KENILWORTH, NJ – Local readers and writers have the chance to win a publishing contract through a contest held by Kenilworth-based publishers Blydyn Square Books.

The small company, which opened in 2015, publishes only a few books per year as they work to build their presence in the market, Eliot Wise, director of marketing for Blydyn Square, said. The contest was started in part to help the company find a fresh, new voice as they engage with readers.

To start, the company reached out to local schools, including David Brearley, to discover that voice.

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“We thought a publishing contest might open up the submissions process to people who may have written a book-length work but haven’t previously considered going through the usual, formal submissions process - people like teachers and students who may love to write but haven’t yet started looking for agents or publishers,” Wise said. “We’d love to help those kinds of writers get started on the journey.”

To enter, contestants should submit an unpublished manuscript in any genre with a minimum of 50,000 words. Previously self-published works are eligible as well.

“Currently, we specialize in literary/contemporary fiction, but we’re excited about considering other genres in the hope that finding the right book will help us expand and build our catalog for the future,” Wise said.

All categories and genres of books, both fiction and non-fiction, are eligible. However, the company is looking for “books that make you think,” Wise said.

“Our goal as a company is to get people reading and to get people thinking, so we want to publish books that help accomplish that,” he said.

Submissions can be entered from now through Sept. 30, 2018. A panel of judges will review the submissions and announce the winner by Dec. 31, 2018.

“We want to emphasize that we do not expect perfect, polished manuscripts,” Wise said. “We’re simply looking for a great story and a writer who has something to say, so don’t torture yourself wondering whether your work is ‘good enough’ to submit in terms of the little nitpicky details We’ll fix those things down the line. For now, it’s all about your voice and your story. Those don’t have to be ‘perfect’ as long as they’re uniquely your own.”

To read the contest guidelines and how to submit, click here.