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Viva 7 – Open for submissions

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Now in its seventh year, Viva la Novella is once again open for entries. 

We want your novellas. We want extraordinary stories surprise, unnerve, discomfort and inspire. The competition is open to all genres and in the past we have awarded the prize to dystopian spec-fic, a reimagined Colonial story and realist fiction amongst others. 

Seizure invites Australian and New Zealand writers to submit their completed novella manuscripts for consideration. We are looking for two writers, who will each receive a $1000 prize and publication with Seizure in print and digital formats. 

What’s a novella? By our reckoning it's 20–50,000 words of solid narrative goodness.

What isn't a novella? Collected short stories are not novellas, they are short story collections. Also, we're sticking with fiction but that includes auto-fiction, semi-fictionalised life writing and any other narrative-based autoethnographic work you care to mention. We're open to all genres but also works that self-identify as anti-genre. 

Why a novella?  Because they are great. You don't need big word counts to communicate big ideas and you don't need eight hundred pages to tell a great story.

What’s the prize? $1000 + print and digital publication with Seizure. Winners will have their manuscript carefully shepherded to publication by an editor and the Seizure team. The winning novellas will be designed with the usual Seizure flair and unleashed in digital and printed form in bookshops, on our website and ebook retailers.

There is no fee to enter. 


Entries close December 31st 2018

Shortlisting February 2019

Publication September 2019

For further information, please contact someone@seizureonline.com


Terms and Conditions

• Entries must be lodged by 1 January 2019 (EST)

• Entrants must normally be residents of Australia or New Zealand.

• All persons, other than immediate family members of Brio Books Pty Ltd or Seizure volunteers, may enter the competition.

• The manuscript should be a work of fiction between 20,000 and 50,000 words in length.

• The manuscript must be an original work, written entirely by the entrant and it must be written in English.

• No more than 10 per cent of the manuscript can have been previously published in print form, or in electronic form.

• The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

• The judges shall have the discretion to divide the prize equally between authors of entries they consider of equal merit. If, in their opinion, no entry is worthy of the prize, no winner shall be chosen. No entrant may win the prize in successive years.

• Pending acceptance of the publishing contract and reaching publication, winning entries will each receive a cash prize of AUD$1000. In addition, Seizure will publish a printed and electronic edition of the novellas.

• The publishing contract offered to the winners is based on the standard Brio Books Publishing contract and includes 10% royalty on print sales and 50% on ebook sales. Please note, the prize money is not an advance against royalties, royalty income is generated from the first sale.

• The winners will be notified in strict confidence February 2019, at which time they must agree to keep this news confidential until the simultaneous announcement and publication of the winning entry in 2019.


Viva la Novella VI Winners

It is with great pleasure that we announce this year’s winners, two novellas very different in tone but alike in quality. Swim by Avi Duckor-Jones is a vital, vivid work on facing the past while being daunted by the future. The Bed-Making Competitionis an intimate and witty look at the joys and strains of family life.

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The Fantastica Prize

Fantastica invites Australian and New Zealand writers to submit science fiction manuscripts for consideration.

What are we after

  1. Science fiction, not fantasy. Anything high-tech, low-tech or even no-tech (if you are OK with post-apoc style sci fi?). Stories set on a generation ship, on a futuristic terra firma or on a planet a million light years away.

  2. Manuscripts of 30,000 words or more.

  3. Works that start with a bang, blow our minds and subvert our expectations.

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WHY I WRITE by Andreas Heger, author of Cooktown

Andreas Heger gave a short speech at the launch of Cooktown at Better Read than Dead, that we thought was worth repeating.

Jennifer Egan has noted that, of all the forms of artistic expression, the novel is the only truly internal one; it’s the only one that brings you into the mind of another person. The image, although powerful, is external.

For me, this means there is an intimacy in the novel which no other medium can produce. I write for that intimacy – that connection with each individual reader.

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Drover's Wives off to print!

It’s always a big day, sending a book to print, regardless of how many times we do it. There is no turning back now - except for the proof check I suppose. 

This book has been five years in the making. It was first submitted as an entry to Viva la Novella then appeared as part of Seizure’s AltTxt Project. It is now a beautifully designed book (so beautifully designed it couldn’t be an ebook given the current technology). 

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Birthday Interview with Sean Williams

We knew it was Fantastica's Sean William's birthday soon, so we threw him 10 questions to reflect upon his life and times.

Would you like to tell us how old you are turning?

According to the calendar, I’m turning 51 this year. In my head, I’m a mixture of 18 and 80, but I’m told this is normal. Maturity is apparently the state of being uncertain about everything.

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The Carter Brown Mystery Writing Awards

The Carter Brown Foundation in conjunction with Brio Books and Stark House Press is delighted to announce a new award for mystery writing.

The competition is open to all writers over the age of 18 writing novella-length adult crime/mystery fiction (around 20,000–30,000 words).

Entries open 1 August 2018 and close 5 pm AEST 31 October 2018. The winner will be announced in February 2019 and the winning entry will be published in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in May 2019.

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the 2017 XO Romance Prize winner

Guest judge Alexandra Nahlous called On the Same Page “A wonderful, captivating story about a writer desperate to keep her identity hidden, and the man determined to expose her – in every way.”

Penelope Janu says, “It’s an honour to have been selected as the 2017 winner of the XO Romance Prize, particularly given the strengths of the other writers in the shortlist. I am happy that On the Same Page, a very Australian novel, has found a home with Brio Books, a very Australian publisher.”

Penelope receives a $5000 advance and a publishing contract with XO Romance. On the Same Page will be released later in 2018

The inaugural XO Romance Prize winner Jean Flynn received extensive media coverage, including TV and radio interviews, on publication of her debut, Lovesick, in August 2017 and a very positive response from booksellers.

XO Romance would also like to congratulate all the shortlisted entrants.

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Inaugural XO Romance Prize Winner 2016

Xoum Publishing is delighted to announce the winner of their inaugural XO Romance Prize is Jean Flynn for her novel Lovesick. Guest judge Alexandra Nahlous called Lovesick ‘a witty and fun page-turner about a lovelorn medical receptionist seemingly destined to make bad choices’. Jean receives a $5000 cash prize and a publishing contract with XO Romance. Lovesick will be published in August to coincide with the 2017 RWA annual conference.

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