Writer Advice’s Scintillating Starts Contest

Go to http://www.writeradvice.com and click on Latest or Current Contest to learn more. We’d love to read your opening.

Openings matter. They determine whether a potential agent will represent your book or move on. Writer Advice’s Scintillating Starts contest is your chance to show Writer Advice, http://www.writeradvice.com, how effectively you can grab and hold your readers and get feedback on what is and is not working. Fiction, memoir, and creative nonfiction are all eligible. You do not have to have completed the book to enter. 

Send us up to 1250 words of your first chapter by 12/02/20.  We are known for our feedback and would love to tell you what’s working and what an agent might say. Don’t send chapters from books that are already published, since this is really about advice, although there are prizes. 

How This Works:

  1. You can enter up to 1250 words of your opening. Some agents decide whether they can sell your work after the first paragraph. We’re giving you the equivalent of 5 pages with the disclaimer that, like an agent, we can quit earlier if our attention wanders.
  1. You can also submit a query letter that is 300 words or less. Can’t fit it into 300 words? Please edit. Agents don’t want to read more. The query letter is not your cover letter for the contest. It needs to be entered as a separate .docx.
  1. You are guaranteed feedback on whatever you send. I’ll tell you what I like, what stands out, and what trips me up. Then I’ll imagine I’m an agent (I used to teach acting) and tell you whether I’d be interested or not and why.

Fees for responses: $16.00 for manuscript opening $4.00 for query letter

The whole purpose of this Writer Advice opportunity is to get feedback. We are not a literary agency, but I know what agents are looking for and I can make suggestions before you send to agents. We are known for our feedback, as you can see in the tan box at www.writeradvice.com, and would love to tell you what’s working and what an agent might say. 

We call this a contest because the top pieces receive cash prizes. A cash award of $300 will be split among those whose work is shared on Writer Advice, http://www.writeradvice.com. This is usually 2 or 3 writers. We may also list the titles and authors of Honorable Mentions.

If your work is shared on Writer Advice, you’ll be able to tell prospective agents, publishers, and book buyers that you were one of the winners of Writer Advice’s Scintillating Starts Contest. 

This contest is open to anyone who has not signed a contract for the book submitted. That means your book does not have to be completed for this contest, though it should be before you submit it elsewhere.