Following the tremendous talent that we witnessed in our last Vivid Voices Contest (The NaNoWriMoCo in December) we couldn’t be more excited to call forth new submissions for a brand new installment of this contest series. Since ThrillerFest is freshly concluded, we’re hoping you’ve been polishing those suspense manuscripts to perfection, because this time we’re in the mood to be scared!
The guidelines, for the most part, are similar to the past two contests: an entry consists of the first 500 words of your novel (yes, we are asking for fiction only) OR short story (if and only if that story is part of a suspense-themed collection which is complete), along with your full name, working title of the submission, and confirmation that the project is not under consideration at another agency at this time.
In this installment, we are adding an additional guideline. After your first 500 words, please include 2-3 paragraphs describing the complete project. We know you’re thinking, “But isn’t this whole contest concept really about focusing on JUST the voice and writing?” Yes, this remains our goal. However, since the 1st prize winner will receive a full manuscript evaluation, we’ll be taking a closer look at the finalists to determine not only who has a strong and compelling voice, but also a concept that we can be just as excited about. We will always read the 500 words FIRST.
These materials, when compiled, should be emailed to vividvoicescontest (at) gmail (dot) com, no later than 5pm Eastern Standard Time on August 12th. We will announce winners on Friday August 16th at noon. Prizes are as follows:
1st Place: Full manuscript evaluation by agent Lucy Carson
2nd Place: Query evaluation and a complimentary hardcover copy of the agency title of your choice.
3rd Place: Query evaluation (and our congrats!)
A helpful tip: Many suspense writers like to incorporate a prologue into their narrative. If you chose to include a prologue, you are eligible to use the first 500 words of your narrative (meaning AFTER that prologue) instead, if you wish. We encourage you to think about whether the prologue is indicative of the novel’s essence before you include it. Some prologues are narrated by the killer, or have an outside perspective that might not be the ideal sample of your novel. Please use your best judgment!
We welcome suspense of any kind, including novels that bend the genre, or overlap with other distinct genres (i.e. romantic suspense, YA suspense, psychological suspense, etc). We won’t be strict about our definitions, but we want to be on the edge of our reading seats! Best of luck, and please use the comment space below to ask any questions beforehand.
*****Final Contest Update******
Congratulations to First Prize Winner Karen Catalona, with an enthralling excerpt of her novel THE WATCHERS!!!
And another heart-felt congratulations to both Runners-Up
Steven Axelrod and Catherine Lawrence!!
We were thrilled (pun, always intended) by the immense range of sub-genres and styles in this installment of Vivid Voices. It’s truly impressive how many of you kept us on the edge of our seats, in only 500 words! Thank you to all who entered and please look out for the next installment of the Vivid Voices Contest.