Books Magazine

Literary Lunch Competition 2019

By Isabel Costello @isabelcostello



Literary Lunch Competition 2019
Every autumn I run this competition to celebrate another year in business on the blog, which turned 8 a couple of weeks ago. There was too much going on at the time, with my Month of Canadian Fiction and last week’s guest post by Ken Elkes on Flash Fiction, both of which received a welcome deluge of support and shares on social media. Naturally I’m hoping the same happens for this competition – last year’s record number of entries made such a great reading list that they ended up with their own post!

For me these have been eight years of interesting, moving and original books, hosting authors and sharing my favorite discoveries with those who visit the Literary Sofa.  The biggest compliment I get is that my choices are different and unpredictable – I’m covering more titles by small independents because I admire what they do, but still keep a keen eye on larger publishers’ lists – it really is the book that counts.  But as any author knows (and I am one), writing a great book and getting it published is only half the story – for it to succeed, people need to know about it and as there’s nothing I love more than talking about books, it’s a pleasure to do my bit!

I have an exciting schedule lined up, notably the Autumn Sofa Spotlight on Monday 4 November followed by guest posts from some of the authors.  The seven books include novels, a story collection and a memoir, settings from around the world and three translations!

A big thank you as always to everyone who supports and contributes to the Literary Sofa: guest authors, editors, publicists, and most of all everyone who reads it.  I’m busier than ever with work projects in addition to my own writing, but as long as you keep reading, I’ll keep at it.

So, the competition …if you like food, wine and book chat, keep reading.  Past literary lunches have been very enjoyable for all concerned and not necessarily all that ‘literary’. I don’t care if you read one book a year or a hundred – you only need one to enter this competition – I’m also interested in writing (obviously), travel, box sets, art and hearing about you (see my bio for more about me). For the first time, there’s a northern prize option as well.


I will take one winner picked by random number generator out to lunch in London, Leeds or Paris – date and venue by mutual agreement, prize to be claimed within one year. It won’t be anywhere flashy and I’m happy to accommodate any dietary requests.  If there’s anything suitable on my TBR pile I’ll throw in a few books based on your reading preferences.

THE COMPETITION IS FREE TO ENTER AND OPEN to anyone able to claim the prize in one of the above cities, regardless of where you live.  If you want to bring a friend at your own expense, that’s fine.

Closing date Monday 7 October 2019 6pm (UK time) – one entry per person. The winner will be announced the following day.

TO ENTER: In the Comments below, tell me which ONE book you’ve enjoyed most this year.  It doesn’t matter what it is (poetry, cookbook, biography, anything) or when it was published. If you say why, please keep it brief. 

There is no need to include your contact details as I can see your email address in administrator mode. 

Only entries made via the blog will be counted.


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