Thursday, 26 August 2010


Here's a competition you may be interested in. And, you have plenty of time to get your act together.

(UnSir Michael Moorcock could knock off seven novels in the time available.)

Before you click through note that the competition is open only to writers in English resident in the UK and "other countries of the British Commonwealth and the Republic of Ireland".

So, what do the competition organisers, Transworld, a division of Random House, want, and what are they offering?

They want a complete and previously unpublished work of fiction of not less than 80,000 words and not more than 150,000 words aimed at adult readers and written in the English language. They also want a a synopsis of no more than 600 words delivered to their offices by December 31st, 2010.

They will offer the winner an advance payment against royalties of ₤20,000. The winner will be required to agree to license exclusive world publishing rights in all print, electronic, audio and any other media formats to the publisher. Shortlisted entrants may also be offered publishing deals with the publisher.

What kind of adult fiction? Speculative fiction.

Sir Terry Pratchett writes:

We will be looking for books set at any time, perhaps today, perhaps in the Rome of today but in a world where 2000 years ago the crowd shouted for Jesus Christ to be spared, or where in 1962, John F Kennedy's game of chicken with the Russians went horribly wrong. It might be one day in the life of an ordinary person. It could be a love story, an old story, a war story, a story set in a world where Leonardo da Vinci turned out to be a lot better at Aeronautics. But it won't be a story about being in an alternate Earth because the people in an alternate Earth don't know that they are; after all, you don't.

(I was never previously aware Jesus Christ went to Rome -- maybe he made it to Newcastle? Rumour or speculation?)

A shortlist of six entries will be announced by March
31st 2011.
The winner will be announced by May
31st, 2011.

More details here.

Best of luck.

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