CRAFT First Chapters Contest
2019 CRAFT First Chapters Contest
Guest Judge: Naomi Huffman of MCDxFSG and FSG Originals
- Open June 1, 2019 to July 31, 2019
CRAFT submissions are open to all writers
International submissions are allowed
- Fiction only
- Excerpts of book-length fiction only—please submit the first chapter or chapters* of your unpublished novels/novellas, completed or in progress
- Please do not submit short stories
- Please submit work in English only
- 6,000 word count maximum*
We review literary fiction, but are open to a variety of genres and styles—our only requirement is that you show excellence in your craft
Previously unpublished work only—we do not review reprints for contests
We allow simultaneous submissions—writers please notify us and withdraw your excerpt if your work is picked up elsewhere
We allow multiple submissions—please submit each excerpt as a separate submission accompanied by a reading fee
- $20 reading fee per excerpt/entry
All entries will also be considered for publication in CRAFT
All submissions must be made via Submittable
- 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
Please, please, double-space your submission and use Times New Roman 12 pt font
Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history (if applicable), and a summary of your book-length project
- We do not require blind submissions
Friends, family, and associates of the judge are not eligible for consideration for the award.
CRAFT’s collaboration with editorial professionals and agents in the judging and awarding of our contests does not imply an endorsement or recognition from their agencies/houses/presses/universities/etc.
*Your entry may include more than your first chapter, up to 6,000 words total, but should contain complete sections—please do not leave us hanging mid-paragraph just to maximize word count—and must be the first chapter(s) of your book-length project, as if you were querying agents or publishing houses.
The writers of the top three first chapters will receive:
Winner: $2,000 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 writers
Naomi Huffman is an editor and digital director at MCDxFSG and FSG Originals. Formerly, she ran the small press Curbside Splendor. In 2014, she established Book Fort, an organization that advocates for public literary spaces and collaborates with the annual Pitchfork Music Festival. Her work has appeared in BookForum, SSENSE, The Creative Independent, Chicago Tribune, Bookslut, Newcity, and elsewhere.
Founded in 2010, The Artful Editor is an editorial agency that helps writers elevate their prose and prepare their manuscripts for agent submission and publication. We offer honest manuscript reviews, developmental editing, copyediting, and one-on-one coaching. Our team is comprised of seasoned book editors, published authors, and former in-house editors, many of whom also edit for major publishing houses and independent presses. We’re based in Los Angeles, California, but work with writers from all over the world and at every stage of their careers. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Ready to submit?
If you have questions about submissions, please send an email to: contact (at) craftliterary (dot) com