May 6, 2022

It's been a very busy six months since I last logged on here. In that time, I have worked with over two dozen authors, who have all committed to redrafting their manuscripts with a new vision of where they should be concentrating their efforts. Two debut authors have progressed to a stage where I felt I could recommend them to my list of agent contacts, and both are now under active consideration by top London agents. It wouldn't be fair to name them as yet, but as soon as things progress I'll be making announcements.

October 5, 2021

Another good piece of news regarding one of the shortlisted novels from the Unpublished Authors category from the Foundation's competition in 2019. Canadian author Gail Kirkpatrick is having her novel, Ties and Sleepers, published by Vancouver company, Now Or Never Publishing, next year. This follows on from news of  Emma Bamford's success at getting a book deal, which I mentioned last month. 2019 must have been a particularly good year for competition runners-up!

September 1, 2021

There has been advance notification in the trade press that one of the shortlisted authors from the 2019 Wilbur Smith Competiton, Emma Bamford, is having her novel, Deep Water, published by Simon and Schuster in 2022. Agented by Camilla Bolton at the Darley Anderson Agency, she is stated as having secured a seven-figure deal in the States and a six-figure sum in Britain.  I have a feeling her novel will eventually make it to the silver screen.

August 6, 2021

The seven shortlisted authors'  final manuscripts have now been delivered to the judging panel for the Unpublished Author Competition, administered by the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation. The winner will be announced in September and will receive a publishing deal with Bonnier Books. Good luck to all finalists and also to all who entered the competition.

I have just received a copy of last year's winner's book, Cave Diver, by Jake Avila, and Jake must be thrilled to now see it on the bookshelves of his home country, Australia, and throughout Britain.


This will be my last year as a consultant to the competition, as, after four years of intensive work between February and August each year, I feel the need for a break. I will still be involved in consultancy work, but also spending time catching up on my own reading, with a bucket list running into a couple of hundred volumes.

Many thanks to the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation, and it's administrator, Georgina Brown, for involving me in their unique competition, which has provided inspiration for so many authors, and will continue to do so.

February 19, 2021

It has been a very busy 12 months since the pandemic began with so many people realising their long-held dreams of becoming an aspiring author. Thank you to all those debut authors who have produced such delightful manuscripts for me to work on in recent months. Hopefully, in the coming months, we may see some of them securing publishing deals. Is it a good time to be submitting to agents/ editors? Is there such a thing as the right time?

All an author can do is to present his/her manuscript in the best possible condition that can be achieved, and hope that it hits the spot with an appreciative agent/ editor. The publishing industry has survived the universal restrictions placed on all industries, and is, as always, looking for fresh voices and talent.

It is coming up to the closing date for entries to the Unpublished Manuscript competition run by the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation. Now in its fourth year, it provides a fabulous opening for debut authors in the adventure genre, with the winner securing a publishing contract with Bonnier Books.

October 30, 2020

I've just been told of Alan Bilton's latest novel from the independent publisher, Watermark. "The End of the Yellow House" is set in Central Russia, 1919, when the murder of the chief doctor at a sanitorium sets in motion a nightmarish series of events. It is described as "a fantastical and wildly exuberant historical novel". Alan is a lecturer in English, Creative Writing, and Film at Swansea University. He has two previous novels, "The Sleepwalkers' Ball", 2009, and "The Known and Unknown Sea", 2014, plus a series of non-fiction titles including, most recently, "Silent Film Comedy and American Culture", 2014.

Anyone wishing to order a copy can do so direct from

September 13, 2020

The march of new technology rushes ever onwards with real pace. Last week saw the announcement of the winner of the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation award for Best Unpublished Manuscript in a Zoom session with over 60 participants from across the globe, from such far-flung places as Australia, South Africa, Canada, Colombia, North America, and, of course, Britain.

The winner was Jake Avila from Australia, with Cave Diver, an adventure novel set in Papua New Guinea, which has secured a publishing deal with Bonnier Books UK. All six shortlisted authors were given an opportunity to pitch their novels before an audience of agents and editors as part of the Foundation's remit to help promote as many debut writers as possible. Niso Smith, online from South Africa, thanked Jake for his novel which she described as having "cinematic quality.. fast-paced and oozing with danger."

Niso also made a point of thanking all the young children in the various age category competitions and added her appreciation of the short story entries for their quality and creativity.

