Mon, March 1, 2021 (midnight ET)


Submissions are now closed – thanks to all who submitted.

The GUTSY GREAT NOVELIST CHAPTER ONE PRIZE entries are submitted to a blinded review process. The identity of the author is unknown to the judge while she is reviewing the entries.

Each entry is reviewed by one judge, award-winning novelist and writing teacher, Joan Dempsey.

Our judge will be looking for the following elements in your submission: a clear point of view; a tone appropriate to the genre and story; an introduction to your protagonist; a sense of what the story will be about for your protagonist; a gripping opening scene; a vivid setting or settings; and a chapter ending that urges readers on to the second chapter. 

Our judging process adheres to the Code of Ethics as shown below.

The decisions of the judge are final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the judging process.

All entrants will be contacted when the prize is announced.

Thank you to everyone who enters in 2021. It is an honor to read your work.


The GUTSY GREAT NOVELIST CHAPTER ONE PRIZE competition has modeled the following Code of Ethics on those established by the Council of Literary Magazines & Presses.

We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to: 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible; 2) provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public.