B.O.B. Contest

ANWA B.O.B. Contest

Every year, ANWA hosts a Beginning of Book (B.O.B.) Contest for all in-person and online ANWA Conference attendees, published or unpublished. Participants enter the first 500 words of a manuscript. All entries must be original and not previously accepted for publication or production at the time of submission.

*Ineligible: All 2024 ANWA Board members, conference committee members, conference instructors, and agented authors.


  • Middle Grade – General Fiction

  • Middle Grade – Speculative
  • Young Adult – General Fiction

  • Young Adult – Speculative

  • Adult – General Fiction
  • Adult – Speculative

  • Adult – Romance (Contemporary / Historical)

  • Adult – Mystery / Suspense

  • Nonfiction / Memoir

Who can enter

All writers registered for the ANWA 2024 Writers Conference*, published and unpublished, in-person and online, may enter.

All entries must be original and not previously accepted for publication or production at the time of submission.

The conference committee members responsible for B.O.B. are required to maintain anonymity of the judges and the competitors.

*Ineligible: All 2024 ANWA Board Members, conference committee members, conference instructors, and agented authors.


All entries will receive critiques from three separate judges and emailed directly to the contestants within two weeks of the conclusion of the ANWA Writers Conference.

First, Second and Third place winners of each category receive a cash prize.

Grand prize donated by Eschler Editing.

Prizes will be awarded at the 2024 ANWA Conference on Saturday, September 21, 2024.


How to Enter

  • Register for the B.O.B. contest when you register for conference (you can add B.O.B. contest entries to existing registrations through your account). The fee is $20 per entry.

  • All entries due by midnight on Monday, July 8, 2024 (MST/AZ time).

  • Email entries to: bobcontestsubmissions@americannightwriters.org.

  • You will receive a personal response once your entry has been logged by those managing the B.O.B. Contest.

  • Submit the first 500 words ONLY, including the title.

  • Submit your B.O.B. entry as an e-mail attachment in .doc or .docx format.

  • Style Guide: Times New Roman, 12pt, and double spaced.

  • Entries not submitted correctly before the deadline will lose points or may be disqualified.

  • The subject of your email should include:

    • Your name,

    • TITLE of your work (in all caps), and

    • Contest Category (Genre.)

    • Example subject: Annie Anwa, THE BEST MANUSCRIPT EVER, Young Adult Fantasy (Urban Fantasy).

  • Your document filename should be your TITLE (in all caps) and Genre.

    • Example filename: THE BEST MANUSCRIPT EVER – Young Adult Fantasy (Urban Fantasy).docx

  • Remove any mention of your name from the actual manuscript portion of the attachment.

  • *OPTIONAL* Once you’ve submitted your entry, let everyone know by saving one or more of the buttons below and posting to your social media!

  • Note: The same submission cannot be entered into multiple genre categories in a single contest year. However, you are welcome to enter more than one submission into the contest.

astronaut giving thumbs up under the words I submitted to ANWA's B.O.B. Contest! with a laptop floating next to them
a U.F.O. beaming up a book with the words I Submitted to ANAW's B.O.B. Contest! with a mountainous countryside in the background
the silhouette of a writer sitting on the rings of a planet in space working on a laptop with the word I submitted to the B.O.B. overhead and American Night Writers Association Beginning of Book Contest below
a planet in space with a ring of books around it and the words I Submitted to ANWA's B.O.B. Contest witht he clarification (Beginning of Book) below

Terms & Conditions

  • Conference Committee reserves the right to disqualify any entry it believes contains obscene, offensive, or inappropriate content.

  • Conference Committee reserves the right to combine categories due to insufficient numbers of entries or split categories due to a high volume of entries.

  • This is a double blind contest, where the authors don’t know the judges’ names and the judges don’t know the authors’ names.

  • Entrants must be current online or in-person conference attendees to place and receive prizes.

  • Entrants who cancel their conference registration after the submission deadline will still receive critiques, but will be ineligible to place.



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