I’ve read this a couple of times, and I think you make great points, Shannon. I’m all in for a “hook” or “first chapter” or “first scene” contest. We specify word count, judge based on say, 5 criteria, and don’t separate into categories. We cap the entries so we can plan for our judges way ahead of time.
If we call it a first five pages contest, First Five, Five from the Heart, or something like that, we won’t be using the word “hook” which I know is used in another contest. Or two? I’m not sure.
I feel like this sort of contest would be beneficial, too, since we all judge the books we read by those first few pages. Like an Amazon sample. I’d love to enter a contest that judges this. We could group unpublished and published writers (unpublished stories) together or separate them. It would be easier to combine, but I don’t know if that will scare off unpublished writers. It doesn’t scare me, but I’m odd. 😉
We could have 5 finalists with 1 overall winner. Or more?