Novella contest by

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Our Tenth Anniversary Novella Contest

The novella is an unduly neglected form. Death in Venice, Heart of Darkness, Miss Lonelyhearts—would any of these find its way into print today, if it came from any but a well-known author? For traditional publishers, the fixed costs of making a book are too great an obstacle—to justify this outlay, a book has to sell for a price higher than most buyers are willing to pay, for a text that may come in at “only,” say, fifty pages. As to journals, even One Story won’t take anything longer than 8,000 words.

So what of the new Billy Budd or Seize the Day? Will it sit forever, unread but by one, on its author’s hard drive, or in his Moleskine?

No! We’ve opined before about epublishing’s unique ability to give new life—bring new readers, in loads—to fiction in all its forms. Now we’d like to do our bit to revivify this great, if lately unloved form.

How can we afford to publish a novella, when our print peers can’t? Because for us, the economics are different. It costs little more to code up a 15,000-word work than a 500-worder, and the storage and distribution costs are identical. As to your, the reader’s, cost—how much time you’ll need to spend, to read a novella online… If it’s good enough, that’ll be time well-spent. And if we’re right that the lack of outlets has kept too many good novellas from being published, and others from being written, we shouldn’t have much problem turning one up.

Entry deadline
May 15, 2010

Prize announcement
July 15, 2010

Prize amount

Entry fee
There is none.

Entries per person

Length and form
8,000 words and up, and suitable for serial publication.

How long can a novella be?
That’s a tough one, and begs the question, “What the heck is a novella, anyway?” Length is obviously the main criterion, i.e. the thing should be longer than a short story, and not so long as a novel. But these are conventions, rather than anything inherent to the fiction object itself. So, wanting to go further, one could argue—as have certain critics, whose names we wish we remembered—that a novella, in order not to be a novel, should focus on one story and one set of characters, not spending appreciable time on others, of either. In order not to be a “mere” short story, it should go into more depth, about both. Is that a satisfying definition, combined with the traditional one, i.e. taking length into account? Hope so. It’ll do for us.

How to
Send only the first 5,000 words of your novella to “novella AT failbetter DOT com.” Paste the lot into the body of the email, or attach it in an .rtf or .txt file. All attached files of any other format will be automatically deleted by our server.

We’ll let you know if we’d like to read the rest.

Note that we won’t considered anything that’s been published, either in print or on the Web.

Publication date
We’ll run the winning novella as a serial, starting around about our tenth anniversary, in September 2010.

Will all entries be considered for publication?
Great idea! So they shall.

Script Frenzy 2009

Another event to quench the thirst of eager writers!

Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants take on the challenge of writing 100 pages of scripted material in the month of April. As part of a donation-funded nonprofit, Script Frenzy charges no fee to participate; there are also no valuable prizes awarded or “best” scripts singled out. Every writer who completes the goal of 100 pages is victorious and awe-inspiring and will receive a handsome Script Frenzy Winner’s Certificate and web icon proclaiming this fact.

Even those who fall short of the word goal will be applauded for making a heroic attempt. Really, you have nothing to lose—except that nagging feeling that there’s a script inside you that may never get out.

Who: You and everyone you know. No experience required.

What: 100 pages of original scripted material in 30 days. (Screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, and graphic novels are all welcome.)

When: April 1 – 30. Every year. Mark your calendars.

Where: Online and in person (if you want!). Hang out in the forums, join your fellow participants at write-ins, and make friends by adding writing buddies online.

Why: Because you have a story to tell. Because you want a creative challenge. Because you’ll be disappointed if you missed out on the adventure. Because you need to make time for you.

How: Sign up. Tell everyone that you are in the Frenzy. Clear your calendar. (US participants: Get your taxes done now!) Start some wrist exercises. Have fun!

The 5 Basic Rules of Script Frenzy

1) To be crowned an official Script Frenzy winner, you must write a script (or multiple scripts) of at least 100 total pages and verify this tally on

2) You may write individually or with a partner. Writing teams will have a 100-page total goal for their co-written script or scripts.

3) Script writing may begin no earlier than 12:00:01 AM on April 1 and must cease no later than 11:59:59 PM on April 30, local time.

4) You may write screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, comic book and graphic novel scripts, adaptations of novels, or any other type of script your heart desires.

5) You must, at some point, have ridiculous amounts of fun.

Still unclear? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Write about your scary boss (or funny) & win cash!

Here is an interesting writing contest for those who had or have a scary boss! Be sure not to write anything too legally incriminating though! =x

Jobs of the Damned: A Writing Contest
Have you endured a crazy boss — a frightening, unpredictable or
downright comical boss?

If so, describe your experience and become eligible to win cash prizes
and get published. $200 in Weekly Prizes; up to $2000 Grand Prize

Enter Jobs of the Damned Writing Contest today!

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Here’s a contest for writers organised by Amazon and Penguin Group:

Recently, and Penguin Group (USA) announced the third annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, an international competition seeking fresh new writing voices. CreateSpace will once again host the submission platform for the contest.

What should I do now?

1. Prepare your entry: Visit and review the submission guidelines, helpful tutorials, and official contest rules.

2. Sign up to receive contest notifications with helpful tools and tips for preparing your entry.

3. Connect with other authors and discuss the contest.

Important details about the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award:

What are the prizes?
Two Grand Prize winners, one in each of our two categories, will receive a full publishing contract with Penguin including a $15,000 advance

What categories are being accepted?
This year, the contest features two categories: General Fiction and Young Adult Fiction

What type of works are eligible?
– Unpublished novel manuscripts
– Self-published novels (new this year!)

When can I enter?
The submission period begins 1/25/10 and ends 2/7/10, or when the first 5,000 entries have been received in each category, whichever comes first

Good luck~! I might just enter if I can find the time. =x Heh.