This party's over. But feedback is still FREE.

Already signed up? Click here to access the contest on the Peer Critique Forum.

The Ready Chapter 1 community is built by writers, for writers, with tech-enabled tools to help writers thrive. Notice the common thread? In our brand new Peer Critique Forum, writers swap feedback to create a Story Score for each scene or chapter you submit. It’s a great go-to for critique of your work in progress or, in this case, Contests!

RC1’s Launch Party Contests are a Wrap!

We put our new platform through its paces with a series of contests, and it couldn’t have gone better. More than 500 stories were swapped on our forum, and 2500 critiques were given. If you’ve joined our free community platform or are on our newsletter list, you’ll get the email when our next contests open. Here’s how our contests works:
  1. If you don’t already have one, create an account on our Peer Critique Forum. The contest category is in the forum. Each contest category will appear when submissions open.
  2. Review the required number of entries from fellow writers to ‘earn’ your entry. 
  3. Post the opening 500 words of your latest work of fiction in any genre.
Collectively, the community picks the top story, but everybody wins in the end. You’ll not only receive valuable feedback from fellow writers on your first pages but also contribute to the growth and development of an entire writing ecosystem. If the feedback helps you on your journey, stick around! You can give and receive daily feedback on longer sections of your story in our regular forum categories.

More Free Stuff!

Our contests are shuffling back and forth from First Pages contests to Pitch contests, and we’ve got a couple of giveaways to help you get ready. Check out this Where Should My Story Start? worksheet to help with your first pages and this Jacketflap Copy Worksheet for the pitch contest. Both of these are from our Total Story Accelerator program and will help you prepare the best version of your contest entries. 

☝️☝️☝️ Feel Free to share this image. 🙂

Win a Critique from a Literary Agent

The three top-ranked stories in each contest will receive a critique of their first ten pages from an active and acquiring literary agent. This level of industry gatekeeper feedback can help you identify exactly what’s right with your story and what will make it ready for submission. And maybe, just maybe, some magic will happen.

It’s Really, Truly, Totally 100% FREE

As thanks for checking out the platform we designed, we’re covering all the costs of these contests. We hope you’ll help us spread the word about our community and, as we grow, pave a new path for writers everywhere.

You Can’t Win if You Don’t Enter

RC1 is designed to discover new and emerging writers. But we’re also designed to be a kind and caring community. We were all brand new once, and this is intended to be a safe place for you and your ideas.

Contest Rules 

  • RC1 is a professional community of career driven writers. Please read each entry that you judge fully and take the time necessary to write specific feedback for each entry. Anyone found trying to game the system, Christmas tree their answers, copy and paste the same review, etc, will be disinvited from future participation. (Basically, just be good to each other.)
  • At RC1, we give first. The system will tell you how many posts you need to judge before posting yours.
  • One entry per person per contest. 
  • Once you’ve submitted, we’re asking you not to edit so remember to polish before you post.
  • Don’t post something that’s already a winner. If you’ve won a previous contest, great! Hit us with something brand new. 
  • If you’re having trouble, please ask questions in the Site Feedback category. We don’t expect everything to work perfectly on the first try, so thanks for being patient.
  • Contests will open at 4 p.m. EST on Fridays and close at 8 p.m. EST on Sundays. At that point, your posts will convert to read-only and may disappear while we tabulate the winners.
  • Old contests will disappear forever after a week, so remember to review your scores and critique notes.



Ak! I signed up but I can’t find the contest entry page. 
So sorry this happened. Our system uses email authentication to log you in, so when you go this login page, it will send you a verification email link. Once you’ve clicked that link, you’ll be automatically logged in and redirected to the forum. If there are any hiccups, click here to get to the forum and see all the categories. Navigate to the contest category, give your five reviews to ‘earn’ your entry, then enter the contest with the “Start a New Post” button. If you’re still having trouble, email us at team at readychapter1 dot com. 

Can anyone enter? Even if I’ve already been published?  
RC1 is designed to help writers at every level, including those who have already had books published. While we think this is a great place to test out your first pages and new ideas, please don’t enter stories that have been published. 

What if I’m one of the very first entries and there aren’t enough posts to review yet? 
If there are fewer than the required number of entries, review what you can, then post away! 

How do I give a review? 
Be honest. Be kind. (Be both, actually.) The review has two parts. The first is a quick, gut-level 1-5 assessment of the piece. Don’t overthink it, just remember that what’s most helpful is knowing a relative strength and weakness. If it’s mostly level-3 writing, is there any aspect that’s a 4? A 2? The second part will ask you for two sentences: one that mentions a highlight, and one that mentions something that needs work. 

Any rules for reviews? 
We want to create a culture that supports writers, so we’re going with tried and true kindergarten rules: respect others, don’t hit, and don’t eat the glue. Basically, don’t be a troll … and don’t copy and paste the same review. We’re only asking for two sentences. Please take thirty seconds to write something specific to that entry.

How will you pick the winners? 
First, we’ll check the posts to make sure each poster has reviewed five other posts, hasn’t been a troll, and hasn’t copied and pasted the same response. Then, of the folks that meet those requirements, we’ll choose the three entries with the highest overall scores. (If, for some reason, we have several people with the exact same score, we’ll be really surprised. And then we’ll assign them numbers, and pick three randomly.) 

You said entries should be 500 words, but I can post 514 (or some other number)? 
Right now, we can only limit the number of characters, not words. And we want our sesquipedalian writers to be able to post 500 words, too. So after trial and error, we chose 2900 characters as a good estimate of 500 words. If you can fit in 514 words, go for it. 

How many times can I enter? 
Just once, please.

What’s the story here? What are you guys REALLY up to at Ready Chapter 1?  
Like you, we’re a bunch of writers. We’ve got some out-of-the-box ideas to leverage tech-enabled tools (like this contest) to discover new talent. And guess what? Publishers are taking notice. As we become more and more comfortable giving each other measurable, constructive feedback, we’ll become a go-to writing community that publishers trust to deliver market-ready stories. Everyone wins.