Conditions of Entry for the NZ Book Festival Manuscript Competition

  1. The NZ Book Festival Manuscript Competition (the “Competition”) is organised by BigWords-Books (“BigWords-Books”).
  2. The Competition is open to New Zealand residents aged 16 or over who is not excluded by these Rules. There is no upper age limit for entry.
  3. Members of the NZ Book Festival Committee or employees of BigWords-Books and their spouses, are excluded from being eligible to enter.
  4. Authors who have had a book published by or are currently under contract with a publishing house are not eligible to enter.
  5. The deadline for entries is 12:00AM on Wednesday 28 February 2018. Entries received after this deadline will not be considered. The online entry system may become busy as the deadline nears, so entrants are advised not to leave submission until the last minute.
  6. Entrants must submit a synopsis of their book up to 500 words in length, as well as four completed chapters made up of the first two chapters and two additional non-sequential chapters. There is no minimum word count.
  7. Entrants may submit as many manuscript entries as they wish, but each must be submitted as a separate entry with a separate entry form and a separate entry fee.
  8. All work submitted for consideration can be from any fictional genre with the exception of poetry, picture books, graphic novels and explicit pornographic content. The following non-fiction genres will also be accepted; travelogue, biographical or autobiographical stories, historical, creative non-fiction, self-improvement, personal growth. For non-fiction works, any additional editing costs for referencing and /or to ascertain factual or historical accuracy will be the responsibility of the author.
  9. Entries must be the entrant’s own original writing, and should not have appeared in print or have been broadcast on or before 30 June 2018. Work which has been published in part or fully on public websites, blogs or social media sites can be submitted, but must be taken down before the date of entry and must not be uploaded again on or before 30 June 2018. Work that has been circulated via, or uploaded to, closed forums (e.g. for the purposes of workshopping on writing courses) can be submitted. Work found to be published in print or to have been broadcast or to have appeared on a website outside of these terms will be disqualified without refund of the entry fee.
  10. All work must be submitted in electronic form, in Word or Open Document format and written in English. Entrants should not include illustrations or artwork, or complex/overly creative formatting. Beyond these stipulations, presentation (e.g. font and spacing) is at the entrant’s discretion.
  11. Translations into English of work written in other languages can be accepted, provided that the source text is the entrant’s own original work and has not been published (in line with point 9, above); translations into English of work published (in line with point 9, above) elsewhere in other languages will not be accepted.
  12. Entries will be accepted only online only via the competition website.
  13. Online entries must be made via the competition entry form at:
  14. Online entrants will be required to pay online and will receive an automated email acknowledging receipt at the time of entry.
  15. All entries will be assigned an ID number and made anonymous upon receipt. Judges will not be privy to entrants’ names during the reading and judging processes. Names will be reattributed to entries only after the short list and winners have been decided.
  16. Entries submitted for consideration may be withdrawn from the Competition by entrants by notification in writing (by email) to Where work is withdrawn, entry fees will not be refunded.
  17. Amendments cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted; stories cannot be amended, corrected or substituted. If entrants wish to correct errors in stories, they must withdraw their story from the Competition as above and enter again with payment of entry fee. No correspondence or discussion about amendments will be entered into.
  18. Entries will not be returned under any circumstances.
  19. The competition organiser reserves the right to disqualify any entry if it has reasonable grounds to believe that the entrant has breached any of these Rules, or made a false declaration on the entry form.
  20. BigWords-Books and the NZ Book Festival cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant entering the Competition.
  21. Administration of this competition will be done in accordance with current New Zealand data protection legislation in relation to your personal data.
  22. The Competition and Rules will be governed by New Zealand Law and any dispute will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the New Zealand Courts.
  23. BigWords-Books reserves the right to amend these Rules where it is deemed necessary to do so or where circumstances are beyond BigWords-Books’ control. Any changes to the Rules will be posted on the Writing Competition page of the BigWords-Books website.
  24. Submission of an entry will be deemed to imply unqualified acceptance of the Competition’s Rules. In the event of any dispute regarding these Rules or any other matter relating to the Competition, the decision of BigWords-Books shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.


  1. A judging panel of practising writers and industry professionals will select a short-list of entrants, and from that shortlist select the overall winner. The judges’ decisions are final, and no correspondence about their decisions will be entered into. BigWords-Books as the organiser reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice. The judges reserve the right not to award the prizes, or to reduce or divide the prize money, if, in their opinion, such action is justified for any reason.
  2. Short-listed entrants will be included in the competition announcements and may receive a share of any additional prizes donated by sponsors of the competition. The winner and all short-listed entrants will be notified by telephone on or before the end of May 2018, and may be asked to attend a press conference and/or promotional event created around the competition.

Entry fee

  1. The cost of entry is $40.00 (NZD) per entry.
  2. Payment will be made via the secure payment platform, PayPal. If an online entrant successfully submits a portfolio but then fails to complete payment at the checkout, you will have until the deadline for entries to resubmit your entry and complete payment, or to withdraw from the Competition.
  3. In any cases where payments have not cleared by 05 March 2018, entrants will be automatically disqualified from the Competition.
  4. Payment is made at the entrant’s own risk.
  5. Where entrants are unable to complete payment via the online system, it may be possible for payment to be made over the telephone via debit/credit card or electronically via direct bank transfer.
  6. Please get in touch for further details by calling 021 28 555 80 during business hours well before the 05 March 2018 payment deadline to avoid disqualification.


  1. Winning or shortlisted entries may be used in publications and journals for promotional purposes by BigWords-Books and the NZ Book Festival and may appear in electronic format on the BigWords-Books and NZ Book Festival websites, social media pages, or in other electronic forms. Pieces may appear in abridged or edited form. The copyright in each story submitted remains with the author. Entrants are deemed to grant to BigWords-Books a non-exclusive, worldwide licence over each entry submitted for the duration of the Competition (which is deemed to end on 31 May 2018), and for publicity purposes (including in print and electronic publications) thereafter. Entrants are free to submit stories entered into the Competition for consideration elsewhere (i.e. to other competitions or for publication) after 31 May 2018.


  1. The NZ Book Festival Manuscript Competition will award one prize, consisting of an independent publishing package through competition organiser BigWords-Books and other competition sponsors, to the estimated value of up to $4,000. Acceptance of this prize is conditional on the acceptance of the standard terms of trade and author contract for BigWords-Books clients. Suppliers of services included in the prize are paid from the competition’s takings, which is generated entirely through entry fees and may be reduced if an insufficient number of entries are received.


  1. Queries should be sent to BigWords-Books: +64 (0) 21 28 555 80 or