If you're thinking it's warm and hot and you'd probably rather be sinking prosecco in the park this weekend, then don't - because the deadline for our short story competition is fast upon us.
You have just three days - THREE -to enter.
Grazia has teamed up with the Women’s Prize for Fictionfor a third year to find a star female writer. If you think you've got the next Gone Girl in you, then this is the competition for you.
Best-selling author Rachel Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) has written the opening paragraph of a new story entitled The Return. All you have to do is complete the first chapter in 800-1,000 words. It’s up to you what you write: we’re looking for imaginative, original storytelling.
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.
Plus, if you fancy picking up tips on how to make it in the literary world, book now for our exclusive event, ‘How to get your first novel published’. Taking place on 3 June at London’s Southbank Centre, it will feature best-selling authors including Rachel Joyce and Women’s Prize For Fiction co-founder Kate Mosse, along with literary agent Felicity Blunt, and leading editors, who will be giving advice on how to get your novel published.
THE STORY SO FAR…
Rachel Joyce has started the story, now it’s up to you to finish this chapter in 800-1,000 words.
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 firstchapter@ 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