Archives For Novels

Entries are now open for the St. Francis College Literary Prize for 2017. This biennial prize awards US$50,000 to an author for their 3rd to 5th published work of fiction.

Eligible authors can be based anywhere in the world and there are no age or citizenship restrictions. Nominated books can also be published anywhere in the world, although only English-language books may be entered (translations accepted). Uniquely, self-published books are also eligible for consideration.

In order to be eligible for the 2017 prize, the nominated work needs to have been published between June 2015 and May 2017. 

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Ready, set, type!
[Maksim Kabakou/Shutterstock]

A post by Sally O’Reilly

We live in a culture obsessed with speed: fast-food, Twitter, overnight celebrity, instant make-overs and cutting edge techno-gadgets. We drive too fast, desperate to get ahead literally as well as metaphorically. And when we get home we surf TV, scroll through Facebook, eat, drink and talk on the phone. Apparently, the only thing we want to slow down in the modern world is the ageing process – and it’s no surprise that our solution to that problem is a quick injection of Botox or a lunch-time facelift.

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Hollie Overton - Baby Doll Interview

Hollie Overton is a Chicago-born, Texas-raised writer who has worked on a number of television series including Cold Case, The Client List and Shadowhunters, the series based on Cassandra Clare’s international bestseller The Mortal Instruments.

Hollie’s debut novel, Baby Doll, is out this month. We contacted her to find out more about her experience writing both scripts and books.

You didn’t study creative writing or English Literature at college, but instead acting. Do you think this background as a performer impacts your approach to storytelling? 
Acting was my first love and those skills I learned have been invaluable as both as a TV writer and now a novelist.  I fell in love with performing in middle school and high school.  I learned how to tell stories by analyzing plays, breaking down characters and studying structure. I spent years studying acting and all that knowledge informs everything I write. I visual things that I’m writing, how will it look, is it authentic. The same goes for dialogue.  How would it sound if an actor were saying those words? Even though I didn’t continue my acting pursuits, I’m so grateful for the training and that it led me down this career path.

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A post by Naomi Wood, Goldsmiths, University of London

Writing is something of a lawless place. Lawless, because there’s no clear indication that your effort will bring success; or that an answer will ever emerge from the mud; or that the most insane, most unpromising idea won’t reward you eventually.

Writing, especially in the drafting stage, can get very swampy indeed. In the first drafts I write to see what’s going to happen. I don’t know anything until I’ve begun to probe the life of the character. Is there someone at the door? A piece of unexpected news in the post? Weevils in the flour which means the cake is ruined?

I find first drafts scary and hard to do. I will do lots of other things instead of writing this draft. Scrubbing mould from the bathroom’s grouting. My laundry. My marking. Even my tax return, with its eminently calculable results …

What I do to get it done is lie to myself. I tell myself I’m writing short-stories, not a novel. If I take baby-steps I know I can get there, but if I knew it was a marathon, I’d never begin.

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James Jones Fellowship 2016

The James Jones Fellowship Contest is now in its 25th year. It awards $10,000 to an American writer with a first fiction novel in progress in 2016. Two runners-up will each receive $1000.

Entrants are asked to supply a two-page outline of their entire novel, plus the first 50 pages of the work.

The fellowship is only for unpublished first novels: collections of short stories, memoirs and self-published novels are not eligible. To enter this contest, writers must be United States citizens.

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 The Art of Writerly Procrastination, or How I Write My Books While Appearing to Do Nothing
Paddy O’Reilly is an Australian writer of fiction, non-fiction and screenplay. Her latest novel, The Wonders, is published in the United States this week by Washington Square Press. Here she shares an insight into her writing process.

Allow me to introduce you to one of the ways I spend my writing time – observing chickens. My two chooks are called Toni and Guy. I named them after a hairdressing firm in honour of their excellent plumage.

When I’m writing, I often find it necessary to spend time with Toni and Guy. I feed them from my hand and listen to their snuffly nose breathing as they peck at the seeds. I watch as they travel the morning yard, inspecting the grass for bugs that have landed in the night and not yet made their escape. The girls accompany me as I pass through the garden pulling weeds; or tickling a male flower’s stamen with a feather from Toni and Guy’s coop then transferring the collected pollen to the pistil of a female flower; or nipping the laterals off a plant; or harvesting tomatoes and zucchini and peppers into the basin I carry around each morning in summer.

As I pick my way through my garden tasks, they meander in my wake, tilting their heads to see better because their vision is alien to mine. Chickens can see ultraviolet light. They have better motion-sensing ability than me – they know a crow is in the sky well before I have any idea. When I want to see something close up, I lower my head and look with both eyes. When the girls want the same thing, they often tilt their head sideways to focus the fovea of a single eye, which we humans cannot do. But at night their vision falters. I have to make sure they are protected from predators who can clearly see their sleeping bodies in the dark.

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James Jones $10,000 Fellowship Contest for First-time Fiction Novelists: Entries Close 15 March

The James Jones Fellowship Contest is now in its 24th year. It awards $10,000 to an American writer with a first fiction novel in progress in 2015. Two runners-up will each receive $1000.

Entrants are asked to supply a two-page outline of their entire novel, plus the first 50 pages of the work. The outline maybe a chapter outline or brief synopsis of the novel. If a manuscript is selected for the final round of judging, the author will be asked to send another copy of the originally submitted first 50 pages plus pages 51 to 75.

The fellowship is only for unpublished first novels: collections of short stories, memoirs and self-published novels are not eligible. To enter this contest, writers must be United States citizens.

An entry fee of $30 is payable and writers can choose to enter either online or via mail.

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