Once Upon a Time

Chapter One… she wrote… and managed a few lines before stuttering to a halt. She turned on the kettle. Made another cup of coffee. She needed a different beginning. Those all important first words. A new start.
After the success of our Spring Shorts competition in March, we’re running a new competition to find the best first chapter of an unpublished novel. We’re looking for an opening which is exceptional in its style and makes us want to read on. As with all Linen Press publications, we’ll be searching for writing which promotes and celebrates new female voices.
Beginnings are tricky and come in all shapes and sizes: some throw us straight into hectic action, some settle us into a rhythm or a place, some start in the middle or even the end. A snappy first-line, a memorable character, an unexpected event can all contribute to a great opening chapter. But it’s the quality of the writing, the authenticity of the voice, and our trust in the writer’s ability to tell her story that compel us to turn the next page. A good opening chapter says to the reader: ‘Trust me. You’re in capable hands. There is treasure in the pages ahead.’
So if you have a novel and would like to send us your first chapter, please read the guidelines and get it off to us. We’re waiting and eager to read your writing.
Two finalists will be selected and their first chapters will be published on our website. The authors will be asked to send the whole novel to be considered for publication by Linen Press. Three runners-up will be offered a detailed critique by the LP editorial team.

We look forward to reading your work.
Happy writing!

Submission guidelines

Only unpublished writing is eligible
By submitting, you agree that you are the author of the submitted chapter and will credit the Linen Press Archive as the first place of publication
Submissions by email to lynn@linen-press.com with the heading First Chapter Competition followed by the title of your work
Send your chapter as a Word (.doc) attachment and include a cover letter
Don’t send in chapters previously submitted to Linen Press and rejected
Do feel free to include a brief writing CV in your letter
The deadline is 30th November 2014
Results will be announced in January 2015