I'm delighted to announce the winners of the 2024 Chapter One Prize, selected in a blind contest from 930 submissions from all over the world. Congratulations to our three winners, seven honorable mentions, and eleven notables. 

Thanks to everyone who entered—please join me in congratulating our winners!

Please read the winning chapters and follow these authors; they're all writers to watch!

Michael Carin
Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Joseph Guyer
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Historical, Magical Realism


Kathryn Lord
Tallahassee, Florida, USA



The following seven entries really stood out among the top 21 finalists.


Black Mountain, North Carolina USA


Cork, County Cork, Ireland


Arvada, Colorado, USA


Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Other Notable Chapters

ANNA TRAVIESO, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA 

BRIAN WILSON, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

DAWN-MICHELLE BAUDE, Lagnes, Vaucluse, France

EMMA PACCHIANA, Norfolk, Virginia, USA

JENELLE BOUCHER, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

J. ALEXANDER COHEN, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Website  |  X  |  Bluesky

KERRY LYND, Seattle, Washington, USA

NATASHA MILLER, Pewsey, Wiltshire, Great Britain

SUSAN MOGER, Edgewater, Maryland, USA

Website  |  Facebook  |  Insta 

VIKRAM KAPUR, New Delhi, Delhi, India


Annie Dawid teaches creative writing at the University College, University of Denver. She was formerly professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. Her Page One Prize winning entry was taken from her novel Standing Beside Love, which was a finalist in three contests: the Retreat West competition, the Dana Awards in the Novel and the Faulkner novel-in-progress award.

“The Closer You Were, the Less You Knew,” won the 2019 Sequestrum Reprint Award and was published on that website in Spring 2020. Annie won second place in the 2018 London Independent Story Prize. In 2016, she won the International Rubery Award in fiction for her first book and the Music Prize from Knuthouse Press in Fiction. Other awards include the Dana Award in the Essay, the Orlando Flash Fiction Award, The New Rocky Mountain Voices Award (drama) and the Northern Colorado Award in Creative Non-Fiction.

Most recent publications: London Independent Story Project (2020), Pure Slush, Spelk, Arts & Letters, London Independent Story Prize, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Casket of Fictional Delights, Fictive Dream, Reflex Fiction, Windmill, and Joyland; non-fiction in Wordrunner Echapbook. and a poetry chapbook, Anatomie of the World, Finishing Line Press, 2017.



Michael was reading by the age of four, plowing through classics like Treasure Island before the first grade. In third grade he produced a playground version of Helen of Troy so he could cast himself as Paris, and Linda Leonard as Helen. She had great freckles. A poem about discovering lint in his navel and a story about fighting monsters on Mars soon followed, but in high school he fell in love with acting, and added that to his repertoire. 

In the late-1970’s, armed with English and Drama degrees, he taught writing, drama, and technology for two decades, but continued to act and write. One of his stories, Loonie Louie, placed in the top 100 of the 1989 Writer’s Digest’s Short Story contest. The 1990’s saw his one-act play, Baum in Limbo, produced in Houston. His screenplay, An Ordinary Day, survived the first round of cuts in the 2005 season of Project Greenlight, beating out over 5,000 other scripts. 

He retired from Rice in 2009, and lives with his wife, Minay, in a suburb of Houston, where he is hard at work on a third novel, The Hawthorn’s Sting (another thriller). Ideas for a few more are also floating around somewhere in that scary place he calls his brain.


Karen Palmer is the author of the novels All Saints and Border Dogs. She has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a MacDowell fellowship, and grants from the Colorado Council on the Arts. Her essay, “The Reader Is the Protagonist,” published in Virginia Quarterly Review, was selected by Leslie Jamison for inclusion in Best American Essays 2017; her short story, “Virtuoso Mio,” received a Pushcart Prize and is anthologized in The Bedford/St. Martin’s Introduction to Literature. Other writing has appeared in The Rumpus, The Kenyon Review, The Denver Post, Five Points, Arts & Letters, The Manifest-Station, and Kalliope. Karen has taught at UCLA Extension and at Lighthouse Writers in Denver, Colorado, and is currently working on a memoir and a novel.



Victoria Bell is an editor and writer based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia. In fiction, she’s interested in exploring the things people do to one another, whether on a nation-wide basis or within a family — she's currently working on a trilogy set in South Africa during the dying days of Apartheid, while she's also polishing up her novel The Weight of Air, about a mother-son relationship imploding within the dangerous, pressurized environment of a mountaineering expedition in Argentina.

Follow her on Twitter



Jessica McCann is a historical novelist and has worked for 30 years as a professional writer for magazines, universities, corporations and other organizations. Her debut novel, All Different Kinds of Free, was awarded the Freedom in Fiction Prize; her second novel, Peculiar Savage Beauty, was named Arizona Book of the Year and shortlisted for the international Rubery Book Award. McCann’s entry in the Chapter One Prize is from her novel-in-progress, Bitter Thaw. In all of her writing, McCann endeavors to share stories of ordinary people overcoming adversity to accomplish extraordinary things. 

McCann’s most recent release is a nonfiction book that offers a unique glimpse into her writing journey and process. In Words: Essays on Writing, Reading, and Life, McCann shares writing tips and her passion for books, as well as research that shows how reading improves our lives and connecting with nature improves creativity. With a philosophy that is equally pragmatic and optimistic, Words appeals to readers and writers alike.

