$1000 for the First Chapter of a Novel? Now That's a Writing Contest

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The third annual Writing Show First-Chapter-of-a-Novel Contest is awarding $1000 for the best first chapter of an unpublished novel. We're also offering four other cash prizes and ten 750-word critiques.

Book advances may be shrinking, but there's another way to make money on your fiction and develop a following at the same time: enter the third annual Writing Show First-Chapter-of-a-Novel Contest and win $1000, one of four other cash prizes, or a 750-word critique. No query letters, no agents, no publishers--just straight to the cash and the audience, and you only have to write a couple thousand words.

We're looking for the absolute best first chapter of an unpublished novel. Above all, you must tell a compelling story. That means that you have to grab us so quickly, so completely, that we can't stop reading, even if the house is burning down.

Entries are judged on the following criteria:

1.    Story. Is it a compelling read with a great hook? Are we engaged?
2.    Style. Is the writing smooth and tight, without awkward constructions, extraneous verbiage, and redundancies?
3.    Dialog. Is the dialog natural and does it move the story along?
4.    Character. Are the characters interesting? Do we care about them?
5.    Mechanics. Are grammar, spelling, and punctuation correct?

Rules, instructions for entering, and more detail can be found on The Writing Show Web site at http://writingshow.com/contests/2008/2008callforentries.html, but here's a hint on how to win: judges, publishers, agents, publishers, and readers respond to unique writers' voices. For more on the writer's voice, listen to our March 16, 2008 show at http://writingshow.com/podcasts/2008/03162008.html with host Paula B.

About The Writing Show

The Writing Show offers information and inspiration for writers. Recent podcasts have focused on writing dialog, the state of poetry today, writing miniseries, and psychological aspects of writing. Guests have included popular crime novelist C.J. Box, bestselling horror writer Robert Hood, and Josann McGibbon Temkin, co-writer of "Runaway Bride." The show has been airing from Thousand Oaks, California since July of 2005.

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PAULA BERINSTEIN
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