You’ve written your first novel and wish you could get the opinion of experts. What would you say if you could have the world’s thriller greats, who also happen to be the Master CraftFest teachers, look over your work?

By entering the very best first sentence of your novel, you could make this dream come true. The five winners of the Best First Sentence Contest will have bestselling authors Steve Berry, Steven James, John Lescroart, D.P. Lyle, MD, and David Morrell critique the first ten pages of their novels. It’s an aspiring writer’s dream come true.

The contest celebrates the launch of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) Master CraftFest, an intensive retreat on July 8, 2014, taking place one day before the ITW annual gathering, ThrillerFest IX, July 9-12. To enter, email your novel’s best first sentence to and include your name, email address and phone number. To qualify to enter this contest, you need to be registered in any of the following events: Master CraftFest, CraftFest, ThrillerFest OR be an active or associate member of ITW. Five winners will be selected by the International Thriller Writers CraftFest Director D.P. Lyle, MD and Berry, James, Lescroart and Morrell.

Send in your entry before midnight EST on May 31, 2014. ONE ENTRY PER PERSON. Winners will be announced at the CraftFest luncheon on Thursday, July 10, 2014. Winners who are not in attendance will be notified shortly thereafter. And don’t forget to sign up for Master CraftFest at for an opportunity to study with the Master CraftFest team.

The International Thriller Writers is an honorary society of authors, both fiction and nonfiction, who write books broadly classified as “thrillers.” This would include (but isn’t limited to) such subjects as murder mystery, detective, suspense, horror, supernatural, action, espionage, true crime, war, adventure, and myriad similar subject areas. One of the main purposes of the organization is to provide a way for successful, bestselling authors to help debut and midlist authors advance their careers. In addition, ITW promotes literacy, gives money to worthy organizations, supports libraries, and advances the genre. For more information, visit:

ThrillerFest IX will take place from July 9-12, 2014 at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York City. ThrillerFest offers an unprecedented opportunity for aspiring writers. Not only do attendees have access to the largest gathering of New York Times bestselling authors under one roof, but CraftFest provides panels and workshops during which your favorite writers help to hone your story and sharpen your pitch to industry professionals for PitchFest (formerly AgentFest). To register, visit: