Contest updates

The First Page Challenge closes soon!

If you were planning to enter, the deadline is September 30 at midnight PDT.

Last-minute judging change

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Michelle Barker will not be able to judge the First Page Challenge this year. She loves reading all the shortlisted entries and choosing a winner, so she's looking forward to returning as a judge again next year.

In Michelle's place, Darling Axe editor Carmen Craig will be stepping in to help.

Carmen is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabe from Hiawatha First Nation and an award-winning short fiction writer and poet. She holds a BA with honours in linguistics from the University of Victoria and a diploma in creative writing and English literature from Camosun College. In addition to editing fiction, Carmen works as a language and culture consultant while also pursuing a Master of Education degree at the University of Victoria.

Contests to come—three contests per year

That's right—we are going to start offering three writing contests per year. The First Page Challenge isn't going anywhere, but we are retiring our flash fiction contest and instead we will have two new ones: Clash of the Query Letters and the Synopsis Skirmish (to be added to the site soon). 

In this way, our contests will mirror the three components of the querying process and will therefore allow us to provide more resources for the writing community at large.

Here's what the new schedule will look like:

  • Clash of the Query Letters—October to January 31
  • Synopsis Skirmish—February to May 31
  • The First Page Challenge—June to September 30

Thanks to everyone who has submitted to the First Page Challenge! It's a lot of fun to read all of your entries. Stay tuned for the results on the blog by mid-October.

The First Page Challenge—a writing contest for novelists

About the Darling Axe

Our editors are industry professionals and award-winning writers. We offer narrative development, editing, and coaching for every stage of your manuscript's journey to publication.

Work with a professional fiction editor from the Darling Axe: manuscript development and book editing services

Book a sample edit with a professional fiction editor from the Darling Axe: manuscript development and book editing services

Darling Axe Academy – Query Quest: a self-paced querying course

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