Real Life

The Grazia and Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction First Chapter Competition 2017

Always dreamed of being a writer? The Grazia and Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction First Chapter competition could be your first step to getting published

Think you've got a book in you, just waiting to be unleashed? This could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

The Grazia and Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction First Chapter competition, now in its seventh year, is on the lookout for exciting new literary talent once more. Reading your entries is always something we look forward to, and we can’t wait to see your creative efforts this year. It could be your first step to making your way on to our bookshelves!

Helping us find a new female writing star this time around is Maggie O’Farrell, author of seven acclaimed novels (most recently This Must Be The Place) and a memoir. Maggie has written the opening paragraph of a story – and we’re challenging you to finish the first chapter. The sky’s the limit for your inspiration – the only rules are your entry must be between 800 and 1,000 words and it must be with us by Friday 5 May.

The winner will join us at the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction awards party at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank on Wednesday 7 June, where they’ll receive their £1,000 prize and have their talent flagged up to the biggest names in literature. Good luck!

The Story So Far...

Maggie O’Farrell has started the story titled Always The Quiet Ones; now it’s up to you to finish the chapter...

'I was in bed with the viola teacher for what turned out to be the last time, when the doorbell rang. We had moved on to talking about exam pieces, certain pupils of his, whether my daughter would need a new bow soon. He was smoking a cigarette; he would give up soon, he said, inhaling and closing his eyes, his rosin-smelling ngers laced into mine. A languid, hirsute, dishevelled man, he had a habit of leaving the ends of sentences unsaid, of always tripping over the bedroom rug, of walking about the house, barefoot, examining the photos on the walls with forensic zeal.'

How To Enter

Following Maggie O’Farrell’s lead, write your rst chapter to between 800 and 1,000 words. Include a short autobiography (no more than 200 words), a passport photo of yourself attached to a sheet of A4 paper, your full name, address, mobile phone number, occupation and date of birth. Read our terms and conditions*, then send your entry to Emily Phillips, Grazia, Endeavour House, 189 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JG or email us at by Friday 5 May.

What You'll Win

The winner will receive £1,000 and have their chapter published in Grazia.They will also be invited to the prestigious awards ceremony in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall to pick up their award on stage (hotel and travel for two will be included).Two runners-up will have their chapters published on All three winners will receive the six Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017 shortlisted books. (To see the shortlist and for more info, go to womensprizefor

For full terms and conditions visit

Grazia magazine cover