We champion authors, shaping and sharing writing that sparks thoughts, dreams, conversations and learning. We do it because books expand our imaginations and empathy, and help us make sense of different perspectives. Books have the power to bring generations and cultures together.

We work hard to find writing that entertains, educates and excites readers, inspires those that may have lapsed to pick up a book again, and encourages people to start reading. Then we work tirelessly to put those words into the hands of readers everywhere.

Here, we explain some of the ways we work with our authors to publish their books. Our Getting Published blog also contains more advice and tips for new writers.

Please note: We generally do not currently accept 'blind' submissions directly from writers; we only accept submissions directly from agents. Penguin Ireland are currently accepting submissions from Irish writers  – find out more here.

How do I find an agent?

The majority of authors we publish, especially in fiction, will be represented by a literary agent.  To get a literary agent to represent you as a new writer, you’ll need to pitch your book to them, usually in the form of a covering letter or email.

Resources for finding agents

Who reads literary submissions?

Who reads submissions? What should you do if you get rejected by an agent? Here are our responses to the most common questions from new writers... 

Your questions answered

Writing Competitions at Penguin Random House

At Penguin Random House UK we run a variety of competitions for new writers. Find out more below...


A story can start anywhere.

WriteNow aims to find, mentor and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the nation’s bookshelves.

We launched WriteNow in 2016 because we know that books don’t reflect everyone in our society. There are still too many stories which are not being told, and too many voices which are overlooked.

It’s especially important for young children to see themselves, their families, cultures and communities reflected in the books they read, which is why this year we’re opening applications to budding illustrators of children’s picture books for the first time.

Find out more about WriteNow

Century/Daily Mail First Novel Competition

Since 2016, The Daily Mail and Penguin Random House have ran a major competition in search of new writing talent, with the winner receiving a £20,000 advance and publishing contract with Century, an imprint of Penguin Random House UK, as well as the services of literary agent Luigi Bonomi.

The competition was first won by Amy Lloyd for her debutchosen amongst over 5,000 entries. The prize is currently shut for entries.

The Bodley Head/Financial Times Essay Prize

The Bodley Head/Financial Times Essay Prize aims to discover global young talent in long-form essay writing and has led to many new and exciting opportunities for winners and runners-up. 

This competition is open to anyone between 18-35 years old, and usually takes place towards the end of the calendar year.

The Jonathan Cape Graphic Short Story Prize

Are you an aspiring graphic novelist?

Do you have an original story to tell?

Jonathan Cape and Comica have got together with the Observer to offer you the chance to see your work in print and win £1,000. Take this opportunity to get your work read by industry experts. The judges are Posy Simmonds (author), Michel Faber (author), Rachel Cooke (Observer), Dan Franklin (Associate Publisher, Jonathan Cape), Paul Gravett (Director, Comica Festival) and Suzanne Dean (Creative Director, Vintage).

Find out more about the Graphic Short Story Prize

The Jacqueline Wilson Creative Writing Prize

For 2018's Jacqueline Wilson Creative Writing Prize, children between the ages of 7-12 are being asked to write a tale about an unlikely friendship. Inspired by the friendship between Rose and Clover Moon in Jacqueline’s latest novel Rose Rivers, there’s plenty of opportunity for creativity and imagination. The lucky winner will have the chance to have their story published in an exclusive WH Smith paperback edition of My Mum Tracy Beaker, have the chance to meet Jacky and more!

Find out more about the Jacqueline Wilson Creative Writing Prize

We use cookies on this site to enable certain parts of the site to function and to collect information about your use of the site so that we can improve our visitors’ experience.

For more on our cookies and changing your settings click here.

Strictly Necessary


Preferences & Features

Targeting / Advertising