Institute for Writers presents




Click Here to Enter

Bring on the Science Fiction!  

Are you grabbing your readers? If you can't get your reader past the first pages, they won't ever get to the rest of your story.

The first page or two needs to be dynamic, grab our attention, and make us want to know more.

Science fiction first pages need to set up why the story is different than our everyday world. Send us your first pages and let's see if it's doing the trick to win!

For this contest, we want to see the first 1,000 words of your science fiction novel aimed at an adult audience.

Deadline December 15, 2021

What's Sci-Fi? defines science fiction as "works of fiction that use scientific discoveries or advanced technology — either actual or imaginary — as part of their plot." This contest is your chance to let your imagination run wild. Remember you can create anything science-related (life in space, time travel, robots going awry, etc.), but you have to stick to whatever "rules" you set up in your plot, so choose wisely!

Why Enter an IFW Writing Contest?

 $1,300 Cash Prizes 

  • 1st prize = $650
  • 2nd prize = $350 
  • 3rd prize = $100
  • 4th prize = $100
  • 5th prize = $100

Online Workshop 

All entrants are invited to a FREE instructional online workshop with our esteemed judge .

Enter Today!

Free Critique

Winning entries will be workshopped in our live webinar by our judge to help writers understand what worked and what could be improved to make it submission-ready.

What's our judge looking for?

Our judge is looking for a compelling opening or event and a likeable, believable main character, human or otherwise. If the story is set on earth, establish where and when ASAP. If the story is set elsewhere, on another planet, a space ship, or other alien (to humans) environment, nail that immediately to ground readers. Be sure to reveal at least a hint of the story problem and what obstacles the character must overcome. That may be asking for the moon, pardon the pun, but this is science fiction.

Here's what else you need to know...

  • Your entry can be no longer than 1,000 words.
  • Your entry should be from the beginning of your novel. (Novel doesn't need to be completed to enter the first pages.)
  • Entries must be previously unpublished and not currently under contract with a publisher.
  • Target readers are adults.
  • Entries must follow manuscript submission guidelines as stated on our Contest Rules page HERE.
  • No sexually explicit, pornographic, or gratuitously violent entries will be accepted.
  • Entries must be submitted via our online form by midnight Pacific Time on December 15, 2021.
  • There is a $19 reading fee per manuscript to enter the contest.
  • You will receive a link to the submission form via email after your purchase is completed.
  • You may enter more than one manuscript but each entry requires a $19 reading fee.
  • Every writer who enters will be invited to the online workshop (it's free!) where the winning entries are critiqued. (Non-entrants pay $7.)

Submissions will be judged on clarity, originality, potential in the market, and your ability to match standard manuscript format (double spacing, one inch margins, no creative use of fonts).

The winning entries in this Science Fiction First Pages writing contest will be announced at a live online workshop within 90 days after the contest closes. All contest entrants will be invited free of charge. (Non-entrants may attend for a nominal fee of $7.)

This is a great opportunity to build your writing and submitting skills!

Copyright © 2021 Institute for Writers