I’m an Author: How Do I Apply?

Thank you for your interest in the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project.

Which contest is for me?

We offer two library-driven contests each year to support Illinois authors. Submission details for each project are below.


2024 Manuscript Project for Authors

Do you have a manuscript ready to take to the next level? We're looking for the best unpublished works of adult fiction. We will accept complete manuscripts of adult fiction in book length (50,000 to 100,000 words) from Illinois authors only. Our winner receives these valuable prizes:

  • Professional line editor who will work with you to polish your novel.
  • Professionally designed cover.
  • Self-publishing guidance from past STBF winners and committee members.
  • Finished book automatically entered as semi-finalist status in the next Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project contest.

Here is how our contest works:

  • Contest opens January 2, 2024 and closes on March 1, 2024.
  • Participating authors must live in Illinois, and the manuscript being submitted must be unpublished and in an adult fiction genre.
  • Submissions must meet certain other criteria in order to be eligible. Before submitting, please verify that your manuscript includes:
  • A Title Page with the following:
    • Title (Working)
    • Author Name
    • Word count number (entries must be no fewer than 50,000 and no more than 100,000 words)
    • A Synopsis on the title page (50 words or less)
    • An Author Bio also on the title page (100 words or less)
  • The Manuscript itself must be formatted as a single Word Doc or PDF
    • 12 pt (Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman)
    • 1.5 line spacing
    • Multiple files not accepted.

Note: failure to meet criteria may result in disqualification for the entry.

If you are ready to enter the 2024 Manuscript Contest, click the button below. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2024


Illinois Author Project for Indie and Self-published authors

The 2024 contest returns April 1, 2024.

  • Click the link for details about the prizes available.
  • Each book that is submitted to the contest must be:
    • Indie-published
    • In an adult fiction or young adult fiction genre
    • Written by an Illinois resident
    • Available in either ePUB (strongly encouraged) or PDF file