An exciting new opportunity for emerging authors! The Pontas Literary & Film Agency and JJ Bola are partnering to create a mentoring prize for unagented, unpublished, under-represented writers.

The prize includes a £1000 grant to support the writer, mentorship from JJ Bola and Maria Cardona, and representation from the Pontas Literary & Film Agency.

In a press release shared with Brittle Paper, JJ Bola says:

I’m very excited to partner with my literary agency, Pontas, to bring forward this amazing opportunity for unsigned, unpublished, and underrepresented writers in the publishing industry aspiring for a professional writing career. We’re looking for a brilliant new voice, with a meaningful story who is passionate about their craft. I never dreamt I could be a writer – I just followed something that I stumbled upon and fell in love with. Writing has changed my life, and I was incredibly lucky to be discovered by and sign with Pontas back in 2016 but I know not everyone is afforded such serendipity. So, this prize is a way of giving back what was offered to me, but with the extra support of a financial remuneration and mentorship. I encourage all who fit the profile to apply, and to not be discouraged by the result if you aren’t selected. Keep hope, keep faith, keep writing. And good luck!

The prize is open to writers from Black, ethnic minority, LGBTQ and working class backgrounds who are currently working on a novel. The writers can be based anywhere in the world as long as their work is written in English.

Writers must submit the three chapters of their unpublished novel along with a full synopsis and a comprehensive biography before March 15th, 2021 by email to [email protected] The novels submitted do not need to be completed at the time of submission.

A shortlist of five emerging writers will be announced on May 15th, and the winner on June 1st, 2021. The winner and shortlistees of the prize will be selected by JJ Bola along with literary agents Anna Soler-Pont and Maria Cardona based entirely on their assessment of the writing.

Below are the terms and conditions of the prize:

This prize is promoted by Pontas Copyright Agency S.L., P.O. Box #11, E-08183 Castellterçol (Barcelona) and JJ Bola.

This promotion is open to any writer without a literary agent, aged 18 or over, wherever they are based, who writes in English.

The winner will receive a 1,000 GBP grant to support their early writing career, a mentoring scheme from JJ Bola and a contract of representation from Pontas Literary & Film Agency.

All submissions must be sent by email to [email protected]

Submissions must be sent between February 1st, 2021 and March 15th, 2021. No entries received after this date will be accepted.

Submissions that have been sent by means other than email to the correct email address will not be accepted.

Any work submitted to the prize must not have been submitted to the Pontas Agency before. You must submit:

  • The first three chapters (and no more than 10,000 words) of a novel in one file in PDF format.
  • A complete synopsis of whole novel, including the complete plot and the story’s end (maximum 2 pages long) together with one paragraph summary of the novel.
  • A comprehensive biography, including birth date and place, as well as any social media information, education, work, creative writing courses attended, short stories published, prizes won, literary or media mentors and contacts (if any).
  • The submission must be sent in PDF format in three different documents, all attached to one single email, each attachment marked as manuscript, synopsis, and biography including the writer’s name and title of the novel in each file. The writer’s name and title must also appear on every page of each document.
  • The subject of the email must include Pontas & Bola Emerging Writers Prize as well as the writer’s name.
  • In the body of the email, writers must provide their full name, address, and phone number.

Submissions that do not meet requirements of these Terms and Conditions shall not be read.

Any submission containing incorrect, false or unreadable information will be rejected.

Multiple submissions will not be read. The novels submitted can be of any genre, as long as they are in the adult fiction category.

Children’s and Young Adult fiction, science fiction, fantasy and horror, poetry and non-fiction will not be considered.

In entering this prize you agree that, if you win, in order to proceed with the opportunity you will need to enter into a contract with Pontas Copyright Agency S.L and accept their standard terms.

The grant of 1,000 GBP is payable direct to the winner upon signature of their contract with the Pontas Agency.

A shortlist of five writers will be notified on May 15th, 2021 and an announcement will be made after this time.

The winner will be notified by June 1st, 2021, and an announcement will be made after this time.

As part of the contract the winning writer must be prepared to undertake editorial work on their novel and undergo a mentorship writing program devised by JJ Bola and the Pontas Agency.

The decision will be final and no feedback will be provided.

Submissions will be judged by Maria Cardona, Anna Soler-Pont and JJ Bola, and any other employee of the Pontas Agency, and will be judged on quality of writing as well as the strength of the full synopsis and pitch.

Any personal information will be used solely for reviewing the submission and will not be passed on to any other parties whatsoever.

By entering the Pontas & JJ Bola Emerging Writers Prize you are agreeing to accept these Terms and Conditions. Any breach of these Terms and Conditions by you will mean that your entry will not be valid, and you will not be allowed to enter this prize.

By entering this prize, you are agreeing that if you win your name and image may be used for the purpose of announcing the winner in any related publicity with Pontas Literary & Film Agency and JJ Bola, without additional payment or permission. You can however withdraw your consent to this at any time before we announce the winner.

All entrants are expected to act fairly and in the good spirit of the prize. Pontas reserves the right to investigate any irregularities and disqualify entrants at its absolute discretion.

Any dispute relating to the prize shall be governed by the laws of Barcelona and will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Spanish courts.