Last October, when author Sophie Masson paid tribute to Mary Stewart on Writer Unboxed, it was no hardship for me to jump on board with a gushing comment. I’ve read every word Ms. Stewart wrote – often more than once. I love her determined heroines, her enigmatic heroes, the exotic settings, and the tension she infused into every perfectly crafted scene. In fact, when I attempted my first real novel in eighth grade, it was Mary Stewart I hoped to emulate.
Imagine my delight, then, when Ms. Stewart’s publisher, Hodder & Stoughton, tracked me down with an offer: They are reissuing her romantic suspenses, complete with the charming, retro covers seen below.
Further, they’re providing me with a set of these novels to give to a worthy recipient. (Click here for more about her books.)
I did some thinking, and because this is such a fab prize, and because so many of you are writers, I want to turn this into a contest which pays tribute to Ms. Stewart. First-place winner will walk off with the books, and two runners-up earn bragging rights.
To enter the contest, you will:
- Write and enter the first paragraph of a romantic suspense novel by midnight MST May 30, 2011. ETA: Yes, you can certainly enter a paragraph from your work-in-progress, but I would ask that you don’t enter already-published material. (Because I didn’t specify before, I will grandfather pre-published entries that arrive before 12:45 PM MT, May 28, 2011.)
- Enter by pasting your paragraph into the comment section below — a separate comment for each entry, please.
- You may enter up to four times.
- Live within Europe, Canada, or the continental United States, excluding Alaska.
- ETA: If you have questions about the genre or Mary Stewart’s work, please see this post for more information.
Because she’s the one who began this lovely karmic loop, I’ve asked Sophie Masson to act as the contest’s judge.
For those of you who might not be familiar with Sophie, she’s an award-winning children’s writer with more than 50 books to her name. Last week she added to her hardware by winning the Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature for My Australian Story: The Hunt for Ned Kelly. Among the reasons given for her win: her ability to write tension into a story with a known ending.
In other words, you are in capable judging hands. 🙂
Enjoy, guys. And please note, while I haven’t required you to publicize this contest in any way to qualify, I’d be grateful for Ms. Stewart’s sake if you would. She’s in her 90s, you know? Maybe she’ll hear of your generosity.