Do you ever dream about being a best-selling novelist with the literary world at your feet? Well, calling all unpublished female writers: if you’re bursting with creative talent and have lots of good ideas, this is your opportunity! Grazia in conjunction with the Orange Prize for Fiction, are launching an amazing ‘first chapter’ competition to find budding new female writing talent.
Writers often say the opening paragraph is the hardest part of the novel process, so we’ve invited international best-selling author, Kate Mosse (Labyrinth, Sepulchre and The Winter Ghosts) to write the introduction for you (see below). What you need to do now is ‘finish off’ the first chapter in 1,000 words. It’s up to you where you take the story: what we’re looking for is brilliant, original and imaginative writing. The winner will be announced at the Orange Prize for Fiction award ceremony in June – where you will be in illustrious company with some of the world’s top literary editors, agents, publishers and of course novelists.
So, here goes…
Kate Mosse has started off the story - The Deadline - below. Can you finish this first chapter off in 1000 words?
She stood looking up at the house. At the blank grey walls, the shuttered windows with empty boxes on the concrete sills, the stern front door. The house said nothing about what it was or what took place inside, it was unassuming and nondescript and uninviting. She'd come here several times before, but never got the courage to go in. Now, there was no choice. The deadline was today, no last chance of a reprieve or change of heart. If she was going to do it, it had to be now. She shivered, chill from the sudden drop in temperature now the light was fading, or from excitement or from fear, she didn't know. Also, the sense of possibility that, by pressing this suburban doorbell, her life could - would - alter for good. But still she lingered on the unwashed step, picking at a thread of wool come loose from her glove, caught between the girl she was and the woman she might be. A deadline she never thought she would face…
So, what happens next? Let us know in 1,000 words..
YOUR ENTRY MUST INCLUDE
1. An original 1,000 word ‘first chapter’ on The Deadline, which follows on from Kate Mosse’s first paragraph.
2. A brief autobiography of 50 words.
3. Your full name and address.
4. All entries should be submitted no later than 10 MAY to either Victoria Harper, 189 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JG or Victoria.Harper@graziamagazine.co.uk
WHAT YOU'LL WIN
First prize is £1,000 and the publication of your story in Grazia. The winner will also attend the exclusive awards party at the Royal Festival Hall on 8 June where they will receive their award on stage (prize includes travel and hotel). Two runners-up will each receive £500 and publication of their stories right here on Grazia Daily. All three winners will receive copies of the six shortlisted books for this year's Orange Prize for Fiction.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS Only one entry will be accepted per person. The closing date for receipt of competition entries is 10 May 2011. The competition is only open to UK residents over the age of 18, who do not have an existing or previous contract with a publishing house. Entry to the competition and acceptance of the prize constitutes permission to use any winner's name, image and any competition entry photograph, for promotional and/or editorial purposes without additional consultation, and acceptance of these rules. By entering you agree that, should you win, Grazia will have first publication rights to your entry with exclusivity for a period of 56 days following publication. This competition is not open to employees of Bauer or our competition partners or their direct family members. The winner/s will be selected by the judging panel. Entries must include the story (1,000 words maximum), autobiography (50 words maximum) and their full name and address. Entries in the incorrect format will not be considered. Entries cannot be returned. Entrants must produce all writing themselves, without any assistance, and the completed piece must be the result of their own labours. Entrants warrant to BAUER UK that nothing within the piece is libellous, obscene, or in any way infringes the copyright or rights of third parties. Only the winner/s will be contacted personally. The name of the winner/s will be available by sending a SAE to Grazia and Orange First Chapter award, 189 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JG. Entrants must be available to travel to London on 8 June for the prize-giving ceremony. First Prize for two people includes: Q Travel to and from London (standard class rail within mainland UK; flights from NI only). Q Luxury hotel accommodation (bed & breakfast only). Q All additional expenses to be paid by Prize Winner (eg bar bills, meals) Q Two tickets to the Orange Prize for Fiction 2011 awards ceremony on 8 June 2011. Prizes must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred although BAUER UK reserves the right to change the prizes in the event of unforeseen circumstances. There will be no cash alternative. Bauer Media does not accept any responsibility for late or lost entries. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt. Bauer Media’s decision is final in every situation and no correspondence will be entered into. Bauer Media shall be permitted to exclude any entrant at any time at its sole discretion.