Connect with Jessica: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads 



Raised crisscrossing America pulling a small green trailer behind the family car, Timothy Jay Smith developed a ceaseless wanderlust that has taken him around the world many times. En route, he’s found the characters that people his work. Polish cops and Greek fishermen, mercenaries and arms dealers, child prostitutes and wannabe terrorists, Indian Chiefs and Indian tailors: he’s hung with them all in an unparalleled international career that saw him smuggle banned plays from behind the Iron Curtain, maneuver through Occupied Territories, represent the U.S. at the highest levels of foreign governments, and stowaway aboard a ‘devil’s barge’ for a three-day crossing from Cape Verde that landed him in an African jail.

Tim brings the same energy to his writing that he brought to a distinguished career, and as a result, he has won top honors for his novels, screenplays and stage plays in numerous prestigious competitions. Fire on the Island won the Gold Medal in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition for the Novel, and his screenplay adaptation of it was named Best Indie Script by WriteMovies. Another novel, The Fourth Courier, set in Poland, published in 2019 by Arcade Publishing, received tremendous reviews, and was a finalist for Best Gay Mystery in the 2020 Lambda Literary Awards. Previously, he won the Paris Prize for Fiction (now the Paris Literary Prize) for his novel, A Vision of Angels. Kirkus Reviews called Cooper’s Promise “literary dynamite” and selected it as one of the Best Books of 2012. 

Tim was nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize. His stage play, How High the Moon, won the prestigious Stanley Drama Award, and his screenplays have won competitions sponsored by the American Screenwriters Association, WriteMovies, Houston WorldFest, Rhode Island International Film Festival, Fresh Voices, StoryPros, and the Hollywood Screenwriting Institute. He is the founder of the Smith Prize for Political Theater.



Sean David Robinson is an author and playwright from Asheville, North Carolina. As a writer of speculative fiction, he enjoys exploring the intersection of the scientific and the mythical, finding kinship with characters who toil between the boundaries of logic and hope. BEYOND THE OVERCAST SKY is his debut novel. He lives with his brilliant wife and three mischievous cats.



Born in Richmond, VA, Hutch Hill studied writing and literature at Sarah Lawrence College in New York before enjoying some adventures and misadventures abroad and at home. Eventually he settled in Austin, TX where he lives with his wife and daughters and animals. He started writing in middle school and somehow never managed to stop. He is extremely surprised and grateful to be part of this announcement.




Lauren D. Woods lives and writes in Washington, DC, where she is finalizing revisions to her novel-in-progress. Her fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in The Antioch Review, The Normal School, Hippocampus Magazine, Fiction Southeast, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. Her work has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions. 



Patrick Cumby is a part-time nomad who, along with his frighteningly adventurous wife, loves to explore the world map’s little-known corners and meet the extraordinary people who call them home. He’s been a bookseller, a dad, a business school professor, a dungeonmaster, an aerospace executive, and the hushpuppy cook at a sketchy seafood joint. He is considered by all who know him to be a very bad dancer.

Patrick’s debut science fiction novel, a cross-genre mix of hard-SF and space opera called GRONE, is coming in April 2023 from Broken Monolith Press. He has written for the Star Trek Universe, is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, and supports local writing groups and environmental causes in his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina.

Discover more–including short stories, artwork and travel adventures–at


Morgan Karpiel works as a copywriter in the marketing and advertising field in Poland. When she's not working with creative teams and dreaming up campaign slogans, she loves to write fiction stories, scripts, and animated story videos for YouTube. Like many others in her community, she has been trying to help those affected by the war in neighboring Ukraine. Many of the stories she now writes are inspired by the people she knows, and the experiences they have shared. For more information on how you can help, please visit


Michael Carin

Michael Carin is a former journalist and magazine editor. His previous books include the novels “Five Hundred Keys”, “The Neutron Picasso”, and “The Kremlin Papers”. Mr. Carin’s non-fiction response to the Holocaust, “The Future Jew”, identified him as a questing, inventive and provocative secular humanist. His work of alternate history, “Churchill At Munich”, won the Whistler Independent Books award for fiction in 2022. Trained as a political theorist at McGill University, he later did graduate work in English literature, wrote book reviews and feature articles for The Montreal Gazette, and served for fourteen years as Editor-in-Chief of Montreal Business Magazine.


Joseph Guyer

Joseph Guyer lives in San Antonio, Texas, where he works as a marketing writer for an investment firm. He holds a B.A. in English from Texas State University and an M.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His previous work has appeared in small, independent literary journals. He’s a recipient of the Wendy Barker Creative Writing Award, and his short story “The Naturalist” was selected to receive the Editor's Choice Award from the Texas Writers Journal. The Word of Luz Divina, which was named a finalist in the Historical Fiction category in the Writers’ League of Texas 2023 Manuscript Contest, would be his first novel. When not working or writing, Joseph enjoys reading, cooking, listening to music, and spending time with his two teenage sons. He’s traveled to Spain twice and is looking forward to the next visit.


Kathryn Lord

Kathryn Lord is a Maine native. A wannabe back-to-the-lander, she built a house on an island, patched minds as a psychotherapist, and mended hearts as a romance coach. A part of the lesbian world for twenty years, Kathryn now lives, writes, and fosters kittens in Tallahassee with her writer husband Andrew Miller. Between Here and Way Far Away was a semifinalist in the 2022 University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize. Her work has appeared in Literally Stories, Fiction on the Web, and The River. She reads fiction submissions for the Southeast Review.