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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

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, 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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