Wednesday, September 06, 2006

2006 Novella Contest at Miami University Press

Short stories have been making a comeback for a while now, which is welcome news to this Lorrie Moore, Jhumpa Lahiri and Ethan Canin fan. But whither the novella? Miami University Press in Oxford, Ohio has one answer, with its 2006 Novella Prize.

Novellas have long been popular with readers. A River Runs Through It, below, features a novella as the title work, Stephen King's novella The Body was turned into the memorable movie "Stand By Me," and many short novels such as Marly Youmans's Catherwood are technically novellas. Your definition of novella and mine may vary, but MUP puts 'em between 18,000 and 40,000 words. For those of you who are visual, picture a novel about 2/3 of an inch across the spine: that's roughly 90,000 words.

If you haven't written your novella yet, then limber up those hunting-and-pecking fingers and give it a try. Submissions are due by October 15. Just one word of caution. Make sure a press is right for you before you submit an entry to any contest. Get to know its work, and feel comfortable with its other authors as your colleagues. Many a writer has "won" a contest only to find that they felt dubious about the publication (and the often-stingy contract terms!) that followed. This one looks pretty good to me, which is why I'm posting it here, but it's a good idea to do background research to see how it jibes with your own sense of your career.

1 comment:

nlbelardes said...

I might enter my novella, Thick White Crust just to test the waters. I've never entered any kind of fiction contest, so I think it would be an interesting new way to possibly get rejected. :)