Case Closed First Chapter Competition


Spread the Word is delighted to announce the Case Closed First Chapter Competition in partnership with C&W Literary Agency. We are inviting first chapter entries for new crime, thriller and mystery fiction from emerging unpublished and unagented UK-based writers aged 18+ who are one or more of the following:  

  • Black, Asian or Global Majority 

  • Deaf and/or Disabled  

  • LGBTQIA+  

  • Working Class  

The competition is free to enter either via the Spread the Word Submittable page:  

Or as a Postal Entry. Click here to download the Postal Entry Form  

The Competition opens on Wednesday 5 July and closes at 10am on Tuesday 26 September.   

Eligibility Criteria, Terms and Conditions and FAQ are available to read in written English, listen to in audio and watch in British Sign Language (BSL) over on this page

Eligibility Criteria:

Terms and Conditions:


The first chapter submissions must be written in English with a maximum length of 4,000 words. There is no minimum word count. The submission does not need to be from a completed project. 

The first prize is a one-to-one meeting with crime author Tracey Lien, as well as meetings with agents from C&W and one-to-one professional development with Spread the Word. Four highly commended writers will also receive one-to-one meetings with the two agencies. Reasonable adjustments will be made for deaf and/ or disabled writers placed in the competition. 

The winners will be announced in December 2023.

More details about Case Closed, the competition and resources to help develop your crime, thriller and mystery fiction work can be found here:

If you would like more information, please contact [email protected] 

The Case Closed First Chapter Competition is managed by Spread the Word in partnership with C&W Literary Agency. 

Published 5 July 2023