The Great Novel Contest: Now or Never

You have less than 72 hours to submit a novel to The Great Novel Contest 2015. The contestThe Great Novel Contest 2015 is better than ever this year, and with the entry fee reduced to $25, there’s no reason to let the January 31 deadline pass you by.

Find the contest rules and instructions for entering here. 

The winner of The Great Novel Contest 2015 will receive $1,000 and priority consideration from four publishers. The contest runner-up will receive $500 and consideration from the same four publishers. Ten finalists will receive recognition of their achievement, a letter of reccomendation for potential agents and publishers and a free copy of Columbus: Past, Present and Future. 

Learn more about the four participating publishers below:

Columbus Press is an independent publisher of exceptional fiction and narrative non-fiction.

“One of the advantages of small or mid-size press is that an author can find someone that’s really a good fit. Your book doesn’t just make sense on a spreadsheet, but it’s something the publisher can really get excited about and roll with month after month.”

-Brad Pauquette, Publisher, Columbus Press

Elephant Rock Books is publisher of handsome books, quality fiction and nonfiction that you won’t forget.

“It’s a cliché, but those first few pages should leap off the page. Editors read so many manuscripts, we’re a jaded bunch. That said, I open each submission hoping it is the best book ever written. It’s why I got into this business.”

-Jotham Burrello, Publisher, Elephant Rock Books

Raw Dog Screaming Press is dedicated to putting into print the highest quality literature from the fringe. 

“I start getting excited when I read a page or two, and this is going to sound a little weird, but when the sentences are smooth, not awkward, and the story and the style are working together.”

-Jennifer Barnes, Publisher, Raw Dog Screaming Press

PageSpring Publishing is an independent book publisher specializing in high-quality novels for adults and younger readers. 

“Before we were ever editors or publishers, we were readers. You know that feeling when you pick up a book and find you just have to keep turning pages? Or you identify so fully with a character that you’d swear she was real? As a reader, there’s nothing better than finding a book that speaks to you that way. It’s intensely gratifying when we’re able to give that experience to a fellow reader.”

– Rebecca Seum, Publisher, PageSpring Publishing

What’s the holdup? Submit your novel to The Great Novel Contest before it’s too late. Click here for contest rules and instructions for entering.

May the best manuscript win!

PageSpring Publishing from an Author’s Perspective

One week of The Great Novel Contest submission period down, three more to go! As the The Great Novel Contest 2015submissions keep rolling in, we’re thinking ahead to the prizes and awards. The winner goes home with $1,000 cash, the runner-up gets $500, and both receive public recognition for their accomplishment. The best part, however, is that both authors get priority consideration from four publishers.

Submit to The Great Novel Contest here!

One of these publishers is PageSpring Publishing, an independent press from Columbus which specializes in “high-quality novels for adults and young readers.” For a behind-the-scenes look at this publisher, we sat down with one of their authors. Suzanne Goldsmith, author of the novel Washashore, gave us the low-down on what it’s like to be a PageSpring author.

“It was an extremely good experience,” Goldsmith said. “The main thing that I really loved about working with PageSpring was working with my editor, Kathy Matthews, who gave incredibly detailed, close attention to my work.” She contrasted this experience with her experience publishing with a traditional press. “I remember the editorial process was basically my editor sending back my manuscript saying ‘cut it by 30% and you need to change it to the present tense.’ With PageSpring it was really different. Now, they didn’t make any of the changes for me. I had to do all that work myself. But I had long conversations with my editor about what’s working and what’s not.”

Goldsmith said these strong relationships were the most rewarding part of the process. “My editor had really good judgment and she had very close textual attention to the manuscript,” Goldsmith said. “I really enjoyed the relationship we had going back and forth.” She attributed this to the nature of small presses. “The upside of working with a small press is that personal attention and that great relationship with someone who loves your book and wants to help you make it the best that it can possibly be.”

suzanne author photo
Suzanne Goldsmith, author of Washashore

Goldsmith’s novel tells the story of a 14-year-old named Clementine, who spends the winter on the small island of Martha’s Vineyard. As an outsider, what locals call a “washashore,” Clem struggles to find her place — until she discovers a fallen bird and young boy named Daniel. Because of her novel’s focus on the conservation of the Vineyard’s osprey, the raptor that nearly went endangered in the 70s, Goldsmith won the Green Earth Book Award. She explained how this recognition affected her writing career. “Receiving the Green Earth Book Award was enormously encouraging to me as a writer, but it also means a lot for my book going forward. With many thousands of books published each year, readers have a lot of options. The award makes Washashore stand out and gives them a reason to choose it over other books that they might be considering. That little gold sticker is hard to argue with!”

