Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Announcing The Black Marks Literary Award!

M. Christian and Marilyn Jaye Lewis are both thrilled to announce that for the inaugural year of the Black Marks Literary Award for best unpublished science fiction novel, the cash award will be $500. 

The winning prize also includes the option of electronic publication with a long-standing eBook publisher with outstanding international distribution. If you do not wish to be published upon winning the prize, it is entirely up to you. Winners are free to shop their winning manuscript to any publisher they want to; you do not forfeit the cash prize if you do not choose publication with us.

The prize will also include possible Print-on-Demand trade paper publication with the same publisher. (The POD option is largely based on initial electronic sales figures, among other financial considerations.)

Submissions for the contest opens February 1st!


Our Mission
 To publicly honor outstanding genre fiction writing, thus assisting writers and readers to find each other in these changing technological times.
 About Us
 The Black Marks Literary Award was founded by two award-winning genre fiction authors, Marilyn Jaye Lewis and M. Christian, each with three decades of professional experience in the fields of writing, editing, publishing, media, and multimedia. Both are longtime advocates of giving back to the writing community as well as being fervent supporters of new voices entering the field.
They are joined by Ernest Hogan as the first guest judge for the The Black Marks Literary Award: 
Ernest Hogan is known for is his usual science fiction. His novels, Cortez on Jupiter, High Aztech, and Smoking Mirror Blues have a cult following. His short fiction has appeared in Amazing Stories, Analog, Science Fiction Age, Flurb, and may other periodicals and anthologies. He enjoys daring feats of the imagination.
Submission Guidelines

 Please read carefully. Any guidelines that aren’t expressly followed are grounds for automatic disqualification.
  • We are currently accepting only Science Fiction.
  • Submissions must be previously unpublished. “Previously published” includes electronic publishing, serialization of any kind online or in print, and self-publishing, including more than 10,000 words on an author’s own web site.
  • Submissions must be completed novel-length works. Word count of the completed novel must be between 55,000 and 150,000 words.
  • Submissions must include a cover sheet with your name, your complete contact information, the title of your story and the word count of the completed novel.
  • On NO OTHER PAGES can your name and contact information appear. After the cover page, only your title should be posted in the top left-hand corner of each page.
  • Electronically submit, as an RTF doc attached to an email, 10 complete, consecutive pages from your novel, beginning on page one and ending on page ten. (Do not submit ten consecutive pages taken from anywhere else in the manuscript except from the beginning of the manuscript.)
  • Submit a complete synopsis of no more than 5 pages for the novel. (Do not put your name or contact information on the synopsis, only list the title of your novel. If your synopsis runs more than 1 page, be sure to include the title of your novel on the top left-hand corner of each page.)
  • 5 finalists will be selected based on the first 10 pages and the synopsis of the submission.
  • The 5 finalists selected will be asked to submit the complete novel immediately via electronic submission as an RTF doc attached to an email.
  • 1 winner will be selected from the 5 finalists. The winning manuscript will be determined through a point system that will be followed by each of the judges.
  • The winner will win
    • a cash award (amount determined at the start of each new contest)
    • receive a frame-able certificate
    • and an offer of publication as an eBook (and possibly as a print-on demand title) through Renaissance EBooks. Publication upon winning the award is not mandatory.
Email all contest submissions as an RTF doc attached to an email:
We will email you to let you know your submission was received. If you do not receive the confirmation email within 5 days, please contact us at info@blackmarksliteraryaward.comas it likely means we did not receive your submission.

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