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View Full Version : Pratchett first novel competition: £20K advance



Torgo
06-17-2010, 03:52 PM
Check out http://terrypratchett.co.uk/news%5Ctermsandconditions.html for details of what looks like a pretty darn good competition.

KTC
06-17-2010, 03:56 PM
Thanks for the link. Cool! It's open to the whole Commonwealth!

Wordcraft
06-17-2010, 04:25 PM
It says that it can be "anywhen but now" and then, toward the end, says "some version of the past, present or future of a planet Earth". It's a bit confusing.

I guess it can be about anything in terms of genre and storyline. They say it should be for adults, but not much else.

Mr Flibble
06-17-2010, 05:03 PM
ZOMG!

Time to get writing!

ETA: This is just the spur for that story I've been meaning to write for ages....EETA: Nuts, just noticed I'm ineligible. :(

Torgo
06-17-2010, 10:11 PM
It is a tad confusing, isn't it - philosophical issues!

KTC
06-18-2010, 01:04 AM
It is a tad confusing, isn't it - philosophical issues!

i just read it as semi-Dahlian.

Kateness
06-18-2010, 01:15 AM
Hmm.

Resident or citizen?

I hold a British passport, but I've not been a resident in 15 years.

KTC
06-18-2010, 01:18 AM
This competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over who is a resident of the UK, Republic of Ireland or other countries of the British Commonwealth

Looks like you have to reside in one of these places. Doesn't say anything about being a citizen of...

Ms Hollands
06-20-2010, 02:55 PM
Bum.

Sai
06-21-2010, 09:14 AM
I never thought I'd be so happy that Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth (the queen is visiting my city this summer and everything). I am totally going to enter this.

Domoviye
06-21-2010, 01:34 PM
It says that it can be "anywhen but now" and then, toward the end, says "some version of the past, present or future of a planet Earth". It's a bit confusing.

I guess it can be about anything in terms of genre and storyline. They say it should be for adults, but not much else.

This means alternate history. So if its set in 2010 it has to be an alternate version, Nazi's got a stalemate in WW2, Russia won the cold war, Aztecs sacrificed the Conquistadors and made friendly trade deals with the English, etc.
Look up Harry Turtledove to get an idea of the type of plot they're looking for. Or type in "Alternate history Forum" on Google.

Paul
06-21-2010, 01:41 PM
God Bless You Terry. hope other big name authors get on this particular bandwagon.

Paul
06-21-2010, 01:55 PM
From the article

“Anywhere but here, anywhen but now. Which means we are after stories set on Earth, although it may be an Earth that might have been, or might yet be, one that has gone down a different leg of the famous trousers of time (see the illustration in almost every book about quantum theory).

We will be looking for books set at any time, perhaps today, perhaps in the Rome of today but in a world where 2000 years ago the crowd shouted for Jesus Christ to be spared, or where in 1962, John F Kennedy's game of chicken with the Russians went horribly wrong. It might be one day in the life of an ordinary person. It could be a love story, an old story, a war story, a story set in a world where Leonardo da Vinci turned out to be a lot better at Aeronautics. But it won’t be a story about being in an alternate Earth because the people in an alternate Earth don’t know that they are; after all, you don’t.

But this might just be the start. The wonderful Peter Dickinson once wrote a book that could convince you that flying dragons might have existed on Earth. Perhaps in the seething mass of alternate worlds humanity didn't survive, or never evolved -- but other things did, and they would have seen the world in a different way. The possibilities are literally endless, but remember, it’s all on Earth. Maybe the continents will be different and the climate unfamiliar, but the physics will be the same as ours. What goes up must come down, ants are ant-sized because if they were any bigger their legs wouldn't carry them. In short, the story must be theoretically possible on some version of the past, present or future of a planet Earth.”

The deadline for submissions will be 31 December 2010 and a shortlist of six entries will be announced on the 31 March 2011. The winner will be announced by the end May 2011.


The italicized might seem to contradict, but really the embolden is the important stuff.

JimmyB27
06-21-2010, 06:03 PM
When I first saw this, I was trying to figure out if my story would fit the bill. Finally realised it was a totally moot point, since I don't have an icecube's chance in hell of finishing by the deadline. :(

aadams73
06-21-2010, 06:27 PM
Damn. I'm almost tempted to move back to Australia.

ETA: Hmm, apparently I'm ineligible, too.

Chris P
06-21-2010, 06:46 PM
Why, oh why, did we have to dump that tea in the harbor? Now I'll never be a writer...

*pouts* *kicks a rock*

Best of luck to all who choose to enter!

Irissel
06-22-2010, 08:51 AM
Why, oh why, did we have to dump that tea in the harbor? Now I'll never be a writer...

*pouts* *kicks a rock*

Best of luck to all who choose to enter!

Just what I was thinking. lol

benbradley
06-22-2010, 10:13 AM
2. This competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over who is a resident of the UK, Republic of Ireland or other countries of the British Commonwealth, except for employees (and their families) of Transworld Publishers, a division of The Random House Group Limited (Publisher) and any other company connected with the competition.

