Second Annual Contest!

All year, you’ve been learning how to hone new skills that you can apply to your stories.

Ready to see how you’ve improved?

This contest gives you the opportunity to have professional writers take a look at the first five pages of your story–the pages that will hook a reader’s interest. We’ll give you positive feedback and maybe some ideas.

Letting someone else read your stories may be a scary notion for some writers, but who would understand that better than a fellow writer? I personally promise that your entry will be read by kind and sympathetic volunteers who like stories and like to encourage the people who write them. Besides, authors’ names will be removed before entries are forwarded to our readers, so until it’s time to send out the results, take comfort in the knowledge that your identity will be secret . . . incognito . . . completely anonymous.

Here’s what to do:

  • Choose a story that you feel reflects your best efforts–something you wrote independently.
  • Make sure you’re subscribed by email or RSS Fed to Only regular readers may enter, but subscribing is easy. Just follow the directions in the left side bar under “Subscribe.”
  • Send the first 5 pages of your story by midnight, May 1, 2011 as an email attachment to Your submission should be typed, double-spaced with 1″ margins, in Times New Roman font (12 pitch size) and saved as a Word document in Rich Text format (.rtf). Please use a header to show the title of your story and the page number on each page, but do not include your name in the header. If you know the genre of your story, you may include that information also.
  • In the body of your email, please be sure to tell us your name and the name of your story. If you could tell us something about yourself, how far along you are in your story, or how long you’ve been writing, that would be interesting as well.
  • Entries will be critiqued by one or more of our contributors. We will be VERY gentle and encouraging.
  • Categories will depend somewhat on how many entries we receive from writers of various ages in each genre. Winning entries in each category will receive a full critique and a copy of A Novel Idea: Best Advice on Writing Inspirational Fiction, a compilation of tips from best-selling Christian novelists. This is a really good book!

So be brave! Take the challenge! There’s really nothing to lose but your jitters. 🙂 And don’t forget to subscribe to receive this blog regularly.

Best wishes for a happy new year from your friends at!

About Lynn Dean

Lynn Dean dictated her first story before she could write and continued to write stories, illustrate them, and bind them into books throughout childhood. As a homeschooling mom, she enjoyed passing a love for writing to her own children and ten years of co-op students.

Read more about Lynn.


  1. What is the contact email address please?

  2. Lynn Dean says:

    Ack! Can’t believe I forgot that!

    Email your entries to: discovertexas(at)hot(dot)rr(dot)com, the email address listed on Lynn Dean’s bio page.

    Thanks so much for asking!

  3. Thank you Lynn.

  4. frechfry89 says:

    Hello, you mention that the pages we send in are going to be forwarded to your readers. I was wondering if it’s going to be just the five pages or if you are going to want more? Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question, but I’m just curious.

    Please and thank you in advance

  5. Lynn Dean says:

    No such thing as a stupid question! How can you know unless you ask, right?

    The readers, in this case, are our contributors and/or volunteers who are skilled at critiquing. We’ll only forward the first five pages for the purposes of our contest because that’s about how many pages book shoppers (and also editors and agents) thumb through before they make the decision to “buy” or “pass.” It’s very important, therefore, to make those first five pages the very best they can be!

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