Monday, February 28, 2011

Writing Contest from Random House

Well this is a keen challenge. Random House/Del Rey has a contest going for unpublished manuscripts that fit their marketing niche aimed at adults and older teens. Subject wise it seems pretty open, science-fiction, horror, paranormal, and such. Its is limited to legal residents of the United States, excluding Puerto Rico, and who are 18 years or older. Maximum length of the story is 150,000 words. Winner gets a professional edit by Betsy Mitchell and possible publication by Del Rey. All the rules and such can be found here at Suvudu.

People in the comments are hung up on a few things. One is self-published via Amazon for example, literal reading of the rules makes that an ineligible submission. Another is a person asking if they can submit a runner up from another contest, that is a tough one. In both of these cases, as an author I would not submit the stories; I would submit something that literally complies with the contest rules. Why feed the lawyers right? Now a couple people think their stories can't be submitted because they exceed the 150,000 word limit. There are a couple options available if these writers have courage and are willing to make modifications. If they are not willing to make self-corrections then they probably will not emotionally survive a professional edit. Yes we authors love our characters, neat plots, and wonderful prose; but sometimes a pruning is in order to make the story better. More is not always better in writing, unless you want your story be to used in sleep studies. In Elizabeth Moon's Deed of Paksenarrion, she had to edit out chunks of that saga to get down to what we read as three books. And judging by the books' success, it worked very well with hardly any scars lurking in the published books - save a reference to a blue dress Suliya wore in the third book Oath of Gold. Moon's trilogy also points to the other option available to these writers, find a point earlier in the book where things can be wrapped up nicely - but naturally not ended - with some editing and submit that as the manuscript. Then on the rump, get cracking on reworking that. So when Del Rey/Random House does like the story, makes it their grand prize winner, and decides to publish; why you already have the start on the sequel.

Downside of this keen challenge? It started in January and ends on March 18th, 2011. So I better get cracking and see if I can conjure a literary rabbit out of my hat. The game is very much afoot. Realistically to hit even 50,000 words, after self-checking, would be a Holy Grail event. But at the same time, it is motivational to get me off center and moving forward.


Six said...

If anyone can do it it's be you Anna. Go get 'em girl!

Anna said...

Thanks! We shall see.