Friday, August 19, 2011

Scoop! Mills & Boon New Voices 2011!


The Minxes are delighted to welcome Mills & Boon Editor,
Anna Boatman, to the blog today - to tell us all about this year's Mills & Boon New Voices competition! Take it away, Anna!

Whispers of the social media kind are spreading, the halls of Romance HQ are buzzing and wannabe-writers are flexing their typing fingers…. for New Voices – the romance writing competition with the X Factor – is back! That’s right, on September 13th Mills & Boon are launching their second global search for new talent!

Last year’s competition was a fantastic success. As well as Leah Ashton – our fabulous winner – we’ve since bought two new authors and we’re still working with (and hoping to buy!) several more. The number and standard of entries was fantastic, as well as the excellent, insightful comments and debates that went on. But we’re determined that 2011 will be even bigger and better!

So, how does this year’s competition work?

It’s the same basic structure as last year – read on to find out how you could be Mills & Boon’s next rising star!

Stage One – Grab them at hello! From the 13th September visit http://www.romanceisnotdead.com/ and upload a first chapter to enter. Don’t want to write but love reading romance? Visit the site to read the entries and comment – say what you love about their entry and constructive criticism is welcome too. As well as the competition itself, there’ll be debates about all things romance, plus editorial tips and blogs, Q&As and exciting gossip throughout!
The deadline for first chapters is 10th October – miss it and miss out! Then our expert editors will narrow the entries down to the 20 absolute best (always tricky and requiring copious amounts of chocolate). These 20 will be assigned an author mentor to help with their next challenge…
Stage Two – What happens next? The twenty finalists will submit their second chapter and this time you can help decide who wins! This stage is decided 50% by our panel of judges (including a mystery celebrity judge…!), and 50% by public vote, so come and have your say! After the voting’s over, we’ll have only four romance writers remaining!
Stage Three – The moment that changes everything! The fab four will submit their story’s pivotal moment. This is the final stage and the judges get together to discuss which story and writer show the most promise – it’s going to be a hard one to call!

Finally, on the 4th November, New Voices will announce the winner – and Mills & Boon’s newest author!

Among so many, how can YOU (and Romance Minxes everywhere) make your entries stand out? Here are our exclusive top tips…
- Start with a bang, not a whimper! Engage the reader straight off by beginning with a point of change for your characters.
- It’s all about the characters! We’re looking for entries where we like the characters and understand what they’re struggling with.
- Avoid cliché! Exploring your characters’ unique reactions will avoid your story feeling too familiar and really bring out the sparkle of your individual writing. Let’s not just hear that they are the most attracted they’ve ever been, let’s see in detail how that feels for that character specifically!

And there you have it, Romance Minxes! So writers, get thinking about those first chapters, readers get ready to hit the voting button – because New Voices is nearly with us… We editors can’t wait to read all your entries, or to hear your comments, so for now it’s goodbye until the 13th September. Good luck!

For more detail about entering and the T&Cs, take a look at the holding page currently up at http://www.romanceisnotdead.com/. For the newest news and hottest gossip, join our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/groups/250729414946433/



15 comments:

joanne pibworth said...

Thanks so much for joining us today Anna! New Voices is nail bitingly exciting, your advice is a sprinkle of gold dust for everyone planning their entry. Can I ask if the roses voting system will be making a comeback... or is that under wraps until the big day?
Can't wait for it to get underway, it beats the x factor in my book!
Jo x

Sally Clements said...

Thanks so much for going minxy for the day, Anna! It's great to have all the info about such an exciting competition!

Juanita Kees said...

Thanks so much for the information, Anna. I look forward to following the competition both as a reader and a writer. Good luck to all the entrants. Happy writing :)

Jeannie Lin said...

Someone needs to start a pool for who the mystery celebrity judge will be. Is it Fabio? Simon Cowell? Exciting times ahead

Aimee Carson said...

Looking forward to watching the excitement unfold!

Sherri Shackelford said...

Should be fun! It was crazy last year.

lorrainenelson said...

Exciting times ahead! Another great opportunity.

Sri Pammi said...

Thanks for the awesome info, Anna!!

gaelikaa said...

Nice post. Thanks.

Stephanie said...

I always get excited by contests! Very motivational for the muse.

Liz Fielding said...

Couldn't we have Gary Barlow? :)

joanne pibworth said...

Lol Liz! I am looking forward to nurturing a nice little crush on him over the autumn, def something to brighten up Saturday evenings!

Suzanne Jones said...

Thank you for this terrific post, Anna.

Madeline Ash said...

This is fantastic post, Anna. I've been swaying back and forth about whether to enter, but now I think I will! Thank you to the Minxes for hosting such a lovely guest x

Sally Clements said...

Anna contacted me today to say she was having problems commenting, and asked me to pass on this comment:

Thanks everyone for your comments! To answer Joanne's question above - the voting roses will indeed make a comeback, however they've been improved to make them more intuitive to use. In the same way as last year, they don't have any actual impact on the results, but are a great way to express everyone's individual response to an entry.