Unpublished Novels

Guidelines for Submissions – DEADLINE EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 2

Unpublished Novels

The unpublished fiction award is for San Diego County residents. Novels that have been published by a traditional publisher or on-line publisher are not accepted.


  • Submit one cover sheet, three (3) copies of a one-page synopsis, and three copies of the first thirty (30) pages of the manuscript along with your submission form(s), entry fee, and a USPS Priority Mail SASE for return of your three reviewing judges’ comments.
  • The cover sheet should have your name, contact information, and title of your manuscript.
  • The one-page synopsis should be placed on top of the first page of each set of 30 pages. Do not include your name on the synopsis. The title of your work with the word “synopsis” should be centered at the top of the synopsis page. The synopsis may be single or double-spaced and should be written in present tense in the same style as your manuscript. For a synopsis, you must tell the entire story from beginning to end so the judges know that you can tell a logical story from beginning to end. You must reveal the ending!
  • The first page of your first thirty pages should have the name of your manuscript, but not your name. Your name should not appear on anything but your submission form and cover sheet.


  • First-round judges will follow a standard evaluation form and are encouraged to write their comments on the forms and on the sets of the first 30 pages.
  • The three submitted sets of 30 pages will be evaluated by three different judges. The top three to five scored submissions in each category will advance to the final round. Finalists will be notified by phone or e-mail.

Manuscript Guidelines

  • Standard Word margins – 1” top and bottom, 1/1/4” each side
  • Double-space between all lines, including paragraphs.
  • Indent paragraphs five spaces.
  • White paper only
  • 12-point font (Times New Roman, Times, or Courier)
  • One-line header on each page: Title starting with page 2 on left side, page number on the right side.
  • Entrant’s name must not appear on any of the pages, including the synopsis. Points will be deducted if your name appears on the synopsis or manuscript pages. Your name may appear only on the submission form and cover page.
  • The 30 pages should not be bound, but may be held together with a large paper clip or rubber band. Do not staple, put in a notebook, or bind in any way.


  • Submissions must be postmarked by February 2, 2015 (deadline extended)
  • Submissions postmarked after this date will be ruled ineligible by the competition judges and returned to sender.
  • Submissions arriving with postage due will be discarded.
  • Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in June 2014.
  • Send submissions by U.S. Mail.


  • Each qualifying submission is rewarded with written evaluation comments from the three preliminary judges who will read your work.
  • All finalists will receive a Certificate of Achievement.


□  One cover sheet with your name, address, phone, e-mail, title of your manuscript.

□  Three copies of a one-page synopsis. Put the title of your manuscript at the top of the synopsis. Do not put your name on the synopsis.

□  Three copies of the first 30 pages of your manuscript. Do not put your name on any pages of the manuscript, including the title page.

□  Signed and dated submission form.

□  $30 entry fee for each entry. (One check may be submitted for multiple submissions – please indicate this on submission form(s))

□  Include an SASE with adequate postage (STAMPS only) for return of score sheets and submission. Make sure it is large enough to hold about 100 pages (all three copies will be returned). No metered, FedEx, or UPS returns accepted. No score sheet/submission will be returned without SASE.

□  Mark the SASE with the title of the submission. Don’t send cash or money orders for postage.

□  Optional – SAS postcard if you wish to be notified of receipt of your submission.

□  Multiple submissions may be submitted in one envelope, but a separate submission form is required for each different submission.

□  Send to:

San Diego Book Awards
P. O. Box 2723
San Marcos, CA 92079-2723

Submission form: A completed, signed, and dated submission form must accompany each submission.

CLICK HERE FOR Unpublished-Novel-Guidelines-2015

Fee: A nonrefundable submission fee of $30 must accompany each unpublished novel submission. Make checks payable to: San Diego Book Awards Association, Inc.

Rights: All submissions remain the literary property of the writer.