Are you a previously unpublished writer (or a “nonprofessional,” in that you’ve not been paid for your writing at pro rates)? Do you have a hankering to write a Star Trek story and maybe see it published? Well, Pocket Books has a deal for you:
Yep! It’s a new version of the writing contest Pocket conducted each year from 1997-2007, which launched numerous writing careers including one for the guy whose blog you’re reading right this very second. For those of you unfamiliar with my secret origin, I entered stories in each of the first three Strange New Worlds contests, after which I was offered a contract to write a Star Trek novel for Pocket, and I’ve been working for them ever since. If I can do that, imagine how much someone with actual talent might accomplish?
The contest has a few changes from those of old, though:
Notably, it’s only open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia (that means none of the territories or even overseas military installations).
Unlike the previous contests, you’re only allowed one entry per person, so if you’re going to do this, make sure you bring your A-game.
The submission period is much shorter, beginning today (October 8th) and ending on January 15th, 2016.
Up to ten (10) winners will be selected for publication in the resulting anthology, as opposed to the old 18-23 winners rule. One major change is that two winners will receive “first prize” packages that includes the opportunity to publish a non-Star Trek novel through Pocket’s self-publishing platform. This is a new wrinkle, and one about which I have several questions, so I highly recommend doing your homework in this department before opting to proceed.
It appears the resulting anthology will be published as a “digital first” title. In English, that means e-Book, with a possible print edition later.
Assuming you’re thinking of taking on this challenge, be sure to read the complete rules before submitting an entry, and pay strict attention to the registration and editorial guidelines. Do your research, and understand what you are signing up for before you submit anything. You can find complete details here:
For those who decide to enter the contest, I’m happy to answer questions (assuming I have those answers, obviously), but let me state for the record that I am in no way affiliated with the contest and do not speak for Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster, CBS, or anyone associated with the contest. As such, I’m really not interested in discussing why the rules are what they are, or how someone might think they suck for this or that reason. So, you know…FYI, and all that.
On the other hand, questions about actually entering the contest or prepping your entry or requests for general tips or advice are welcome, and I’ll do my best to answer those. Any responses or opinions I might provide will be strictly based on past experience and (if possible) info I can obtain from people connected to the contest. I can’t guarantee anything on that front, though.
Best of luck to those of you opting to undertake this challenge!