Image of Chapter of Excellence with three award levels


Every writer knows that their first chapter can make or break their story because you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Your opening chapter hooks readers, agents, and publishers or it doesn’t. In fact, the only thing more important than how you end your story . . . is how you begin it. In other words, your first chapter should be an award winner.

At Writers After Dark, we love the promise of that first chapter. That  first impression of the author and the enticement of the story to come.


Winners to be announced on February 15th, 2018.



Platinum, Gold, and Silver Awards by Genre

That first chapter is so important that we’ve launched our Chapter of Excellence Contest to award the best first chapter writers in their genre. The Chapter of Excellence Contest is the opportunity for authors to showcase their openings, win awards for excellence, be a featured interview on The Writers’ Podcast, and to get a shot at one of the two grand prizes: $250 or a table at Once Upon a Book Author Signing 2018.

A chance to be interviewed on The Writers’ Podcast

If you’ve ever thought, “If I could just get people to read my first chapter they’d be hooked,” then this is your contest.


Entry is simple AND it’s affordable at only $15!

To join the contest just visit the entry page, fill out the short form, and upload your first chapter and book cover by October 31st, 2017.

Winners to be announced on February 15th, 2018.