3. The closing date for the competition is 31st December 2010 (Closing Date).
That sounds like enough time to both write the novel and move to (and become a citizen of?) some British commonwealth ...

As far as alternate history, I was just thinking, what if Paul Revere and his compatriots had lost...

Ben, Citizen of the British Commonwealth of America.

Domoviye
06-22-2010, 07:49 PM
I would like to do enter this contest but the only ideas I have for alternate history plots involve massive amounts of research that I can't quite get the time to do this year.
So I'll simply start writing and hope they do this same theme next year. Or just head directly to an agent upon completion.

MJRevell
06-30-2010, 04:38 AM
This looks really good -- just a shame I probably won't be able to finish my novel by then!

Vincent
06-30-2010, 08:40 AM
Very cool indeed.

Six months is a long time, and yet, it ain't. I wonder if I can...

shaldna
06-30-2010, 01:39 PM
omg. so excited. and I even have something that would work for this.

:)

edit.


ah crap. you can't enter if you've published a novel.


edit 2 - having re-read, section 6 states 'full length novel', where mine were definately novella length, so I emailed the organisers for clarification, and I will let you guys know what they say.

Mistress Elysia
06-30-2010, 10:58 PM
I want to enter this - in fact, I have decided to dedicate the next 6 months to it - but I am worried that anything that isn't humourous isn't going to get past the door (there is a theory going around that they are looking for the next Pratchett, basically). I'm also doing 'alternate future' as opposed to historical fiction, so how that fits in, I don't know... Am I the only one who is a little baffled by the criteria? Surely 'or might yet be' covers all futuristic sci fi (mine is based around the end of WW2 ending with a truce with the Nazis, the knock on effect being the world has a far more accepting view of eugenics and how this may effect us in the future)?

shaldna
07-01-2010, 12:00 PM
don't go thinking that all there is to pratchett is humour.

Mistress Elysia
07-01-2010, 07:34 PM
Believe me, I know this (been a Pratchett fan for 23 years and have devoured literally everything he has written) - but that doesn't invalidate the worry that humour will be favoured over other entries (I haven't been the only one who has expressed this concern, either - in fact, I know if at least two people who have decided not to enter because they are sure that humour will be favoured).

JimmyB27
07-01-2010, 07:47 PM
Believe me, I know this (been a Pratchett fan for 23 years and have devoured literally everything he has written) - but that doesn't invalidate the worry that humour will be favoured over other entries (I haven't been the only one who has expressed this concern, either - in fact, I know if at least two people who have decided not to enter because they are sure that humour will be favoured).
It's already apart from his secondary world setting, why shouldn't it be apart from his humour too?

Sophia
07-01-2010, 08:47 PM
I am worried that anything that isn't humourous isn't going to get past the door (there is a theory going around that they are looking for the next Pratchett, basically).

It doesn't make sense to let that worry stop you, or the people you know who are also worried, from entering. Pratchett writes mainly fantasy, but the contest specifically disallows that:

... the story must be theoretically possible on some version of the past, present or future of a planet Earth.

If they were looking for the next Pratchett, that criterion would make it very difficult for them.

The guidelines for this contest aren't specific, so there's no reason that your novel can't be submitted elsewhere if they don't accept it. Unless the story you have in mind is something you would not spend time on otherwise, what do you or your fellow writers have to lose by entering?

Mistress Elysia
07-01-2010, 09:36 PM
I have to say that that is the stance I am taking - in a way, I am kind of hoping they get 20,000 TP clones (or people who think they are TP clones...) and those who go down a different route will stand out a bit more (it's a selfish dream... *cackles*). And, like you said, at the end of it all I should have a novel, which is always a bonus!

I suppose it is because I have had a couple of readers (who read my first 3,500 words) say 'this needs to be more tongue in cheek', 'I don't think this is suitable - it's not funny' and 'they want family friendly - this isn't family friendly'. I was quite disheartened by this; constructive criticism I can take, but when someone says your whole approach and concept is a one way ticket to loserville, based solely on a 3,500 word snippet and then spends the next 5 posts trying to get you to change it into a Hitchhikers clone 'otherwise you won't stand a chance'... yeah, that was a gut punch moment!

(And Hello, fellow Hampshire person! ;) )

shaldna
07-02-2010, 03:21 PM
just write, don't worry about what anyone else thinks. and don't try to predict what the judges may or may not be looking for. there's no way to tell what way thier minds will work.

Sophia
07-02-2010, 04:29 PM
I have had a couple of readers (who read my first 3,500 words) say 'this needs to be more tongue in cheek', 'I don't think this is suitable - it's not funny' and 'they want family friendly - this isn't family friendly'. I was quite disheartened by this; constructive criticism I can take, but when someone says your whole approach and concept is a one way ticket to loserville, based solely on a 3,500 word snippet and then spends the next 5 posts trying to get you to change it into a Hitchhikers clone 'otherwise you won't stand a chance'... yeah, that was a gut punch moment!)

