The Ian Govan Award

Ian GovanIn association with WordPlay Publishing, we are happy to sponsor the Ian Govan Award.

Have you ever read a book and felt that the name absolutely matched the character of the protagonist? Take Jack Reacher, for example: the name seems to spell out someone who walks in the shadows of life, doesn’t it? Think about it: Jack Reacher… can’t be anything other than six foot four and 250lbs. Or it could be Tom Cruise, I suppose!

What about Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple? Immediately the picture of an elderly spinster, with greying hair and a slightly eccentric attitude, springs to mind, doesn’t it?

Then, of course, there is, perhaps, the all-time great of the heroes in the book world: Sherlock Holmes. In fact such a great character that many believe he was a real living person. But the picture drummed up by the simple mention of his name would be one of deerstalker and pipe, smoke and smog.

And what about Ian…  hold on a second, I can’t think of a single hero in book or film, television or play, named Ian anything, which is exactly what Ian Govan used to tell everyone. He used to set the challenge: name a hero called Ian. No one ever did.

So here’s a challenge to all you writers out there. We at WordPlay have set up the Ian Govan Award, to run for the next five years on an annual basis (through to end 2017). What we’re looking for is a novel (or proposed novel) length work where the chief protagonist is named Ian. And don’t shorten it to “E”. It can be set anywhere, and be in any genre (except erotica). But if it has some humorous content, and perhaps a little social commentary, then all the better. You see, Ian was known for both when he was alive.

The Ian Govan Award will run from January to December, with the final date for entry of December 31st each year. The prize will be free publication through WordPlay Publishing (, and €250 toward your marketing budget. If there are no entries, or none that we consider worthy of winning, then the €250 cash will be rolled over to the following year.

To Enter:

Send a brief outline of your story (no more than 400 words), with a character profile of ‘Ian’, and the first three chapters (all on word documents) to:

Remember to include your name and email address, and in the subject line of the email write “IAN GOVAN AWARD ENTRY”.

 That’s it: what could be easier?

Good luck to all.

PS If you want an insight into how Ian thought and wrote, then  why not buy Keep Write On? All royalties are split between The Ian Govan Award and Alzheimer’s Charities (click on link below, also available through Amazon and Kindle)

Keep Write On Call To Action


4 thoughts on “The Ian Govan Award

  1. I have read the book ‘Keep Write on by Ian Govan and Michael Barton, posthumously published following Ian’s death last year. Ian’s humour shows through this book, and there are some great tips for a struggling author.

  2. Pingback: The Write Reason to Give to the Phillipines | WordPlay Writers' Forum

  3. Pingback: What Am I Working On? | Sally Jenkins - Writer

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