Our Grazia First Chapter competition is open!

First Chapter

***Entries for the 2022 First Chapter competition have now closed – keep an eye out for the winner announcement in June***

Are you an aspiring writer waiting for inspiration to strike? Ever wondered what it would be like to co-write a story with a former Women’s Prize-winning author? We have the perfect creative prompt for you in the form of our First Chapter competition in partnership with Grazia magazine. 

Helping us this year is Tayari Jones, acclaimed author of four novels and 2019 winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction with An American Marriage. Tayari has written the opening paragraph of a story and now it’s up to you to finish the first chapter. You can take the story in any direction you want – surprise us! – as long as you keep it to 800-1000 words.

With a fantastic prize package, including a year’s mentorship with Tayari Jones and a tutored retreat with Arvon, this could be the chance you’ve been waiting for to kick-start your writing career.

The story so far…

I’d lost my job at the start of the pandemic and there really wasn’t much to fill my afternoons, so you can’t blame me for day-drinking. Returning home for a nap, I found a tall woman sprawled inelegantly on the front stairs, surrounded by candy wrappers. 

She didn’t recognize me. To be fair, I had changed a lot in the last twelve years; it’s called growing up. Still, having planned the encounter, she should have been prepared.

As I opened the gate, she smiled and asked if I knew a girl called Teresa. 

“It’s me,” I sighed. “Mother, it’s me.”

Tayari Jones has started the story – now it’s up to you to finish the opening chapter. 

How to enter

Continuing Tayari’s story, write your first chapter (800-1000 words) and send it to us along with a short biography (200 words max), plus your address, email, phone number, occupation and date of birth.

What you’ll win

If you are selected as the winner, your chapter will be published in Grazia, plus you’ll get the chance to sharpen your writer’s toolkit with a year’s mentoring from Tayari Jones and a five-day residential course or tutored retreat from Arvon. You’ll also receive a goodie bag and an invitation to the Women’s Prize for Fiction awards ceremony on 15 June in central London. 

If you are selected as one of two finalists, you will have your chapter published on, as well as receiving the six Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022 shortlisted books. 

Meet the judges

TAYARI JONES, award-winning author of An American Marriage and Silver Sparrow

EMMA ROWLEY, Grazia’s deputy editor and author of You Can Trust Me

MARIA LALLY, Grazia’s acting senior editor 

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