The first 1,000 words Novel Competition

Closing date: 30 November 2020

Judge: Chris Curran

First prize: £100 and Hastings Writers Room trophy

Runner up: £50

Both prize winners will also receive a signed copy of The Guesthouse.

The opening passages of any novel are perhaps the most important for the whole of the book: they need to be memorable, striking, able to draw in your reader and propel them forward eagerly into the following chapters. Your first 1,000 words should show your skill as a writer but also as a storyteller, potentially even as a best seller! Competition Judge and author Chris Curran will be looking for a gripping first page: one which sets the scene for a tour de force of psychological or crime fiction, or gothic horror.

Entry Fee: £7

Full details and entry

About the Judge

Chris Curran is the author of five crime novels published by Harper Collins. Her first four books are psychological thrillers and critics have called them ‘compelling.’ ‘truly gripping,’ (Sunday Express) ‘cinematic and well-constructed’. Her most recent, ALL THE LITTLE LIES, is ‘a perfectly wrought psychological drama … a film maker’s dream.’ (Bookmuse)

Chris loves gothic fiction and is not averse to a smattering of horror. Since 2020 she has also written as Abbie Frost. THE GUESTHOUSE has been described as ‘A classic remote house mystery’. The Sun called it ‘addictive’; The Daily Mail ‘addictive and fun’, The Courier, ‘a scintillating read.’

Follow Chris/Abbie on Twitter: @FrostyAbbie


Poetry Competition

We very much regret that, due to the limited number of entries received, and in consultation with our intended Judge, John McCullough, this competition has been cancelled.  This was felt to be the fairest solution and does not reflect on the quality of the entries submitted.

All entrants will be contacted individually and fully reimbursed their entry fees, with the option of carrying forward the fee as a credit for entry to a future competition.

Thank you for your patience in this matter, and please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused.