…the official rules won’t be posted until October 1st, but here are the essentials…
First, you’ll submit a pitch for a novel you’d like to write. It can be about anything! We’re interested in all different genres, plus quirky stuff that doesn’t fit easily into a genre. Your pitch will include a synopsis of your story idea and a few sample chapters to showcase your writing. Concept artwork is optional, but totally recommended.
Next, all the contest participants (and the citizens of the internet!) will vote for their favorite pitches. And since every vote is a paid pre-order for the winning novel, the winning author will end up with a healthy boost in sales on launch day. The most popular pitches will be chosen as finalists, and the selected authors will develop their pitches into full-length novels.
Finally, our panel of judges will pick a winner from among those finalists. The winning author will be offered a publishing contract with a $10,000 royalty advance, with their story as the first novel released by our new experimental publishing imprint:
But wait, it gets even better…
Next year, we’ll hold another contest, where participants will compete to write a sequel (or a prequel, or a side-story) to your original story. And the year after that, we’ll do it again, connecting those two stories with a third, bending genres and borrowing characters year after year, weaving together a gigantic interconnected world of literature.
And the winner of this year’s contest will lay the groundwork for the whole thing.
So think big! Create a rich sensory landscape, ripe with story possibilities and populated with a cast of compelling characters.
But don’t forget to think small either! Your job is to craft a specific, focused, self-contained narrative in that universe. Tell us a tale with an authentic protagonist caught in an excruciating dilemma. Give us conflict. Give us a theme we can sink our teeth into. And, of course, give us a distinct beginning, middle, and end.
We think this project is going to be a fascinating experiment for both writers and readers, and we can’t wait to see what you dream up!