Stockholm Writers Festival

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

First Pages Prize 

Designed to recognize and support the work in progress of unagented, emerging writers anywhere in the world, the First Pages Prize is sponsored by The de Groot Foundation in partnership with the Stockholm Writers Festival.

Prize Packages

1st prize is $1000 USD, developmental editing of the first 10 pages of the submittted manuscript, a travel stipend to assist in getting to Stockholm, Sweden during May 3–5, 2019, and 1x Main Festival Pass for the Stockholm Writers Festival event.

2nd prize is $750 USD, developmental editing of the first 8 pages of the submitted manuscript, a travel stipend to assist in getting to Stockholm, Sweden during May 3–5, 2019, and 1x Main Festival Pass for the Stockholm Writers Festival event.

3rd prize is $500 USD and developmental editing of the first 8 pages of the submitted manuscript

Entry period is December 3, 2018 (8:00 a.m. CET or UTC+1), to February 3, 2019 (11:59 p.m. CET or UTC+1)

Prize Presentation

The winning entries will be announced May 3, 2019, at SWF19. We will notify the winners by or before March 23, 2019. The developmental edit will be delivered within two months of SWF19.

The Judge

Judging the First Pages Prize 2019 is award-winning author, Paul McVeigh.

The Stockholm Writers Festival First Pages Prize adheres to the CLMP Contest Code of Ethics:
“CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines — defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.”

Mechanics of Our Selection Process 

Several people participate in the reviewing process of all the submissions in order to select the short list. Submissions are blinded and all entries are read by at least two reviewers and reviewers are unable to see how others have judged. Our judging criteria is: quality of writing, character development, originality, a sense of a story or red thread emerging, and how much the writing hooked the reviewer. Ethical boundaries are followed, for example to excuse oneself from reviewing work written by a writer where the work is known by the reviewer. All entries are carefully reviewed over three rounds to reach a decision on the short list with the reviewers sitting down to discuss the top 10 percent.

Guidelines and Competition Rules

  • Entries must be submitted electronically through Submittable.
  • Entrants must be currently UNAGENTED, whether previously published or unpublished.
  • Entrants may enter more than one submission, but each entry must be a separate submission through Submittable.
  • Entries should be the first pages of a longer manuscript and not exceed 1,250 words in length. Entries from last year’s First Pages Prize are not able to be resubmitted.
  • Entries must be an unpublished, original work of fiction (any genre) or creative non-fiction in English. No translated works can be accepted. Previously published entries (including on a website, Wattpad or any other online or offline platform) cannot be accepted.
  • Entrants must be over 18 years of age.
  • The entrant’s name MUST NOT appear anywhere on the manuscript or TITLE of the submission to ensure judging anonymity. Failure to follow this rule results in disqualification.
  • Entries from members of the Stockholm Writers Festival board, faculty, or any person assisting in the judging process, will not be accepted.
  • The judging is final and individual feedback on entries cannot be given.
  • No entry will be returned or kept after the winners have been announced.
  • No alteration to any submission may be made once it has been submitted.
  • Copyright remains with the author.
  • If your entry wins another writing competition you must withdraw from the First Pages Prize by emailing us at, and your submission fee will be refunded (minus process + transaction fees) unless you enter a different submission (by the final date of the entry period).
  • No refunds are possible for entries that do not comply with these rules.
  • Cash awards will be paid within 45 days of the Stockholm Writers Festival 2019 by bank transfer.
  • The developmental edit is not transferable or redeemable for any cash equivalent.
  • Travel stipends for the 1st and 2nd place winners will be reimbursed according to the invoice for tickets purchased by winner, for a maximum of the following in SEK Swedish krona: 1000kr for travel within Sweden; 1800kr for travel within Europe; 6000kr for travel from the US/Canada or Middle East; 9800kr for travel from the rest of the world. The 1st and 2nd place winners are responsible for arranging their own travel and any necessary visas or travel documents.
  • The final date for receipt of entries is February 3, 2019 (11:59 p.m.).
  • By entering, you accept that your email address is added to the mailing list of Stockholm Writers Festival.
  • The judging panel reserves the right not to award a prize in the event that the prize does not attract sufficient entries.
Stockholm Writers Festival