Friday, January 31, 2014

SIMON451 student contest and paying the bills as a novelist

First my news. I'm the new Santa Rosa TOWNS correspondent for the Press Democrat. I started this PT, contract gig on Monday.  Most published authors still need a day job. Many of us are able to freelance or do some other related job during the week, but unless we're turning out NYTs best sellers constantly, we still need to work. I continue to look for FT employment, but the local job market is flat. Like so many other people who are not finding work, I'm having to make work.

I'm writing resumes and cover letters for a fee, got on board with WriterAccess and have been producing an anthology as a fundraiser for the local YWCA. In addition, I'm putting together a website that will list where all the live music is in the county and teaching beginning dance with my hubby in the hopes that it will support our $70/wk habit (dancing to live music).  I'm also trying to get a grant to create a new book festival here to replace the abandoned Sonoma County Book Festival.

The big question, really, is where do I fit my novel writing in? I'm so busy trying to make a buck and churning out the creative juices toward that end, that the novel is suffering. I have no idea how people keep full-time jobs and write novels. But, then again, they probably don't go out dancing three or four times a week, workout three times a week, and walk or bike ride three times a week. I guess it's all a matter of scheduling and discipline. Toward that end I devised a master schedule and a master time sheet to track all of my various projects. Let's see if I can actually follow it next week.

I'm determined to send the requested synopsis and first chapter for my novel tomorrow. Won't let myself do anything else first. And as I type this, I'm remembering my five-year-old grandson's basketball game at 9 am. See how that happens? Have you ever watched five-year-olds play basketball? It's adorable! Oh, well, after that I'll hunker down and not let myself go dancing unless I get it done. That will light a fire under me for sure!


Very exciting news for college students from Simon & Schuster's new sci-fi imprint SIMON451:

New York, N.Y., January 31, 2014 – Simon451, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, is pleased to announce a writing contest for students. Submissions must fall in one of the following categories: science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian or dystopian fiction, apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic fiction, or alternate history in literature. We are looking for full-length novels only; novellas and short stories will not be considered.

The contest is open to legal residents of the United States who are at least eighteen years of age and are currently enrolled in college at the undergraduate or graduate level, and who possess a student ID card valid as of February 2014 . The submission period runs from February 1, 2014 – March 15, 2014, during which entrants are asked to provide a 250-word synopsis and the first fifty pages of their novel via the online entry form in accordance with the full contest guidelines.

Complete contest rules and guidelines can be found here. Ten finalists will be chosen and contacted by April 15, 2014, at which time they will be asked to submit their complete novels for consideration. The winner will receive a publishing contract with Simon451 and a trip to ComicCon in New York City to participate in the public launch of the imprint.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on making work and making it work. I need to find that formula; in similar situation. Use to live up there, now in Hayward. No job, no money, writing a lot, but not enough sales. Sigh. Best to you.

Anonymous said...

Caveat re: Simon451 - Read the full rules very carefully before entering. Make sure you understand what you MIGHT be getting and what you WILL DEFINITELY be giving up. Then, if you still wish to enter, go ahead.