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The first Mslexia Novella Competition is now open

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Article by ERMurray © 17 September 2018.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().

Competition deadline: 1st October 2018

What do Silas Marner, Of Mice and Men, Brokeback Mountain and Metamorphosis all have in common?

They’re all novellas – in fact, some of the world’s best loved works of literature are novellas – yet works of fiction between 10,000 and 40,000 words are notoriously difficult to place in the current market, despite the stories they tell being perfectly suited to their length.

Just because mainstream publishers prefer longer works doesn’t mean audiences do, and stats are rolling in to support an emerging novella Renaissance. Waterstones Piccadilly (London’s largest bookshop) recently stated that their novella tables “are the bestsellers”, and critical acclaim and prize nominations for novella writers are rolling in – Fairlight Books have two novellas on the Not The Booker longlist.

The message is clear: people love novella-length works. So feel pressured no longer to pad or trim your novellas; they’re perfect as they are!

To celebrate the resurgence of this classic form, the first Mslexia Novella competition is now open, accepting works between 10,000 and 40,000 words. Works of any genre are eligible, and the award is open to women writers from all countries, of any nationality.

Judged by Eloise Millar at Galley Beggar Press, our first prize winner will receive £1,000, as well as guaranteed e-publication with Mslexia. On top of all that, the winner will also receive 25% of royalties from all sales on their novella, and instant attention from Mslexia’s audience of industry professionals and engaged women writers.

While the Mslexia Novel Competition is famous for its career launching stats (50% of shortlistees had their books published, and 80% signed with agents) the inaugural Novella Competition is sure to act as the perfect career launch-pad for previously unpublished writers, or to add to the publication portfolio of authors who are yet to publish a Novella.

The winner and finalists will be announced in the June 2019 edition of Mslexia magazine. Click here to send a 5,000 word extract of a completed, unpublished manuscript at £15 per entry


Follow Elizabeth online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Elizabeth Rose Murray lives in West Cork where she writes, fishes, and grows her own vegetables. Her first book for young adults Caramel Hearts (Alma Books) was published June 2016. Her debut novel for children aged 10-12, The Book of Learning - Nine Lives Trilogy 1 (Mercier Press) was chosen as the 2016 Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Citywide Read for Children and the follow-up The Book of Shadows - Nine Lives Trilogy 2 was shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards. The final installment The Book of Revenge will be published in February 2018.

Elizabeth has poetry and short fiction published in journals across the UK and Ireland - including Ogham Stone, Southword, South Circular, Esc and 3am - and has been shortlisted in various competitions including TV3AM Short Story, Francis MacManus, and Aesthetica Creative Works. She has also performed in Ciudades Paralelas: Station - a live writing installation.

Hoping to encourage new writers, Elizabeth provides manuscript reports and online writing courses through Inkwell Writers and Big Smoke Writing Factory. She is a regular at literary festivals, and offers adult workshops on writing for children and young adults, as well as multiple events and workshops for children and teens.

You can connect with Elizabeth on Twitter @ERMurray, Facebook www.facebook.com/ERMurray.Author or her blog www.ermurray.com