Uncharted Magazine Novel Excerpt Prize Judged by Sequoia Nagamatsu Winners - Uncharted

Uncharted Magazine Novel Excerpt Prize Judged by Sequoia Nagamatsu Winners

By Uncharted

Congrats to the three co-winners and the writers of all 14 novel excerpts! We can’t wait to see what happens with these novels in progress!


Ch. 9/Seven-Out by Veronica Reinhart

Despite being given an excerpt nine chapters into a manuscript, I was immediately pulled into space…and not just space but a ramshackle hodgepodge of a ship in a universe that seemed somewhat reminiscent of Frank Herbert’s Dune, chock-full of nobles, important families, allegiances. And while I didn’t have everything that preceded these chapters, the character dynamics did a lot of heavy lifting in terms of scene work. Everybody had a role, a history, a mission. Small gestures and descriptions like “hands folded at her abdomen like a statue in prayer” were woven throughout and helped build a tapestry of a richly conceived sci-fi reality. It’s clear to me that this writer knows their characters well, and, for me, the richness of a novel that has a lot of worldbuilding always ends with character. ~Sequoia Nagamatsu

Hooray for Hollywood by Liam Espinoza-Zemlicka

I could not help but conjure LA Confidential, the great pulp and noir films and novels with this manuscript. “Hollywood Forever Cemetery, the place to be . . . buried” . . . I love what I’ll call the light noir writing here, the ambitious reporter on a case who is unfolding a mystery for the reader as they navigate a very particular time/place. The author never really missed a beat with regard to setting scenes and allowing information to be shared in very intentional ways. ~Sequoia Nagamatsu

Birds Aren’t Real by Rachel Luria

I was instantly struck by the stark/minimalist writing, the clipped sentences, the laser-sharp observation that came to the reader one at a time as if the author were flipping through a Viewmaster. Here, we get a portrait of an isolated character and an off-kilter world that may or may not be doomed by an asteroid. As I read this excerpt, I kept asking myself if the character was crazy or was everybody else? ~Sequoia Nagamatsu

  1. Excerpt from Seven Out Veronica Reinhart
  2. The Tower of Victory by David Bradley
  3. Midnight Mary by Lisa Cook
  4. Like Rust, Like Blood by Alexa T. Dodd
  5. Hooray For Hollywood by Liam Espinoza-Zemlicka
  6. Proto Sum – Chapter 1 by Adam Ipsen
  7. Conclusionary Shadow by Patrick Lofgren
  8. Birds Aren’t Real by Rachel Luria
  9. King of the Buckaroo Boys by Elaine Marsh
  10. Enemy of My Enemy by Alison McMahan
  11. Chapter 8: Favourite Child bySaranya Murthi
  12. Broken Shadows by Ty Phelps
  13. The Last Days of Forever by Jeremy Tinker
  14. City of Iron and Ivy – Prologue by Thomas Kent West