Donna Gillespie Novel Excerpt Prize Category
First Prize: $100
Second Prize: $50
Third Prize: $25
Send me the first 20 pages, double-spaced, along with a one-page synopsis. 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 it 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. Gillespie is currently at work on the trilogy’s final volume. In 2018, an independent film company optioned all three novels for 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.
Last Year’s (2019) Winners
- First Prize: Tammie Painter of Milwaukie, OR
- Second Prize: Sammi LaBue of Brooklyn, NY
“Welcome to Hooverville”
- Third Prize: Marriah Nissen of Tucson, AZ
“The Taste of Hail”
Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order)
Dana Rodney of St. Helena, CA
“The Butterfly Wing”
Jennifer Voigt Kaplan of Chatham, NJ