“Do you have a novel that explores the eternal philosophical questions and grabs and holds the reader’s attention from the first page? Can you produce a book that merges Moby Dick’s metaphysics with the action of Jaws? Have you written a book that can replicate the emotional depth of The Scarlet Letter and inspire the record profits of Valley of the Dolls? How about merging James Joyce’s psychologically complex characterization with a Stephen King plot?
We are excited to announce Inkubate’s first annual fiction contest, the Literary Blockbuster Challenge. Take our challenge: write a thought-provoking literary novel that’s also a page-turner. We invite you to combine the goals of serious literature (thematic depth and high level craft) with the bestselling formulas of the mega-blockbusters (see James Hall’s new book, Hit lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers) and commercial genres (romance, sci-fi, historical fiction, horror, fantasy, etc.). For many of you this may mean revising an existing project.”
In this same vein, let’s write a weekly prompt! Pick up your local newspaper, or a NYT and find a story that grips you. Write a two page short story based upon this THRILLING headline. As in the writing contest, stay true to good literary technique. I feel foolish saying ‘good’, when Joyce is in the contest description … so stay true to GREAT serious literary technique. Who knows, this exercise could turn into a contest winning NOVEL! What story caught your attention?