The WLT 2016 Manuscript Contest


 Congratulations to our 2016 winners!

Click HERE for a full list of winners and finalists.


PLEASE NOTE: We are currently in the process of emailing written critiques to contest entrants. If you submitted to the contest and have not received your critique by Friday, May 20, please send an email to so that we can resend; all critiques will be sent no later than this date.


Have you been working hard on an unpublished manuscript that's finally ready to see the light of day? Are you looking for some professional feedback on your work-in-progress? Well, here's your chance! You are invited to submit a short synopsis and the opening pages of your unpublished work to the Writers' League’s 16th annual Manuscript Contest. (And no, you don't have to live in Texas to enter this contest. It's open to everyone, everywhere!)

The winner in each category will meet individually with a top literary agent in the winner's category or genre. All entrants—whether winners or not—will receive written feedback on their submission from a published author or experienced writing professional.

Best of all, you do NOT need to have a complete, finished manuscript to enter this contest. All you need are the first (roughly) ten pages of the manuscript plus a synopsis that describes the rest of the book you have planned.

This contest gives you the chance to…

• Meet one-on-one with a top literary agent in your category or genre

• Have your work professionally critiqued

• Find out how your first ten pages rank against others in your genre

• Be recognized at the WLT Agents & Editors Conference



 How to Enter Online:

  1. Carefully review the complete list of contest rules and formatting instructions.
  2. Fill out out our online entry form and submit your payment online via credit card or PayPal.
  3. The entry form will prompt you to upload your file. Please upload only one file. It should include both your synopsis and the opening of your manuscript. (Acceptable formats: .doc, .docx, and .pdf)
  4. Once you upload your documents and submit your payment, you will receive an automated confirmation email. There is nothing further you need to do at this time. 

How to Enter by Mail:

  1. Carefully review the complete list of contest rules and formatting instructions.
  2. Download and print our printable entry form.
  3. Complete the form and return it to the Writers' League office by mail along with the following printed materials: a one-page, double-spaced synopsis of your manuscript (roughly 250-300 words); the opening ten pages of your manuscript (please refer to formatting instructions); a check for the entry fee made payable to “Writers’ League of Texas”. 
  4. In early February, you will receive a confirmation that we received your entry. Please do not call to inquire about the status of your entry until after February 15.  


Deadline: January 15, 2016  

Online entries must be submitted by midnight CST on January 15.
Printed entries must be postmarked by January 15, but may arrive later.

Submission Categories:

Fiction Categories
• General Fiction (including Literary Fiction)
• Thriller/Action-Adventure
• Mystery
• Romance
• Science-Fiction/Fantasy
• Historical Fiction

Nonfiction Categories
General Nonfiction
• Memoir

Children’s Categories
• Middle Grade (chapter books and novels only; no picture books)
• Young Adult



Winners in each category will receive a one-on-one consultation with an agent at our 2016 Agents & Editors Conference. Winners who cannot attend in person can opt for a phone consultation.


All entries will be judged and critiqued by published authors or experienced writing professionals. Critiques are double blind - contest entrants will not know the name of their judge and all submissions will remain anonymous to the judges. Score sheets with comments from the judges will be emailed to each entrant after the finalists and winners are selected.

Entrance Fees

$55 members / $65 nonmembers

Note that your membership must be current in order to receive the member discount. As proof of current membership, you will be asked to provide your member number. If you’re not sure where to find your member number, log into and click on “my account." If can't locate your member number or if you're not sure whether your membership is still current, you are also welcome to call our office, (512) 499-8914.

Multiple Entries

You may enter this contest in as many categories as you like, with up to four entries per category. Each entry requires separate payment. For each one, please supply a separate entry form and payment.


Deadline to enter: January 15, 2016
Finalists and winners announced: We expect to notify winners and finalists and have critiques back to all entrants by mid May. Check back here for any updates.


Questions about the contest?

Read our Frequently Asked Questions or email


Archives of Winners & Finalists from Previous Years: