$2,500 Strongest Start Novel Competition Motivates Writers to Hone Opening Chapters

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For the second year, TheNextBigWriter.com is sponsoring The Strongest Start Novel Competition, a writing contest designed to help writers perfect the first three chapters of their novel. In the Competition, writers post the first three chapters of their manuscript to the TheNextBigWriter. Final round judges include a NY Times best-selling author, and a former literary agent and Publisher of HarperSanFrancisco. The grand prize is a professional line-edit, Editorial Evaluation and 30 minute Editorial Consultation for the winning manuscript provided by iUniverse and valued at $2,000.

For the second year, TheNextBigWriter.com is sponsoring The Strongest Start Novel Competition, a writing contest designed to help writers perfect the first three chapters of their novel.

"The first three chapters are critical," said Sol Nasisi, the founder of TheNextBigWriter.com. "Agents generally request to see the first three chapters and if you don't hook a reader right away, the rest of the book might as well not be written."

In the Strongest Start Novel Competition, writers post the first three chapters of their novel to the TheNextBigWriter, a private online writing workshop. Once the novel is posted, it will receive feedback from other writers and readers on the site. The author can use these comments to further hone their submission up until the contest deadline - April 16, 2008.

"The goal is to create a fun, motivational environment for writers to hone and perfect their opening chapters. Even the prize was selected for that purpose," said Mr. Nasisi.

The grand prize is a professional line-edit, Editorial Evaluation and 30 minute Editorial Consultation for the winning manuscript provided by iUniverse and valued at $2,000. "We're excited to be a sponsor of the contest," said Susan Driscoll, the president and CEO of iUniverse. "It provides the motivation and feedback necessary to help writers get their manuscripts off their desks and into the marketplace."

Many of the last year's entries are working their way through the publishing process and the winner, Fallen by Ann Simko, is currently under consideration by an agent.

The Strongest Start Novel Competition judges include:

  • Aury Wallington is the author of the New York Times best-selling novel Heroes: Saving Charlie. Her novel Pop! was named one of the NY Public Library's "Books for the Teen Age." Her television writing credits include Sex and the City and Veronica Mars, and she currently has two pilots in development at USA and ABC Family. Aury's newest book will be a graphic novel she's writing for Devil's Due Publishing.
  • Diane Gedymin is Vice President and Editorial Director of iUniverse, a leading self-publishing service provider. With over thirty years of experience in traditional publishing, Diane has worked in nearly every area of the business including as a literary agent affiliated with Carlisle & Company; Sr. Vice President and Publisher of HarperSanFrancisco. She is the co-author of Get Published! Professionally, Affordably, Fast."
  • Paul Bagdon has published 30 novels.Deserter (Dorchester/Leisure) was released in December 2006 and Northern Hearts (Baker Publishing) was released February 1 under the pen name Paige Lee Eliston. He is an instructor at the Writers Digest Online Workshop and his critiques and reviews of manuscripts provided to him by Writers Digest have appeared dozens of times in the last few years. He enjoys working with writers and several of his students have sold novels, short stories, and articles.
  • Ann Simko is the author of seven completed manuscripts and the winner of 2007's Strongest Start Novel Competition. Her novel Fallen is being considered for acceptance by a well-known literary agency. She hopes this will be the beginning of a professional writing career. Professionally she has worked as a registered nurse for the last twenty-three years in a level one trauma hospital in the Adult Intensive Care unit.

About TheNextBigWriter, LLC:
TheNextBigWriter is a private online workshop where writers can receive feedback on their novels, short stories, and poems. Readers on the site have the opportunity to receive a sneak-peek at creative writing in-progress and through their feedback can participate in the process of helping writers prepare their work for publication. Since its launch in October 2005 the site's members have generated over 112,000 detailed reviews on 16,723 novel chapters, short stories, and poems posted on the site. From this, over 100 short stories and poems workshopped on TheNextBigWriter have been published by independent literary magazines. Several of the novels on the site have already achieved commercial success and many more are moving their way through the publication process.

In addition to TheNextBigWriter.com, the company also operates Booksie.com, one of the Web's fastest growing publishing sites with thousands of authors and tens of thousands of published short stories, novels, and poems. Visit it at http://www.booksie.com.

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Sol Nasisi

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