First Chapter Contest

Important Rules, Dates, and Deadlines

Registration for the 2017 Conference opens on January 23, 2017. The first chapter contest is only open to official registrants of the conference. First chapter contest entries may be purchased during registration, or after registration, as long as they are purchased prior to the contest submission deadline.

ENTRY FEE: $20/entry. Fee includes a critique from three separate category judges who read your first chapter. Critiques will be emailed to participants within two weeks of the conference. Limit: FIVE entries per attendee.

DEADLINE: All entries must be submitted by February 6, 2017, at 8 p.m. MST. 

LIMITATIONS: Contest entry fees are non-refundable. LDStorymakers is not responsible for entries that are disqualified due to rule violation.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three places in each category. A cash prize of 200.00 is awarded as the Grand Prize.

LDStorymakers is the best place for writers to realize they’re not crazy, they’re special! Janette Rallison

Please Read Instructions Carefully

**If you do not follow all submisson rules, your entry will be disqualified.**

SUBMISSION RULES

  1. Published authors are not eligible, which is defined as any author who has signed a publishing contract by the contest deadline (exceptions: published short stories, compilations, or magazine articles). Self-published authors who have not yet reached a compensation level of $100 are eligible to enter. They are responsible for checking their own income to see if they qualify. Posting your work to your blog or website does not classify you as published. If you have not yet self-published your work, but intend to do so, please refrain from publishing until after contest winners are announced. All entries must be the original work of the author.
  2. This is a First Chapter contest only. If you submit a prologue AND a first chapter, your entry will be disqualified.
  3. If your entry is part of a trilogy or series, please only submit the first chapter of the FIRST manuscript in your series. First chapters submitted from sequels will be disqualified.
  4. Please be professional and sensitive that your submission aligns with the nature and values of the LDStorymakers Conference. We welcome entries of all genres, for all audiences, but do not accept entries with graphic language, extreme violence, or sex scenes.
  5. Judging is based on the merits expected of a well written first chapter. Criteria include, but are not limited to: an opening hook, strong characterizations, compelling voice, conflict, dialogue, and little to no grammar/mechanical errors. Judges also note presentation. Did you follow the rules, submit in the correct format, and in the correct category, with the manuscript at the appropriate length? Generally the grand prize winner is an entry with a fresh idea, presented with clarity, structure, and elements of exceptional writing.
  6. NEW THIS YEAR: Critiques will be emailed directly to participants within two weeks of the conclusion of the conference. 

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES (OR: THE 11 THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT FORGET)

**Please follow all of these steps carefully. Your entry will lose points or may be disqualified if it is not submitted correctly.**

  1. Each submission should be a double-spaced Word or Google document, using 12 point Times New Roman font with one inch margins. PLEASE NO PDF’S.
  2. Each submission should be sent as an attachment in an email to storymakers.firstchapter@gmail.com no later than 8 p.m. MST, February 6, 2017.
  3. The subject line of your email should include only the category number and title of your entry/ies.

Example: Category 3, Love the Right Man

4. The body of your email should include ONLY the following:

  • Name you used to register for the LDStorymakers Conference. This is the only place your name should appear in your contest entry. (PLEASE DO NOT USE A PEN NAME.)
  • Category number
  • Title of your Manuscript

Example:  
Name: Jane Smith
Category 3: Romance
Title: Love the Write Man

  1. You may submit more than one entry per email if they are in the same category. Be sure to list all the entry titles in the body of the email. Limit FIVE entries per attendee. If you have entries in multiple categories, please submit a separate email for each category you enter.
  2. Please save each submission as a unique file with the category number, and title of your entry in the name of the file. This must be the same title found in the body of your email. DO NOT USE YOUR NAME AS PART OF THE SAVED FILE CONTAINING YOUR FIRST CHAPTER.

Example: category3.lovetherightman.doc

  1. Please include a cover page with your first chapter entry, within the same document. Do NOT put your name on the cover page or any other page of the manuscript. Your cover page should include only:
  • The title of your manuscript
  • Category name
  • Approximate word count
  1. Word Count Limit: 3000. If your first chapter contains fewer than 3000 words, it is not required that you send more to make up the word count difference.
  2. Pages must be numbered in consecutive order, starting with the first page of your chapter. Your cover page should not be numbered.
  3. No headers or footers, except for page numbers.
  4. Proof your work before submitting. Show us your best!

** Remember: the ONLY place your name should appear is in the body of your email!**

 

Categories

CATEGORY 1 – ADULT SPECULATIVE

CATEGORY 2 – MYSTERY/SUSPENSE

CATEGORY 3 – ROMANCE

CATEGORY 4 – GENERAL FICTION & HISTORICAL

CATEGORY 5 – YOUNG ADULT GENERAL & HISTORICAL FICTION

CATEGORY 6 – YA SCIENCE FICTION/DYSTOPIAN

CATEGORY 7 – YA CONTEMPORARY FANTASY

CATEGORY 8 – YA HISTORICAL & EPIC FANTASY

CATEGORY 9 – MIDDLE GRADE FICTION

CATEGORY 10 – NON-FICTION

If you are unsure about where your manuscript fits, you alone must decide. For instance, if your chapter is set in the early 1800’s and could be both mystery and historical, only you, the author, can make the decision as to which category it best fits. Please be aware that the judges who read and judge your entry will be judging for that particular category (i.e. historical or mystery), so enter with that in mind.

Each chapter will be judged by three professionals who write and/or work in that genre. Critiques will be emailed to participants within two weeks of the conclusion of the conference.

Examples of Proper Contest Entries

PROPER EMAIL FORMAT

Proper Cover Page Format

Proper Internal Format

2016 First Chapter Contest Winners

Grand Prize Winner

Kayla Deru

General/Historical

First Place: Rebecca Charlton

Second Place: Colleen Knight Pederson

Third Place: Rachelle Atwater

Romance/Women's Fiction

First Place: Natalee Cooper

Second Place: Wendy Swore

Third Place: Sara Alva

Mystery/Suspense

First Place: Linda McMann

Second Place: MJ Curr

Third Place: Paige Edwards

Adult Speculative

First Place: Nichole Eck

Second Place: Jessica Guernsey

Third Place: JanaLee Brown

Nonfiction

First Place: Kayla Deru

Second Place: Krista Isaacson

Third Place: Jenny Ballif

Young Adult SciFi/Fantasy Group 1

First Place: Steve Carroll

Second Place:Ellie Mockett Whitney

Third Place: Jessica Payne

Young Adult SciFi/Fantasy Group 2

First Place: Lisa Wadsworth

Second Place: Daniel Noyes

Third Place: Ellie Mockett Whitney

Young Adult General

First Place: Ida Olson

Second Place: Britney Gulbrandsen

Third Place: Brittney Romney

Young Adult Speculative

First Place: Kimberly Vanderhorst

Second Place: Laura Whiting

Third Place: Daniel Noyes

Middle Grade

First Place: Luke Peterson

Second Place: Elizabeth Dimit

Third Place: Elizabeth Dimit

Thank you to all who entered the contest!