May 28, 2020. What a busy month! Today, came the announcement of the six authors shortlisted for the Best Unpublished Manuscript competition run by the Wilbur and Niso Smith Smith Foundation. This competition has really gone global, with the shortlisted authors coming from Britain, Australia, the United States, Colombia, and Canada. If you would like to know more about the six novels, and a chance to view the author profiles,  go to  and tap on the news link.

May 10, 2020. Delighted, yet again, to let people know about the publication by Allison and Busby, of Lenka Janiurek's memoir, "Watermarks; Life, Death and Swimming", which goes on sale 22nd of this month. Her first review describes it thus: "A stunning evocation of alienation, searching, and the restorative power of nature."

Lenka, a member of a local writing group based in North Pembrokeshire, is the fourth member of this remarkable collection of authors to have achieved publication since the group started, just four years ago; testimony to the worth of writing groups in providing a stimulating and supportive environment for achieving publishing success.

May 6, 2020. Delighted to announce the publication by MIT, of Professor Mark Lee's book, "How to Grow a Robot".

Professor Lee, of Aberystwyth University, has a wealth of experience in Artificial Intelligence. The essence of the book is that it will soon be possible to develop robots that are more social than machine-like, more playful, and less programmed. This engaging insight into robotic development will go on sale from May 2, adding a very approachable read to the current debate on the place of AI in human relations.

April, 2020. It's been a tough ask again this year to draw up a shortlist from the entries for the Unpublished Novel competition run by the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation. but the Foundation will be making the announcement of a shortlist at the end of May. There are about half the entries of the previous year, but again the overall quality was very encouraging.

I'm so pleased to let everyone know that Alison White's book LETTER TO LOUIS, which was published by Faber in February 2018, will be broadcast on Radio 4, comprising five episodes, starting next week at 10.45 am ( just after Woman's Hour), and repeated each evening at 19.45 pm, from Monday, 27th April to Friday, 1st May. Do pop it in your diary and tune in to hear an incredibly moving and uplifting narrative. You will not be disappointed.

January, 2020

It's the start of another year, and January 6 is the date when entries can be submitted to the competition for the Best Unpublished Manuscript in the Adventure Genre run by the Niso and Wilbur Smith Foundation. There is an entry fee of £20 per manuscript this year, which brings the competition into line with similar competitions run on a global scale. As before, the winning author will receive a publishing contract with Bonnier Books, and up to 10 runners up will be able to avail of my editorial services, over a period of months, in helping them shape their manuscripts ready for submission, via the Foundation, to a select group of literary agents in the autumn. Best wishes to everyone for an exceptional 2020.

October, 2019

I just thought it worth noting that in the two years since I launched my services, I have now had the pleasure of providing advice to over 80 authors via the Feedback Report Service. I have come across some delightful pieces of fiction, and have received such positive responses from authors. It seems that the most important element of my reports, as far as authors are concerned, is their honesty, and the fact that they get to the essence of any technical issues within the manuscripts. I so enjoy my work, which allows me to make contact with dedicated authors, and to deal with such creative and imaginative minds.

October, 2019

The Best Unpublished Manuscript prize was awarded to Cecily Blench for her historical fiction, What We Did at the End. Cecily has been given a publishing deal with Bonnier Books UK and has also secured representation with Charlotte Colwill at Bravo Blue Literary Agency in association with Tibor Jones and Associates.

What We Did at the End follows the journey of unlikely friends, Kate and Edwin, as they are forced to flee 1940's Burma following the Japanese invasion. They are suddenly exposed to new people and terrifying experiences as they are caught up in the turmoil of Burmese history.

There was a very well attended awards' ceremony at the amazing Stationers' Hall in London, with young authors, debut novelists, established writers, and representatives from across the publishing industry, all enjoying an evening of presentations and videos, all choreographed by close friend and lifelong fan of Wilbur Smith, broadcaster Kate Silverton.

It won't be long before the New Year and the announcement of the 2020 competition  We can only hope that, like the previous two winners, that a new name will emerge in the adventure genre with yet another book deal.

July, 2019

A total of nine authors have been shortlisted for the unpublished manuscript competition; five from the U.S.A, one from South Africa, and three from Britain. See the Wilbur Smith Foundation website for details of all shortlisted authors and summaries of their novels. The awards ceremony will take place in London on September 12, before an invited audience of some 150 representatives from the publishing industry.

