Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No Agent Required: Del Rey / Spectra Launches Contest for Novelists

n the footsteps of Angry Robot, the editorial staff of Del Rey / Spectra (imprints of Random House) have announced the Suvudu Writing Contest for aspiring novelists of “science fiction, fantasy, horror, or paranormal romance” with a completed manuscript but no literary agent.

Most New York publishers do not accept submissions except from literary agents so they don’t have to staff for the arduous work of delving through roomfuls of slush.  The Del Rey/Spectra staff will accept submissions from now through March 18, 2011.  Entries must be previously unpublished manuscripts of 50,000 to no more than 150,000 words.  If you have self-published your novel via Smashwords or other online site, those works do not qualify.

Submissions will be judged on the basis of originality, creativity, and writing style.  Judging period is described as several months.  The winning submission will receive a full edit by Betsy Mitchell, Editor-in-Chief of Del Rey Publishing, and the novel will be considered for publication.  So not a guarantee, but it’s likely that Ms. Mitchell isn’t going to do all that work and reject the final book.  No details are given regarding advances and pay for an accepted novel, but the fine print of the rules lists the grand prize "value" at $2,250.  It is not clear whether that is the estimated value of the full edit by Ms. Mitchell or the Del Rey advance if the novel is published.  Three runners-up will be awarded sets of books from the Del Rey/Spectra line.

Submissions are to be sent electronically – see the first website link below.

Winners will be announced on May 18, 2011.

The contest is open only to legal residents of the United States (a little odd since there are lots of talented new writers in Canada and around the world), excluding Puerto Rico, who are age 18 and over as of January 18, 2011.


Full Contest Rules:


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