Want to be published by Christmas?
First you have to submit a segment of a steamy romance, but you don’t have to stay awake at night worrying about the plot. The people at Hot Key Books have already done that for you. They announced yesterday that they want a finely polished 20,000 novella ebook called LAST CHRISTMAS ready to sell by December. Entrants to this competition have just two weeks to submit a 2000 word sample based on The Hot Key brief and the winner needs to complete the entire manuscript by mid-November. For that they will receive £1000 advance and royalties on sales.
The novella will be published alongside three other romance shorts – Santa Baby, All I Want for Christmas and Under the Mistletoe – and be sold worldwide.
In 2014 Hot Key will publish ebook novellas in several specific genres targeting readers 16+, starting with romance and continuing with fantasy, history and crime . All novellas will be priced at £1.99 and in each genre there will be a focus on finding new talent to join the list, through regular writing contests.
Full details including publication terms can be found here but here’s a sly peak at the story outline.
This is a flashback in nineteen year old X’s life, remembering her first Christmas away at Uni. In the introduction, it is vague as to whether the outcome of thatChristmas was good or bad.Compared to her outgoing and worldly flatmates, X feels like she is totally square and boring and generally inexperienced. It doesn’t help that X is still missing her childhood sweetheart, having split up with him at the point of leaving for Uni,
knowing that he was starting to outgrow her and that they had become more like brother and sister…On the Friday afternoon close to Christmas, when our story starts, she finds herself meeting someone that suddenly makes her start to forget her old boyfriend completely…
That’s the bare bones – they give more guidance than that, along with information about the readers they are aiming at. If you’ve ever wanted to be a commercial romance writer this is a way to show that you have what it takes. And I’ve just met a writer of literary fiction who for three years running entered a novel competition run by a publisher she admired. She never won. I don’t think she ever came second, but the publishers noticed her writing and liked it. When she sent them a full length manuscript they published it.
Do you think writing competitions are worth entering?
photo credit: Elin B via photopin cc