Open to: All authors of who write adult or YA science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, or LGBTQ+ fiction.
How to enter: Fill in the form in the email you receive when you join the Narrative Craft Magic mailing list.
Conditions: Check the schedule for the developmental edit. The manuscript must be less than 100K words.
Closing date: 20 April 2023
Prizes: First prize is a free developmental edit of your novel. Nine other finalists will receive free access to the worldbuilding minicourse.
Selection process: The ten finalists will be randomly chosen from all entries. I will then choose the project that is the strongest match for my skills.
Schedule if you win: I will need the manuscript by 25 May 2023 and will deliver the developmental edit by mid-September 2023.
What details will I have to give you about my novel?
At this stage, I'm just asking for the novel title, estimated word count, genre, an elevator pitch, and a short synopsis (you can write as much or as little as you like). I will ask the finalists for a few more details. When you sign up, you'll receive an email with a Google form on which you can answer these questions.
What does the top prize include?
A full developmental edit, which is a step up from a detailed manuscript evaluation. Here’s the process:
I will ask you to fill in a short questionnaire about your book and then we will meet on Zoom for an hour to discuss the project.
I will first read the book as I would during a basic manuscript evaluation, making some notes as I go
I will then write down my first ideas.
Next, during the second read through, I will take more detailed notes, include occasional comments, and highlight sections. I will use these to draft my editorial report and revision plan.
Finally, on the third read through, I will add more detailed comments (expect three to five per page) and edit the existing comments to reflect the possible vision and suggestions I have for your manuscript.
You will receive the manuscript with comments and the detailed editorial report and revision plan.
One week or more later, we will have another coaching session (one hour on Zoom) to discuss the revisions. Alternatively, we can discuss the revisions by email if you prefer.
In total, this will be anything from 40 to 60 hours’ work, depending on how long and complex your manuscript is.
Why are you offering this expensive service for free?
I’ve been running an editorial business for several years now, and I want to build up my SFF/H author network.
Over the last two years I have completed training in fiction developmental editing, and worked on a wide variety of fiction and creative non-fiction manuscripts.
I am now taking an advanced course in fiction developmental editing. This course involves doing a full developmental edit of a novel. It made sense for me to organise this as a competition.
And the big benefit for you: I will receive tutor feedback on my work from Jennifer Lawler, which means my edit will be supervised by another developmental editor with over twenty years of experience as an editor and writer. You will therefore receive input from two developmental editors!
Can I enter more than once?
I will only accept one entry per person, so choose the manuscript you need the most developmental help with!