We’re delighted to announce that Adam Mars-Jones has won the 2019 Fitzcarraldo Editions Novel Prize for Box Hill, a strangely tragic love story between two men set in the gay biker community during the late 1970s. Initially made possible by an Arts Council grant in 2017, the prize looks for novels which explore and expand the possibilities of the form, which are innovative and imaginative in style, which tackle subjects and themes relevant to the world we live in. The winner receives a £3,000 prize in the form of an advance against publication with Fitzcarraldo Editions, and will be published in Fitzcarraldo Editions’ fiction list, alongside writers such as Claire-Louise Bennett, Mathias Enard, Camilla Grudova, John Keene, Esther Kinsky, Olga Tokarczuk and Alejandro Zambra. 

Adam Mars-Jones’ first collection of stories, Lantern Lecture, won a Somerset Maugham Award in 1982. His debut novel, Pilcrow, was published in 2008 by Faber & Faber. His second novel, Cedilla, was also published by Faber & Faber in 2011. His essay, Noriko Smiling (Notting Hill Editions, 2011), focuses on Yasujiro Ozu, a master of Japanese cinema. His memoir, Kid Gloves, was published by Particular Books in August 2015. His selected film writing, Second Sight, was published by Reaktion Books in September 2019. He writes book reviews for the Observer and the LRB.

In 2019, we received 321 submissions for the prize. The other shortlisted novels are: 

- Line by Niall Bourke, a work of speculative fiction set in a world in which Willard, the main character, has spent his entire life in an endless queue, where obedience to the rules is the only way to ensure survival. Niall Bourke’s short stories have been shortlisted for numerous awards including the Costa Short Story Award, the Hennessey New Irish Writing Award and the ASOL Tom-Gallon Trust Award. His debut poetry collection, Did You Put the Weasels Out? was published by Eyewear in 2018. Originally from County Kilkenny, he lives in London, where he teaches English. 

- Zealandia by David Hering, a novel about the Zanda Institute, a corporation that has harnessed the ability to revive animals that have become extinct. David Hering is a Lecturer in Contemporary Literature at the University of Liverpool, where he is co-director of the Centre for New and International Writing. Recent work appears in the Los Angeles Review of Books and The Quietus on subjects ranging from contemporary poetry to the televisual flaneur. His book David Foster Wallace: Fiction and Form was published by Bloomsbury in 2016.

- Breath by Amanda Oosthuizen, a novel about Jan, an ageing trumpet virtuoso, and her stalker, who follows her as she tours across Europe. Amanda Oosthuizen's previous novel, The Cherrywood Box, was highly commended in the Yeovil Literary Prize, awarded an SLS fellowship and won the Eludia Award for and entire manuscript, and remains unpublished. Her stories and poetry have been shown in galleries, in Winchester cathedral, on the London Underground, and published in publications including Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Ink Sweat and Tears, Under the Radar, 3:AM and Ambit. She is a professional musician and earns a living by writing and arranging music and teaching woodwind.

Quinn by Em Strang, a novel about a man serving a prison sentence for an unexplained act of violence against his girlfriend. Em Strang is a poet, workshop facilitator, and Reader with Open Book. Over the past decade, she has taught Creative Writing in public workshop settings, schools, universities and prisons, and continues to perform her poetry at venues across the UK. Her first collection, Bird-Woman, was published by Shearsman in 2016. In 2017, Bird-Woman was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Best First Collection Prize, and won the Saltire Poetry Book of the Year. Her second collection, Horse-Man, came out with Shearsman in September 2019.

Jeremy Cooper won the inaugural Fitzcarraldo Editions Novel Prize in 2018 for Ash before Oak, a novel in the form of a nature diary, obliquely charting the narrator’s slow return to health. The winning novel was one of 181 submissions, and one of six to be shortlisted. The five other shortlisted entries were Semblance by Thomas Bunstead, The Cremation Project by Andrea Mason, Tinder and the Moon by Marianne Morris, Total Abstraction by David Musgrave, and Never Connect by Duncan White. 


Please read these eligibility and entry rules carefully before submitting. Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of the entry rules. For any queries not covered below, please info@fitzcarraldoeditions.com. 

1) The competition is open to residents of Great Britain and Ireland only.

2) Entrants should submit a full manuscript of their novel (minimum 30,000 words) to novelprize@fitzcarraldoeditions.com. The manuscript should be double-spaced, 12pt. 

3) Each submission should include a cover letter including a biographical note, contact details and brief outline of the novel. 

4) The submission must be original.  

5) Entries can also be sent by post to Fitzcarraldo Editions, A104, 8-12 Creekside, London SE8 3DX. 

6) Only submissions received by email or by post by midnight on 15 July 2019 (GMT) will be considered. 

7) Entries that are incomplete, are corrupted or submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

8) The entry must be the entrant’s own original creation and must not infringe upon the right or copyright of any person or entity.

9) Co-authored entries will not be accepted. 

10) Writers who have existing contracts, or who have previously held contracts, with publishers for books of fiction or non-fiction are eligible to enter. 

11) Writers who have published writing (fiction or non-fiction) in magazines and journals are eligible to enter.

12) Writers who have published books of poetry are eligible to enter.

13) Writers may submit only one proposal per iteration of the prize. 

14) The novel must be written in English (no translations).

15) Submissions may be made by the author of the novel or (if they have one) their agent.

16) There are no age restrictions, and we welcome submissions from writers of all backgrounds. 

17) Submissions from writers residing outside of Great Britain and Ireland will not be considered.

18) All submissions should include page numbers.

19) The novel must be original and should not have been previously published anywhere in full. Published work is taken to mean published in any printed, publicly accessible form, e.g. anthology, magazine, newspaper. It is also taken to mean published online, with the exception of personal blogs and personal websites.

20) A shortlist of up to six novels will be announced around 15 September 2019. The winner will be announced in early October 2019. 

21) Fitzcarraldo Editions reserves the right to organise a meeting with all shortlisted writers to discuss their novel before the award of the prize. 

22) Unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted.

23) No editorial feedback will be provided to unsuccessful entrants.

24) The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the judging process.

25) Fitzcarraldo Editions will have the exclusive world right to publish the winning novel.

26)  Fitzcarraldo Editions reserves the right not to award the prize this year, or to make multiple offers of publication. 

27) Only submissions which meet all Terms and Conditions will be considered.

28) By entering this competition, each entrant agrees to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.