The Open Day Competition is looking for good writing, and an exciting voice…a born storyteller who can engage the reader from page one and build on that in the pages that follow. The ‘hook’ of the opening chapter is vital in today’s competitive market, especially if a writer is focusing on digital publishing.

An appealing synopsis is also more important than ever, especially when browsing on the Internet. Besides being the official presentation of your book, it is one of the most valuable opportunities for the author to engage with readers by expressing creativity and craftsmanship in writing.

Books, just like people, are judged by the clothing. If the cover is the cut, the synopsis is the first touch of the fabric.

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The SilverWood reading team is on standby to dive in to the entries as they’re received. We’re going to read each synopsis and opening chapter, and then score them on the following:

  • Quality of writing overall – is it readable and engaging?
  • Is the pace good?
  • Are the characters compelling?
  • Is the dialogue realistic?
  • Is the quality of descriptive writing vivid and visual?
  • Does the writer evoke emotion and atmosphere?
  • And finally – is the text of a publishable standard?

The 8 top-scoring entries will form the longlist which goes to the panel of judges. The Winner and Runner-Up will be selected from the longlist.


The Panel Of Judges

Sanjida O'Connell

Dr Sanjida O’Connell, writer and television presenter, is the author of eight books, including the novels The Naked Name of Love and Sugar Island (published by John Murray) and four works of non-fiction, including, Chimpanzee: The Making of the Film (Disney) and Sugar: The Grass that Changed the World (Virgin Books).

Find out more at sanjida.co.uk. Connect on Twitter: @SanjidaOConnell

Shayna's Photo

Shayna Krishnasamy is a writer of literary and young adult fiction. She holds an honours BA in English and Creative Writing, and a Master’s degree in English from Concordia University. Her fiction has appeared in The Fiddlehead and Geist. She has enjoyed great success publishing her fiction digitally, most notably through Kobo, where she is a consistent bestseller. She is currently at work on her third novel and lives in Montreal.

Find out more at shaynakrishnasamy.com. Connect on Twitter: @shaynakrish


Helen Hart, Publishing Director at SilverWood Books, is also the author of nine novels (HarperCollins, OUP, Scholastic), an Indie reviewer for the Historical Novel Society, and Partner Member with The Alliance of Independent Authors.

Find out more at helenhart.co.uk. Connect on Twitter: @SilverWoodBooks

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