Over $3,000 in Prizes, Feedback, and Prestige.
Competition Entry Deadline: June 29, 2012
We know that writing a compelling start isn't easy. So, for the sixth year we've put together a motivational competition to help you hone your first three chapters to perfection (if you haven't already). We're looking for opening chapters that will create a burning need to find out what happens, how the characters turn out, how the novel resolves itself. The kind of start that gets an agent to call back, a publisher to show interest, and a reader to plunk down their hard earned money. Above all, give us three opening chapters that will keep us reading.
As part of the competition you'll have the opportunity to receive feedback on your submissions, receive access to the Strongest Start Novel Forum, and to meet and share ideas with other writers who are also trying to create that perfect, compelling opening.
One grand prize winner be selected as well as three runner-ups.
Previous Grand Prize Winners
About Our Prize Provider
Independently publish your novel with CreateSpace, a sponsor of the Strongest Start Novel Competition. CreateSpace, an Amazon.com company, is the leading provider of independent publishing tools that empower authors to produce, polish, publish and distribute their work to customers around the world.
The winner of the Strongest Start Novel Competition will be the writer who is judged to have the strongest three opening chapters. In addition, three runner-ups will be selected using the same criteria.
To participate in the Competition, submit your first three chapters to TheNextBigWriter.com. Writers are not required to have finished their novel or to submit more than the first three chapters. The competition is open to all genres, including non-fiction and memoir.
To see the full Contest Rules and Regulations, please click here.
Main Competition Winner
Two runner-ups will receive:
Please note: If your manuscript if not finished or ready to be published or evaluated, you can save the prize for when it is ready.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a cost to this competition?
You must be a member of TheNextBigWriter to enter this contest. There is a nominal fee for membership which provides you with entry into one of the most advanced online writing workshops on the Web. As a member, some of what you'll receive includes:
Do I have to review other writers to submit my first three chapters?
Yes, TheNextBigWriter is an online workshop. To submit your chapters you'll have to read and provide feedback on other work submitted to the site. Writers tell us they enjoy this process and learn as much from reviewing others as from the reviews they receive.
Do I need to writer a particular genre to win? Can any genre enter?
The competition is open to any genre that adheres to the site's Terms and Conditions. This includes romance, literary fiction, science fiction, horror, fantasy, action and adventure, young adult, memoir, and more. Our previous winners have included action and adventure, science fiction, romance, young adult, and historical fiction. Finalists have included books in even more genres. We are looking for books that transcend genre so a book that is well-written and absorbing is much more important than the category that it fits into. Just keep us reading.
How much will I have to review and how much time will it take?
As a rule of thumb, you'll have to review 4 similar-length chapters to post one of your own. You accumulate credits by reviewing other writers and use these credits to post your own chapters. New members receive bonus credits and can post their first chapter without having to do any reviews. Time-pressed members can purchase credits from the credit bank instead of reviewing.
Reviewing generally takes 30-40 minutes for a typical chapter, depending on your reading speed. Reviews are usually between 100-300 words.
What if I have work on TheNextBigWriter that is posted before April 16, 2012? Can it still be entered?
Yes, but you'll have to either repost the first three chapters or post it as a fresh entry.
If I post more than 3 chapters will it impact the competition?
No, you may submit more than 3 chapters but we will only be judging the first three.
Can I submit a non-fiction book to the competition?
Yes. You may submit non-fiction as long as it is a compelling read. Memoirs have done well in the past.
How do I use the tags to post?
Tags are keyword phrases that are used to group content on TheNextBigWriter. When submitting a new piece of content, you are asked to submit tags (keyword is a more common name for tags). Look for the tag box and then submit the appropriate tag for the competition(s) you wish to enter. To enter this year's competition, enter the tag: strongest_start_seven.
Be sure to seperate the words using the the underscore _ symbol. Once you add the tag and publish, your writing will be added to the official list for that Category and it will be entered. You only need to enter a tag once and will not need to do so for subsequent chapters.
If you forget to add a tag you can add it after the work has been published. To do so, go to Your Account, click the title of the content, click the link that says: Edit Main Content Information, and then find the box entitled tags. Fill in the tag and then save the page.
I'm from a country that isn't eligible to enter the competition. Why are some countries excluded?
This has to do with international competition law. Each country in the world has different regulations regarding competitions and we do not have the resources to research all of them at the moment. For example, the Province of Quebec requires that all competition material be duplicated in French, something we don't have the money or expertise to do. We picked the largest English speaking countries and researched those to ensure we were in compliance. We apologize if your country is not on the list and will do our best to add you in the future. Until then, we hope you will use the rest of the features on TheNextBigWriter.com.
Can I re-enter a submission from last year?
Yes, but you will probably need to repost it or post it again so that it is dated on or after April 22, 2012.
Do I give up any rights to my work by entering this contest?
No, per our member agreement, you retain all rights to everything you post.
If you have additional questions, please post them in our Strongest Start Novel Competition Forum hosted on TheNextBigWriter.com.