- Uncharted

Uncharted Magazine Novel Excerpt Prize

August 1 to October 31, 2022

Judged by Naomi Davis

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We invite writers to submit to the Uncharted Magazine Novel Excerpt Prize from August 1 to October 31, 2022. We’re looking for the best 5,000 words or less of your novel in progress! Have a favorite chapter? An exciting and noteworthy prologue? A section where the dialogue crackles and the characters loom larger than life on the page? Give us a chance to read that section of your novel that captivates your audience enough to make them want to keep reading!

Guest judge Literary Agent Naomi Davis will choose three winning stories from a shortlist.

Authors have always been Naomi Davis’s superheroes. Growing up in Minnesota, they spent their elementary years pretending they were every character in every book they read. A life-long writer and author-fanatic, they have a mild to moderate obsession with slippers, and sing in two philharmonic choirs.

Working with authors and incredible colleagues at BookEnds Literary Agency has been a dream come true for Naomi.

Naomi has a passion for helping authors develop stakes, voice immersion, and tension to a story’s highest possible potential, and often tweets about strategies for accomplishing those goals on their Twitter.

They seek dynamic, character-driven adult and young adult titles in fantasy, sci-fi, and romance, and represent select middle grade and picture book authors. Naomi also has an interest in stories that blend the fantastic with the realistic, and is eager for books that cross between women’s fiction and fantasy, or contemporary fiction and sci fi or fantasy.

Naomi is nonbinary and happy with either pronoun, she/her or they/them.

Uncharted Magazine publishes genre Novel Excerpts from fiction writers of any background or experience. We want genre novel excerpts that make us hunger for new worlds, new biomes, and new places we can explore through thrilling sensual details and human empathy. We want stories that thrill us, that make us feel alive, that awaken our desires to explore and go on adventures.

We’re excited to offer the winner of this prize $3000 and publication, while the 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive publication and $300 and $200, respectively along with publication.

GUIDELINES

  • The deadline for entry is October 31, 2022. We will announce the winner and finalists within 8-10 weeks of the contest’s close. All writers will be notified when the results are in.
  • Writers may submit any section of their novel that is 1,001-5,000 words per entry. The excerpt and the novel must be unpublished. (full novel does not need to be completed)
  • Novel Excerpt (fiction) only—5,000 word count maximum.
  • We only consider unpublished work for contests—we do not review reprints, including self-published work.
  • Simultaneous submissions are okay—please notify us and withdraw your entry if you find another home for your writing.
  • All entries will also be considered for publication in Uncharted Magazine.
  • Double-space your submission and use Times New Roman 12 pt font.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history (if applicable). Please mention any content warnings as necessary to protect our readers!
  • We only read work in English.
  • We do not read blind. The judge will read anonymously from the shortlist.
  • Note: To ensure the protection of our volunteer readers, and to keep Uncharted a safe space, please let us know in your cover letter if your work can be triggering in any way. This will have no bearing on your submission or our decision—we just want to ensure the best possible environment for our readers. Thank you for your understanding.

FAQ

Q: What am I supposed to write in my cover letter?

A: Think of your cover letter as a brief author bio and what you would like posted on our site should your piece be selected for publication. Don’t overthink it, we just want to know a little about you! Most writers choose to include publication history or a little about the story that is being submitted. Note that you can include personal or identifying information in your cover letter.

Q: When can I expect to hear back about my story?

Regardless of acceptance or decline, you will hear back from us, we promise. You can expect to hear back within 8-12 weeks from the day you submit for this award.

Q: When will I hear back about my submission/the results of the contest?

A: Every submitter is notified of a decision, and we send out responses once a submission doesn’t advance to the next round. We’d also encourage you to follow us on social media, as we publicly announce winners and contest opportunities there.

Q: Are prologues acceptable?

A: You can absolutely submit a prologue as long as the submission is under 5,000 words.

Q: What do you mean by “standalone”?

A: Standalone just means that it doesn’t have to be from a standalone novel since some are writing series.

Q: Do you accept submissions from writing teams?

A: Yes! However, you would need to designate one person as the submitter—or maybe create a joint Submittable account. As long as you both understand that you’d be splitting the prize if the submission was selected as one of the winners.

Q: Who retains the rights to my work, and will I be able to query my novel later?

A: We’re not able to speak for every publisher, but since we’re not publishing your work in its entirety, it should not be a problem going forward. Rights also revert back to the author after 90 days. If an opportunity came up for you to publish your work before the 90 days, we are happy to revert rights back to you sooner.

OPTIONAL FEEDBACK ON YOUR WRITING

You may choose to receive editorial feedback on your piece. We will provide a global letter discussing the strengths of the writing and the recommended focus for revision. Our aim is to make our comments actionable and encouraging. These letters are written by editors and staff readers of Uncharted Magazine. A significant portion of the editorial letter fees go to our feedback editor, according to the rates established by the EFA. Should your story win, no feedback will be offered and your fee will be refunded.