The Allen & Unwin NZ Commercial Fiction Prize

Are you the next big thing in fiction writing?
Could you be the next Jodi Picoult, Rose Carlyle or Jacqueline Bublitz?


Is there a manuscript in your bottom drawer just waiting to be finished? Have you got a burning idea for a bestselling novel?

We are delighted to announce the inaugural annual Allen & Unwin New Zealand Commercial Fiction Prize.


The winner will be awarded a publishing contract with an advance against royalties of  $NZ10,000.

The prize will be open to all unpublished full-length manuscripts in the commercial fiction genre between 70,000 and 100,000 words in length written by residents of New Zealand.

Both debut writers and already-published authors will be eligible to enter.

Entries are open from Wednesday 1 December 2021 and close on Friday 25 March 2022.

The winner will be announced in September 2022 and their novel will published the following year.


Allen & Unwin NZ Publishing Director, Jenny Hellen, is excited to see what undiscovered gems the award will uncover.  Jenny says “Long recognised by the industry for the strength of our non-fiction list, we are now on a mission to find New Zealand’s best commercial fiction authors. We know there is a real appetite for quality commercial fiction and are looking forward to discovering strong New Zealand voices and new talent”

Allen & Unwin NZ Publisher, Michelle Hurley, adds, “The Allen & Unwin NZ Commercial Fiction Prize is the perfect way to support New Zealand writers and give our readers fantastic, home-grown stories that resonate and we can’t wait to help foster Kiwi fiction writers.’


How to Enter

How to Enter

1. Make sure you are eligible
Conditions of Entry

• Information on how to enter and the prize form part of these Conditions of Entry.
• The Promoter is Allen & Unwin NZ of 10 College Hill, Freemans Bay, Auckland 1011.
• Entries must be a full-length novel.
• Entries open 1 December 2021.
• Entries must be lodged by 25 March 2022.
• Entrants must be New Zealand citizens or residents.
• Entries must be a minimum length of 70,000 words and a maximum of 100,000 words.
• The manuscript must be an original work, entirely by the entrant and it must be written in English.
• The manuscript cannot be under consideration by any other publisher or entered into any other award.
• No more than 10% of the manuscript can have been previously published in print form, or in electronic form, on a commercial basis.
• Allen & Unwin will publish the winning entry, and will have exclusive worldwide publishing rights to it, and to any other entry they feel is of sufficient merit.
• The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
• The judges shall have the discretion to divide the prize equally between authors of entries they consider to be of equal merit. If, in their opinion, no entry is worthy of the prize, no winner shall be chosen. No entrant may win the prize in successive years.
• The winner will be told in strict confidence during September 2022, at which time the winner must agree to keep this news absolutely confidential until the announcement of the prize.
• The winning book will be published mid-2023.
• Each entrant is required to agree to the above conditions of entry.
• Breach of any conditions of entry will render an entry invalid.
• The Promoter shall not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever which is suffered (including but not limited to indirect or consequential loss) or for personal injury which is suffered or sustained, as a result of taking the prize, except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law.
• The Promoter collects entrant’s personal information in order to conduct the promotion. If the information requested is not provided, the entrant may not participate in the promotion. Allen & Unwin respects your privacy and, at this stage, non-essential data will not be collected. Your personal details will only be used for the purpose of this promotion unless you nominate otherwise. An Allen & Unwin Privacy Statement is available online at A request to access, update or correct any information should be directed to the Promoter at the address set out above.


2. Submission process

Entries must be submitted as follows:

• All manuscripts must be submitted with only the title visible on the file. This is because the judging process will be anonymous and previously published writers are eligible to enter this prize.
• The writer’s name and details must be included ONLY on the accompanying entry form.
• If any manuscripts are submitted with the author’s name on them the senders will be asked to reapply with the author’s name removed from the manuscript.

You will need to submit your anonymous manuscript, a one-page synopsis, and completed entry form, preferably all in PDF format, to email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3. Entry Process

Step 1. Click here to download the entry form (PDF)

Each entrant is required to complete the entry form, which binds them to the above conditions of entry.

Please scan your completed entry form and attach it to your email.

If you are not able to scan the entry form, please copy and paste the following information into the body of your email:

Email address:
Manuscript title:
Word count:

I, __________________________ agree to the Conditions of Entry.

Step 2. Convert your manuscript and your one-page synopsis to PDF and attach it to your email.

If you are not able to convert your manuscript to PDF, we will accept a Word document.

Step 3. Send the email with all of the attachments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
An electronic acknowledgment will be sent to each entrant upon receipt of entry.
If it is not possible for an entry to be submitted electronically, hardcopy submissions will be accepted. Send completed entry form and manuscript to: Allen & Unwin NZ, PO Box 47283, Ponsonby, Auckland 1144