Hello! :)

If you take a look at Transworld's books (http://www.booksattransworld.co.uk/) (the publisher who'll publish the winning entry), they handle a range of genres, including crime and literary. The contest guidelines also don't mention anything about the book being family friendly or funny. Could you ask your readers whether they've seen something official that they're basing their feedback on? I think it's a reasonable assumption to make based on Pratchett's name being on the contest, but I haven't seen anything that confirms it.

Domoviye
07-02-2010, 05:02 PM
I want to enter this - in fact, I have decided to dedicate the next 6 months to it - but I am worried that anything that isn't humourous isn't going to get past the door (there is a theory going around that they are looking for the next Pratchett, basically). I'm also doing 'alternate future' as opposed to historical fiction, so how that fits in, I don't know... Am I the only one who is a little baffled by the criteria? Surely 'or might yet be' covers all futuristic sci fi (mine is based around the end of WW2 ending with a truce with the Nazis, the knock on effect being the world has a far more accepting view of eugenics and how this may effect us in the future)?

That would work for the criteria. It changes history before the present day so its considered 'alternate history'.

And you had me worried for a moment, I have a good idea about a WW2 Nazi truce as well, but after a brief shock I finished reading and saw that my idea is TOTALLY different.
Good luck to everyone who enters.

Edit: (Just thought of this) For anyone not sure about their ideas, looking for help with an idea or seeking inspiration this is a great forum (http://alternatehistory.com/discussion/index.php) for alternate history questions and ideas.

jinkang
07-02-2010, 11:41 PM
Edit: (Just thought of this) For anyone not sure about their ideas, looking for help with an idea or seeking inspiration this is a great forum (http://alternatehistory.com/discussion/index.php) for alternate history questions and ideas.

Thanks for the link!

Yeshanu
07-03-2010, 03:32 AM
edit 2 - having re-read, section 6 states 'full length novel', where mine were definately novella length, so I emailed the organisers for clarification, and I will let you guys know what they say.

The actual rules state 80,000 to 150,000 words, which is very clear.

shaldna
07-05-2010, 03:05 PM
The actual rules state 80,000 to 150,000 words, which is very clear.

*sigh*

yes, i know. I can read.

But i was refering to the rules about previous publishing history (which is where most of us are going to be excluded). The rules state that you can't have published a 'full length novel' before, and my previous publishing history has been novella length. So my query was whether this was going to exclude me from the competition.

Hence I emailed them to find out, because I'm sure alot of us would like some clarification on that.

gothicangel
07-06-2010, 01:32 AM
http://www.terrypratchett.co.uk/news/termsandconditions.html

Yeshanu
07-06-2010, 10:19 PM
*sigh*

yes, i know. I can read.

But i was refering to the rules about previous publishing history (which is where most of us are going to be excluded). The rules state that you can't have published a 'full length novel' before, and my previous publishing history has been novella length. So my query was whether this was going to exclude me from the competition.

Hence I emailed them to find out, because I'm sure alot of us would like some clarification on that.

Ah!

Here's hoping they don't count novellas then.

I've got a week's holidays away from home and a couple of ideas--I'm going to be spending the week outlining. :D

shaldna
07-07-2010, 01:59 PM
Still no word back yet. I might submit anyway and see.

shaldna
07-07-2010, 03:04 PM
okay, I heard back from them, I have pasted the email below.


Dear Claire,

For the purposes of the competition, ‘full length’ is anything over 80,000 words in length, in line with the minimum word count for entries. If your novella is under 80,000 words then you are still eligible to enter.

Best wishes,

The Pratchett Prize

Priene
07-11-2010, 09:58 PM
I might have a pop at this one.


Good job I'm unpublished (sighs gently and starts to whimper).

icerose
07-15-2010, 09:42 PM
Dang it. I have one that really fits the bill but I'm a US citizen.

Exile87
07-21-2010, 04:23 AM
Ah, if only I was a UK resident! UGH!

shaldna
07-21-2010, 11:47 AM
Ah, if only I was a UK resident! UGH!


Hah, I'm a UK resident when it suits me. Lol.

AdamH
07-30-2010, 07:47 AM
Game on!

I'm actually working on one that fits perfectly.

Good luck to everyone!

shaldna
11-29-2010, 07:25 PM
Just a reminder that you only have a month left for submission to this contest folks.

Good luck all those who are entering.

EssieRatcliff
12-12-2010, 03:13 AM
Why did I just find out about this NOW????

Torgo
04-04-2011, 01:54 PM
The shortlist has been announced (http://www.britishfantasysociety.org.uk/index.php/submitted-news/54-awards/1222-anywhere-but-here-anywhen-but-now-prize)- anybody on it?

shaldna
04-04-2011, 02:45 PM
Nope. I missed the deadline in the end. But I'm kinda excited to see what wins.

And congrats to anyone on the short list.

J Whisketosky
04-04-2011, 10:35 PM
Wow, I hope whoever wins does well.