Submissions Open

June 17 – July 17, 2024


Reedsy Best Writing Contest 2023


Please read these closely and carefully!

Eligible writers over 18 years of age from anywhere in the world may enter.

Entries must be written in English; translated works are not eligible. 

Entrants must be individuals, not a company or organization, and text must not be AI–generated or AI–assisted.

Entrants must submit the work using their name, not a pen name. A pen name may be used when announcing their win, if requested.

Both previously unpublished and published writers are eligible to submit to the Page One Prize. 

As long as the page you're submitting is from an unpublished novel (fiction), and you meet the other eligibility guidelines, you can submit. 

NOTE that this means emerging and experienced writers will be participating in the competition. 

In previous contests of this and the Chapter One Prize, unpublished and published writers won prizes and honorable mentions. 

Entries must be original work from an unpublished novel-in-progress. If you’ve posted the same work you’re entering into the contest on your own website or a critique site like Wattpad, you can consider that work unpublished for this contest, but not if the work has been reviewed by editors and published in an online literary journal/magazine. Also, if your novel is under contract for upcoming publication, or you plan to publish before the end of 2024, your work is not eligible.

Your entry can be from a novel in any stage of completion—it does not have to be finished (if it is finished, that's fine, as long as it hasn't been published).

Entrants must not be personal friends with or family members of the judge, Joan Dempsey. Writers who are Facebook friends and with whom Joan has worked either in classes or one-on-one are eligible.

Entries may be in any genre, written for adult readers—this does include young adult novels that adults would typically read, but does not include middle-grade fiction. 

Entries (or drafts of entries) that have won 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in any other competition are not eligible, although those that have finalist or honorable mention status in any other competition are eligible. Previous Page One Prize winners (those who won cash–1st, 2nd, or 3rd prize) must wait two years before submitting again.

The entrant’s name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript of the entry to ensure judging anonymity. The entrant’s name must not be part of the story title or included in the document's name. Any entry failing to comply with this rule will be ineligible and will not receive a refund of the entry fee.

Winners of the first, second and third prize cash prizes, as well as any honorable mentions, must agree to allow their first pages to be posted on the Page One Prize website. If you are not willing to share your first page on the website, please do not enter the competition. (Posting on the website does not constitute "publishing," and you retain all rights to your work.) 

We do this not only to celebrate the winning work, but also because so many writers who enter the competition care about learning what makes a great first page, and showcasing the winning pages is an important learning opportunity and part of why this prize is offered. 

Entrants must abide by the submission guidelines—please read the guidelines carefully! Submissions that don't adhere to the submission guidelines will be deemed ineligible, and the $20 entry fee will not be reimbursed.