Over the last week or so since I announced the short story challenge, I have gotten numbers of questions about doing something similar for novels. Being a first reader for novels in a workshop challenge format.

Now honestly, at first I just laughed. I flat didn’t do that sort of thing for anyone.

But I got a few more requests and got thinking about it and talked with Kris. She is really enjoying reading my new short story every day and thinks if I structured reading novels for the summer in a workshop challenge, I might enjoy it. And if I limited it.

Really, really limited it.

After all, I will be writing two novels per month as well.

So over the last few days I’ve tried to puzzle how this might work in a way that would be fun for me, a benefit to whoever was nuts enough to try it, and so on. I think I got it.

Here it is…

A Novel Challenge: 

 Finish one novel per month for June, July, and August. (Note, I said Finish. You must write at least 50% of the novel during the month you turn it in. The key is finishing it and turning it in.)

 Report into me your progress on a certain day of your picking every week.

 Novels must be longer than 30,000 words, no upper limit.

 I will charge $600 total to be your first reader for the three novels for the three months, paid to the WMG Publishing Paypal account. (Attached to my e-mail.) First come, first in. I will limit this.

 You turn the novel in to me when you finish, but the first day of the month is the cut-off for the previous month. (By the rules, if you finish the novel early, you can start on the next one as long as 50% of the total words are written in the month you turn it in.)

 If you can actually finish three novels in three months, you get two online workshops of your choice. ($600 value and you get my reading for free.)

 If you finish two novels in three months, you get one online workshop of your choice. ($300 value.)

 You can bail by the 15th of June on the challenge and move your fee to two online workshops ($600 value). That is the off-ramp. If you go past that date and only get one novel done, or no novels done in three months, no matter the reason, you have paid WMG $600 for me to be a first reader for for your one novel. (grin)  This is a challenge, remember.

— My duties as first reader will be this: I will read your novel, comment as a reader and as an editor some. I will tell you what I liked, what didn’t work for me, and general stuff like that, including what genre your book fits.

— I WILL NOT COPYEDIT or REWRITE your story. I will not be a book doctor. I will be a first reader. But I will help you with general things about your story and help you find the heart of your story if you are close and I can spot it. No promises there. I will also tell you if it worked and should be out to readers, so don’t always expect me to be harsh. If something works, it works. I will also tell you what genre your book is in. The point of this is to finish three novels and get two workshops in the process.

— I will send a full letter. You will need to give me a week to read your book, so you will need to be already writing on the next novel by the time I respond.

— Time limited. Only June, July, and August and then I am done. And sign-ups are limited to five or so.

— Cost is $600 and I will take anyone who is interested. But again, this is very limited. I feel I can be a first reader for about five books a month in this kind of workshop setting. Maybe one more. I will shout here when it fills.

So in summary, pay $600 to WMG Publishing Paypal account (attached to my e-mail address) to get me as a first reader for three novels if you can finish three novels in three months. And if you can, you get two online workshops and my reading feedback for free.

This is a challenge to you to keep you writing through the summer and end up with three books by September. Wouldn’t that feel great?

This sounds like great fun to me. Totally as silly as the short story challenge that four people are signed up to. From the number of questions I got about novels, I got a hunch this will be full by next week, so decide quick.

And yes, you can start working on the first book in May, just save 50% for June. (grin)

Of course, you could always just do it on your own and play along, test to see if you can do it without me reading your novels. Or you can try to match my writing speed for May, June, July, and August. I hope to finish 9 novels in those four months.

Any questions, feel free to write me or ask in the comments section.

Yes, I am this crazy. But you all knew that. I am working on story #27 for this month.

So if you want someone with my skills and editorial eye to read your work, (thirty short stories or three novels… both challenges have an opening) jump now. I doubt I will ever do this again.

Not sure of my sanity at this point as it is. (grin)