Budding novelists are being invited to take part in a new competition to help get their books off the ground.

Writer and editor Sara Cox founded the Cheshire Novel Prize competition to help authors break into the publishing world.

The competition is designed for those writers who have yet to secure an agent or a publishing deal.

And while the competition welcomes entries from all over the world, the organisers are particularly keen to hear from local storytellers in Cheshire.

Sara said: "We know there are lots of talented writers in Cheshire and the surrounding areas and it would be wonderful if some take part in this new competition, which puts our area on the literary map.

"Trying to break through into the publishing world can seem very daunting and so I wanted to help by setting up a competition for unrepresented writers.

"We’re looking forward to reading the fresh, exciting stories the entrants come up with."

Entries opened yesterday and will close at midnight on April 1, 2022. There will be a top prize of £1,500 for the winner.

Entrants must send in the first 5,000 words of their book and an outline (synopsis) of the whole plot.

All entries will receive feedback on their writing.

The competition’s judging panel is made up of six prestigious literary agents, writers and editors from across the publishing industry.

A number of writers from disadvantaged backgrounds will be able to enter free of charge, thanks to the generosity of sponsors.

Ten per cent of all entry fees will go to charities chosen by the judges.

For full details of how to enter and writing tips, visit CheshireNovelPrize.com.