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Thread: James Jones First Novel Fellowship

  1. #1
    smooshed alias octavia's Avatar
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    James Jones First Novel Fellowship

    Information about the contest here. Entry fee is high, $25, but this looks like a good opportunity.

    Does anyone have any experience with this contest? They are asking for a 2 page outline which leaves me puzzled. I know an outline and a synopsis are different beasts, but two pages feels more like a synopsis to me. Can anyone offer any guidance?

    Thanks.

    "The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star,
    but to go one's way in life and to work unfalteringly
    neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
    -Gustav Mahler

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Anyone?

    As far as ultimate worthiness, I'd apply the "where are they now" criteria to past winners, as well as consider whether the agents/pubs you'd be submitting your book to in the future would be familiar with this contest and/or deem a win to be a credit.
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  3. #3
    smooshed alias octavia's Avatar
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    Thanks for bumping my thread. I googled the previous winners and many are now agented and some are published. So, my assessment: it's worth the $25 for me (I write literary fiction). I went ahead and mailed my entry this weekend. The deadline is March 1, 2009 if anyone else is interested.

    "The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star,
    but to go one's way in life and to work unfalteringly
    neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
    -Gustav Mahler

  4. #4
    Spent the night with Jack Daniels JulieHowe's Avatar
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    I sent in mine today. These authors were winners or runners-up of the James Jones contest and later had their novels published.

    The Frequency of Souls - Mary Kay Zuraleff

    Born Confused - Tanuja Desai Hidier


    One thing I found a bit odd - neither author mentioned the James Jones First Novel Fellowship in their acknowledgment pages.

    I read both books. Born Confused was exquisite, a young adult novel about the American-born daughter of two Indian immigrants. I couldn't get past the first chapter of The Frequency of Souls, but it was well-reviewed by critics. The main library in my city also has an extra copy of the book put away into their non-circulating archives, and that's unusual for a work of fiction.

    The choice of authors as contest winners was also interesting. Hidier was barely out of her teens, and her book was written for teenagers. Zuraleff was a little bit older, with an established career and grown kids when she wrote Frequency of Souls, which was about a middle-aged engineer and the quirky relationship he has with a co-worker. This leaves me with the impression that the contest judges have an open mind when it comes to their decisions.

    Zuraleff has gone on to write several more novels, but the last information I could find on Hidier is that she's still working on her second book. Although she's a leader of a band, a filmmaker, and she's also turning Born Confused into a screenplay. So both are highly accomplished individuals, beyond their writing careers.
    Last edited by JulieHowe; 02-27-2009 at 11:56 PM.

  5. #5
    Spent the night with Jack Daniels JulieHowe's Avatar
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    Message deleted. My lost package was found by the post office. Hopefully it will still be considered 'on-time' by the contest admins.
    Last edited by JulieHowe; 03-04-2009 at 03:29 AM.

  6. #6
    Spent the night with Jack Daniels JulieHowe's Avatar
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    Did anyone else enter this contest, either this year or in prior years?

  7. #7
    Spent the night with Jack Daniels JulieHowe's Avatar
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    I just received my confirmation postcard letting me know that my submission was received. Fingers crossed on this one. Did anyone else enter the contest?

  8. #8
    Spent the night with Jack Daniels JulieHowe's Avatar
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    If anyone enters this contest in the future, you might want to send a postal money order instead of a check - mine still hasn't been cashed, although I did receive a postcard confirmation that my entry was received.

  9. #9
    I entered. So that's two of us here.

  10. #10
    smooshed alias octavia's Avatar
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    I also entered, and they cashed my check a few weeks ago. From what I understand, if you are invited to submit the next 50 pages the notification is in June sometime. Fingers crossed.

    "The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star,
    but to go one's way in life and to work unfalteringly
    neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
    -Gustav Mahler

  11. #11
    Spent the night with Jack Daniels JulieHowe's Avatar
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    They just cashed my check. Fingers crossed here too. In June, I'll be stalking the mailman.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by JulieHowe View Post
    They just cashed my check. Fingers crossed here too. In June, I'll be stalking the mailman.
    Have you begun the stalking?

  13. #13
    not so anonymous Anonymissy's Avatar
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    I was a finalist for this award last year -- I got an e-mail from them on June 10th.

    Good luck to everyone who entered!
    bloglily

    The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. Mark Twain

  14. #14
    Spent the night with Jack Daniels JulieHowe's Avatar
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    Yeah! I just tackled my mailman, demanding that he turn over my letter or else.


