Keystone Great Beginnings Contest

Check out our blog the evening of April 26 for a list of the winners!

Welcome to the ACFW Pennsylvania Chapter Keystone Great Beginnings Contest! Whether a member of the chapter or not, you can send us the first five pages of your novel (any genre) and a synopsis for entry into the contest.  Polish your first five pages and your synopsis until they shine. The winners will receive a cash prize for first and second place and an honorable mention certificate for third place.

Contest Opens: 2/1/2016

Contest Deadline: 3/15/2016


  • $10 (chapter members)
  • $15 (non-chapter members)

Send your payment to:

  • Via PayPal —
  • Send paper checks to: Ellen Kelleher, 119 Harvey Road, Shickshinny, PA 18655


Please read submission requirements carefully. Failure to abide by our requirements may result in disqualification of your entry.

In the body of the email, include name, address, phone number, and membership status (chapter or non-chapter member). Then attach the first five double-spaced pages and a single-spaced one-page synopsis as a .doc or .docx file and send to:

Please use accepted manuscript formatting (12 point font, Times New Roman, double-spaced with 1” margins).

Also: do not put your name anywhere on the document itself, but only in the email you send. The contest is having completely blind judging.

Begin your Chapter 1 with six (6) double-spaced Enters from the top. Use no extra spacing between paragraphs.

A separate one-page synopsis must tell the full story, not like a back-cover blurb to tease the reader.

All six pages (one-page synopsis, followed by the first five pages), should be in one document, not a separate document for the synopsis. Put the synopsis page first. Judges want to know what the story is about before they read the entry.

Thank you.


  • $50 1st Place prize
  • $25 2nd Place prize
  • One honorable mention certificate

Winners will be announced at the April online meeting and posted on the website and on the PA Facebook page.

If you have any questions, please contact Jill Shope Hackman at