart of everything we do is a desire to share, empower, celebrate, and inspire. OWN IT! release, represents and adapts original and authentic stories.

TALENT AGENT

THIS IS A LONDON BASED ROLE.

Job Purpose:

UK Literary, Film/TV Agency seeks Agent

Black and Brown owned and run UK Literary, Film and TV Agency representing high profile authors and artists across books, film and TV is looking for an agent to join the team and help grow the business.

The candidate should have 2-3 years’ experience working in a talent agency, be keen to leverage their network to develop and grow their own client list and have solid knowledge of relevant commercial business terms.

The candidate must have a natural creative flair and the demonstrable ability in identifying talent. The successful candidate will offer vital support to existing agents including assistance with contracts, editorial and development work, and preparing submissions and decks/presentations with a view of contributing to the commercial growth of the business.

Confidence in full talent representation and crisis management is an absolute must as is discretion.

The role will report to co-ceo Crystal Mahey-Morgan.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone to join this fast-growing innovative talent agency and hit the ground running. You will be part of a small close-knit team and must enjoy working collaboratively but at the same time have the freedom and autonomy to make your mark. We are looking for a driven, confident person, who is passionate about books, film/TV and the arts and who has a strong sense of vision.

Experience/Personal Traits

  • Experience in negotiating traditional deal memos and long form contracts
  • Ability and desire to garner new business pro-actively and independently
  • Experience (or at least a keen interest) in carving out deals and monetising non-traditional media and rights
  • Eagle eyed attention to detail
  • Highly organised, impeccable time management skills and ability to work well under pressure and to tight deadlines
  • Strong black book of contacts
  • Ability to think outside the box and adapt to new ways of working and thinking

Qualification

No specific academic qualification is required, however, 2-3 years’ experience within the industry is essential

Salary

£35k – £50K dependent on experience

HOW TO APPLY:

Please send a CV and cover letter. All applications should be emailed to Careers@OWNIT.London

Deadline TO APPLY:

3rd June

About OWN IT!:

OWN IT! was created by founders Crystal Mahey-Morgan and Jason Morgan as a way to address a lack of representation within the arts and creative industries, first starting as a publisher but always with a multi-media and cross-platform approach to storytelling. With a desire to see as many creatively diverse and traditionally under-represented voices and stories out there as possible, OWN IT! quickly expanded to launch a talent agency arm paving a new way of working to house both a publishing and agency arm under one umbrella, albeit operating completely independently.

Whether publishing or representing talent, OWN IT! is never afraid to think outside the box and innovate but always has their artists and talent at the heart of everything they do. The company’s fluid and non-traditional approach comes from the joining of forces of the two co-founders coming from different disciplines, with Crystal’s background in book publishing and Jason’s background in music, having been part of a London 90’s UK hip hop group.

OWN IT! currently represent a host of exciting talent including Courttia Newland, Salena Godden, Derek Owusu, Ify Adenuga, Toni Tone and Sian Anderson to name a few.

EDITORIAL AND LITERARY ASSISTANT

THIS IS A LONDON BASED ROLE.

Job Purpose:

UK Literary, Film/TV Agency and Publisher seeks Editorial and Literary Assistant

Black and Brown owned and run UK agency and publisher, representing high profile authors and artists across books, film and TV are looking to add an enthusiastic and dedicated Editorial and Literary Assistant to the team to work across both the agency and publishing arm of the business.

The candidate does not need to have any previous experience of working at a publisher or agency, but does need to have a keen interest in developing a long term career in these industries. They must love reading and not be daunted by huge volumes of material, have a keen eye for detail, a pro-active can-do attitude and the confidence to work in a fast-paced environment with excellent interpersonal skills.

The role will entail being the first point of contact for the publishing submissions box and agency query letters, managing spreadsheets, organising internal acquisitions/representation meetings, liaising with potential and existing clients and authors, writing copy and proofreading materials. There will also be general ad-hoc admin along with diary management.

The role will report to publisher and agent Crystal Mahey-Morgan.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone looking to break in the industry and be part of a dynamic publisher and Literary, Film and TV Agency who have fast built a reputation for innovation, going against the status quo and breaking boundaries within the arts.

Personal Traits

  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Highly organised with a meticulous eye for detail
  • Works well within a team, motivated and able to adapt and be flexible
  • Good time management, ability to prioritise and meet deadlines
  • Competent with Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint
  • Ability to multi-task

Qualification

No formal qualifications necessary but a love of books and reading essential

Salary

£22K

How to Apply:

Please send a CV and cover letter and answer the following 2 questions. The questions can be answered either through written answers (no more than 300 words each) OR a 3 minute video. All applications should be emailed to Careers@OWNIT.London

  1. What do you think you could bring to OWN IT! ?
  2. What does the future of publishing and/or agenting look like to you?

Deadline to Apply:

3rd June

About OWN IT!:

OWN IT! was created by founders Crystal Mahey-Morgan and Jason Morgan as a way to address a lack of representation within the arts and creative industries, first starting as a publisher but always with a multi-media and cross-platform approach to storytelling. With a desire to see as many creatively diverse and traditionally under-represented voices and stories out there as possible, OWN IT! quickly expanded to launch a talent agency arm paving a new way of working to house both a publishing and agency arm under one umbrella, albeit operating completely independently.

Whether publishing or representing talent, OWN IT! is never afraid to think outside the box and innovate but always has their artists and talent at the heart of everything they do. The company’s fluid and non-traditional approach comes from the joining of forces of the two co-founders coming from different disciplines, with Crystal’s background in book publishing and Jason’s background in music, having been part of a London 90’s UK hip hop group.

OWN IT! currently represents a host of exciting talent including Courttia Newland, Salena Godden, Derek Owusu, Ify Adenuga, Toni Tone and Sian Anderson to name a few.