"Without our authors, we would be nothing. Our business starts and ends with them"
- Tom Weldon, CEO, Penguin Random House UK
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 do not currently accept 'blind' submissions directly from writers; we only accept submissions directly from agents.
"Every new writer should..."
"Why Penguin Random House?"
"Writing is always in my head. Writing is my constant companion. It is my mistress and my wife - it never quite leaves me."
- Harlan Coben
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.
"An agent wants to really get the sense that you are hard-working, have spent a lot of time with your manuscript and you are determined to get it right. "
"The future entails a lot of hard work, but there will also be an awful lot of wonderful days: holding the first copy of your book in your hands; seeing it on the shelves in bookshops..."
"We’re always looking out for the next big thing. That doesn’t mean that everything original will get published, but it will certainly set it apart from its competitors."
"I was 55 when I was signed to Penguin General. If I can do it, anyone can."
- Kit de Waal
Your questions answered
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At Penguin Random House UK we run a variety of competitions for new writers. Find out more below...
Books and publishing do not reflect the society we live in. That's why we set up WriteNow - our scheme which aims to find, mentor and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the nation's bookshelves. In 2016 we welcomed 150 new writers to events in London, Birmingham and Manchester - giving them the opportunity to hear from literary agents and published authors, as well as getting one-to-one feedback on their books from one of our editors.
We then asked 12 exceptional writers to join our new year-long mentoring programme.
In 2017 we're visiting London, Newcastle and Bristol and are now accepting new applications, please see the WriteNow website for more details.
Century/Daily Mail First Novel Competition
The Daily Mail and Penguin Random House launched a major competition to search for new crime-writing talent in 2016, 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 in 2016 by Amy Lloyd for her debut Red River, chosen amongst over 5,000 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 Jacqueline Wilson Creative Writing Prize
For 2017's Jacqueline Wilson Creative Writing Prize, children between the age of 7-12 are being asked to write a letter. There’s plenty of opportunity for creativity and imagination here - the letter could be to an imagined relative, or friend. Children could write to an imaginary person who lives in another country or travel back in time in history (just as long as the letters are fictional and don’t reference real people). The incredible ‘money-can’t-buy’ prize is the fact that the winning letter will be published in a forthcoming book by Jacqueline Wilson, with the winner also having a chance to meet Jacqueline Wilson and receing £100 worth of books.