If you write romance and have a novel ready, this competition is worth a look. Unfortunately mine isn't ready. Maybe next year? This one might be even better, as it's open to any genre and guarantees the publishing deal is worth £50,000. For both of those you need to submit the opening and a synopsis of the book you're hoping to get a publishing deal for. Winners will also have the backing of big names and are sure to do well.
This competition also offers a publishing deal for a romantic novel. Weirdly though they're making the selection based on a short story. Oh and they seem to think laundry is romantic ... Here's another competition where you could win a publishing contract on the strength of a short story. The theme is war or peace - not both, they want it short, remember!
btw Using my own book cover to illustrate this post isn't just blatant advertising. Escape to the Country was published because I won a novel writing contest, so it's also relevant.
Personally I'm concentrating on short stories at the moment. I'm over at Maria's explaining why. Leave a comment there for the chance to win an ecopy of Up the Garden Path. Admittedly that's not quite as exciting as a book deal, but you don't need to write much to be in with a chance.