Valpot introduced me to this amazing competition last night. Amazon.com, in association with Penguin USA, are offering 5000 novelists the chance to be discovered. Through a six month process, their novels will be read and reviewed and narrowed down from 5000 to 1000 to 100 and then to the final 10, at which time ordinary customers will have the chance to read all 10 entries and vote for their favourite. The three authors with the highest votes will be flown to New York and wined and dined at an award ceremony where the grand prize winner will be announced. Up for grabs is a publishing deal with Penguin USA, a $25,000 advance, promotion through amazon.com and a HP media suite. The runners up get some cool prizes as well, and of course all this publicity on amazon.com is going to help your career prospects no end.
Reading the details on amazon.com, I got the feeling that this is an opportunity too good to be missed, but thanks to my procrastination (a subject for another post) I don't have The Mark of the Wolf in a suitable condition for submission. Entries are open until the 5th November or until 5000 entries have been received. Valpot persuaded me to sign up last night, so I now have seven days to submit my novel or lose my registration number. Can I wrestle 120,000 words into shape within that time? With several gallons of diet coke and no other commitments, I might. Who needs to sleep anyway?
Of course, Valpot has already entered, which leaves an ethical question - should we compete against each other? What happens if we both get down to the final ten? I would be thrilled if I did, and even more so if Valpot managed to hit the top spot, whether I got knocked out at the first round or not. However, this is all moot as it is highly unlikely that I will have anything to submit in the first place.
Does The Mark of the Wolf really have to be 120,000 words long? Maybe it would be just as good at 50,000.