Congrats to our 8th Annual First Chapter Contest winners!

An anxious stranger steps into the New Orleans parlor of Lene, a gypsy-like fortune-teller and voodoo practitioner who admits only to herself that she's a fraud. Appearing anxious and desperate, he tells Lene he needs protection. Lene, always eager to take advantage and make a quick buck, says she can help him. Only after he tells her from whom he needs protection does the story's narrator start to think that he might not be her typical client.

This sets the stage for Lene by James Drummond, the FIRST PLACE winner of the Chicago Writers Association’s 8h Annual First Chapter Contest. James has been awarded a full scholarship to attend either All-Genre Novel-In-Progress (NIP) Bookcamp & Writing Retreat or the Speculative Fiction NIP Bookcamp & Writing Retreat, both being held June 16-22, 2024, at the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin (value: $1500).

SECOND PLACE goes to the first chapter of Jeffrey Johnson’s The Ampersand Painter. Jeffrey has received a cash award of $150.

THIRD PLACE has been awarded to Rebecca Hanks for the opening chapter of Where They Left Us. Rebecca has received a cash award of $75.

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

Black Rice by Sandra Jackson-Opoku

Up, Down and Back to Me by Linda Kramer

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 9th Annual First Chapter Contest coming in the summer of 2024.