1. This imprint is managed by Unbound, operating under the online trading name of United Authors Publishing Ltd.

  2. Books published under this imprint will be selected via an open call for submissions that will run from 18 October 2021–30 November 2021.

  3. This imprint is exclusively for writers of colour. This term commonly refers to individuals who are not white, and who are subsequently and marginalised and underrepresented in publishing.

  4. Applicants must be aged 18 or over.

  5. Applicants can be based anywhere in the world, but must submit to Unbound Firsts by midnight on 30 November in GMT time zone.

  6. Multiple submissions are not permitted.

  7. Applicants must not have previously published a full-length work of fiction or non-fiction. The exception to this is self-published full-length works.

  8. Applicants who have not published a full-length work of fiction or non-fiction but have previously published other creative works – play scripts, radio plays, poetry collections, individual short stories or academic writing – are eligible to submit to Unbound Firsts.

  9. The applicant must be the sole author of the work submitted to Unbound Firsts.

  10. Applicants can be agented or unagented. Their agent can apply on their behalf.

  11. You must have a completed manuscript to apply to Unbound Firsts.

  12. Each submission should contain:
    a) your name / agent’s name;
    b) your email address / agent’s email address;
    c) a short summary of your book;
    d) the first 10,000 words of your manuscript. This must be presented in size 12 font. We request that you use a legible font i.e. Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri. We also request you use either a Word document or PDF file.

  13. Your manuscript can be either adult fiction or adult non-fiction. We accept short story collections.

  14. All applicants reserve the right to withdraw their submission at any stage of the competition before its closing date. To do this please contact support@unbound.com.

  15. All submissions must be submitted via our website: unbound.com/unbound-firsts. The submission portal will close at midnight on 30 November 2021. We cannot accept late submissions in any circumstances.

  16. Unbound’s commissioning team will decide on the shortlist and final selections.

  17. All applicants will be notified of the status of their submission for the first stage by 31 January 2022. If you haven’t been shortlisted for Unbound Firsts, we are unable to give you any feedback on your submission. Our decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

  18. If you are shortlisted for Unbound Firsts, we request that you send us your full manuscript within one week of notification. This must be presented in size 12 font. We request that you use a legible font i.e. Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri. Please ensure your name and the page number is on each page of the manuscript.

  19. Writers selected to be published for Unbound Firsts will be notified by 7 March 2022.

  20. Shortlisted writers not selected to be published will receive a full manuscript report from Unbound’s editorial team. This will be submitted to these writers via email in April 2022.

  21. Shortlisted writers and the two winning writers will be invited to attend a publishing insights workshop in April 2022, which will include an introduction to the different stages of publishing your book; an overview of the editorial, design and production processes; a jargon-busting session; and the opportunity to ask our team any questions you may have.

  22. Writers selected to be published by Unbound Firsts will sign a contract with Unbound in which the author will agree to:
    a) undertake editorial work on their manuscript with Unbound’s editorial team;
    b) undertake promotional and publicity responsibilities;
    c) commit to Unbound’s publishing schedule.

  23. Each writer selected to be published will receive a fee of £1,000. This will be payable to you directly upon signing the contract.

  24. The two manuscripts selected will be published in April 2023. Unbound will undertake to sell these titles in the UK trade, making them available to all the major physical and online book retailers in partnership with PGUK.

  25. Writers published under the Unbound Firsts imprint retain the copyright in their work, but grant Unbound the exclusive rights to publish the work throughout the world in all languages for the legal term of copyright (and to license others to do so).

  26. Writers selected to be published under the Unbound Firsts imprint will receive the same contract as other Unbound authors and will be entitled to an equal share of the publishing profits (if any), as governed by the publishing agreement and confirmed in the Unbound Author Profits Statement issued every six months at the end of March and September.

  27. Unbound reserves the right to investigate any irregularities that may arise and to terminate the publishing agreement (and ask for repayment of the fee) if the author is found to be in breach of any of the terms and conditions as laid out in this document or the warranties made as part of the publishing agreement.

  28. All writers who submit to Unbound Firsts, including those that have been submitted via their agents, agree to the terms and conditions of the imprint.

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