The First Ten Pages – A Fellowship Opportunity for Fiction Writers

Submissions are now closed.

Please read the following requirements and guidelines carefully and in their entirety before applying. If you have questions, email Sandy at sandy.rockvale@gmail.com.

The Writing:

  • “The First Ten Pages Fellowship” is open to writers of fiction.
  • Writers may submit the first ten pages of a novella or novel. The work will be evaluated for movement and action, tone, theme, introduction of characters, description of the setting, the voice of the narrator, the introduction of conflict, the inciting incident, and originality. We want to be enticed to continue reading.
  • The work should not be previously published.
  • The work will be read “blind.” Do not put your name on your writing sample or in the title of the file.

The Application:

  • The Application Fee is $25. This is non-refundable.
  • Applications will be read through Submittable. Emailed applications will not be accepted.
  • The application requires a paragraph detailing how the fellowship would aid the writer.
  • The uploaded 10 pages should be presented in one document, either pdf, dox, or docx. It should also be in 12-point font and be double-spaced.
  • Fellowship applications are accepted between August 15 and December 31, 2023
  • The recipient of the fellowship will be announced by the end of January 2024

The Prize:

  • The recipient of this fellowship will receive a 1-week writer’s residency at Rockvale Writers’ Colony in College Grove, TN. The residency must be completed by December 31, 2024.
  • A small stipend of $100 will be given to the fellowship recipient upon arrival at the colony to compensate for travel and food. Expenses beyond $100 are the responsibility of the writer.

The Details:

All rules and policies of Rockvale Writers’ Colony are in effect during this fellowship. The recipient will be expected to sign the writer’s contract before arrival. The recipient should familiarize themselves with RWC (our setting, our mission, and the way residencies work) by carefully reading our website. We strongly advise reading everything under the “Residencies” tab, especially “Information” and “FAQ’s”.


We are pleased to announce the winner of the First Ten Pages Fellowship:


Love and Terror
by Kate Deimling

Kate’s prize includes a 1-week residency at Rockvale Writers’ Colony and a small stipend for food and travel.


Kate Deimling is a poet, writer, and French translator from Brooklyn, New York. Her poetry and flash fiction have appeared in Slant, Tar River Poetry, Kestrel, Reckon Review, Roi Fainéant Literary Press, Waxwing, and other magazines. Kate is a poetry editor at Bracken magazine and her debut poetry collection is forthcoming from Cornerstone Press in 2026. She is currently at work on a novel set in Paris during the French Revolution. Find her online at www.katedeimling.com.


RWC is grateful to fiction writer Catherine Moore, who served as the judge for this contest. Catherine had this to say about Kate’s work:

“When reading contest work, I always find more than one compelling voice. So, I lean on the stated criteria to whittle the field, and for this contest, the selections include only the first ten pages. That’s a small number of narrative scene(s) to hook a reader, but in most instances, it’s an accurate measurement of reader focus.

            A scene being one bead on a strand, the challenge of opening scenes is that the reader does not yet see the thread. A good opening scene will give a sense of those unseen parts, along with an idea of the character’s personal stakes. And a well-placed opening will leave the reader hooked on the current narrative and wanting to know more about what led to this point. That’s where I am with Love and Terror. I equally anticipate the immediate action–will she escape?–and the backstory–what brought her to this dire moment? As well as deeper character questions like–Did she deserve the salvation granted to her in the opening, or not? What’s within this young man to choose, at personal risk, a redemption for her? I’m left curious about this entire story strand. 

            In Love and Terror, I was immersed in this richly described 1700s Paris setting and its characters with their emotionally evocative stakes, and I found myself quickly at the end of ten pages, wanting more.”


Catherine (Cate) Moore’s work is widely published in literary journals from The Southampton Review to Wicked Alice. A Hambidge fellow, her honors include Yemassee Journal’s Fiction Prize, The Southeast Review’s Poetry Prize, and inclusion in the juried BEST SMALL FICTIONS. Her collection Borrowings of the Shan Van Vocht—lyrical pieces in the voices of bog bodies—was a Pushcart Prize nominee and a Silver Falchion Award finalist. She also writes mystery and crime under the pen name CATE MOYLE with work appearing in Mystery Tribune, Bowery Gothic, parABnormal, and Crimeucopia. Catherine holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and she teaches.