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Jul 1, 2020

FictionFive Contest

FictionFive Contest for Unpublished Writers!

The contest has closed and the results are in! 

Check here to view the winner and finalists. 

Contest Highlights

Submit the first 1,500 words of your unpublished manuscript and get a detailed score sheet with feedback from 5 top-rated writers—the CritiqueMatch community is known for providing constructive and encouraging feedback! The top rated entry wins $250. The top 3 finalists in each genre category receive a developmental editor’s feedback! 

- Submissions open: June 1, 2020
- Submissions close: June 30, 2020 at 11:59p.m. EST.
- Finalists announced: July 31, 2020
- Score sheets sent to all entrants: within 30 days from finalists announcement.

- Top prize: $250 gift card.
Top 3 finalists in each genre category: feedback from a developmental editor.
All entrants: feedback from 5 top-rated writers on CritiqueMatch.
All score-sheets with the judges' feedback have been returned to the contest participants via email. If you have not received your score-sheets, email us at contest (at) critiquematch {dot} com.

Genre Categories:
- Fantasy
- Science Fiction
- Romance
- Thriller
- Mystery

SubmissionThe first 1,500 words of your unpublished manuscript. No synopsis necessary. Your manuscript can be partially completed at the time you submit the first 1,500 words.

* We will donate 10% of the contest's proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) organization to support its important work to ensure justice, unity, and equality for all.

Payment: Credit Card

First round: top-rated CritiqueMatch peer writers. 
Second round: developmental editors.

Not ready to enter? Volunteer to judge instead! 
View the Score Sheet to be used by the judges.
Do you have questions? Email us here.


CritiqueMatch promotes Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our contest. Any writers regardless of their race, color, gender, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation are welcome to enter the FictionFive Contest. Entries are judged anonymously; as such, each entry is only judged on its writing craft merit. 
Contest entrants can also be judges in the contest.

There are two rounds of judging:
- In the first round, 5 top-rated CritiqueMatch peer writers in your genre will judge each entry. The lowest of the five scores will be dropped and the rest four scores will be averaged to create the final score of the first round. 
- The top 3 entries in each category will advance to the second round.
- In the second round, a developmental editor will score each entry. The editor’s score, on top of the first round’s score, will determine the final score and the winning entry for the top prize in the contest. 
- If there is a tie for the winning entry or the top 3 entries in each category, we will utilize the dropped score from the first round and/or an additional editor’s score, if necessary.

CritiqueMatch’s Terms of Service apply to all judges.

All submissions will get a detailed Score Sheet with feedback from a minimum of five peer writers—the CritiqueMatch community is known for providing constructive feedback! 

Would you like to volunteer to judge in our contest?
All five-star rated CritiqueMatch members in good standing can become judges!


Contest Rules & Guidelines
  • Contest participants must be members of CritiqueMatch (sign up is free).
  • Submit the first 1,500 words of your manuscript. If more than 1,500 words are submitted, only the first 1,500 words will be judged. Please submit a minimum of 1,000 words.
  • Format: all stories must be submitted by their author in Times New Roman 12 font and double-spaced text.
  • No synopsis is required.
  • You can submit multiple stories in the contest, one per each $25 fee, but we ask that you do not submit the same story more than once.
  • We currently only accept electronic submissions of works in English language.
  • All submissions must be previously unpublished and must be your own work (Fan fiction is not eligible). Your manuscript can be unfinished.
  • All entries must be received electronically by June 30, 2020 11:59p.m. EST.
  • A submission is considered complete only when the payment has been received.
  • All entries are final. No revisions are accepted.
  • We cannot process refunds once an entry has been received.
  • The $25 entry fee helps cover the administrative cost of the contest.
  • We’ll recognize 3 finalists in each of the Five Fiction categories: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Thriller, Mystery. If your story crosses over several genres, we ask that you select the genre that is the most important to your plot/characters.
  • Authors retain all rights to their work. The judging will be conducted via the secure CritiqueMatch platform and the authors’ work will not be accessible to the judges once judging is completed.
  • CritiqueMatch reserves the right to cancel the contest if no more than 5 entries were received in each of the aforementioned categories. Only in this case, CritiqueMatch will provide refunds to contest entrants.
  • If you recognize the submission you were assigned to judge, please let us know and we will reassign a submission to you.
  • CritiqueMatch’s Terms of Service apply to the competition participants. 
  • No cash substitution, transfers or assignments of prize allowed. All expenses, including taxes, relating to the winner's gift card, are the sole responsibility of the winner. By accepting a prize, the winner releases CritiqueMatch from any and all liability for any loss, harm, damages, cost or expense, including without limitation property damages, personal injury and/or death, arising out of participation in this contest or the acceptance of the prize. If, for any reason, (including unauthorized intervention, technical failures, or any other cause beyond the control of CritiqueMatch which affects the administration, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this contest), the contest is not capable of being conducted as described in these rules, CritiqueMatch shall have the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest. 
  • Within approximately thirty (30) days after confirmation of the finalists, CritiqueMatch will provide all participants their prizes.
  • All participants will be individually notified of the results by e-mail.
  • This contest is void where prohibited by law.