It’s that wonderful time of the year. The Open Novella Contest (ONC for short) has announced its 3rd year. It’s official start is Feburary 1st.
If you’ve done the contest before, feel free to skip this explanation.
What is the ONC?
The ONC is a couple month-long challenge to write a new novella, or a 20k-40k word story.
Each year the wonderful team of ambassadors that run this competition come up with a host of prompts especially for this event. You are required to use one prompt in your story. You’ll have to submit which prompt you used and the judges will have to see it at work in your story. It can be a loose interpretation, but make sure it’s noticeably apparent.
Now, you have to write. The first round will need to post and submit 2k words. Then, they’ll be a round of judging (there is no set amount of entries that make the cut off, so don’t stress over more entries hurting your chances) and some authors will progress to the second round. The second round works the same way, but you must have 8k words posted total. By the third round, the playing field will be a sliver of the thousands who entered and each author will be pushing to complete their novella. Keep in mind, you have 40k words to work with, but the judges will only read the first 20k words.
At this stage of the game, all competitors will have a completed novella. Next comes the long list. For those of you who know the Wattys, this long list and that one work the same way. Some of the authors who passed round three are chosen for the long list. Of those, a smaller amount are chosen for the shortlist. From there, it goes to the top five winners, who by then are the best of the best.
There’s also ambassador’s pick, which highlights stories the judging team enjoyed and wanted to promote. Each round also has a few winners.
Gee, sounds stressful. Why should I enter?
The ONC is stressful, but it’s also glorious when you pass each round. We as authors are constantly striving for validation. The ONC offers that.
The ONC builds community. Entrants read other entrant’s work who read other entrants work who—well, you get the idea.
ONC provides motivation. You have to write to win, and you have to write on a deadline. This helps budget time and pushes you to crank out words in a tight time frame.
Last but not least, why not? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
More info (will update when more details are released)
Follow the official profile for quick and accurate info. @OpenNovellaContest
The official book is out with a schedule and all the good contest rules. read here
Procrastinating something? Find a collection of ONC memes and add your own.
Read prompts here
Submit the form here
Below is where he deadline for round one will be (this will change to be Round 2 info when Round 1 concludes) in different time zones to make this easier globally.
|GMT||Feb 29, 11:59 pm|
|CET/ WAT||Mar 1, 12:59 am|
|EET||Mar 1, 1:59 am|
|MSK/ EAT||Mar 1, 2:59 am|
|SMT/ AMT||Mar 1, 3:59 am|
|PKT||Mar 1, 4:59 am|
|OMSK/ BST||Mar 1, 5:59 am|
|CXT||Mar 1, 6:59 am|
|CST/WST||Mar 1, 7:59 am|
|JST||Mar 1, 8:59 am|
|EAST/VLAT||Mar 1, 9:59 am|
|SAKT||Mar 1, 10:59 am|
|IDLE/ NZT||Mar 1, 11:59 am|
|WAT||Mar 1, 12:59 am|
|AT||Feb 29, 9:59 pm|
|ART||Feb 29, 8:59 pm|
|AST||Feb 29, 7:59 pm|
|EST||Feb 29, 6:59 pm|
|CST||Feb 29, 5:59 pm|
|MST||Feb 29, 4:59 pm|
|PST||Feb 29, 3:59 pm|
|AKST/ YST||Feb 29, 4:59 pm|
|HST/ CAT||Feb 29, 3:59 pm|
|NT||Feb 29, 2:59 pm|
|IDLW||Feb 29, 1:59 pm|
I’ll be around to answer specific questions with my knowledge of past years contests.
Luckily for us, admins of the contest are willing to help with any questions.
If there’s any more admins out there that want to answer questions, let me know and I’ll add you right away.
You can work on improving your blurb game here
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Feb 1 - Feb 2: Discuss plotting
Feb 3 - Feb 8: Dive into plot
Feb 9 - Feb 29: Work on writing, commenting, feedback, etc.