The Uninitiated Makes Inkubate’s Long List

More good news this week, as my novel The Uninitiated was selected for the long list in Inkubate’s “Literary Blockbuster Challenge!”

You can find the whole list on their blog, but the gist of it is that initial readers whittled down to twenty-one finalists from the over six hundred novels submitted to the contest. (Congrats, Domini.)

Here’s what one of the readers, Nathan Feuerberg, had to say about the process:

“For two months all we did was read. There were detective novels and coming of age stories, mysteries and science fiction, historical and even some erotic literature. There were so many great entries that narrowing down our selections to just a few became a daunting task. In the end, I think we found some writers with exceptional talent, and that made all the reading worthwhile.”

Ten winners selected from the long list will be announced in August, with $10,000 in prizes divided among them–$5000 of that to the first prize winner. Each of the final ten will also receive feedback from publishing executives.

If you’ve never heard of Inkubate before, it’s certainly an interesting concept. The idea is to basically rethink the slush pile process of authors submitting queries and manuscripts to agents and publishers by creating a platform where agents and publishers instead browse author-created profiles, thus allowing the gate-keepers to narrow in on the genre, experience level, what have you, that they’re interested in. The value here seems to be for young writers just starting out and established writers who may have lost the eye of publishers for some reason or another. Basically, those with a bare-bones cover letter, or a stale one.

It’s a cool idea, although, as with anything, it’s yet to be seen how the service funds itself. Participating agents and publishers are to pay a fee to browse the site–it’s free for authors to create a profile–but will publishing professionals pay for something they already get in abundance for free? TBD, I guess, and something to watch evolve. In the meantime I’m happy to be a part of it.

After bringing home Tarcher/Penguin’s Top Artist prize earlier this year, it’s exciting to have this draft of the novel in the running for another competition. I’ll try to get an update on where I’m at with the novel later on this month, but today let’s enjoy this victory and hope that there’s more to come.

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