A Novel Idea

A new company has launched, offering aspiring novelists an alternative route to publication.

In a first for the publishing industry, De Montfort Literature (DML) will pay writers from £2,000 per month to write their own novels, which DML will then design, publish and promote. Authors will also receive a share of the book sale profits.

The new publishing venture is the brainchild of Jonathan De Montfort, a successful hedge fund manager and keen writer, who decided to set up the company having experienced the difficulties of writing and publishing his own novel, ‘Turner’, a supernatural thriller about what it means to be human and the sacrifices people make for love.

Turner is the first novel to be published by De Montfort Literature.

Jonathan said: “As many writers will know, getting your book on the shelves is extremely difficult. Securing a literary agent is a complete lottery, while self-publishing is costly and time consuming.

“De Montfort Literature is a totally new model and will be a game changer for the fiction industry. Our goal is to produce more great literature by creating an environment in which authors can learn and develop.”

In addition to being paid a salary, writers will receive advice and support from professional mentors and editors. They will also get access to writing courses and classes to hone their skills.

De Montfort Literature is initially offering up to ten places to successful applicants, which it expects to increase up to 100.

While no previous novel writing experience is required, applicants will go through a rigorous selection process before being offered a contract. The process uses a series of tests and questions, the answers to which are put in to a system, similar to that used in hedge fund management to predict financial markets, to determine a candidate’s suitability.

Jonathan said: “I have taken what I know about hedge fund management and applied it to literature.

“When I set up my own hedge fund company, De Montfort Capital, I devised a system to predict the financial markets. Using various data, we predicted the bottom of the market in 2002, the 2008 crash and Brexit, amongst other significant global events.

“We believe we can use the same methodology to uncover untapped writing talent. Whilst experienced writers are welcome to apply, all we require is good ideas, imagination and a passion for storytelling.”


  • […] De Montfort Literature, a new publishing company that is part of London hedge fund De Montfort Capital, is offering a £24,000 starting salary to writers who pass its selection process, which includes an algorithm that is “designed to identify career novelists”, psychometric tests and interviews. With up to 10 places initially available, De Montfort will also offer mentors and editors to provide advice and support, as well as designing, promoting and publishing the work. Authors would receive 50% of profits. […]

  • Alan Hurndall says:

    Great. How do I apply?

  • Replying : : thus, as I am an aspiring author……note, I did not say writer. Many think they are one and the same. I think not. It is my conviction that the ‘author’, in the considered historical perspective of the greats (Steinbeck, Hemingway, Joyce – you know who they are) all were possessed by the creative agency that sparked originality……
    whereas, a ‘write’, in my opinion, is a more generic term…….not that they do not both share the same convictions of heritage. Nonetheless, for over 20 years I have fussed and mis-fired……been the victim of spurts of conviction equally offset by convictions of, let’s say, undeservedness. So, many efforts are stillborn, resting/rusting in dusty drawers and/or digital density. I have, currently – at least 3 novels in various stages of pregnancy……one as many as 11 hard-won chapters. Plus poems, ramblings – what-not. I am, and have been, for 50 years a professional interior designer and graphic designer……my professional focus has always been on deliverability…..the successful completion of a mandated undertaking. Not so, seemingly in a quest for success as a writer……I believe your concept is brilliant! In the vein of sponsored patronage, I believe it will meet with great success – for you and for those whom you select to be beneficiaries of this novel concept. I would hope that you might review my efforts in consideration of, well – consideration. My web-site is under continued development – but the section, michaelXmoore, contains writings……or links thereto. Hoping to hear from you

  • […] people other than the friends and family members that’ll be given copies for Christmas. [De Montfort Literature via […]

  • Matthew Gammon says:

    I have a story to tell, but I do not have the financial reserves to tell it. It drives me mad like my brain is itching, burrowed into some inaccessible place but alive and screaming.

    I would love, love, LOVE this opportunity so please, please consider me. I’m happiest during tests, so would be very happy to be part of the selection process.

  • Phil Stewart says:

    What is the deadline for applications?

