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Reality Entertainment: the Novel-writing Contest

Fingers typing on keyboardThere’s an online novel-writing contest and I want ‘in’. Actually, I’ve already calculated how many words I need to write each day, five days per week, to bring my current work-in-progress up to commercial fiction submission size by the March deadline.

In the event that any of you are interested in joining in the fun, here’s an abridged version of what appeared on Yahoo last week:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A major U.S. book publisher is hoping its new Web-based writing contest can tap into the popularity of interactive competitions like hit television show “American Idol.”


As part of the “First Chapters” contest, aspiring first-time authors and members of www.gather.com can post manuscripts on that social-networking Web site, organizers from publisher Touchstone Fireside and gather.com said on Thursday.

Touchstone Fireside is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Inc., a division of Viacom.

If online readers like the manuscript’s first chapter, the author is voted through to the next round. Two more chapters are posted and the public narrows the field in the same fashion.

After three rounds of judging, a winning manuscript will be picked from among five finalists in May. The winner will be chosen by representatives from Simon &
Schuster, Borders bookstores and gather.com, Touchstone Fireside Vice President Mark Gompertz said.

The winner will receive $5,000, a book contract with Touchstone Fireside and distribution by Borders.

“We keep laughing about it, but this is the ‘American Idol’ of book publishing,” Gompertz said. “We hope that we will find a talented writer who might not in
the traditional way get themselves noticed.”

“This is an experiment on a sort of needle-in-the-haystack approach,” said Gompertz,
noting the voting public could outdo publishers who have picked “a lot of great stuff and a lot of dreck.”

So I’ve mapped out my week, including a minimum of 2 hours of novel-writing time each day. tiny tigress on sofaWhen this project is complete, I’ll be able to check off one of those 2007 Creative Intention items! Love checking items off a list, don’t you?

Here’s my writing and knitting companion, Tiny Tigress:

Final thoughts, if you’re not interested in writing, why not try participating as a reading voter?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • myartfullife March 21, 2007, 1:27 pm

    Thank you for asking, Terrence. My novel is moving along nicely. However, I realized several chapters into it that the my current work-in-progress and the contest’s “commercial fiction” genre requirement are not a match. As tempting as the contest’s prizes were, I’ve let that go and am working ‘solo’, as it were.

  • Terrence Tully March 21, 2007, 1:10 pm

    So, how have you done so far?

  • Rob Hopcott January 17, 2007, 10:09 am

    Good luck with your online novel-writing

    It sounds like a great idea

    (Rob Hopcott)