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First Chapter Contest

The First Chapter Contest is open to teens everywhere regardless of whether you attend StoryCon.

Submissions Open:

July 1-February 1


Winners will be announced at StoryCon and receive a commemorative plaque and full first chapter critique.

*We are unable to ship plaques outside the US.

Basic Information About the Contest

  • The cost to enter The First Chapter Contest is $10.00. 

  • There are two divisions in this competition: Ages 13-15 and Ages 16-19

  • Contest closes February 1 at midnight. No exceptions. 

  • Many English teachers offer extra credit to students for participating in the contest. Check with your English teacher to see if this is a possibility for you.

  • Entries will be judged on the following aspects of writing: Uniqueness of idea, well-rounded and interesting characters, pacing and flow of the story, ease of reading and grammatical accuracy. 

  • First, second, and third place winners will be chosen in both divisions. Prizes are as follows:

    • 1st place: $100, a commemorative plaque and a full critique of their first chapter.  

    • 2nd place: $50, a commemorative plaque and a full critique of their first chapter.  

    • 3rd place: $25  a commemorative plaque and a full critique of their first chapter.  


Rules and Guidelines

  1. Only one entry allowed per person.

  2. All work should be original and unpublished (must not be something you submitted for the TABC First Chapter contest in years past) *Posting your work to a blog or website does not classify it as being published.

  3. Entrants must be no younger than thirteen and no older than nineteen, and must enter the category of their age.

  4. No partner or team entries will be allowed.

  5. Entries must be double-spaced with one inch margins in 12 pt. Times New Roman or Arial Font. NO EXCEPTIONS. *If you do not follow these guidelines, your work will automatically be disqualified.

  6. Entry is first chapter only, limited to FIVE pages. It is okay if your first chapter is less than FIVE pages. However, sending any more than the first five pages of your first chapter will disqualify you from the contest.

  7. Pages must be numbered.

  8. Entries must be in English.

  9. Changes can’t be made to the entry after you have submitted it. Please proofread and double-check your work before submission.

  10. Do not include your name or any other identifying information in or on any of the pages you submit.

  11. As this is a contest for teens, no graphic violence, language, or sex scenes allowed. Think of it like PG-13 movies. This is a PG or PG-13 contest.

  12. Any entries received after the contest deadline will not be considered.

  13. Family of any member of TABC organization is not eligible.​

  14. For questions or clarifications, email, include ‘First Chapter Contest’ in the subject line.


(Opens July 1st!)


Ages 13-15

Ages 16-19

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