Apr 3, 2014

Writers are Like Addicts

by Stacy Clark

Inkubate's core business model involves the market of 25 million aspiring writers who spend a ton of money each year on advice, editorial services, websites, conferences, workshops, and postage, just trying to get noticed. We writers are like addicts; believe me, I know. Just like many of you, I've spent a small fortune over many years doing whatever was necessary to get a traditional publishing deal. We know that it can be nearly impossible unless you are a proven "marketable" author, celebrity, or if you are fortunate to be represented by a top agency.

We created Inkubate to be a submission, discovery, curation, and collaboration platform for intellectual property. Our goal remains steadfast: to build the smartest, simplest, most streamlined experience for writers to showcase their works and for publishers to discover those marketable manuscripts that will be welcomed by readers and drive publishing revenues higher. 

We'll be closing on our first round of funding soon and are looing forward to adding the technological enhancements that will provide more powerful discovery and marketability tools for publishers and meaningful feedback for writers.

 

Aug 19, 2013

Judging of the Literary Blockbuster Challenge is Complete!

by Stacy Clark

Inkubate is pleased to announce that the judging for our Literary Blockbuster Challenge has concluded and our winners have been contacted. We are so grateful to all of the hundreds of writers who participated.

As soon as we have received verification from the winners that they meet the eligibilty requirements, we will share their works with our vetted editors and agents who are looking forward to the opportunity to review these fresh works of literature. Once their reviews are complete, we will share the winners' names publicly.

Thank you again to all of our writers who have participated in our first literary contest and to our wonderful judges who have made it possible.

All press requests regarding information should be directed to Stacy Clark at stacy@inkubate.com. Please forward your press credentials along with your request.

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Aug 9, 2013

Winners to be Announced Soon

by Stacy Clark

Our judges are still deliberating over the finalists in our Literary Blockbuster Challenge. We are looking forward to speaking with them soon and making their news your news. 

It's been a busy summer here at Inkubate, as we have been focused on building new tools for the writing and publishing communities. We have heard from many of you about the kind of writer experience you would like to see on Inkubate and we are so happy to include your perspectives as we move ahead. We know that many of you want to be able to track the number of times that your work has been viewed by our vetted editors and agents and this feature is at the top of our wish list too.

Thank you to all of our writers for trusting Inkubate with their most important work. 

Have a great weekend.

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Jun 6, 2013

Inkubate's Long List Winners Announced!

by Stacy Clark

“For two months all we did was read. There were detective novels and coming of age stories, mysteries and science fiction, historical and even some erotic literature. There were so many great entries that narrowing down our selections to just a few became a daunting task. In the end, I think we found some writers with exceptional talent, and that made all the reading worthwhile.” – Nathan Feuerberg

Nathan Feuerberg, usually busy writing short stories, novels, and plays, collaborated recently with James Joyce Scholar, Susan Sutliff Brown, and author Mary Katherine Wainwright, Ph.D. to read and judge over 600 original novels submitted to Inkubate’s first Literary Blockbuster Challenge. Inkubate is indebted to this remarkable team and we’re delighted to announce, in no particular order, their Long List winners:

  • Jenny Parker Nichols
  • Alison L. McLennan
  • David A. Fiore
  • Susan T. Chehak
  • John Domini
  • Donald O’Crane
  • Eremi M. Amabee
  • Abeer Y. Hoque
  • Steve Mitchell
  • Rachel Stolzman Gullo
  • Scott Holliday
  • Joseph Laizure
  • Kalliope Lee
  • Susan L. Sheppard
  • Pamela King Cable
  • Carol Howell
  • Theodore Wheeler
  • Gina N. Wohlsdorf
  • Claudia Jannone
  • Marcia Peek
  • Douglas Light

These writers’ works will now be reviewed by our top-judges, lead by James W. Hall, author of Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century's Biggest Bestsellers. Winners of Inkubate’s Literary Blockbuster Challenge will be announced the first week in August.

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Mar 29, 2013

Two Days Left to Enter Inkubate's Literary Blockbuster Challenge!

by Stacy Clark

Writers have two days left to enter Inkubate's Literary Blockbuster Challenge.

Here's what writers need to do:

Register as an Inkubate writer on our homepage: www.inkubate.com

Once registered, return to homepage to Login (link is on top right-hand corner of homepage).

Once logged in, click on "Add Work."

