Congrats to our 7th Annual First Chapter Contest winners!

An American film star is living in exile at a posh hotel on the French Riviera and is desperately looking for a way to stay there. Three months delinquent on his hotel tab and already evading tax collectors back in the states, he embarks on a scheme to come up with the money.

This sets the stage for the winner of the Chicago Writers Association’s 7th Annual First Chapter Contest.

This opening chapter of Think Fast by Thom Pharmakis captured FIRST PLACE for its mysterious protagonist who may not be the most reliable storyteller. Thom has been awarded a full scholarship to attend either the All-Genre Novel-In-Progress (NIP) Bookcamp & Writing Retreat on June 18-24, 2023 or the Speculative Fiction NIP Bookcamp & Writing Retreat, on August 13-19, 2023, at the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin (value: $1,429).

SECOND PLACE goes to the first chapter of Amy Strong's Eternity. Amy has received a cash award of $150.

THIRD PLACE has been awarded to Lydia Rogers for the opening chapter of I Swallow the Sun. Lydia has received a cash award of $75.

HONORABLE MENTION and cash prizes of $25 each have been awarded to: 

The Seeker by Ruth Horn 

Dare Diary by Mary Beth Lang 

Rooting for Time by Rebecca S. Krantz

Congratulations to all of the winners! You'll be able to read the top three winning chapters in upcoming editions of CWA’s Write City Magazine.

Members of CWA’s Board of Directors selected the prize winners, which will be published in CWA’s e-zine, Write City Magazine. Judging was blind and based on merits that should be found in a first chapter, including a good opening hook, strong characterizations, compelling voice, conflict, dialogue, and no grammar/mechanical errors.

Thank you to all of those who entered. The field of entries was highly competitive. The judges were all impressed by the quality of this year’s entries. 

Look for details about the 8th Annual First Chapter Contest coming in the summer of 2023.