Friday, July 13, 2007

Calling all Fictioneers: 3-Day Novel-Writing Contest

"How to Write a Novel in 3 Days"--sound familiar? There's a wacky international contest taking place during the Labor Day Weekend that's in it's 30th year--it's survived 30 years--and involves writing a novel in 3 days, then sending it in. First prize: publication.

You can find out all the details at

Entrants to the competition, of which there are hundreds each year, register by the last day of August (there's a $50 registration fee) for what has been called a "literary marathon." The rules are simple: start typing at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 1st, end by midnight on Sept. 3rd--that's 72 hours in total. You mail in your entry, postmarked by Sept. 7th, accompanied by a witness' statement. Collaborations of up to 2 people are allowed; novels submitted can be in any genre and usually average around 100 pages double-spaced. Second prize is $500 and third prize wins you a library of books by previous winners.

This began in 1977 as a barroom challenge in Vancouver, and so far all winners have been either "Canucks" or "Yanks", although "Aussies" and "Brits" have made the shortlist. (As there has yet to be a winner outside of North America, yet to be a winner or shortlist entrant outside of these four Western countries, it's pretty obvious what language manuscripts must be written in.) The contest is suported by a series of small publishers and is its own independent organization.


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