New Contest from Inkubate

Calling all my MFA colleagues-have you tried this site?  Found it helpful?  I’m curious about your feedback to this interesting idea.

The Literary Blockbuster Challenge

Do you have a novel that explores the eternal philosophical questions and grabs and holds the reader’s attention from the first page?  Can you produce a book that merges Moby Dick’s metaphysics with the action of Jaws?  Have you written a book that can replicate the emotional depth of The Scarlet Letter and inspire the record profits of Valley of the Dolls?  Or a book that joins the psycho-sociological themes of Mrs. Dalloway with the page-turning suspense of The Godfather?  How about merging James Joyce’s psychologically complex characterization with a Stephen King plot?

We are excited to announce Inkubate’s first annual fiction contest, the Literary Blockbuster Challenge.  Take our challenge: write a thought-provoking literary novel that’s                 also a page-turner.  We invite you to combine the goals of serious literature (thematic depth and high level craft) with the bestselling formulas of the mega-blockbusters                 (see James Hall’s new book, Hit lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers)                 and commercial genres (romance, sci-fi, historical fiction, horror, fantasy, etc.).  For many of you this may mean revising an existing project.

  1. First Prize:  $5000
  2. Second Prize: $2500
  3. Third Prize: $1000
  4. Seven Honorable Mentions: $250

Eligibility: any writer who completes his or her profile and submits at least one literary work to Inkubate is eligible to enter the contest.

Guidelines for Submission: the entry must be an original unpublished or self-published novel, which is uploaded to Inkubate as a novel under the Fiction format and flagged as an entry for the contest.

Deadline: contestants must flag novels they wish to submit by March 31, 2013.

Long List: the long list of 30 to 35 finalists will be announced by Inkubate on May 31, 2013.

The Final Competition: the manuscripts of the 30-35 finalists will be submitted to the judges June 8, 2013.


Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist of A Thousand Acres

James W. Hall, retired Professor of Creative Writing at Florida International University, best-selling writer of “literary mysteries,” and the author of the newly released Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers (April 2012)

Larry Beinhart, author of Wag the Dog and How to Write a Mystery

Jennifer Clement, prize-winning novelist and poet and president of PEN Mexico

Martha Frankel, author of Hats and Eyeglasses and Executive Director of the Woodstock Writers Festival


Winners: the top ten winners will be announced by Inkubate on July 31, 2013.

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