Announcing the third annual Instant Hook Writing Contest (2015)!
The Instant Hook Writing Contest is a fun (but useful) test to see how effectively you can lure unsuspecting readers from disinterest into engrossed attention.
There are so many different ways to grab a reader’s attention, so many “rules” which end up contradicting each other that I won’t waste space pontificating about what makes a great opening. I’ll leave that to you! There is no entry fee, and no prerequisites other than being over 18, and there is a cash prize for the winner. Please read the regulations carefully. Good luck!
Opening date: September 14, 2015
Deadline (postmark date): December 7, 2015;
Prize: $300.00 (Canadian)
Entrants are encouraged to submit the first 300 words or less of an unpublished novel. As the competition title suggests, the goal is to create an opening that commands attention, and makes the reader wish for more. For the sake of this competition, though, there will be no more; the word limit will be strictly adhered to, so the aim is to create an opening so intriguing, so compelling that it will promise a wealth of ingenious, absorbing, beautifully-written prose to come on its heels.
Sound like fun? Good. The exercise will make those creative juices run and give you something to work with for many weeks, months, and years afterwards.
Here are the rules; please read carefully!
- The awards are open to anyone who is over 18 at time of entry.
- The submission must be sole-authored, in English, from the very beginning of a novel, and no more than 300 words.
- The novel opening may have been written for the competition or may be part of a manuscript already completed. But it cannot have been published, and cannot have been accepted by a publisher at time of entry.
- These awards are open to new or established, already-published, authors (it does not have to be a first novel).
- This is a blind-judged competition. HB Creativity must not have seen any part of this novel prior to entry; it must not be a work for which I personally have provided tutoring or editing services. I cannot absolutely guarantee I will not recognize a writing style, but I must not recognize the writing, the characters, or the plot.
- Please use 12 Times New Roman font and double space your entry.
- Send your entry by mail only (no emails please) to Paul Butler, HB Creativity, 49 East Valley Road, Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada, A2H 2L4 (make sure you have “Paul Butler, HB Creativity” as well as the address) with a postmark date no later than December 7, 2015. Winners will be announced by March 2016.
- Please do not put your name on your entry! Enclose in a separate envelope your name and contact (email and phone), plus the title of your entry. This envelope will be opened after the winners have been decided. Along with your name and contact please indicate whether you wish to receive our monthly INK STAINS news bulletin.
- There will be a one time email to entrants to announce the competition winner. There will be no advertising of any kind on this email. If you do not wish to receive this email, please indicate this on your entry.
- Do not send your only copy. Copies without sae cannot be returned. If you do not want your entry returned, it will be shredded and recycled.
- There is no cost to enter.
- There is no residency or nationality requirement.
- Copyright remains with the author. We may ask for permission to publish an extract of the winning works on this website but this will not be done without the author’s express permission. Withholding permission will in no way invalidate the entry or disqualify it from winning a prize. By entering you merely give permission for me to use your name and the (provisional) title of the work.
- One winner will receive a cash prize of $300.00 (Canadian), plus a sodalite keychain donated by Open Earth Designs. Sodalite is the stone reputed to give inspiration to writers. Two runners-up will receive a free hour tutorial (depending on location) in-person or over Skype.