Type the Title, write a brief Synopsis and copy and paste an Excerpt from the work using our 'paste from word' tool.

On the blue right-hand side bar of 'Add Work' page, be sure to choose "Fiction" and "Novel" as your Format. This will trigger the "Enter in contest" box to appear further below. Also choose one to three Categories that best describe your work. You need to click "Add" each time you select a category.

Scroll to bottom right-hand corner of page and click on the "Enter in contest" box. Scroll up to agree to the contest's Terms of Use.

Finally, scroll to bottom left-hand side of page and click on the Browse tab to upload entire manuscript. PDFs are preferred.

Be certain to SAVE WORK otherwise your upload will not occur and your information will be lost. Each time you SAVE WORK, you will return to your Writer Dashboard. Simply click on the title of your work to return to the Add Work page, where you may continue editing your information.

Be sure to SAVE WORK each time edits are entered.

Uploading a newer version of a manuscript will replace any earlier verison of the work. 

If you have any questions, please contact Stacy Clark at stacy@inkubate.com or 214-505-9953.

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Feb 23, 2013

Writers Anticipate Literary Blockbuster Challenge Deadline

by Stacy Clark

Following the recent San Miguel Writers' Conference and many other winter literary festivals, Inkubate welcomes the talented writers who are now uploading their unpublished and self-published novels in anticipation of our literary contest deadline of March 31, 2013.

A stunning panel of judges will be reviewing writer submissions.

Pulitzer Prize winning author Jane Smiley (A Thousand Acres), bestselling author James W. Hall (Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century's Biggest Bestsellers), Woodstock Writers Festival CEO and memoirist Martha Frankel (Hats and Sunglasses), award-winning poet, President of PEN Mexico and National Endowment of the Arts Fiction Fellow, Jennifer Clement, and Fulbright Scholar and political satirist Larry Beinhart (Wag the Dog and How to Write a Mystery) will collectively review contest entries. When hearing that Inkubate's literary scholar, Susan S. Brown, Ph.D., was designing a contest to attract writers capable of creating a well-crafted, meaningful literary novel that's also a page-turner and commercial success, Jennifer Clement agreed to participate, stating that "the character-driven novel with plotting and suspense is the key ingredient of good storytelling."

When uploading a work for the contest, writers are asked to choose "Fiction" and "Novel" as their literary form. This triggers the contest entry box to appear. After checking the box, Inkubate's Terms of Use for the contest will appear and after agreeing to them and uploading and saving a novel as a PDF, writers' works will automatically be entered in this one-of-a-kind contest. Writers may upload partially completed novels and then return to re-upload completed works by March 31, 2013. Re-uploading a completed PDF automatically replaces any earlier version of a novel.

Writers seeking personalized attention in uploading works should email Inkubate co-founder, Stacy Clark, directly at stacy@inkubate.com. 

Writers works are never visible to the public, but rather only to the vetted agents, editors and publishers we invite as members.

There is no entry fee for this contest and ten winners will receive a total of $10,000 in prizes. Top winners will also have their works reviewed by leading literary agencies, including Curtis Brown and Andy Ross, and editors from Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Hachette Book Group.

With five weeks to go, our distingusihed panel of judges and everyone here at Inkubate are cheering writers on!

   Top left to right: James W. Hall, Jane Smiley and Larry Beinhart

   Bottom left to right: Martha Frankel and Jennifer Clement

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Dec 10, 2012

Inkubate Inspires Writers to Create Literary Blockbuster

by Stacy Clark

Published, this morning on Yahoo News:

Inkubate Inspires Writers to Create the Literary Blockbuster 

Top Publishing Executives Review Winners

(Portsmouth, N.H.) December, 10, 2012. Is it possible to write a well-crafted, complex, meaningful literary novel that’s also a page-turner and commercial success—even a blockbuster? Inkubate thinks so and announced today its 2012 Literary Blockbuster Challenge, offering writers $10,000 in prizes, a first-place prize of $5,000 and access to top-level publishing executives for the best attempts at merging literary and commercial fiction. 

Inkubate’s pioneering platform, engineered by PixelMEDIA, enables qualified publishers and agents to search, browse and discover writers’ unpublished works. The late, great Ray Bradbury, having viewed an Inkubate demonstration in Los Angeles wrote, “Inkubate is giving voice to new writers as well as resurrecting those that should not be forgotten.” For a man who explored technology and questioned its effects on society throughout his life, Bradbury’s comments validate Inkubate’s core mission, which according to Co-Founder, Stacy Clark, is “to offer writers a level playing field where they can at least get on base.”

