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.
Please Read Instructions Carefully**If you do not follow all submisson rules, your entry will be disqualified.**
- 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.
- This is a First Chapter contest only. If you submit a prologue AND a first chapter, your entry will be disqualified.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.**
- 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.
- Each submission should be sent as an attachment in an email to email@example.com no later than 8 p.m. MST, February 6, 2017.
- 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
Name: Jane Smith
Category 3: Romance
Title: Love the Write Man
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Pages must be numbered in consecutive order, starting with the first page of your chapter. Your cover page should not be numbered.
- No headers or footers, except for page numbers.
- Proof your work before submitting. Show us your best!
** Remember: the ONLY place your name should appear is in the body of your email!**
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
Grand Prize Winner
First Place: Jana King
Second Place: Lonette Anderson
Third Place: Jen Johnson
First Place: Daniel Noyes
Second Place: Jennifer Johnson
Third Place: Jessica Kendall
First Place: Emily Poole
Second Place: Jean Newman
Third Place: Daniel Noyes
First Place: Laura Taggart
Second Place: Nichole Eck
Third Place: Tricia Kornelis
First Place: Krista Isaacson
Second Place: Michelle Forstrom
Third Place: Whitney Hemsath
YA Historical/Epic Fantasy
First Place: Ellie Whitney
Second Place: Kyra Palmer
Third Place: Wendy Swore
Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
First Place: Daniel Noyes
Second Place: Leah Garriott
Third Place: Kyra Palmer
Young Adult General
First Place: Linda White
Second Place: Emily Inouye-Huey
Third Place: Rachel Larsen
Young Adult Sci-Fi/ Dystopian
First Place: Carol Michel Storey
Second Place: Mikki Tolley
Third Place: Janelle Amundsen
First Place: Wendy Swore
Second Place: Dana Black
Third Place: Rachel Stones