May, 2019

A total of 394 entries finally received for the Wilbur Smith unpublished manuscript competition, an increase of over 100 from last year. Again, entries from all over the world, and with a quality that was good throughout, so making shortlisting extremely difficult. An announcement will be made shortly.

February, 2019

With just three weeks to go to the closing date on March 1st., there have been over 190 entries so far for the Unpublished Manuscript competition organised by the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation.

If you are wondering whether your novel falls into the "adventure" category, be assured that the brief is quite extensive in the range of work it encompasses. Please look at the synopses of the winner and runner-ups from last year, and I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised. If you have any doubts, then put them to one side, and do enter your work. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Entry is, of course, free. Full details at

January, 2019

Wilbur Smith celebrated his 86th birthday this month, at home in Cape Town, and we all wish him well for 2019.

Following on from the success of the Best Unpublished Manuscript of 2018, with over 250 entrants, this month sees the launch of this year's competition run by the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation, with a fabulous first prize of a publishing deal with Bonnier Zaffre, which involves an advance of £15,000 sterling; plus there will be help with manuscript development for a select number of runners-up. The four runners-up from 2018 are currently being prepared for submission to publishers, so hopefully some good news from them soon.

This really is one of the most prestigious prizes available to debut authors and has the potential to form the basis of a future career in writing.

By the end of this first week, some 27 entries have already been received, so don't waiver, and send in your entry as soon as possible. The closing date for entries is just a few weeks away, at midnight on Friday, 1 March  (St.David's Day, too). I refer you to for competition details and rules. If you have already self-published, then take heart, as this does not prevent you from entering as an unpublished author. Good luck to all entrants, and you can be assured that all entries will be conscientiously read.

Further good news, as author Lynn Bushell, who lives between Suffolk and Normandy France, is having a book launch in Daunt's in Holland Park, London, next month, having secured a deal with Sandstone Press for her evocative novel, "Painted Ladies", set in Bonnard's Paris studio in 1917. Lynn's determination and patience have paid off, and she is an inspiration for all authors. The publication of her book coincides with a major exhibition of  Bonnard's work, the first in over 20 years, at London's Tate Modern.

September, 2018

The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation.

Australian author, Bill Swiggs, from Perth, was announced as the winner of the Best Unpublished Manuscript, with his novel, Blood in the Dust, and world rights have been secured by Bonnier Zaffre, with publication set for next September. Bill was awarded a travel grant of £7,500 to enable him to research his next novel. The awards' ceremony in London was attended by over 200 representatives from within the publishing industry.

The four runner-ups were, in alphabetical order; Dan Cross (Colombia), with Caesar of Mercenaries; Newton Fisher (England) with The Differences; Linda Spur (England) with Pathway to the Gods; and Alex Usher (USA) with Katie Hope and the Eternal Empress. All four have attracted agent interest, and if any publishing deals are signed I will let you know.

The 2019 competition for adventure writing will be announced in January with details of the various categories for the published novel, unpublished novel, and author of tomorrow (for authors under 21 years of age).

August, 2018

Quite a lot has happened in recent months.

The total number of entries for The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation unpublished author competition topped 250, which is double last year's entries. The quality was very strong, and it was a difficult job to narrow the entries down to a shortlist of 18, and even more difficult to arrive at a shortlist of five. The shortlisted authors, from England (2), Colombia, Australia, and The United States, all produced very professional manuscripts. The winner will be announced at a special ceremony at the Stationers' Hall, London in September, which will be attended by a cross-section of literary agents and publishers. It is hoped that not only the winner, but maybe some of the shortlisted authors will be able to secure agent representation and eventually publishing deals.

Last month saw the publication of  Tam Rodwell's "Daredevil Dads" by Crux Publishing. The book is a compilation of interviews with 15 international celebrities who somehow manage to still have fairly normal family lives, whilst being engaged in some of the world's most dangerous professions. The interviewees range from astronaut and surfer, to bomb disposal technician and high wire walker. Tam has delved into these individuals' lives in an attempt to discover how they are able to maintain a balance between their personal and professional lives, and to focus on the effect of their dangerous work on their families. Tam, who hails from Australia, but currently lives with his family in London, has his own welding business as his day job, but just loves the challenge of writing. His first book, "Becoming Daddy", which he self-published, is an incredibly informative, yet hilarious guide for new dads. Both books recommended as ideal birthday or Christmas presents for any dad.

