First Pages Prize

The First Pages Prize literary award is back for a second year. And this year, Stockholm’s Vice Mayor for Culture, Jonas Naddebo, will be on hand to award the prize along with Paul McVeigh, award-winning author and judge.

Designed to support emerging, unagented writers, this unique literary prize rewards the best entries by assessing the first five pages of their fiction or creative nonfiction manuscript. Entries must be unpublished, original, written in English, and by a writer who is currently unagented. The writer may be previously published or self-published.

In 2019, SWF and The de Groot Foundation offer an even more enticing prize package—including travel to Stockholm and:

  • USD 1,000 for 1st place

  • USD 750 for 2nd place

  • USD 500 for 3rd place

  • partial developmental editing

  • a travel stipend for the winner and runner-up to come to Stockholm!

  • invitation to attend the Main Festival Program for the winner and runner-up

Regardless of genre, works will be judged on overall craftsmanship and how well the writing hooks the reader.


Entries have now closed for 2019’s prize. Thank you to all who entered their work. Winners will be announced on May 3, 2019, on the first day of the festival.

Photos below: 2018 winner Adam McCulloch, left; 2018 2nd place winner Kirsty Keller middle right.

SWF (sRGB)_0922 - Copy - Copy.jpg
SWF (sRGB)_0926 - Copy - Copy.jpg
SWF (sRGB)_0962 - Copy - Copy.jpg
Beautiful Clydette.jpg

The Stockholm Writers Festival First Pages Prize adheres to the CLMP Contest Code of Ethics:
CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines — defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.”