IP Picks is Interactive Publications' annual writing competition for unpublished manuscripts. It is open to Australian and New Zealand citizens and residents.
Keith Westwater's Tongues of Ash won the 2011 IP Picks Award for Best First Book, and my new collection Men Briefly Explained is also published by IP. Keith and I will soon be joined by IP Press Publisher Dr David Reiter for a post-World Cup book tour - check out the details, or sign up for the tour venue nearest you on Facebook.
Here is the information IP has sent me about IP Picks 2012.
About IP Picks
Now looking ahead to its eleventh year in 2012, the IP Picks Awards provide guaranteed royalty publication to the best book-length manuscript in five categories: Best Fiction, Best Creative Non-fiction, Best Poetry, Best Young Adult / Junior Prose, Best First Book.
First Place Winners of each category are awarded publication. Highly Commended entrants are given a short reader's report valued at $299, offering editorial advice on how to improve the manuscript. Commended entrants will receive a summary of the judging panel's report on their entries. There is no guarantee of publication for Highly Commended or Commended entrants.
The competition is open to citizens and residents of Australia and New Zealand.
The Fiction category is for manuscripts up to 80,000 words and can include short story collections, short novels and novels written for adults. Any form of fiction is eligible, including science fiction and fantasy.
The Creative Non-fiction category is also for manuscripts up to 80,000 words based on real-life experience and research, but written with literary flair. Biographies, memoirs, travel literature, histories and inspirational self-help books are examples.
The Young Adult / Junior Prose category seeks manuscripts up to 70,000 words. Novels or creative non-fiction works intended for young adult (18 and under) or junior audiences (12 and under) are welcome. Picture books are not eligible.
The Poetry category is for complete collections in any sub-genre, including verse novels, verse plays, special forms such as haiku, or a a mixture of forms, minimum 48 A4 pages.
The Best First Book category can be in any genre (excluding Young Adult / Junior Prose), but the author must not have previously had a book-length manuscript (48 A5 pages or longer) published by a recognised national publisher. Authors who have self-published with only local distribution are eligible to enter under this category. There is no age restriction, but if you are under eighteen years of age, you must have a parent or carer co-sign your entry form.
You may enter a single manuscript in two categories, but you have to pay two entry fees.
How Is It Judged?
IP Picks entries are adjudicated in-house by our Editorial Board.
Each entry is blind read by at least two judges. The judges first form a long-list of entries through a ranking system adjudicated by our genre editors. Next, the Board compares entries on their lists and compiles a short list from the rankings. The short-listed entries are read again by the Board, which, at that stage, includes the Director. Finally the Board meets to decide the winners and commended entries. At that meeting, the Board may also recommend that the Director offer publication to certain of the commended entries.
We then contact the winners and commended entrants and post the results on our website in IP eNews, our online newsletter, as well as circulating the results to all State writers centres.
Deadlines and Fees
IP Picks opens on 1 October and closes on 1 December each year. Entry packages must include:
- two printed copies and one digital (on CD or floppy disk) copy of the entry (if you are entering in more than one category, you only need to submit two printed copies and one digital copy to cover both categories).
- a completed entry form - type or print in block letters
- the applicable fee
Download the required Conditions and Entry form in Word format or as a pdf file for further details on the submission procedure and to enter the competition. If you have trouble downloading the form [Adobe Acrobat Reader® required], email us for a copy, or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to IP, Treetop Studio, 9 Kuhler Court, Carindale 4152, Australia.
We charge a reading fee, currently set at AUS $66 per entry. This must be included as a cheque or money order, with your entry. Included in the reading fee is an IP title of your choice (must be a title from our Interactive Press, Glass House Books, IP Kidz or IP Digital imprints). If you enter more than one category, you must pay a fee for each entry, and for that you receive an extra title of your choice.
At the time of submission you may also ask to have a short report written on the publishability of your manuscript. The discounted fee for that report is AUS $249 GST-inclusive, or AUS $199 for students or concession card holders (must provide photocopy of student card or concession card).