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 We don’t mind if an author has previously self-published other books, but we’re looking for unpublished entries.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. Which countries is this competition open to?
A6. This competition is open to writers over the age of eighteen living in the UK or Ireland.

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 [email protected] 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. Is there an entry fee?
A10. No, this competition is free to enter.

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 or an 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 [email protected].

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.


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.



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


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


£35k – £50K dependent on experience


Please send a CV and cover letter. All applications should be emailed to [email protected]

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.

Animated book trailer for SASHA KNIGHT a novel by SEAN GODFREY


A coming-of-age novel, alternating between past and present and shifting back and forth from Jamaica and the United States, SASHA KNIGHT picks apart the puzzle left behind when 11-year-old Sasha disappears. Everyone seems convinced she has simply run away.

On the days when he can’t hear her…Matthew believes it too.

Portraying the perils of toxic masculinity and the damaging effects of emotional trauma. Touching on religion and the deep-seated class and colour divide in Jamaican society, this is a genre-bending mashup that shakes the senses and tears at the heart.


‘Vivid, powerful, and moving, teeming with rich period detail, Sasha Knight is an astute debut from a writer completely at home on the page. This book is full of love, not just for Sasha Knight, but Jamaica as a whole. Seriously impressive stuff.’

Courttia Newland, Author of A River Called Time

‘Godfrey has crafted a whole host of characters and a world that feels new, but somehow familiar. I flew through the pages.

Candice Carty-Williams, Author of Sunday Times Bestseller People Person

Sean Godfrey is a brilliant and breath-taking writer, Sasha Knight is profoundly tender and vivid, it is a tremendous story of love and loss and much more…

Salena Godden, Author of Mrs Death Misses Death

‘Sasha Knight is a masterful piece of writing.  Painful, playful, complex, evocative and wonderfully realised.  Sean Godfrey’s novel is set in Jamaica and America, but has relevance across the globe. This is an absolute must-read.

Yvonne Bailey-Smith, author of The Day I Fell off my Island

What a delight, a moving delight. I read this book twice, started it over as soon as I closed the last page.

Colin Channer, Author of The Girl with the Golden Shoes

‘A masterclass of storytelling. Godfrey has that special ability of bringing a story to life so much that it lives in you, long after you’ve finished reading it.

JJ Bola, Author of The Selfless Act of Breathing

‘Fiercely endearing. An accomplished and absorbing debut written with real heart and great depth. This profoundly mesmeric novel deserves to be found, embraced, and loved by many. One of the best stories you’ll read this year.’

Ashley Hickson-Lovence, Author of Your Show.

A sublime story, showcasing a magnificent mind. Sasha Knight is immediately infatuating, leading you through a multi-layered journey of two unique characters.

Jude Yawson, Co-Author of Stormzy’s Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far

‘A brilliantly absorbing read with indelible character.’

Irenosen Okojie MBE, Author of Nudibranch

Marienna Pope-Weidemann joins the OWN IT! collective

Today we’re welcoming to the OWN IT! family: Marienna Pope-Weidemann. Marienna is a writer, activist and journalist with a decade of experience in storytelling for social justice.

Marienna is currently working on her first book, Justice For All Of Us, a creative nonfiction collection of stories from families like Marienna’s, who have lost someone they loved at the hands of the state and are fighting for change.

Marienna’s work was shortlisted for the short fiction Booker Prize at Birkbeck (2019) and longlisted for the Spread The Word Life Writing Prize (2020). Her short story Devotion was Litro Magazine’s Editor’s Pick in December that year. As a journalist, she specialises in women’s liberation, migration and climate justice and has written for the Guardian, Independent, Al Jazeera and Red Pepper amongst others.

Click here to read more about Marienna and her book Justice For All Of Us.

The book was inspired by Marienna’s experience working with other bereaved families and leading the Justice for Gaia campaign on behalf of her own. Her cousin Gaia Pope, a survivor of sexual violence, was let down by the mental health system and the police after they took no further action following her rape allegation against a known child sex offender.

Justice for Gaia: