CHAPTER ONE PRIZE WINNERS 2021
I'm delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 Chapter One Prize!
Out of a total of 671 international submissions in this blind contest, 22 chapters rose to the top for final consideration; it was truly a challenge to select the top three winners, and reading each writer's work was a pleasure and a privilege. In addition to the three winners, six writers were selected for honorable mention status, and twelve were selected as notable. All are listed below—I encourage you to visit their websites and follow them on social media; these are all writers to watch!
The writers showcased on this page represent a variety of genres for both adults and young adults: satire, historical, literary, fantasy, speculative, mystery and thriller. What their chapters shared in common is that while reading, I found myself feeling in utterly capable hands, enjoying myself as a reader (versus editor), fully immersed in the prose. As the judge, I was looking for the following elements, and each of these writers ticked all the boxes: a clear point of view; a tone appropriate to the genre and story; an introduction to the protagonist; a sense of what the story would be about; a gripping opening scene; a vivid setting or settings; and a chapter ending that urged readers on to the second chapter.
Thanks to all who submitted, and congratulations to our winners. Outstanding work, everyone.
Some of the winners agreed to share their chapters, which you'll find links to below; enjoy!
HONORABLE MENTIONS 2021
Katherine Lim, London, UK, for American Heroine
Matthew Murphy, Los Angeles, California, USA, for Happiest Place on Earth
Jaya Padmanabhan, Los Altos Hills, California, USA, for The Eleventh Letter
Laura Preble, El Cajon, California, USA, for Apple Poppins and Jiffy Down Under
Yaron Regev, Raanana, Israel, for Adrimus
Charlotte Stuart, Vashon, Washington, USA > Raven's Grave
NOTABLE CHAPTERS 2021
Joshua Beggs, Kansas City, Kansas, USA, for Myrtlewood
Amy Bernstein, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, for The Nighthawkers
Shannon L. Cheesman, Coronado, California, USA, for The Death Whisper
Annie Dawid, Silver Cliff, Colorado, USA, for Paradise Undone: A Novel of Jonestown
Fredric Koeppel, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, for She Was a Child
Michelle Lerner, Flanders, New Jersey, USA, for Ring
Edward McSweegan, Kingston, Rhode Island, USA, for The Fever Hut
Em Parker, Brunswick, Maine, USA, for The Truth Is
Catherine Pezdirtz, Lake Barrington, Illinois, USA, for Being Lili
Mark Rhodes, Greenville, South Carolina, USA, for Assumption
Patrick Earl Ryan, San Francisco, California, USA, for Tobias and the Gentleman Vampire
Michael Sirois, Houston, Texas, USA, for The Hawthorn's Sting