If you ever wrote a novel that is currently sitting unpublished on a shelf somewhere, it may be time to pull it out and dust it off. Social network Web site Gather.com and publisher Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone division are running a contest to allow visitors to vote on the most promising first three chapters of some lucky author’s unpublished work.
The contest, called First Chapters, was touted in a NYT article as a means of finding new authors with a built in audience. Of course, any book that gets as many votes as will be needed to win will have to generate an audience.
The contest allows writers to submit their novel until March 15th, and then voting will continue through the First Chapters Group on Gather.com, before a final judging panel of Simon & Schuster, Gather and Borders executives picks the winner. Over time, voters will select the winning pool of finalists based on their first chapters, and then winnow the field based on the second and third chapters of the books.
The final winner will not only win the publishing contract, but $5,000 from Gather, and promotion and distribution by Borders.
Of course, I’m certain that my book about rampaging ninjas raiding Silicon Valley laboratories for preserved dinosaur pee would be a shoe in.
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