guardianThe Guardian has created a new monthly literary prize for self-published authors.

The newspaper is joining publisher Legend Times to find the best writing from self-published writers.

The contest is open to novels written in English (translations also welcome). The submissions will be read by a panel of Legend’s readers, according to The Guardian. Ten titles will be short-listed from submissions and then be read by judges who will pick the monthly winner.

The judges include literary agent Andrew Lownie, Legend Press’s commissioning editor Lauren Parsons, author Stuart Evers, and HarperCollins author Polly Courtney

“We are hoping to be a magnet to find the needle in the haystack,” Tom Chalmers, managing director of Legend Times, told The Guardian. “Everyone has a computer these days, and everyone is writing, which is brilliant, but it also means the market is completely flooded. That makes it quite hard if you don’t have a natural social media presence to get your work to the top, and to get noticed.”

Submissions for the Guardian Legend Times Self-Published Novel of the Month will be open for the first fortnight of each calendar month,

Claire Armitstead, literary editor of the Guardian, said: “It’s all too easy to dismiss the self-publishing sector as a wilderness of elves, sex and high-school romcoms, but we know from the emergence of novels such as Sergio de la Pava’s A Naked Singularity – a book we’d love to have discovered – that ‘there’s gold in them thar hills’. So we’re embracing the frontier spirit and setting off to pan for it.”

Entries for April should be sent to self-published@theguardian.com by April 18, with “Self-Published Book of the Month Submission” in the subject line.