Institute for Writers presents



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 needs 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!

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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?

 $1,300 Cash Prizes 

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

Free Online Workshop 

All entrants are invited to a free instructional online workshop with our esteemed judge and the Director of Institute for Writers.

Free Critique

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

Here's what you need to know...

  • Entries can be no longer than 750 words.
  • Target reader can be young adult (YA) through adult.
  • Entries must follow manuscript submission guidelines as stated on our Contest Rules page HERE.
  • Entries deemed pornographic or gratuitously violent will be disqualified.
  • EXTENDED DEADLINE! Entries must be submitted via our online form by midnight Pacific Time on March 31, 2018.
  • There is a $19 reading fee per manuscript to enter the contest.
  • 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 for 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, clear contact information, no creative use of fonts).

The winning entries in this Sci-Fi First Pages contest will be announced at a live online workshop within 60 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!

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