The very cool Nathan Bransford is hosting a contest on his blog RIGHT NOW that everyone with a work in progress should rush over and enter right away. Granted, you’re going up against yours truly and like 700 other entrants, but if you’ve got the chops you’re going to do just fine.
PRIZES: (via Nathan’s blog, please see his blog for full prizes and full rules)
1) The opportunity to have a partial manuscript considered by my utterly fantastic agent, Catherine Drayton of InkWell, whose clients include bestselling authors such as Markus Zusak (THE BOOK THIEF), John Flanagan (THE RANGER’S APPRENTICE series) and Becca Fitzpatrick (HUSH HUSH), among others.
2) A signed advance copy of my novel, JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE COSMIC SPACE KAPOW, which is coming out in May:
RULES (via. See for full list of rules):
Post the first paragraph of any work-in-progress in the comments section of the contest post HERE. Do not email. The deadline for entry is Thursday 4pm Pacific time, at which point entries will be closed. Finalists will be announced…. sometime after that. When the finalists are announced you will exercise your democratic rights to vote for a stupendously ultimate winner.
Even if you don’t enter (and if you do) your second mission (which I’m assigning you) is to go over and read at least 100 entries. Pick them at random so you get a good sampling across the 700+ entries submitted.
Read. Evaluate for yourself. Keep a short list of dynamite first paragraphs and see if your taste is the same as Nathan’s. Learn from those who are putting themselves out there. Decide what really doesn’t work at why. Figure out why some speak to you louder than others.
Report back what you learned. Don’t repost anyone’s stuff but tell me what you discovered about what you like, what you don’t like, and what works. We’ll compare notes after the finalists are announced. I have already picked 15 I think are pretty fantastic. Now we wait and see.
Good luck to everyone entering! I am in the first 100 posted, if you are interested. I suspect the finalists are going to learn what terror tastes like as soon as they see their names listed. I almost feel bad for them. At least when you query agents it’s just you and the agent judging your writing worth. This contest is going to invite hundreds of other writers into the room to weigh and measure you. I’m pretty sure terrifying doesn’t even cover it.