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CRAFT First Chapters Contest: Entries Close 31 July

CRAFT First Chapters Contest is inviting entries of excerpts from book-length fiction. The winner will receive US$2000, a manuscript critique and publication.

Edited by Katelyn Keating, online magazine CRAFT features new and republished fiction, critical pieces on craft, interviews, book annotations, and much more.

The contest is open to writers worldwide but all entries must be written in English. Writers are asked to submit the first chapter or chapters (up to 6000 words) of an unpublished novel or novella. The novel/novella can be completed or in progress.

The winner will be decided by Naomi Huffman from MCD,  a new division of publishing company Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

  • Winner: $2000 award and a 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 review of the top three entries by Samantha Fingerhut of Compass Talent. Samantha will offer feedback on the first twenty-five pages of the project and accompanying query letters
  • Publication of the top three excerpts in CRAFT, each with an introduction by Naomi Huffman, and an Author’s Note (craft essay) to accompany the excerpt by each of the writer

All entrants will receive an exclusive digital compilation next winter that includes: the winning chapters, with Naomi Huffman’s introductions and the winners’ craft essays; excerpts from the finalist entries; notes from the readers and editors about the reading process; and more


All entries should be under 6000 words. The organisers advise that this may include more than your first chapter but should contain complete sections – do not leave your work hanging mid-paragraph just to maximize word count. The extract must be the first chapter(s) of your book-length project, as if you were querying agents or publishing houses.


Wednesday 31 July 2019


Visit the CRAFT website for full entry details.

Craft also accepts unsolicited submissions of new and republished fiction, critical essays, interviews, book annotations, and much more. CRAFT pays $100 for original flash fiction and $200 for original short fiction. Submissions are open year round and there are no submission fees.