January, 2018

Very pleased to announce that entries are now being welcomed for a competition for unpublished authors in the adventure genre, sponsored by The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation. I'm delighted to have been appointed as the assessor and mentor for this competition, whose closing date is on March 12. I'll be reading entries anonymously, and forwarding a shortlist on to a final judging panel, with an announcement of the winner in May. The winner will be offered support to help bring his/her completed manuscript to publication, and will also be given an award of £7,500, to enable research of their next novel, which could entail travel abroad.

The Foundation has a number of aims; to advance and promote the adventure genre by supporting writers;  to enhance the appreciation of adventure writing worldwide, and to help provide literacy education across the world with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Much work has already be done on a number of exciting projects, details of which can be found on the Foundation's website at:

For those of you unfamiliar with Wilbur Smith's work, his current total of 40 published novels covers a writing career spanning more than 50 years, during which time his novels have sold globally,  being translated into 32 languages A native of Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, he, and his wife, Niso, spend a lot of their time travelling, particularly throughout Africa, supporting the Foundation's ongoing projects.

Also, next month sees the publication by Faber of Alison White's wonderful,  "Letter to Louis", with a launch party in Pembrokeshire. An incredibly moving and inspirational story, I would urge you to get a copy.

October, 2017

Juliet Butler’s debut novel, The Less You Know the Sounder You Sleep, has gained over 25 five-star reviews on Amazon, and a stack of similar reviews on Good Reads. Well done.

The Penfro Book Festival, now in its seventh year, was yet again a very successful weekend. Whilst judging the First Chapter Competition, with over 100 entries, I found it extremely difficult to draw up a shortlist, and eventually arrived at 11, all of whom I am pledged to work with over the winter months, to help with their manuscripts. There were some very encouraging entries from all over the country, so let’s hope that some may achieve publishing deals in the future.

Debut author, Alison White, who attended a workshop I ran some three years ago, is getting published by Faber in the spring of 2018, with her moving tribute to her son, Letter to Louis.  Inspiring, uplifting, and beautifully written, Faber is excited about its upcoming launch.

September also saw the publication in France of Alex Lester's "Le Pays des Hommes Blesses" (When All the Men are Wounded) by Denoel, a quality publisher of the likes of Ray Bradbury and Jack Kerouac, amongst others. It's a powerful novel, not for the faint-hearted, based in the dying days of Smith's regime in former Rhodesia. I remember conducting the first major edit with Alex in the coffee shop of the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea, some four years ago, and it then went on to be honed by staff at Tibor Jones and Associates.

April, 2017

The main news is that this is my first newsletter, hopefully the first of many to come. I might be able to flag up competitions for you to enter, literary festivals to consider, workshops to possibly attend.

There is one festival I am going to mention, that is open NOW for entries. It's the Penfro Book Festival, taking place in September, in North Pembrokeshire. They have a particular competition for debut authors requiring the submission of just the first chapter – appropriately, it's called the First Chapter Competition ( well, it would be wouldn't it.). £10 entry fee, with prizes entitling the three winners to partake of a one to one review session with the competition judge, followed by six months of email support for their novel's development. Seven other runners up will receive a face to face or written review of their submitted work. The winner from last year has been agented by Watson Little, and another two authors from last year are nearing completion of their final drafts, before submission to agents and publishers. Just google Penfro Book Festival for details. You may notice that the judge is a certain David Llewelyn.

I would urge you to attend the weekend festival if you can, as it is one of the few festivals that still caters to authors, with workshops and lectures, and is small enough, but thoroughly professional, to satisfy the debut author's needs. So many festivals nowadays are mere showcases for authors parading their latest works and are very commercial in their thrust.


I'm delighted to announce the publishing date for debut author, Juliet Butler's novel “The Less You Know The Sounder You Sleep", which has a launch date on August 10. Published by 4th Estate, a quality imprint of Harper Collins, it's the first book for which I've acted as an agent, and I couldn't have wished for a better novel to champion in my new role. Juliet is delighted to have had her first amazon review of an advance copy, and it's a five star. Well done.

This image for Image Layouts addon

Cave Diver, by Jake Avila, Winner of 2020
Adventure Writing Prize Wilbur Smith Competition

"I would like to thank David Llewelyn for his incisive manuscript development"
Learn More

© David G Llewelyn - Triple L Consultancy Services

All Rights Reserved.

5 William Street
Wales UK SA43 1EL


Telephone: 01239 612001

Mobile: 0790 677 3831

Hi David, these are the menu options - so we could, for example, show book covers in the menu..

And then we could have a link -