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2021 CRAFT First Chapters Contest

Image Description: A plain background with the following words: first chapters contest $2,800 manuscript critique query workshop judged by Masie Cochran of Tin House May 3 - June 30

CRAFT First Chapters Contest entries are open to all fiction writers, and international submissions are welcome.

Excerpts of book-length fiction only—please submit the first chapter or chapters (5,000 word count maximum) of your unpublished novels/novellas, completed or in progress.

Please do not submit short stories or nonfiction.

Please submit work in English only.

Entry fee: US $20.


  • Winner: $2,000 award and a full manuscript critique of the novel or novella, up to 100K words, by The Artful Editor
  • Runners-up: $500 and $300 award respectively for the second and third place finalists
  • Agent query workshop for the winner and runners-up by Beth Marshea of Ladderbird Literary Agency—Beth will offer feedback on the first 5,000 words of the project, the summary, and a query letter
  • Publication of the top three excerpts in CRAFT, each with an introduction by Masie Cochran
  • Publication of an author’s note (craft essay) to accompany the excerpt by each of the writers
  • All entrants will receive an exclusive digital compilation next winter that will include: the winning excerpts with the guest judge’s introductions and the winners’ craft essays; excerpts from the finalists’ entries; excerpts from craft essays; and more.

Closing date: Wednesday 30 June 2021.

For more information, please visit CRAFT’s website.

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