Writing Contests

Lost Island Press opens submissions during writing contests exclusively. We only offer publication deals to our winners, team members, and authors we’ve previously worked with.

Submissions are currently closed, and we have not scheduled our next writing contest. Join our newsletter to be the first to hear about future opportunities to publish with us.

In the meantime, you can learn more about how our contests work below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I publish through Lost Island outside of the writing contests?
No, only previous contest winners and team members have the opportunity to publish with Lost Island outside of our contest. We do not accept monetary offers for special publication deals.
Who can participate?
Our contests are open internationally, and there are no age requirements. You do not need an agent to submit your work.
What should I submit?
We accept submissions that are:

• Written in English
• Written by one author (no co-authors)
• Between 50,000-120,000 words long
• Standalones, or the first book in a duology or trilogy
• For a YA audience
• Fully complete (Your manuscript does not need to be professionally edited, but it must have a completed storyline)
What is Lost Island’s publishing model for winners?
Every novel we publish is held to the same quality standard. We generally offer books in three formats (ebook, paperback, and hardcover) to major online retailers internationally. Although getting our books into physical locations is possible, it is not our priority.

We take on the financial risk of each project, allowing our authors to publish at no cost. The publication process is highly collaborative. Net royalties for book sales and associated merch sales are split 50/50 between the author and Lost Island Press. To learn more about our publishing structure, read our model contract.
Can I submit multiple books?
Only one book entry is allowed per participant. If you have multiple works in progress, choose your best piece. Participants of previous contests are welcome to resubmit the same manuscript again. 
What are the formatting requirements?
The list below contains our only submission formatting requirements. Everything else, such as how you label chapters and divide scenes, is up to you.

• Word document (.doc)
• Standard letter size (8.5 in x 11 in)
• 1-inch margins on all sides
• 12pt font, Times New Roman, 1.5x spacing
• Page break before every new chapter
• Tab stop at the beginning of each paragraph

The title page (first page) should include the following information:

• Working book title
• Participant name, email, and phone number
• Word count
• Genre(s)
Is entering Lost Island writing contests free?
Yes, all of our contests are completely free to enter. Even if you win, there is no obligation to publish with us.
Will I be required to show my face?
As part of our submission review process, we may schedule recorded Zoom interviews with select participants. Attending the video interview is necessary for further consideration. We also expect winners who choose to publish with us to be comfortable taking videos and photos of themselves for the promotion of their books.
What happens after I submit my work?
When submissions close, our team will begin to review your book. Please keep a close eye on your email, as this will be our main form of communication if we require more information from you. Failure to respond to our follow-up emails in a timely manner may result in disqualification.
Who will have access to my submitted manuscript?
Submissions are shared confidentially between Lost Island contest judges. We have no right to edit, publish, or distribute your work unless you win and sign our publication agreement.
If I win and choose to publish through Lost Island, can I be known by a pen name?
Definitely. Our team might communicate with you using your legal name, but when it comes to marketing and publication, you’re welcome to choose a pen name to be known publicly.