    Seriously, though. I'm really disappointed because I know this is a top-level writing contest, and now, I'm figuring that maybe my work really does suck after all, and it's time to go stand in line for some government cheese while I look through the want-ads for a new profession, one that doesn't involve writing.

    I'm too fat for pole-dancing and too old for prostitution, and I don't know how to do anything else except sell books (I work in a bookstore) and write them. Now that James Jones has kicked me to the curb with my bottle of Thunderbird in a paper sack, I guess it's time to pack up the typewriter and haul it off to the Salvation Army.

    I like this contest, and I was really looking forward to taking part, even if I didn't make it to the final round of winners. I offer my genuine congratulations to any AWWC member who made it to the first round. You have every reason to be proud of your work, even if you don't end up being the grand-prize winner.

  15. #15
    Spent the night with Jack Daniels JulieHowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymissy View Post
    I was a finalist for this award last year -- I got an e-mail from them on June 10th.

    Good luck to everyone who entered!

    Another AWWC member contacted me earlier in the year, letting me know that she had also received her notification on June 10th, and offered to answer any questions I might have about the contest.

    The generosity and willingness to help other people is one of the best things about the members of the AWWC writing community, and this is greatly appreciated. Thank you, Anonymissy.

  16. #16
    smooshed alias octavia's Avatar
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    Julie -

    I agree. That is why I love the cooler.

    I think each year is different for this contest, so don't lose heart if you don't hear something today. For the 2007 contest the semi-finalists were not notified until August sometime. Yikes!

    "The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star,
    but to go one's way in life and to work unfalteringly
    neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
    -Gustav Mahler

  17. #17
    Spent the night with Jack Daniels JulieHowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alias octavia View Post
    Julie -

    I agree. That is why I love the cooler.

    I think each year is different for this contest, so don't lose heart if you don't hear something today. For the 2007 contest the semi-finalists were not notified until August sometime. Yikes!
    Thanks for the info. Good luck to everyone.

  18. #18
    not so anonymous Anonymissy's Avatar
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    Hi Julie! That was me, in fact. And I think Octavia is on to something -- there really isn't a hard deadline for notifying people, so it's quite possible they haven't done that yet.

    All the best to you!
    bloglily

    The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. Mark Twain

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I also entered the James Jones First Novel contest and am anxiously awaiting word about the final round. Does anyone know if they contact you via mail or e-mail?

    I was thinking of waiting until the end of the month and then calling them to find out if the semi-finalists had been chosen yet. I hate to be "that person" but my sanity is in jeopardy. Besides, I could just say I'm asking for the sake of the cooler .

    Good luck to everyone!!

  20. #20
    Spent the night with Jack Daniels JulieHowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harmonyleo View Post
    I also entered the James Jones First Novel contest and am anxiously awaiting word about the final round. Does anyone know if they contact you via mail or e-mail?

    I was thinking of waiting until the end of the month and then calling them to find out if the semi-finalists had been chosen yet. I hate to be "that person" but my sanity is in jeopardy. Besides, I could just say I'm asking for the sake of the cooler .

    Good luck to everyone!!
    One person here mentioned being contacted by email. After I read that, I started religiously (obsessively?) checking my e-mail spam and trash filters, just in case.


    Good luck to you too.

  21. #21
    not so anonymous Anonymissy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harmonyleo View Post
    I also entered the James Jones First Novel contest and am anxiously awaiting word about the final round. Does anyone know if they contact you via mail or e-mail?

    I was thinking of waiting until the end of the month and then calling them to find out if the semi-finalists had been chosen yet. I hate to be "that person" but my sanity is in jeopardy. Besides, I could just say I'm asking for the sake of the cooler .

    Good luck to everyone!!
    Crossing fingers, etc. for you guys!
    bloglily

    The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. Mark Twain

  22. #22
    Spent the night with Jack Daniels JulieHowe's Avatar
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    Nothing yet. The mailman is probably wondering why I'm stalking him and chasing down the street after the mail truck like some lovesick dog in heat.


    Totally off topic:

    Does anyone here do Twitter? I am by now completely fascinated and even obsessed with the potential of this new technology. I'm being Twittered by Iranian dissidents, reporters and others watching Iran disintegrate in front of their eyes. It's really interesting.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by JulieHowe View Post
    Nothing yet. The mailman is probably wondering why I'm stalking him and chasing down the street after the mail truck like some lovesick dog in heat.

    hahahahaha....I loved the visual I got from this....lol

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Nothing from my end either. I am still hopeful something will be announced this week.

  25. #25
    The book I submitted to the contest bears very little resemblance to what I have now. I suppose that's a concern with such a long lead time.

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