The Women’s Prize For Fiction Shortlist Is Announced: PLUS, Could You Be Next?

16 April 2013 by

The nominees for this year's Women’s Prize For Fiction were announced this morning at the London Bookfair. The big names on the short list are previous winner Zadie Smith with her labyrinthine novel NW and Hilary Mantel with the second part of her Tudor trilogy Bring Up The Bodies.

Also nominated are Barbara Kingsolver for her book Flight Behaviour (her second nomination following her win in 2010 with The Lacuna), Kate Atkinson for Life After Death, A.M. Homes for May We Be Forgiven and Maria Semple for Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

In association with the prize, Grazia is launching the ‘First Chapter’ competition to find the next female literary star.

We’ve got best-selling author Rachel Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Howard Fry) to pen the opening paragraph of a new story entitled The Return and we want aspiring Grazia writers to complete the first chapter in 800-1,000 words.  Any style is welcome!

The winner will be announced by Grazia editor-in-chief Jane Bruton at the Women’s Prize for Fiction award ceremony on 5 June, where she’ll be joined by some of the world’s best novelists, agents, publishers and editors.


Rachel Joyce has started the story, now it’s up to you to finish this chapter in 800-1,000 words.

The Return

When she heard his voice, she had to sit. He told her he had something to say. He couldn’t do it by phone. She said yes, she would be there, it had been such a long time, all the things you say to someone you no longer see. She knew she wouldn’t go.

The day came, and she spent the morning in bed, watching the rain at the window, the way it moved in cold, flat curtains between herself and the world. Then, without thinking, she was pulling on clothes. It was only as she crossed the road, her body stiff against the wind, it occurred to her she had something to tell him too. She had been waiting to say it for years.

What happens next? Tell us in no more than 1,000 words

How To Enter

Your entry must include: an original 800-1,000 word ‘first chapter’ of The Return, following on from Rachel Joyce’s opening paragraph; a brief autobiography (200 words max); a passport photo of the entrant attached to a sheet of A4 paper; full name, address, phone number (mobile where possible), occupation and date of birth.

Read our terms and conditions here, then send your entry to Morwenna Ferrier, Grazia, Endeavour House, 189 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JG or email by 6 May 2013

What you’ll win

First prize is £1,000 and the publication of your story in Grazia. The winner will also attend the invite-only party at The Royal Festival Hall on 5 June, where they will receive their award on stage (the prize includes hotel and travel). Two runners-up will have their story published on All three winners will receive the six shortlisted books for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013 (see for the full list).



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