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The Women’s Prize x Grazia First Chapter Competition 2021 is now open for entries

Many of us feel that we have a novel inside us, but don’t know where to start. Our annual First Chapter Competition, which the Women’s Prize delivers in partnership with Grazia, provides a starting point for your story – and perhaps the start of your writing career.

This year, award-winning, global bestselling author Dorothy Koomson has written the opening paragraph – and we want you to finish the chapter. You can take the story in whichever direction your inspiration leads, just keep to 800-1000 words and send it to us by 6pm, Tuesday 20 April.

The winner will join us at our awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 7 July, where their talent will be acknowledged in front of the biggest names in literature.

The story so far…

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

When I Fell’

‘I’m very good at pretending I believe in love. No one can tell that I don’t. I can act as if a ‘special someone’ makes my heart flutter; I convincingly swoon at other people’s romantic joy. I even rustle up tears when a relationship ends. But my heart is a patchwork of honour badges, each stitched over a scar from believing in love before. So being a love sceptic keeps me safe and pain free. And then I fell down those stone steps near Brighton Pier. A stumble, a trip and several sharp bounces down, and there I was at the bottom. Agonised and humiliated. Too ashamed to move. 

B.W. was there too.’

How to enter

Continuing Dorothy’s story, write your first chapter (800-1000 words), and send it to Grazia, along with a short biography (200 words max), along with your address, email, phone number, occupation and date of birth. Read the terms and conditions and enter online at graziamagazine.co.uk/firstchapter

What you’ll win

The winner will have their chapter published in a full page of Grazia magazine, a year’s mentoring from Dorothy Koomson, and a goodie bag. They will also receive their award at the Women’s Prize for Fiction ceremony on Wednesday 7 July in London. Two finalists will have their chapters published on graziadaily.co.uk, and all three will receive a set of the six Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021-shortlisted books.

Meet the judges

Dorothy Koomson, award-winning, global bestselling author of 16 Sunday Times bestsellers

Kenya Hunt, Grazia’s deputy editor and author of GIRL: Essays on Black Womanhood

Emma Rowley, Grazia’s assistant editor and author of You Can Trust Me

Enter now >>>

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