Are You Talking To Me?
Gransnet and HQ have partnered to launch a writing competition for women fiction writers over the age of 40 writing about a leading character aged over 40. Five shortlisted writers will receive editorial feedback, with the overall winner being offered a publishing contract with HQ.
The competition has been launched in response to a survey of over 1000 women aged 40 and above, who say they feel there are not enough books about middle-aged or older women. 67% say they want to read about characters they can identify with – although only 19% say they feel that the age of the central character is important, whereas the personality (71%) and values (68%) of the character is what really matters to them.
Gransnet Editor Cari Rosen said: Gransnet users have long been frustrated with the perception that you are essentially past it the minute you hit 40. We know from our forums that many women remain active, busy and vital into their 70s and beyond and it’s essential to see that reflected in the books that we read. It’s also important to recognise that we like to read a range of fiction, from crime and thrillers to stories about travel and friendship and everything in between. We don’t want to be typecast in our reading choices, any more than we do in any other area of our lives.’
HQ Executive Publisher Lisa Milton said: ‘At HQ we pride ourselves on publishing books that are bold, brave and inclusive. We publish many books by women over 40. Many of our books have female characters over 40. Many who also defy stereotypes. But not enough. We know that women over 50 are the fastest-growing group of workers in the UK, and it’s important that we publish to reflect the world around us. To understand what readers want, we decided to ask them. We’re proud to be spearheading this research with Gransnet. This will inform our publishing, and our competition will help us to discover women with a story to tell.’
Judges of the competition are Gransnet editor, Cari Rosen, HQ Publishing Director, Kate Mills, Author Sarah Morgan and journalist Nina Pottell.
Submissions are open from 27th June 2019 until midnight on 30th September 2019.
Entries are invited to submit 20,000 words and a synopsis via email to
Full terms and conditions can be found here
Full survey results can be found here