Eligible writers from anywhere in the world may enter.
Entrants must be individuals, not a company or organization.
Entrants must submit the work using their name, not a pen name. A pen name may be used when announcing their win, if requested.
Entrants must be over 18 years of age at the time of entering their work.
Entrants must not be personal friends with or family members of the judge, Joan Dempsey. Writers with whom Joan has worked either in classes or one-on-one are eligible; because the entries are reviewed blind, the judge will not know the writers’ identities until her selections are final.
Entries must be unpublished, original work from a novel-in-progress.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work you’re entering into the contest on your own website or a critique site like Wattpad, you can consider that work unpublished for this contest.
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 must be written in English; translated works are not eligible.
Entries (or drafts of entries) that have won 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in any other competition are not eligible.
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.