Competition Deadline: 31 May, 2022
Maximum Word Count: 5,000
Have you completed the first draft of your novel? Are you ready to pass it on to a fresh pair of eyes, to see if you are on the right track? Is your all-important first chapter ready for submission to an agent? Whatever your plans, your first chapter must shine – it must grab your readers or quickly lose their interest.
The winning entry will be read by literary agent Joanna Swainson of the Hardman & Swainson Agency. Joanna is looking for originality and distinctive voices. For complex, larger-than-life characters and stories that will stay with the reader forever. Stories that surprise, and keep on surprising. As Joanna says, she will know what she’s looking for when she sees it!
First Prize: £500
Entry Fee: £18
(Early Bird Special: £15 for entries sent before February 28th , 2022)
Appraisals – for an extra fee, we will write a comprehensive appraisal of your chapter.
Winning entries will be published on the Fiction Factory website, subject to the author’s permission.
How to enter:
Send a maximum of 5,000 words of your First Chapter only. (If your opening chapter is longer, send the entire chapter but clearly mark the 5,000 word point).
In the same document, send a one page synopsis (not included in the word-count).
Attach it as a Word document to an email. In the body of the email, please include your name, email address, name of your novel and the Pay Pal transaction number. (There is a discount for entries received before 15th March, 2022).
Send your submission to
Tell us your country, a few words about yourself, and where you heard about our competition.
Terms and Conditions
The competition is open to anyone aged 16 and over.
International entries are welcome but novels must be written in English.
Novels must be previously unpublished.
Deadline: 31st May, 2022
All genres will be accepted except Children’s and Young Adult Fiction.
Entrants may submit as many First Chapters as they wish.
All work submitted must be the entrant’s own original writing, and
should not have appeared in print or on a website (including blogs and
social networking sites).
Results will be announced by the end of August, 2022
The Judge’s decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
See here to enter and for further information.