Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Now Accepting Our Novel Submissions!


I want to welcome you to my new Internet project! It will be moderated by me, a published, anonymous writer. You may call me Our Novel Editor from here on in. Actually, call me whatever you wish, I don't mind.

What is this?

Good question. The purpose of this blog is to create a full-length novel written by many different authors. That's right, a complete novel written by anyone and everyone who wishes to participate.

Sounds too complicated, right?

Well, that's why I'm here. I will act as "editor" of the novel. Choosing what makes it and what doesn't. (The writers will get credit for every paragraph chosen.)

How exactly is this going to work?

1) To start, we need a novel beginning. So, right now I'm looking for entries to serve as the beginning of the novel. This is completely wide open, simply write what you feel will be a compelling or fun beginning to a novel and email it to me. OR just post it as a comment.

2) There are NO RESTRICTIONS regarding content in any way. If you want to write a part about the main character eating a raw possum while cursing like a 19th century prospector, then go for it. (It may not get chosen, but you are welcome to try.)

3) Try to limit submissions to 0-1000 words. (You can go over a little if need be.)

4) Once I have received a decent amount of submissions I will choose the best opening. I will post it, and we have our novel started! Then I will call for more submissions. Each time, it will become more challenging and more fun as you need to attempt to adapt to the story already in progress.

5) Periodically I will announce editing periods. Where you will edit what we already have for content, grammar, etc. I will then go through the different edits and make sure that Our Novel is as clean and neat and well written as it can be at all times.

6) If your work is chosen to be the opening or a continuation, I will email you and request a name. (It doesn't have to be a real name just yet, only the name you want the writing credited to.)

7) You may submit as many entries as you like at any time.

8) There will be NO limit to the amount of pieces you have selected to be a part of this novel.

9) This should be some of the most fun writing you ever do. Why? Well, because there is no pressure. It should be liberating, knowing that you can write whatever you want and won't have the burden of trying to explain it later. If one person gets writer's block, then there are countless others to cover for them. This could be an interesting, fascinating and original novel. But, I need as many submission as possible to make it work. Plus, in the end this is just a fun, little writing experiment, so, no worries!

10) As I said before, there are NO RESTRICTIONS for content. So have fun, write well, and start sending me openings for OUR NOVEL!

Any further questions can be emailed or posted as a comment. Oh, and tell your friends!

*IMPORTANT* Please Read the Terms and Conditions before Submitting:

1) The names of all contributors whose work is chosen to appear in the novel will be acknowledged as contributing authors.

2) All submissions will be deemed to be the acquired property of the editor of Our Novel and the blog's creator, allowing them to exercise full ownership rights in relation to the submitted contributions. Any and all rights for submissions NOT chosen to appear in the novel will be reverted back to the original author.

3) Any withdrawal requests will be honored, given that the submission has not already been chosen to appear in the finished novel.

4) In the event that the completed online text is published in hard copy print format, all contributors will be notified via email and given the opportunity to list the circumstances under which they wish to be credited.

5) In submitting a contribution, all contributors agree that editor of Our Novel possesses the sole and exclusive right to proof-read and edit, publish and reprint, distribute and sell their contributions as contained within the current collaborative text in both online, electronic, digital and other forms of reproduction and publication including films and broadcasts.

6) The copyright in all material contained within the Or Novel Blog website belongs to the editor. All rights are reserved. No part of this website, including any of the stories, may be distributed, used, adapted, reproduced, translated or copied for any commercial purpose whatsoever without written permission from the Our Novel editor.

7) All contributors agree to grant the Our Novel editor full assignment of the contributors' copyright in their submitted and selected contributions on a worldwide basis, including but not limited to electronic, digital and broadcasting rights in relation to the collaborative texts. The transferring of these copyrights to the Our Novel editor includes but is not limited to assigning sole and exclusive control and benefit in relation to all details of editing, design, production, promotion, price and terms of sale of the completed texts.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Victoria Strauss said...

Hi. Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware here. I'm wondering about a few things, and I hope you'll be kind enough to provide a response.

- Who are you? I'm sure you'll agree that it's a little difficult to trust someone whose bona fides can't be verified.

- What's the purpose of this endeavor? What are writers meant to get out of it? Fun? Profit? Both? Neither?

- What are the terms and conditions under which writers will be sending you their entries? Similar collaborative novel sites, such as, have detailed terms and conditions so that writers can understand the exact circumstances under which they're submitting their work.

- What do you plan to do with the project once it's complete?

Our Novel Editor said...

Thank Victoria, for asking such great questions.

1) I am an aspiring author. I prefer to remain anonymous, but I have published short stories and novel excerpts in several respected literary journals.

I have no delusions. I know that these credits do not garner me instant credibility (especially when unverified) or respect. They are what they are.

