Audible is heavily invested in original content and has just unveiled a new £10,000 writing grant for unpublished authors. The audiobook company is seeking stories that are 50,000 words or more and a panel of established narrators will shortlist all submissions to three candidates. In the meantime applicants will be able to download a free copy of one of Audible‘s “best-selling” crime novels, The Widow by Fiona Barton, during the first week of submissions, for a “little extra inspiration”.

Laurence Howell, senior director at Audible, said the grant is part of the company’s aim to “nurture the next generation of writing talent”. “Audio offers enormous potential for creators to connect with new listeners, and we’re always looking for ways to delight our members with gripping new debuts. This New Writing Grant marries those two aims together perfectly. It allows us to support, daring, innovative storytelling whilst also giving our listeners access to exclusive audio stories we know they’ll love. We’ve commissioned original works from Philip Pullman, Robert Caro and Tom Rachman amongst others, now we’re looking to nurture the next generation of writing talent.”

Clare Corbett, narrator of The Girl On The Train, emphasised the importance of rhythm and variety in sentence structure in submissions. She said: “There are certain elements that are key to whether a novel will work in audio. Writers should think about how they would naturally speak – we rarely talk as formally as we write and rhythm is really important. A bit of variety in sentence length and structure will hold a listener’s attention and leaving space for silence is central to tension-building. These are some things we’ll be considering throughout the judging process.”

Audible has launched a dedicated page on their UK site, where you can enter the contest and find out more information. Once writers have completed their story in DOC or PDF they can send over a copy of their manuscript, submission letter and synopsis of the story to crimegrant@audible.co.uk

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