PENfro First Chapter Competition 2017

Do you dream of landing a deal for your first novel? PENfro Book Festival’s First Chapter Competition could be the starting point to making your dream come true!

Have your first chapter judged by one of the best talent spotters in the business – and you could win a comprehensive review of your work and help to reach publishable standard for your whole novel.

Send in the first chapter of your novel for a chance to win a session with full feedback of your work by top literary consultant and scout David Llewelyn.

Said David: “The first few pages of your novel are vital. This is where you capture your reader’s imagination and light the spark that makes them want to read on to the end. You need to grab attention from the first line – first impressions really do count. I very much look forward to reading your competition entries and hope I can work with several new writers and help towards publication of their novels.”

*Please note
The competition is only for writers who have not previously had a novel accepted for publication and who do not have an agent.

Please submit fiction for adults (including teens) only – we are sorry that we cannot accept fantasy or sci-fi, or work for children.

First Chapter Competition 2017

Deadline: Friday 14th July 2017

Entry fee: £10

Max length: 3,000 words

Judge: David Llewelyn

Winners announced: Shortlist – end of August. Top three: Announced during Penfro Book Festival 8 -10th September 2017

1st Prize: Get your first chapter comprehensively reviewed by David Llewelyn, a respected literary scout and talent spotter. David will work with the winner over several months (mainly via email) to help them to reach a publishable standard for the whole work. He will also review the synopsis and cover letter (but please do not submit these to the competition).

2nd Prize and 3rd Prizes: Your first chapter reviewed by David Llewelyn. He will also review your synopsis and cover letter.

An individual face-to-face consultation (at PENfro Book Festival on Saturday, September 9th) will be offered to the final shortlist of 10 writers, but if this is not possible (because of distance, for example) this work will be carried out via email correspondence. In all cases the 10 shortlisted candidates will receive a short written report on their First Chapter.

Submit your first chapter only (up to 3,000 words) plus your novel title. Do not put your name in the text as all judging is done anonymously. We accept only fiction for adults (including teens), but we cannot accept sci-fi or fantasy, or fiction for children.

The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over. All work should be in English, must not have been previously published, nor be currently submitted for publication or competition elsewhere, nor be under consideration with an agent.
All work must be the original work of the entrant, must be typed double spaced on A4 paper. Please see RULES (LINK) for full details


The easiest way to enter is online via our website: Click here.

Submit your payment via PayPal. If you do not have a PayPal account, don’t worry, you will be invited to set one up or you can just pay by debit or credit card.

How to Submit

Follow the instructions to upload your work online, in Word or PDF format. We judge anonymously so put only the novel title on your manuscript, PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE ANY PERSONAL DETAILS ON YOUR TEXT.

Pay by Paypal or credit card for online entries. Please ensure you have read the competition rules before you submit your entry.


Each entry must bear the title of the novel, but must NOT show the name of the entrant or any other form of identification. All entries will be judged anonymously. 

Two copies of each entry should be submitted.

Entries must be accompanied by a completed application form (download here) and appropriate payment. All winners will be notified by email.

Entries must be accompanied by the entry fee: £10 for each First Chapter. Cheques (sterling only) should be made payable to PENfro Book Festival.

Postal entries should be addressed to PENfro First Chapter Competition, Rhosygilwen Mansion, Rhoshill SA43 2TW
We regret that we are unable to return your work, so please keep a copy.

Submissions that do not meet the Rules of Entry will be disqualified.
Please make sure you:
• put the title your novel on the entry form
• send two copies of each entry
• do not put your name or any identifying information on your manuscript – your name and address should only appear on the entry form

Details of the winners will be announced during the PENfro Book Festival in September, and will be published on the PENfro website. 

The judge’s decision is final.

Sponsors 2017

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