Donna Gillespie Novel Excerpt Prize Category
First Prize: $100
Second Prize: $50
Third Prize: $25
Please send me the first 20 pages of your novel. Submissions must be single-sided, and double-spaced. Both unpublished and self-published novels are eligible.
I believe an author should create a strong sense of anticipation in the opening pages: Convince the reader that the protagonist faces a formidable problem. Your story can begin at once when conflict and environment evolve together. Whether your prose style is lyrical and atmospheric, or clear and direct, it’s more powerful when the prose serves the needs of drama.
DONNA GILLESPIE (San Francisco, CA) is the author of two novels set in first-century Rome: The Light Bearer (Berkley/Putnam) and Lady of the Light (Berkley/Penguin). The Light Bearer was an immediate international bestseller, and received a starred review in Publishers Weekly. The novel was translated into German, Dutch, Russian, Lithuanian, and Italian, and the United Kingdom purchased rights. In 2002, Hallmark Entertainment optioned Light Bearer for a miniseries. Lady of the Light is the second book of a trilogy, and is available in German and Italian as well as English. In 2022, Gillespie renewed her contract with Mad Dog Productions, an independent film company that is working to produce the Light Bearer trilogy as a miniseries.
DONNA LEVIN (San Francisco, CA) is the author of the novels, He Could Be Another Bill Gates, There’s More Than One Way Home, and Extraordinary Means. Her nonfiction titles include Get That Novel Written! and Get That Novel Started! Donna is a frequent guest at writers’ conferences, and she led University of California-Berkeley Extension’s Novel Writing Workshop for twenty years. Learn more about Donna at her website.
- First Prize: George Heron of Ontario, Canada
- Second Prize: Liza Nash Taylor of Keswick, VA
By Way of Paris
- Third Prize: Dana Rodney of Sebastopol, CA
2022 Honorable Mentions
Sarah Collins Honenberger of Tappahannock, VA for Welcome to the Lanesville Landfill Lending Library
George Heron of Ontario, Canada for The Second Fall