Our Competition - The Firestarter 2019.

Jan 13, 2019

Time to add some heat to your writing.

Get working on that first chapter to clinch the top spot in our annual competition The Firestarter which recognizes the potential of a novel from the outset. 

The winning entry will be submitted to our literary agent partners along with the entire manuscript, if ready. There is a prize of £150 for use at The Novelry for any course or retreat.

The prize is open to all members subscribed by 1st February 2019 (you can subscribe for just £14.99 a month here) and the winner is selected by first past the post voting of all members. 

The deadline and closing date for submissions and posting of entries is 1st March at midnight.

All members will be asked to vote by email before midnight 8th March. The winner will be announced in the Sunday blog to follow on 10th March

Write, revise, rewrite. Rinse and repeat!


It is a truth universally acknowledged that the opening pages of a novel must seize the imagination of the reader, immersing them in time, place and the pending dilemma.

In the children's classics, the openings are cosy. We are sat on mother's lap still being read to and assured that this is a safe place, before we go on the fictional adventure. Think fire with marshmallows toasting over it. We show you how to do this in The Classic Course.

What every commercially viable work of fiction must have in common in the Age of Impatience is the relationship between space - the first page - and time - pace which delivers action. You can't hang about, now more than ever before. Adult literary fiction will tend towards the immersive, placing the reader alongside the narrator implicating them in the events unfolding and thriller novels will prioritise emergency over immersion. The clock's ticking!

To encourage my writers and to find out what works with the most scrupulous readers - our writers - we kick off the writing year with shaping up the hardest part to crack - the chapter with The Firestarter competition.

Writers submit the first 1500 words of their work to our Members Lodge which is a closed forum with the subject heading 'FIRESTARTER'.

Other members can give kind, constructive feedback beneath the entry.

All members have one vote and when they receive their electronic voting form they submit them to The Novelry for counting. The entry with the most votes is the winner... then again everyone's a winner as we all get kind useful feedback on our all-important opening scenes.

You can submit from now until 1st March.

 Happy writing!


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