When are the deadlines?
The James Patterson Co-Author competition submissions will open on 1 February 2017 at 9am PST and close on 1 March 2017 at 11:59pm PST.
When will we hear about results?
Our semi finalists will be announced on 6 April 2017, and finalists will be announced on 13 April 2017. The winner will be notified by 31 May 2017 and announced in June 2017.
How many submissions are received?
We don't disclose the number of submissions received, but remember – just do your best work, and you have a chance!
Will I receive notes on my writing?
Students will not receive notes on their writing.
Do you accept International Entries?
At this time, we are only accepting entries from residents of the United States (excluding Arizona and Louisiana for legal reasons) and DC, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada (excluding Quebec for legal reasons).
I am still working on a draft. Can I send it in now and then send in an updated version later?
Short answer: no, wait until you're done. Students will only be able to enter one submission. Once you have entered a submission, you will not be able to upload an updated version at a later time. So make sure you are completely done with your submission before sending it in!
I didn’t receive an email confirmation for my online submission. Did you receive my entry?
To check and see if your submission has been received, please check the competition submission page. If it says that your submission has been received, then we have it. If not, then you'll need to re-upload your submission. If you continue to have issues with the submission process, please contact email@example.com.
Do I need to copyright my writing?
No. Your submission does not need to be copyrighted for the competition.
How long should it be?
Submissions should consist of two parts:
1) A two-sentence summary of your book hook (100 words).
2) A five-page sample chapter from your proposed book (max 1000 words).
I used to make a living as a writer. Am I still eligible to submit to the competition?
Yes, all students, regardless of profession, can enter a submission if they are legal residents of the United States (excluding Arizona and Louisiana) and DC, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada (excluding Quebec for legal reasons).
Can I submit a screenplay?
No. James is looking for a potential co-author for a book. Please follow the submissions guidelines as laid out on the competition page.
Can work be submitted as group collaboration?
Not for this competition. As all MasterClass accounts are for individuals, submissions must be entered by individuals as well.
Is there any specific genre submissions that need to be in?
All submissions must be either a mystery or thriller written in the style of James Patterson.
What are the entry fees?
There are no entry fees for enrolled students! All enrolled students can enter a submission as part of the MasterClass.
Can I submit work if it has already been published or won a prize somewhere else?
No. Material that was previously published or entered in a competition is not eligible. However, if you have a book idea you've been working on for a while and want to submit it, you can do that! As long as it follows the submission guidelines, has been written specifically for this competition, and hasn't been entered anywhere else.
What is your plagiarism policy?
The submission must be original work. All plagiarised work is disqualified.
Who are the judges?
A panel of writers will be reviewing submissions. James has sole discretion on picking the winner.
What are the judging criteria?
Your submission should have mass-market appeal and resonate with James’ writing style. It should have a gripping hook. For example, think Rosemary’s Baby’s hook: a woman finds herself pregnant with the devil. Immediately, the reader thinks, 'this is going to be cool'. The book should also feature characters we care about. We either love them or hate them, but we’re not indifferent towards them. And finally, the story should be fast-paced, with every chapter moving the plot and characters forward. Imagine your story unfolding scene by scene like a movie.
How Do I Enter?
Visit https://www.masterclass.com/co-author to submit your work to the competition. Submissions will be accepted from 1 February 2017 to 1 March 2017.
I’m having issues uploading mine through your site. What should I do?
If you're having issues with uploading your submission, we suggest following these steps first.
1) Clear your browser history. Sometimes just clearing the cache, it will make the site run better.
2) Try switching your browser. We suggest Google Chrome as it works best with our site.
If neither of these solutions helps, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I have to be enrolled in the James Patterson Masterclass to participate?
Yes. The competition is only open to enrolled students in James Patterson's MasterClass.
What can I do if I miss the deadline date on the form?
All submissions must be submitted by the 1 March deadline. If you miss the deadline, your submission will not be accepted.
If I've submitted the same writing to another competition, will I be disqualified?
Yes. All material must not have been published or submitted to a previous competition.
Can I submit more than one project?
No. Students are only able to enter one submission. So make sure you are putting your best foot forward, and don't enter your submission until you are 100% sure that it's perfect!
What kind of personal information is required to participate?
All students must submit the following information with their entry:
Pen Name (optional)
Age (at least 18 years)
Country of Residence
Any advice before I submit my entry?
Have fun and let your personal writing style shine through. Take your time creating a great hook and something that will pull the reader in. You can utilize your classmates through community events to perfect your piece and gain valuable feedback. This is your opportunity to show James why you would be a great co-author for him, so make sure you are 100% satisfied with your entry before submitting it.
Can I get a deadline extension?
All submissions must be received by the 1 March deadline. If you miss the deadline, your submission will not be accepted.
If I help a classmate edit their submission and my classmate becomes a semi finalist, finalist, or grand prize winner, do I win as well?
No. When helping classmates, remember that this is their work, and your name won't be attributed to it.
How will submissions be reviewed?
Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of writers. Reviewers will not be given any information about the author and view them blindly to judge each submission by the material given. James Patterson will select the grand prize winner.
Why can't international students submit an entry?
Due to legal restrictions, the competition is only open to residents of the United States (excluding Arizona and Louisiana) and DC, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada (excluding Quebec).