The contest is inspired by the publication of James W. Hall’s Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers. Inkubate’s Co-Founder, Jay Gale, explains: “In his analysis of twelve books that were major financial successes, Hall identifies the literary devices that the authors used to keep readers hooked.” 

Inkubate, and the panel of judges led by Hall and Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, Jane Smiley, are looking for writers who are willing to turn their literary talents to commercial fiction. “Imagine merging the profundity of Moby Dick with the page-turning power of Jaws,” said Clark, whose own manuscript was discovered on Inkubate by Oakland-based literary agent, Andy Ross and will be published by Holiday House.

Joining Hall and Smiley on the panel of judges is Fulbright Scholar Larry Beinhart (Wag the Dog and How to Write a Mystery), writer and Executive Director of the Woodstock Writers Festival, Martha Frankel, and the prize-winning poet Jennifer Clement, who is excited by the chance to read the entries: “The character-driven novel with plotting and suspense is the key ingredient of good story-telling,” Clement said.

Inkubate is accepting contest entries through March 31, 2013. Writers’ works are visible only to vetted publishers and agents. Random House, Harper Collins, Hachette Book Group, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and leading literary agencies have agreed to review the winning submissions. 

 

Contact: Stacy Clark

Co-Founder, Inkubate

214.505.9953

stacy@inkubate.com

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Oct 8, 2012

Is the Literary Blockbuster the Next Frontier?

by Stacy Clark

Is it possible to write a well-crafted, complex, meaningful literary novel that’s also a page-turner and commercial success—even a blockbuster? James Joyce Scholar, Susan Sutliff Brown thinks so.

We met Brown at the San Miguel Writers Conference last February, where she presented to a standing room only crowd her approach to transcending the polarity between literary and commercial fiction.

In Brown’s most popular workshop, James Joyce Meets Judith Krantz, writers are challenged to create a fresh new genre—the literary blockbuster—which merges the goals and devices of serious fiction with those that keep readers up all night.

Speaking later, we agreed that a literary contest aimed at bridging the long-standing divide between these two literary worlds would be a fascinating experiment. Thus, Inkubate’s 2012 Literary Blockbuster Challenge was born.

Brown remains motivated by a key development—the discovery of the blockbuster formula in James W. Hall’s new release: Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers.

Brown explains:

“Creative writing professor James W. Hall has discovered and published the formula common to mega-blockbusters. In a study of bestsellers from Peyton Place, Gone with the Wind, and To Kill a Mockingbird, to Valley of the Dolls, The Godfather, Jaws, and The Da Vinci Code, Hall has identified twelve ingredients common to these strikingly different bestsellers.”

Without compromising content or style, Brown encourages writers to add Hall’s blockbuster “code” to their unpublished literary manuscript. “They’ll want to read Hall’s book, of course, but they’ll also see references to his code in Parts II and III of the PDF guide I created to help writers transform their manuscripts into marketable works of fiction.”

Are you the writer who will bridge the long-standing gap and write something philosophically meaningful that readers will want to take to the beach? If so, “a literary blockbuster is within reach and there are a number of ways to begin,” says Brown.

  • Dust off that beautifully written literary novel you haven’t sold and add the ingredients that make it a page-turner.
  • Confront the hero of your whodunit with an emotional abyss that causes a character change even as the mystery is resolved.
  • Write an entirely new novel that combines the formulas of literary and commercial fiction.

Ready to get started? Need a skilled literary coach? Dive into Susan Brown’s Blockbuster Guide.

And feel free to share it with your friends and colleagues!

You can hear Brown speak in person at the 2013 San Miguel Writers Conference. While there, you can also savor the expertise of many other Inkubate friends, including Ray Bradbury’s goddaughter and presenter, Elizabeth Eve King, award-winning Children’s book author, Dianna Hutts Aston, PEN Mexico's President and contest judge, Jennnifer Clement, and every writer’s favorite literary agent, Oakland-based Andy Ross. You may want to contact Andy now to set up a manuscript review during the San Miguel Writers Conference.

Aug 1, 2012

Inkubate's 2012 Literary Blockbuster Challenge!

by Stacy Clark

We hope that you are sitting down because today Inkubate officially announces our 2012 Literary Blockbuster Challenge. The prizes total $10,000 and a shot at publication for the best attempts at merging literary and commercial fiction.

