Tag Archives: contests

Win $1,000 of Free Editing!


To celebrate my reaching 10,000 Tweets, I’m giving away $1,000 of professional editing to a lucky writer. Free. No catches, no mailing lists, nothing. This is a genuine free prize.

All fiction genres will be considered, as well as some nonfiction (no academic work, technical publications, anything political, etc.). The contest opens to entries today and remains open two weeks.

How to Enter

To enter, all you need do is send me your first 2,500 words pasted into an email as text without any cover note, images, explanations, formatting, etc.: ONLY the first 2,500 words of your ms., with a line break between paras and a hashtag, asterisk, four-leaf clover, or whatever to indicate scene breaks. Your title and name go in the email subject line. Receipt will be acknowledged. Send your contest entry to pansubs@gmail.com .

Note that all the information you need is contained on this page. Emails asking questions will go unanswered.

Selection Criteria

My initial sort will be based on quality of writing1 and whether I feel we have a good fit2. If you pass the initial sort, I’ll want your manuscript – yes, the whole manuscript3 – in doc or docx format. Don’t worry about spacing, fonts, margins, or any of that stuff at this stage.

In the event of my ending up with a number of equally good candidates, the winner will be selected from among these in a blind draw.

What You Get

At my base rate of 1.5c ($.015)/word, this means manuscripts up to 66,500 words will be edited at absolutely no cost to you. Anything over that wordcount will be charged at a heavily discounted (33%) rate of 1c/word up to 90k words, and over that at my regular 1.5c/word base rate. So if your ms. is, say, 90k words, it would cost you $235 for the extra 23.5k words. Not a bad deal for a novel-length work!

As to what’s covered by my process, you get a full copy-and line-edit, and I’ll catch a lot of the things a proofreader will along the way. I will also supply limited developmental guidance if any seems necessary4.


The winner will be announced on Sunday, May 2nd. The winning edit start date will to be determined according to my calendar, and will take me approximately 4 to 6 weeks.

Cutoff Date

No entries will be accepted after Midnight PST on Sunday April 11th, 2021.

Good luck!

1 This doesn’t mean only professional-level writers will get a look. I’m very friendly to diamonds in the rough and debut novels.

2 The ms. needs to hold some interest for me, and this is also true of any paid editing work I take on. A bored editor who keeps falling asleep typically doesn’t do a good job.

3 The reason for me requesting the whole ms. is that it’s not unusual to see mss. that begin well then fall to pieces as the work progresses. I’m not talking about grammatical errors, syntax, awkward paragraphs, characters’ eye colour changing, etc. — that’s what editors exist to fix! But there needs to be some consistency in the writing throughout the draft showing that the author has done start-to-finish revision passes. So I’ll be dipping into each ms. at various points as I do my sort.

4 Applies to winner only. Please do not ask or expect any feedback unless your ms. is selected, it’s simply not possible; and even then, this is an edit, not a critique. Thank you!


Filed under Uncategorized

Win a Free Audiobook of my novel, “Sutherland’s Rules”!


Since the number of entrants was actually under the free codes available, everyone who entered has won. All winners have now been notified; if you entered and haven’t received an email, try looking in your spam folder. Any problem with download, let me know. Happy listening!

Spring is here, the Sun is in Aries, and life is good. In celebration, I’ll be giving away TWENTY-FIVE free copies of my audiobook, SUTHERLAND’S RULES, produced and narrated by talented British character actor Andrew Cullum–and yes, he really has played Richard III!

Audiobooks are wonderful for listening to on your commute, on airplanes, while working out, or just relaxing at home. Just download onto your mp3 player or favourite device and you’re good to go!

To enter the draw for a free copy of this terrific 9-hour audio production, JUST LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW. The winners will be decided by random draw on May 1st. Winners will be notified by email and will receive a free promo code  for an instant download at Audible.com (Audible.co.uk for winners in the UK).

Good luck!

(Note: commenting and entering will NOT get you on any lists–your privacy is absolutely guaranteed.)

Click here to listen to the free sample  and view the book description on Audible.com , or here for Audible.co.uk (UK readers)


Filed under Writing



Yeah, I know ‘Talk Like a Pirate’ day is over: the cry of angst in the title is due to my having got busy and TOTALLY FORGOTTEN that I’m now posting twice–Wednesdays and Saturdays–rather than just once a week! And it being halfway through Saturday and all, I’m moved to a simple solution: a random prize draw. By simply commenting below, you’ll be entered to win. There’s no catch, no spam. The prize:

1. A signed print copy of my popular nonfiction book, ‘Aegean Dream,’ the tragi-comic account of our year on the actual ‘Mamma Mia!’ island of Skopelos

OR (you choose)

2. A print ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of my upcoming caper/thriller novel, ‘Sutherland’s Rules’ (ARCs are expected out before year’s end)

Simply leave a comment below to enter; winner will be asked to choose which prize they receive. Priority postage included. The draw closes Wednesday September 26 at 0800PST, and winners will be announced here.

And there will be a new post that same morning  🙂


Filed under Material World

And the Winner is…

I’m delighted to announce that Lin Barrett is the winner of the free critique! The winner was determined using the random number generator at random.org.

Thanks, everyone, for playing along, and please do bookmark this blog and visit once in a while, since I’m going to running contests like this two or three times a year, as well as posting the occasional, hopefully useful or interesting, piece on writing and life. Good luck with your writing, and thanks again 🙂

TOMORROW I’ll post about the dirty little secrets of both TRADITIONAL AND SELF-PUBLISHING!

1 Comment

Filed under Writing

Contest Time!

With WorldCon (the World Science Fiction Convention) just three weeks away, I’m in a festive mood.

Although I won’t personally be attending, I’m excited about the Hugo and Sidewise Awards, which will both be announced in Chicago. In 2011, Alan Smale’s novella, ‘A Clash of Eagles,’ from my anthology Panverse Two, won the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. This year, two novellas from Panverse Three are up for Awards: for the Hugo, Ken Liu’s ‘The Man Who Ended History,’ and, for the Sidewise, Jason Stoddard’s ‘Orion Rising.’

In celebration and anticipation of the awards, then, I’m going to give away some prizes of my own: a free, signed copy of my novella anthology, Panverse Three, and a free, detailed critique of a manuscript or WIP up to 5,000 words. This is a random drawing, and you will not be put on any lists, or have your information divulged. All you have to do to be eligible is:

WIN A FREE CRITIQUE*: Leave a comment below.

WIN A PRINT COPY OF PANVERSE THREE SIGNED BY THE EDITOR (me)**: just go to  the Panverse website and use the contact form (click Category: Contest, or use Contest as the subject line, and include the word, ‘Anthology’).

The contest will be open until Midnight PST Tuesday,  August 14th. Winners will be announced on my blog and on the Panverse Facebook page the following day, Wednesday August 15th.

* Critique: manuscript must be Science Fiction or Fantasy (all subgenres included); length up to 5,000 words, or the first 5,000 words of a longer work. Critique will consist of a ‘macro’ overview as well as inline comments. Winner may transfer critique prize to a friend or relative.

** Panverse Three (Trade paperback): Prize includes Priority Mail postage US/Int’l.

Good luck!


Filed under Writing