(the storied towers that are A Word with You Press in Moscow)
Literati (that would be vouz)
You have a novel on ice, hibernating, a literary lethargy. The pages are stiff with winter and inactivity, the imagined words brittle, or sluggish, almost atrophied. You have promised yourself and the world your masterpiece, only…winter interceded, and your manuscript remains curled up in a cave, incomplete.
But today, something strange begins; your fingers begin to thaw and have a sudden appetite for a keyboard. The vocabulary of intent begins to bud; frozen words begin to have an unexpected fluidity. The writer’s block that you could not move is melting of its own accord, because today, March 20th, is the first day of spring, and the start of our new contest:
Once Upon a Time
Unlike other contests, there is neither prompt nor word limit. You will submit as your entry the prologue to your work in progress. Write enough but not too much to give a vision of what is to come. This is foreplay.
The work must be previously unpublished, and by submitting your work, you grant A Word with You Press one time permission to publish on-line and in print (at our option).
All entries must be received by June first. All entries will be posted by June 7th, at which time five semi-finalists will be chosen, who will then submit chapter one to their manuscript by June 10th. On June 17th, three finalists will be selected, who will then submit chapter two, which is due June 20th. The winner will be announced on June 27th, to coincide with the Fifth Annual Editor-in-Chief (moi) Surprise Birthday Party.
All five semi-finalists will receive a $25 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble or the bookstore of their choice if available.
All three finalists will in addition receive any three books published by A Word with You Press
The winner will receive all of the above and $250.
Entry fee is $15 per contestant made payable through Paypal to email@example.com. All entries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org as well. If you have previously entered three of our contests, you are considered family, and the entry fee is not mandatory, but a much appreciated donation to help defer the cost of the prizes.
If you have a previously published novel we would love to have you submit it, though it will not be eligible for the competition. We will publish prologue, then first chapter, then second chapter. We will put a link to your website where people can read more or buy your book.
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The intent of this contest is to get people writing. Because if they are writing, they are also thinking, and feeling, and connecting themselves to humanity. And isn’t that connection what we are all after? And why we write? I am grateful for the comments, both in the comment boxes on the site and by email, that helped me shape the rules and dimensions of this contest. As you can see, I took them to heart. We will concurrently be running other contests that don’t require so much heavy lifting, and will address non-fiction, poetry, and perhaps screenplays.