    • Author Applications says:

      Thanks for getting in touch.
      There is no deadline, as such, the process is ongoing until we have filled all five to ten places.
      The first algorithm snapshot will start soon, we have an announcement about this coming to give everyone one last chance to perfect their applications. Then the countdown will start.

      Author Applications

      • Philip Stewart says:

        Thanks for your response – you mention being able to perfect our applications, is there a way to update an application once it has been submitted?

        • Author Applications says:

          Hi Philip,
          Thanks for getting in touch.
          Yes, just resubmit your application with the same email address as before.
          We are looking to add an account / application page in the future to make these adjustments even easier.

          Author Applications

  • Ager says:

    Is only for English writers?

    • Author Applications says:

      Thanks for getting in touch.
      Whilst authors are welcome to be any nationality or live anywhere in the world, for now we are only accepting manuscripts written in English. This may change in the future – follow us on Twitter for announcements.

      Author Applications

  • Sergio says:

    Una “tabla de salvación…” para aquellos nóveles escritores que hasta hoy, navegábamos entre la frustración y la duda. ¿ Seguir intentando o comernos nuestros manuscritos…? Sabido es que algunos aconsejan escribir “para uno…” pero sinceramente, creo que es hora de que mis “hijos” predilectos, lleguen a todo el mundo. Convertidos en relatos o novela, indistintamente. Ojalá los espíritus de Lovecraft, King, Poe…me asistan!

  • Montaña Campón says:

    ¿Les interesan autores en castellano?

    • Author Applications says:

      Thanks for getting in touch.
      Whilst authors are welcome to be any nationality or live anywhere in the world, for now we are only accepting manuscripts written in English. This may change in the future – follow us on Twitter for announcements.

      Author Applications

  • María Ortiz de Zárate Donoso says:

    Me inscribí y estoy esperando la respuesta. Soy escritora desde hace más de cinco años. Tengo dos novelas publicadas y tres listas sin publicar. Eh buscado durante un buen tiempo algún agente literario que me represente y aun sigo esperando respuestas. Tu iniciativa me parece excelente y si quedo seleccionada, pondré lo mejor de mí en mis obras, como siempre lo hago. Amo escribir porque me transporta a un mundo interior y exterior pleno de imaginación, creatividad, ideas y conocimientos siempre nuevos.


    María Ortiz de Zárate D.

  • […] riches beyond your wildest dreams, but as a starter salary for writers it’s not too shabby. De Montfort Literature, a new publisher, makes the offer to writers “who pass its selection process, which includes […]

  • Lisa Kerry says:

    This sounds interesting, but some articles on it mention a “brutal noncompete” and say that after leaving DML an author would not be allowed to write for another publisher for two years. Is that true? What are the details?

    • Author Applications says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Our terms have recently been updated and will be fed out to the press in due course.
      The non-compete period is one month, we own all the IP / Copyright etc which you have the sole right to buy at a formulaic price.
      Please remember that this is a career as an author, we’re looking for people to be with us for five to ten years whilst we build their audience and brand as an author.

      Author Applications.

  • Noel says:


    How long does it take to hear back from an initial application? I applied on July 6th and the automated email said I would receive a response within two weeks, but I have not heard back yet. I also tried to email on July 27th to inquire about whether I’ve passed to the psychometric stage but I’ve received no response from there either.

  • Willard Dale Sperry says:

    Do you have to be an English citizen to apply for this grant?

    • Author Applications says:

      Hi Willard,

      Thanks for getting touch.
      We accept applications from anywhere, but you must be able to write in English.

      Author Applications

  • Sam says:

    Hi, I found out about this a little late. Is the application process over and if so, will there be more positions available in the future?

  • Peter Mueller says:

    Dear Sir or Madam

    I regularly visit the website of De Montford Literature but nothing new seems to have come forward for quite some time. Additionally, the initial interest by the press has died down as well. As an applicant, I was, therefore, wondering whether this indubitably ambitious and laudable project was still alive or whether it might have stalled.

    Any information will be welcome.

    Yours faithfully

    • Author Applications says:

      Hi Peter,
      It is still ongoing were more than halfway through the applicants and expect to complete all the applications this week.
      After which we will be able to respond to new applicants in about a week.

      Author Applications

  • Shakeel says:

    Is it too late to apply?

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