Calling All Budding Writers: Here’s How Enter Our Grazia First Chapter Competition


The Grazia and Women’s Prize for Fiction First Chapter competition is back, and it could be the first step in your literary career. a Now in it’s ninth year, Gail Honeyman, award- winning author of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, has kicked this year’s competition off by writing the opening paragraph of a story.

Now, we’re challenging you to finish the first chapter. The sky is the limit for your inspiration, just keep to 800-1,000 words and send it to us by Tuesday 21 May. The winner will join us at the star- studded Women’s Prize for Fiction awards party in London on Wednesday 5 June, where they’ll have their talent flagged up to the biggest names in literature.

The Story So Far
Gail Honeyman has started the story called Voice – now it’s up to you to finish the opening chapter.

Helen was awake now. Unlike her real phone, the landline hardly ever rang. The sound reminded her of childhood; for years, her parents had kept theirs on a special teak table in the hall. It had a green velvet-cushioned seat, and there was a drawer for dried-up pens, directories and, most importantly, the family address book. Leather-bound, A souvenir from Fuengirola, it held the contact details of everyone they’d ever interacted with, regularly and ruthlessly updated in five different sets of handwriting. She could still picture her mum sitting there, ankles neatly crossed, still hear her dad answering calls with a recitation of their home number. Helen reached across for the handset, saw that it displayed a number with the same area code as her own. Something – she’d wonder what, later – made her press the green button. ‘Hello?’ she said.

How To Enter
Following Gail’s lead, write your first chapter (800-1,000 words max) plus a short biography (200 words max), with your name, address, email, phone number, occupation and date of birth. Read our terms and conditions*, then send your entry to Emma Rowley, Grazia, Academic House, 24-28 Oval Road, London NW1 7DT or email us at by Tuesday 21 May.

What You’ll Win
The winner will get a meeting with a senior Penguin Random House editor and a goodie bag, and have their chapter published in Grazia. They will also be invited to the awards ceremony on 5 June in London to pick up their award**. Two runners-up will have their chapters published on All three winners will receive the six Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018 shortlisted books.