Best Chapters Contest

It’s that time of year when books are forged in the creative fires—something about the fall change inspires us. We want to see all that hard effort rewarded, and we warmly invite you to send us your favorite chapters from your novels!

Roll up your sleeves, write relentlessly, and send us your best this December. We want the chapter that makes us ache for the rest of the book, that makes us desperate to spend more time in the world of your creation! 

We’re so excited to read your submissions and to discover all the wonderful books just waiting for their readers.

Submissions are open from October 1, 2021, to December 15, 2021

Our guest judge will choose three stories from a shortlist.  

The 1st Place winner will receive $5,000 and an hour-long consultation with a literary agent.

2nd Place will receive $300 and publication,

3rd place will receive $200 and publication.

Finalists will also receive written feedback from a literary agent.
 
Bonus: Every entrant will receive access to a pre-recorded mini workshop!
 
Bonus-Bonus: The Voyage Team will randomly select participants to receive agent critique.

Guidelines

  • Voyage submissions are open to all writers working in English
  • International submissions are allowed
  • Submissions must be a chapter of a Young Adult novel (full novel does not need to be completed), and from the point-of-view of a young adult, meaning through the lens of a teen protagonist
  • The chapter doesn’t have to be standalone
  • 5,000-word count maximum
  • We’re open to any genre or style—just send us the best you’ve got
  • Previously unpublished work only, please
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine—just notify and withdraw your entry if it’s picked up by someone else
  • $20 reading fee per entry
  • Multiple submissions are okay—please submit each as a separate submission
  • Every entry will be considered for our regular publications as well
  • Please: 1) double space; 2) use Times New Roman 12 pt font; 3) have 1-inch margins, and 4) put your last name and the page number in the top right-hand corner
  • Tell us in a brief cover letter your publication history (if applicable, no worries if not)

 

Note: To ensure the protection of our volunteer readers, and to keep Voyage a safe space, please let us know in your cover letter if your work can be triggering in any way. This will have no bearing on your submission or a decision—we just want to ensure the best possible environment for our readers. Thank you for your understanding.

About the judge:

Soman Chainani’s debut series, THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, has sold more than 3 million copies, been translated into 30 languages across 6 continents, and will be a major motion picture from Netflix in 2022.

Each of the six books in the series — THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES, THE LAST EVER AFTER, QUESTS FOR GLORY, A CRYSTAL OF TIME, and ONE TRUE KING — have debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list. Together the books have been on the print and extended lists for 38 weeks.

Soman has recently announced a new book, BEASTS & BEAUTY, coming September 21, 2021 from HarperCollins.

A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University’s MFA Film Program, Soman began his career as a screenwriter and director, with his films playing at over 150 film festivals around the world. He has been nominated for the Waterstone Prize for Children’s Literature, been named to the Out100, and also received the $100,000 Shasha Grant and the Sun Valley Writer’s Fellowship, both for debut writers.

Soman’s latest book, BEASTS & BEAUTY, is an instant New York Times Bestseller and will soon be published in 10 languages. It is his seventh New York Times bestseller in a row.

Voyage Values
Voyage YA is committed to diversity and inclusivity. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, disability, family status, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. Voyage has a zero tolerance policy for any work that is discriminatory or harmful in any way, whether intentional or unintentional. Hate speech of any kind will not be tolerated and any work that violates our values will be immediately declined. Voyage maintains the right to further ban authors if problematic behavior persists and/or de-platform authors should there be problematic behavior via other platforms. As the landscape of publishing changes, Voyage acknowledges that there is still much work to be done. Systemic racism and structural inequality have been a problem for a long time, and Voyage will actively work to dismantle them. We have joined the global movement to fight for equality and will consciously work to amplify marginalized voices of authors who have been historically underrepresented in publishing.

We urge authors and readers alike to visit some of the resources we have found helpful—and seek out others.

 
FAQ:
 
Q: When will I hear back about my submission/the results of the contest?
A: Every submitter is notified of a decision, and we send out responses once a submission doesn’t advance to the next round. We’d also encourage you to follow us on social media, as we publicly announce winners and contest opportunities there.
 
Q: Which chapter should I choose?
A: We want the chapter that will get us the most excited to read the rest of the novel. Every submitter will have the opportunity to give some small synopsis in the cover letter, but the chapter should do a good job of being enjoyed on its own!
 
Q: Are prologues acceptable?
A: You can absolutely submit a prologue along with the chapter, as long as the submission is under 5,000 words.
 
Q: What do you mean by “standalone”?
A: Standalone just means that it doesn’t have to be from a standalone novel since some are writing series.
 
Q: Do you accept submissions from writing teams?
A: Yes! However, you would need to designate one person as the submitter—or maybe create a joint Submittable account. As long as you both understand that you’d be splitting the prize if the submission was selected as one of the winners.
 
Q: Who retains the rights to my work, and will I be able to query my novel later?
A: We’re not able to speak for every publisher, but since we’re not publishing your work in its entirety, it should not be a problem going forward. Rights also revert back to the author after 90 days. If an opportunity came up for you to publish your work before the 90 days, we are happy to revert rights back to you sooner.
 

Voyage accepts submissions year-round and published pieces can be found on our website, accessible to everyone for free.