This contest is inspired by the recent publication of James W. Hall’s, Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers. In his book, Hall outlines a formula for writing a mega bestseller.

Inkubate's Jay Gale and authors Sally Sloan and Evie King discuss the Literary Blockbuster Challenge in LA.
Inkubate's Jay Gale and authors Sally Sloan and Evie King discuss the Literary Blockbuster Challenge in LA.

Write or Revise a “Hybrid” Novel: Inkubate and the panel of judges headed by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley, are looking for writers who have successfully blended a profound, well-crafted novel with a page-turning addictive read—think Moby Dick meets Jaws.

Judges: Joining Smiley on the panel of judges is Hall, Larry Beinhart (Wag the Dog and How to Write a Mystery), and prize-winning authors Jennifer Clement (President of PEN Mexico) and Martha Frankel (Hats and Eyeglasses).

Tell us about your Work: To supplement your novel entry, we invite you to visit InkubateVoices, our YouTube channel. Here, you may submit a short video (90 sec. to 3 min.) about your writing life and literary goals. This is an opportunity for you to tell us about your work—what influences you draw upon and what makes you tick—the story behind the story. Our goal is to give you a voice beyond the pages of your work and to turn the heads of industry professionals who will undoubtedly be intrigued by this venue.

Grow your Platform: These videos will be made public and we’ll invite viewers to share their favorites. We encourage you to use them to grow your platform and to direct your friends and colleagues to see you “live” on Inkubate!

Speak to Publishers & Agents: The videos are also a valuable tool for the publishing industry. Watching writers speak about their work provides publishers and agents a preview of how each author will engage with an audience. Publishers and agents have told us that they want writers who can market themselves and build successful platforms of their own. This is your chance to do just that.

Submit your Video: Writer videos may be submitted here: www.youtube.com/user/InkubateVoicesPlease note that all entries will become the property of Inkubate and we may edit them to ensure compliance with our standards of practice. You will see your video appear only after it has been reviewed and approved.

Submit your Novel: You may submit your novel to Inkubate through March 31, 2013. You will see the informational contest link on our homepage and you’ll find the submission link on your Writer Dashboard. If you have any questions, we are here to help. Contact Co-Founder, Stacy Clark at stacy@inkubate.com or 214-505-9953.

Good Luck!

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Inkubate News

Jun 10, 2012

Inkubate Remembers Ray Bradbury

by Stacy Clark

Inkubate is deeply saddened by the passing of our friend Ray Bradbury, the National Medal of Arts recipient, best known for such seminal works as Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles.  Some of Ray’s last public commentary about the status of the publishing industry focused on Inkubate and its goal of helping writers build their careers: 

“Inkubate is giving voice to new writers as well as resurrecting those that should not be forgotten. They have posted three of Dolph Sharp’s published but out of print works. Dolph began the writers’ group that I was in for over 35 years. Inkubate is the place to go for talent.”

Ray Bradbury heard about Inkubate through Dolph’s daughter, E.E. (Evie) King, also a writer and Bradbury’s protégé. Bradbury was delighted to learn that King’s short stories were discovered on Inkubate. King commented by phone today, “Ray knew that The Illustrated Man inspired me, recently, to connect several of my new shorts into a novel and I wish that he knew that I just received a serialization deal for this work. He would have been so excited for me.”

Recalling Ray’s career, King explained, “What was so special about Ray was that he regularly took an interest in talented, up-and-coming writers and was always so generous with his time. For example, for many years, Ray only wanted me to read him my stuff. Recently, though, he asked me to pick my favorite books of his and then he’d say, smiling, “Read me the Table of Contents!” and make his request. I loved reading to Ray and losing him is like losing my father all over again.”

Bradbury, of course, insisted that he was a science fantasy writer, not a science fiction writer. Commenting on his essays, King added, “Unlike his fiction, they were written in a thick, scholarly style and the depth and breadth of Ray’s knowledge came through. Science fantasy has many social implications and it was the analysis of society and social systems that captivated Ray the most.”

Inkubate is very humbled and proud to have received notice from this literary giant. His was a life well done. Our condolences go out to King and her family as well as Ray’s four daughters. 

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Stacy Clark, a co-founder of Inkubate, is also an educator, writer and researcher who lives in Dallas, Texas.