But this award didn’t come waltzing through the door. Goldsmith searched for all the possible awards that she thought she had a shot at, gave the list to her publisher, and told them to submit her novel. Her advice to writers seeking recognition? Make your book known. She suggests putting your work out to the public and becoming active in your local writers’ scene. The more connections you make, the more likely you are to find people who share similar interests, who can provide the right venue for your work. As Goldsmith says, “I think the best advice I can give for writers, and what’s been most helpful to me, is to develop a writing community. To get involved in a critique group or to get alpha readers. To somehow find your peeps.” She meets with a writers’ group every week to receive feedback from people “who actually know what we’re going through.”

Amazingly, Goldsmith’s writers’ group led to the publication of her novel through PageSpring. One of the editors contacted her. “She knew the manuscript because she had been part of my writing network. She had looked at an earlier version and loved it.” Her writing community not only provided encouragement and inspiration, but gave her a lead into publishing her novel.

After about a year of editing, Washashore became a reality. “They came to press pretty quickly once it was all finished,” she explained, “That is another benefit of a small press. The editing process isn’t going to be any faster, but they can sometimes bring your book to market a lot more quickly.”

PageSpring proposed the idea of a teacher guide to foster discussion about environmental stewardship and character development. They put together a beautiful guide, which connects young readers to the important messages in her novel. “Their teacher guide was a benefit,” said Goldsmith. “I haven’t seen a lot of publishers put in this kind of care and attention.”

Who will PageSpring publish next? Submit to The Great Novel Contest 2015 and you have a chance at working with this independent press.

Check out the rules and guidelines and our Facebook page for more information on the contest.

Find out more about Suzanne Goldsmith and Washashore here.

Publisher Spotlight: PageSpring Publishing

As of January 1, The Great Novel Contest 2015 is officially open! It’s time to stop The Great Novel Contest 2015procrastinating, and submit your novel.

We’ve made some big changes to the contest this year. The winner of this year’s contest will receive $1,000 and priority consideration from four independent publishers. The runner up will receive $500 and priority consideration from the same publishers. We’ve also lowered the entry fee to $25.

Find the contest rules and instructions for entering here.

PageSpring Publishing is one of four participating publishers. If you are The Great Novel Contest grand prize winner, or the runner up, your manuscript will bypass the slush pile and go straight to the eyes of their editors.

We recently exchanged emails with Rebecca Seum from PageSpring Publishing to learn more about this participating publisher.

CCC: Tell me a little about PageSpring Publishing. Why were you founded, and when?

PS: We saw that there were very worthy manuscripts out there that weren’t getting published. Many publishers are wary of taking chances on first-time authors and many are only searching for the next breakout bestseller. Meanwhile, readers were hungry for quality books. We founded the company in 2012 with a mission to turn those manuscripts into books and bring them to readers.

CCC: I found this on your website: “We believe that the best part of reading is discovering a book that speaks to you, a book for which you will postpone dinner, or sleep, or even calling your mother…just to finish one more chapter.” Can you elaborate? How do you find your readers relate to the books you publish?

PS: Before we were ever editors or publishers, we were readers. You know that feeling when you pick up a book and find you just have to keep turning pages? Or you identify so fully with a character that you’d swear she was real? As a reader, there’s nothing better than finding a book that speaks to you that way. It’s intensely gratifying when we’re able to give that experience to a fellow reader.

CCC: What do you look for in a manuscript when you’re considering it for publication? What gets you excited about a book in the first few pages?

PS: Nothing speaks louder than characters. If a character is fully developed, his or her voice will come through in the first pages, and I’ll know there’s something there.

CCC: What’s your favorite thing about PageSpring?

PS: What ISN’T my favorite thing? With a smaller company, you get to have at least a part in all of the different aspects of the whole process, from discovering a gem in the slushpile, to working with authors to shape a manuscript that is almost but not quite there, to collaborating on cover design, to sending the book out into the world, and even determining the best way to bring it in front of readers. Could there be a better job in this world? I think not.

CCC: Do you have any advice for authors who are trying to get published? (Or for The Great Novel Contest hopefuls!)

PS: Writing a novel is hard. there are thousands of moving parts in a novel, and there are no shortcuts to getting them all to work together. The best advice I have for authors is to always consider the reader experience when crafting their work. If you view each of those parts through the lens of what it gives to the reader, you’ll ultimately end up with a satisfying book.

CCC: What are you working on currently that you’re excited about?

PS: We are very proud to have just released our tenth title, Tales from Suburbia: You Don’t Have to Be Crazy to Live Here, but It Helps. The book is in turn hilarious and heartwarming–just a purely enjoyable read. Coming up next, we’re very excited to be releasing our first sequel. Author Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa’s Hide nor Hair is a sequel to our cozy mystery New Math Is Murder.

We’re thrilled to have PageSpring as a participating publisher in The Great Novel Contest 2015. The contest closes on January 31, 2015. Submit your manuscript today!

Questions about The Great Novel Contest? Contact us.