Deadline: July 14, 2023

Entry fee: $20

About the competition

The Gutsy Great Novelist Page One Prize, brought to you by award-winning novelist and writing teacher Joan Dempsey, is open to all writers internationally over 18 who are working on an as-yet-unpublished novel.

This annual prize aims to find the best first page of a novel-in-progress written in the English language.

On August 15, 2023, the three prize winners, honorable mentions and finalists will be announced here on the website and via social media, and all entrants will be contacted via email about the results. All winners and honorable mentions will have their Page One Prize-winning entries showcased on this website.

Competition guidelines

  • Entries for the 2023 competition will open on June 14, 2023 and close promptly at 5:00 PM ET (17:00) on July 14, 2023. Please check this time zone converter to convert the deadline into your own time zone in order to avoid disappointment.
  • Only entries received and paid for by the entry deadline will be considered. The entry fee for each entry is $20.00 in US dollars. Please note that feedback will not be provided on any entries.
  • Entries that are not paid for, are incomplete, corrupted or submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
  • Please submit only the complete first page of chapter one of your novel-in-progress. This should be the first page of the first chapter, not the first page of a prologue or introduction. It’s fine if your page ends mid-paragraph or mid-sentence. There is no word count. 
  • There’s no need to leave 4-6 lines of space at the top of the page—go ahead and put your opening line right at your 1″ top margin (1″ margins all around). 
  • Format your submission as follows (this is industry standard for manuscript submissions): 

– 8.5” x 11” or A-4 page

– 1-inch (or 2.54 cm) margins all around

– 12-point Times New Roman font 

– Double-spaced (not 1.5 or 1.15 spacing) with no extra space between paragraphs (If you’re working in Word, there’s a setting that sometimes automatically puts an extra space between paragraphs, and you can change that in your Word settings to get rid of that extra space. Click here for a 45 second video that shows you how.) 

Please note: if your formatting is not exactly as specified above, your entry won’t be considered and you’ll forfeit your $20 submission fee. 

  • Submittable accepts the following types of documents (when in doubt, save your chapter as a PDF to preserve the formatting): .doc, .docx, .odt, .pdf. 
  • Your name should not appear anywhere on the page or in the name of your document, but you’re welcome to include the novel’s title if you wish (there’s also a place to enter the title in the submission form).
  • No alterations may be made to the entry once it is submitted, so check your work carefully. Should you find you need to make an alteration after submission, you’ll have to submit a new, separate entry with the updated document, and pay the $20 entry fee again.
  • Writers are welcome to submit more than one entry—each entry needs to be submitted and paid for as a separate entry. 
  • Please read through the terms & conditions before you submit your entry—they’re brief, and you’ll be bound by them if you win.
  • All entries must be made through Submittable
  • Click here to read more about what makes a great first page, what to avoid and what to watch out for when you submit your work. You can also read the winning entries from previous years
  • Read the whole guideline and submit your entry here.
VoW Research
Author: VoW Research

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