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almost forgot!

can’t believe it, but I almost forgot that the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest is coming up! Entries start 1/23, so if you’ve got a novel on hand, be sure and sign up!

I entered Fluctuations last year and plan to do so again this year. The first round is based solely on a “pitch,”  a 300 word blurb which I think it the worst idea ever. Seriously. And not just because I didn’t make through the first round last year. Or the year before. There’s simply no way to judge a novel on 300 words. I can see the first 1k words of the actual novel, sure, maybe even the first 500 words of it, but 300 words describing the novel? No chance.

The other thing I think is “wrong” with this contest is that there’s no differentiation between genres. Scifi gets pitted against fiction against fantasy against mystery against romance. The only differentiation is between Young Adult fiction and everything else.

Unfortunately, I’m not the one making the rules, so I’m asking y’all to critique my pitch. Here’s the first version:

“How would you feel if you got lost in the Bermuda Triangle with three strangers? Thrilled by the adventure? Afraid of what monsters lurk around the next reef? Transpose that into the danger of being lost in an unpredictable region of the galaxy on a ship that’s becoming sentient with no crew to run her, and you get the adventure of a lifetime for our misfit heroes in ‘Fluctuations.’

An heiress, a telepathic feline alien, a sarcastic robot, and a young runaway get left behind on a state-of-the-art space liner when all hands abandon ship after a Titanic event. They must travel through a dangerous part of space with a lurid history of lost ships and bizarre happenings in order to get home, surviving brutal pirates, alien first contacts, and deadly space phenomena. If they don’t learn to work together, and in some cases to grow up, then like so many others they’ll never make it out of The Fluctuation alive.

An adult science fiction novel with the heart of a coming-of-age story, ‘Fluctuations’ stands at 92,000 words with a sequel currently being written and a third book planned.” 



About Nancy M. Griffis

Author and screenwriter who loves scifi/action/adventure/urban fantasy genres. I have two published novels, Mind Games and Eternal Investigations, as well as a short story published for charity called "Home Fires Burning." All are available through amazon.com and barnesandnobles.com.


2 thoughts on “almost forgot!

  1. I’ve participated in this as a “judge” twice now – I’m hoping to be invited again this year (and not just for the gift certificate one receives in gratitude … LOL). The reason it has to be short is because generally those who “judge” it have to read a couple dozen of them, and otherwise it’d take too long. But I agree that it is very difficult to judge a book by such a short excerpt. I wish you luck!!

    Posted by Katy Sozaeva | December 12, 2011, 4:57 am
    • thanks hon! and really, I’d be okay with a longer lag time (script contests can take upwards of 6 months just for the first round) in order to give the judges more to work with.

      good luck yourself! hope you get invited back! :o)

      Posted by Nancy M. Griffis | December 12, 2011, 5:20 am

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Nancy at the Tim Burton exhibit in L.A.

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