We are thisssssssssssssss close to announcing the winner and three runners-up of the Unbound Worlds Writing Contest! We have to admit, the number of entries took us by surprise. We’d been expecting a good number of submissions—Del Rey/Spectra doesn’t normally accept unagented material, and the contest was meant to be a one-shot chance for people to circumvent that roadblock. But who knew so many writers had manuscripts ready to go??? When the dust settled, we ended up with almost 700 qualifying entries.
Ay-yay-yay-yay-yay. Good thing we have a decent-sized staff at Del Rey/Spectra and that we’re all equipped with e-readers. Everybody was called into duty. Several agents were miffed by the fact that we were reading contest entries when normally we would have been responding quickly to their submissions.
No, we didn’t read every word of every submission. We don’t do that with agented material either, unless we really like the manuscript. And no—in answer to a couple of questions from entrants—we can’t possibly give feedback on every submission. What were we looking for? Writing style: Not just competent, but noteworthy. Worldbuilding: Not so much that the reader is overwhelmed by infodumps, but a sense that the writer has all the details worked out in his/her head and is making them known as the story requires it. Characters: Three-dimensional, individual, people we wanted to spend time with for 350 pages or so. Plotting: Something new under the sun!
We think we’ve found a winner and three runners-up who fit those criteria, and we will announce the names SOON.