First Pages Contest #1: Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, Judged by Agent Weronika Janczuk

UPDATE: Weronika has picked her 3 winners: Dean K, Del S,
and E.G. Wilson (no order). Congrats to the winners!


We love contests. So welcome to our new First Pages Contest on the Write Query Publish Blog. Contest #1 is for writers of adult science fiction and fantasy. If you’re writing those genres, keep reading, and submit your work!

(Contest #2 is also going on at the same time. Find it here. It’s for romance writers. Contest #3 is for writers of women’s fiction. Find it here.)

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 #1. You have until 11:59 p.m., PST, FEBRUARY 15, 2109, to submit to the contest. [WE HAVE EXTENDED THE DEADLINE TO FEB. 15, 2019 BY DEMAND. KEEP SUBMITTING!]

This contest is only for writers of adult science fiction and fantasy — speculative fiction. (No young adult or middle grade, please.) Main characters should probably be aged 20 or older.

The agent judge has 3 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 maximum. Do not attach anything. Just copy and paste the text into the email submission. Remember: This is for adult science fiction and fantasy only.

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, and 3) your contact email, 4) proof that you’ve shared news of the contest via social media (such as your Twitter handle), and 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 Unpublished (new) material only, please.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 your 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. An easy way to notify us is to tag us. Either tag me — @chucksambuchino — or take the blog –@writequerypub — when you spread news. And if you use Twitter, put any handles 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 used: New FREE contest for writers of adult Science Fiction & Fantasy Judged by agent @WeronikaJanczuk, via @chucksambuchino and @writequerypub


Weronika Janczuk is a literary agent with D4E0 Literary.

Weronika (pronounced like Veronica) broke into publishing in 2009, through a high school workshop that placed me with former young adult editor Brian Farrey at Flux (now North Star), a small imprint in Minnesota, where she pulled, from the slush pile, the lovely Out of the Blue by Holly Schindler, which received a starred review in Booklist. She then moved on to intern with Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management, Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency, and Mary Kole, formerly with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. From 2010-2011, as an undergraduate at NYU, she worked with Bob Diforio and sold an array of projects. Weronika’s parents immigrated from Poland to Canada, where she was born. “I grew up in the Twin Cities of Minnesota; and now I reside in New York City, NY. I studied at New York University’s Gallatin School, where I finished a self-designed degree in the philosophy of the human person. I love Earl Grey tea and lattes, Sudoku, rivers, and pierogi with blueberries. I am also a writer, as are many other agents and editors. I queried my first project when I was 13, and have never queried again, tinkering in silence, perfecting craft, with my current project: a science fantasy. She is seeking: young adult, fantasy, sci-fi, literary and commercial fiction, women’s fiction, romance, crime, mystery & thriller, memoir, and nonfiction.

“I am not, and have never been, a single-genre reader. I am eager only for the best-told stories, building out a list of talented novelists and writers in these genres. Human nature fascinates me, and I am drawn to stories that share the rawness and truth of what is and what is possible. I love beautiful writers, worlds, characters; smart, quirky and genre-bending stories. I love underdogs, and stories about characters that rise above limitations. I love romance, whether genre- or element-wise, that is visceral in its rawness. I love dark contours, intense in their immediacy, and world-building that catches your breath with its precision and distinctness.

“I am very much a reader that likes to be challenged, and expanded; very carefully constructed projects, which reveal a writer’s capacities, are most often those that awaken my heart and mind. I would prefer to work with writers eager to grow in their skill as novelists and build long-term, sustainable careers.”


Weronika will pick 3 winners (no order). All three of those winners are invited to send their first 10 double-spaced pages to Weronika 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 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.

ATTEND A WRITERS CONFERENCE IN 2019. Here are some writers conferences WQP staffers are either speaking at or wholeheartedly endorse:


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