2)The purpose of this endeavor is almost entirely for fun. And it also should prove to be a challenging and unique writing exercise. The authors/contributors should NOT expect to get paid. Hopefully, the enjoyment of writing a collaborative and zany novel will be reward enough.

3) Terms and Conditions will be posted shortly in the above post. But in essence, authors can expect to give up ALL rights to their work if chosen to be a part of the novel. A future attempt at publication is unlikely, and if by some act of God this novel is published, then all contributing writers will recieve credit, but no compensation.

4) The plan is simply to see if it works. If it can be done. I, in no way, intend to profit financially from this. If an opportunity to publish arises, it will be considered. But it is highly unlikely that I will actively seek publication if this novel is ever completed. The purpose is to HAVE FUN and experiment with voice, to see if many people can write one novel with a uniform voice.


Sallie Mae said...

"As I said before, there are NO RESTRICTIONS for content. ..."

So if someone were to publicly question why you'd load the comments section of agent blogs with spam, you wouldn't delete it? 'Cause it seems to me that someone nailed you on that this morning. Yet, somehow, tonight it is gone.

Why is that?

Our Novel Editor said...

Very good question Sallie.

I responded in a subsequent post, explaining my reasons for posting in blog comments. And also admitting that it may not have been the best idea.

Somehow it was interpreted as an attack, and an anonymous poster scolded me for attacking the person who questioned my methods.

Well, that was not my intent. At all. So I just deleted ALL the posts in an attempt to start fresh.

This is supposed to be a fun, challenging side project. That is all.


Our Novel Editor

Sallie Mae said...

Fair enough.

Best of luck with this new project. I look forward to watching it come together.

Lori said...

You want writers to surrender ALL RIGHTS for what is essentially a writing exercise? You're kidding, right? Please tell me you're kidding.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to point out that in #4 of your terms, regarding publishing in a hard copy format, you forgot to add that contributors would be given the opportunity to "list the circumstances" in which they would like to be PAID their share of royalties of said hard copy.

I'm sure it just slipped your mind.

Anonymous said...

You can't be serious. You're asking people to write stuff for an ANONYMOUS person and give up ALL their rights for you. Not to mention you offer people NO compensation if the novel gets published. That is ripping people off!
Fun idea, very bad terms.

Victoria Strauss said...

Your quick response to my questions is appreciated. But I have to agree with those who are concerned about your terms. You say the endeavor is "almost entirely for fun" and that you "in no way intend to profit financially"--but how does that square with requiring writers to give up their rights--to someone whose identity they don't even know, no less--or with requiring them to "agree that editor of Our Novel possesses the sole and exclusive right to proof-read and edit, publish and reprint, distribute and sell their contributions"? If you aren't at least thinking it might be possible to profit financially, why would you include such language?

You need either to be clearer about your intentions, or to make your Terms and Conditions more writer-friendly. As it stands, I can't see a single reason for any writer to participate in this project.

Our Novel Editor said...

Thanks everyone, and I believe your concerns are all very valid.

First of all, I want to reiterate that this is for fun. I only included such language so all bases are covered.

I ask for writers to give up all rights because it is just the simplest way to handle this. If it ever gets published (which it won't), then contracts would have to be drafted and agreed upon by potentially up to a hundred people. This is just not practical.

Plus, I am not planning on getting this published. It's just an experiment meant to serve as a fun exercise.

I guess, this may not happen. I didn't realize that everyone would be so nitpicky over potential "royalties." This was never intended to be a money-making project.

Is it this hard to have fun writing anymore?

Does everything have to be about money?

Anonymous said...

Well, darlin', money does feed and clothe the young'uns.

Tulie said...

Exactly. And most of us read the same agent blogs, so surely you must have known when you "advertized" this project in various comments sections: our goal is to get published/paid for our work.

BuffySquirrel said...

Does everything have to be about money?

Asking people to give up to you any financial interest in this project, and then chiding them for being money-grabbers is a bit much.

If it's just for fun, then I suggest you make a binding commitment to donate any and all proceeds to worthy causes, or some such thing. If you don't anticipate there being any proceeds, then there'd be no loss to you in that, and it might assure potential contributors that they won't at some point be invited to buy back their own words on lulu.

Of course, that would require you to reveal your identity, but I'm sure that's a small price to pay to establish your bona fides.

HilaryMack said...

I have trouble trusting someone who says they are a writer and then talks of something "reverting back" to something. If your grasp of the English language is that bad, what on earth can you have written?
If this is for fun, then why don't you make one of your terms and conditions that you will not allow any part of this project not personally written by you to be published, and that should a publisher or agent show interest in the work, all contributors will be made aware of this and given the chance to withdraw their portions before publication. Anyone wishing to withdraw their part of the novel will be allowed to do so, or will be offered remuneration to allow it to stay. That seems fair.

Bernita said...

Sounds to me as if you want various writers to collaborate to construct a novel exclusively for an anonymous you.

We can have "fun" on our own blogs, if we're into group-grope games.