ContestsFantasy Literary AgentsScience Fiction Literary Agents

First Pages Contest #3: Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy, Judged by Agent Beth Marshea

By January 1, 2020 January 24th, 2020 No Comments

(There are three contests happening now at the same time [Jan, 2020] on
my blog. Contest 1 for writers of young adult can be found here.
Contest 2 for writers of mystery, crime, and thriller can be found here.)

I love contests. So welcome to our third 2020 First Pages Contest on the my new Chuck Sambuchino Blog (undergoing a redesign soon). Contest #3 is for writers of adult science fiction & fantasy (for adults). If you’re writing these speculative genres, keep reading, and submit your work!
Here’s how it works. We invite awesome literary agents to judge the contest. The agents pick the genre they want to judge. Writers in that genre are invited to send in their first page as part of the competition. Winners get an awesome critique from your agent judge. It’s free to enter. Sound good? Then let’s get to some details and rules!


Contest #3. You have until 11:59 p.m., PST, January 31, 2020, to submit to the contest.
This contest is only for writers of science fiction and fantasy novels — for adults. (No YA or middle grade, please.) Adult speculative fiction only please.
The agent judge has two weeks from the contest’s end to judge all entries. Then we will inform the winners and post the names here on this blog post.


Submit your manuscript’s first double-spaced page, via email, to
300 words of text, maximum. Do not attach anything. Just copy and paste the text into the email submission.
At the beginning of the email, before you paste your first page, this is what we need to know:

  1. your full name
  2. the city and state you’re based in
  3. your contact email
  4. proof that you’ve shared news of the contest via social media (such as your Twitter handle) — see below on this below
  5. a logline of your work. A logline is a one-sentence summary of your novel. For example, “A burned-out ex-con is hired to rescue the president’s daughter after she is kidnapped on a space station.”

Self-published novels are not eligible for this contest. Unpublished (new) material only, please. You may submit more than one submission; however, you are encouraged to only submit your best work.
PLEASE NOTE OUR SOCIAL MEDIA REQUIREMENTS: Although the contest is free to enter, in order to be considered, you must fulfill our social media requirements. For every submission, you must spread word of this contest twice through social media — either Twitter or Facebook. You can tweet news of it, or share on Facebook.
When you email us your submission, make sure you include some kind of way for us to understand you have followed these guidelines. If you have shared news on Twitter, then just include your Twitter handle. If you have shared news of it on Facebook, then feel free to take a screenshot or send us a link of that status update. An easy way to notify us is to tag us. Tag me — @chucksambuchino — when you spread news. And if you use Twitter, put my handle at the middle or the end, not at the very beginning of the tweet, or else the tweet will be invisible to others. (Please note that simply tweeting me does not count. You have to include the contest URL with your mention; that’s the point.)
Here is a tweet that can be copied and used: New FREE contest for writers of adult Science Fiction & Fantasy novels (all kinds) Judged by agent @busybethm, via @chucksambuchino
If you below to a local writing group, feel free to tag them on Twitter by using their handle when tweeting the news.

Here are some
conferences I’m speaking at or helping coordinate in 2020.
All of them have attending agents meeting with attendee writers:



Beth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Agency.
Ladderbird is a boutique literary agency. Beth has a long love of literature, which started as part of a family of bookworms. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in literature, Beth earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She became determined to find a way to merge her business passion and her love of literature, which she did as an agent. Beth is passionate about writing that pushes genres and boundaries and challenges the reader to accept a new point of view.
Beth is seeking literary fiction, women’s fiction, fantasy, science fiction, crime, and YA SFF/F. Beth will be attending some of the conferences listed above — Chicago, Tampa, and Atlanta. Below find some of the agency clients’ newer and forthcoming titles. Click on the links to learn more or pre-order: Sugar Land by Tammy Lynne Stoner, Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West, and Ration by Cody Luff.


Beth will pick 3 winners (no order). All three of those winners are invited to send their first 10 double-spaced pages to Beth for a critique. If you ever wanted to know what an agent is thinking when they read your submission, this critique is a great way to learn just that.


By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms possibly added by me in the “Comments” section of this blog post. If you have questions or concerns, write us personally at chucksambuchino [at] The Gmail account above is for submissions, not questions. This contest buys no rights, so even if you win, you can still do whatever you like with the work. We do not acquire or own or publish anything. Good luck! Make sure you fulfill the submission requirements to be considered.

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