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HOOK 'EM! Writing Contest

DFW Writers' Workshop

Ends Monday, January 18, 2010 at 9:15 AM (CDT)

HOOK 'EM! Writing Contest

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Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Entry Fee Ended $35.00 $0.00

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Event Details

HOOK 'EM Writing Contest


Fiction and Non-Fiction Novel Manuscripts

 Agents and editors agree that to compete with today's flashier entertainment, authors must 'hook' a reader in a book's first five pages. Writers need to decide:  "How can I establish an opening that promises excitement … or romance … or adventure … and still offer a fresh, original product?" It must all happen in the first five pages, or no one will buy the book.



        The DFW Writers Conference, a production of the DFW Writers' Workshop



        $35 per entry. Must be paid prior to submitting your written material by visiting and clicking on the Hook ‘Em contest link. The sponsor donates,

        in your name, $5 of the fee to First Book (, a non-profit organization

        established to provide books to underprivileged children in this country. No entry fees will be

        refunded under any circumstance.



One Contest Winner in each genre will receive a 10-minute appointment with an agent. No substitution, cash redemption or transfer of right to receive prizes is permitted. Prize consists only of items expressly specified in these Official Rules.



Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror - Romance - Mystery/Thriller/Suspense - Literary - Non-Fiction - Young Adult/Middle Grade



NOTE: Failure to comply to formatting requirements automatically disqualifies the entry



(1)    Formatted in Courier New font, 12 point (review William Shunn’s example for standard

 manuscript format at


(2)    Written in English


(3)    No less or longer than five pages with a 2-page synopsis for fiction and no less or longer

        than five pages with no longer than a 3-page proposal for non-fiction



(1)    After registering, submit the FIRST five pages of your manuscript and a two-page synopsis (for

fiction manuscripts) / the FIRST five pages and a one-page query letter (for non-fiction

manuscripts) in Rich Text Format attachment to All

submissions must be received by the end of the day, January 15, 2010 (as in "just before



(2)    Include in the subject line HOOK 'EM CONTEST and the genre in which you chose to write. 


(3)    In the body of the email, include your name, mailing address, personal email address (no work

emails), and telephone number. 



The Contest judge(s) are independent of the DFW Writers’ Workshop and Writers Conference. The

Judge or Judges select one Contest Winner in each genre based on the following criterion weighted


  • Adherence to standard manuscript format
  • Creativity
  • Use, or over use of adverbs, adjectives, poor punctuation, and/or weak verbs
  • Believability of the character(s) (for fiction genres)
  • Capturing the reader's interest
  • Overall quality of writing. In the event of a tie, tied entries will be re-judged


THREE FINALISTS in each genre will be notified approximately two weeks prior to the DFW Writers' Conference, April 10-11, 2010 by way of email and given the time and place of the award ceremony and agent pitch session.



One Contest Winner in each genre will receive a 10-minute appointment with an agent. No substitution, cash redemption or transfer of right to receive prizes is permitted.


Prize consists only of items expressly specified in these Official Rules.




The winners for each genre will be announced on the

DFW Writers’ Workshop website

within one week of the end of the conference.




ENTRANT REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES, INDEMNIFICATION AND RELEASE. By entering, each entrant represents and warrants to the SPONSOR that his/her entry is (i) completely the original work of the entrant and was written solely by the entrant, (ii) not copied from any other source or previously broadcast or otherwise distributed or disseminated in any media or format, (iii) not in the public domain, and (iv) not in violation of or conflict with the trademark, copyright, rights of privacy, rights of publicity or any other rights, of any kind or nature, of any other person or entity. Entrant agrees to defend and indemnify SPONSOR for any breach of the above representations. By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to indemnify, defend, release, discharge and hold harmless SPONSOR and its parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, promotional partners and agents, and all others associated with the development and execution of this Contest, and the officers, directors and employees of each of the foregoing, from any and all claims and liabilities arising from or in connection with participation in this Contest, including without limitation (a) claims for injury, loss or damage of any kind resulting from participation in this Contest or acceptance or use of any prize and (b) claims based on rights of privacy, rights of publicity, false light, defamation, copyright and/or trademark infringement relating to the submission or exploitation of the entrant's concept.


GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS. By entering the Contest, each entrant grants permission to the SPONSOR to use his/her name, photograph, likeness, voice, and/or biographical information for SPONSOR’S programming, publication, publicity, advertising and all other promotional purposes without compensation, review or approval unless prohibited by law. The SPONSOR reserves the right to terminate, modify or suspend this Contest due to any of an act of God; unavoidable accident; epidemic; fire; blackout; act of public enemy; war, riot or civil commotion; enactment, rule, order or act of government or governmental instrumentality or tribunal; strike, lockout or other labor dispute; inclement weather; the recapture of any time period scheduled for the live broadcast of a program for an event of national importance or emergency; failure of technical facilities; failure of essential production, or technical personnel



















(1)    Genres Accepted: Literary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Non-Fiction, Romance, Science

        Fiction/Fantasy/Horror, and Young Adutl/Middle Grade.          


(2)    Contest is open to all legal residents of the United States, age 16 years and older.—void

        where prohibited. The CONTEST SPONSOR reserves the right to verify and confirm

        entrants' ages and compliance with other eligibility requirements. Entrants may be required

        to submit further information to assist in the judges' verification of eligibility. 


(3)    No limit to the number of entries per person per genre; however, you must pay a separate

        registration fee for each entry. 


(4)    All entries must be the original work of the submitter not previously published or otherwise

        distributed or disseminated in any media or format; not violate or conflict with the trademark,    

        copyright, rights of privacy, rights of publicity or any other rights, of any kind or nature, of any

        other person or entity.  


(5)    Entries not satisfying these criterion in any respect will be disqualified without refund of the

        entry fee. NOTE: If the SPONSOR, in its sole discretion, has reason to believe that any

        entry contains any material that may infringe or violate any law or any rights of a third party,

        the SPONSOR may immediately disqualify such entry and take any other measures the

        SPONSOR may deem appropriate.  


(6)    All entries MUST be received by the SPONSOR no later than 11:59 p.m. on January 15, 2010.

       By submitting an entry to the Contest, each entrant agrees to comply with and be bound by

       these Official Rules and acknowledges that the decisions of the SPONSOR shall be final and

       binding in all matters relating to the Contest.  


(7)   Current Board members of the DFW Writers' Workshop and the DFW Writers Conference

       Chairperson, Co-chairperson and all Conference Speakers are not eligible to enter this



Have questions about HOOK 'EM! Writing Contest? Contact DFW Writers' Workshop


DFW Writers' Workshop

The DFW Writers' Workshop is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting literacy and helping writers improve their craft. It meets every Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Euless for read-and-critique sessions and members of the public are welcome to visit. For more information, please visit

  Contact the Organizer

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