FutureBook has launched an audio originals writing competition. The winning work will be published as an audiobook and made available across a range of retailer platforms. The successful author will also be hosted at the FutureBook Conference, 25th November, and take part in a discussion on writing for audio.
Writers can tackle any subject, so long as it is in fiction, no more than 5,000 words, and penned with audio in mind. Judges include agent and audio rights specialist Alice Lutyens from Curtis Brown, David Roper, m.d and founder of Heavy Entertainment, Ellis Moore, rights and content manager, from Bolinda Publishing, and Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller.
Asked for tips on writing for audio, Roper said "there are no specific skills required to write for audio that do not apply to writing for publication in print", but the "5,000 words must lift themselves from the page and fly from the mouth of a narrator into the ear of a listener". He advised writers to try reading it out loud, be mindful of dialogue and different accents, and to edit before you submit. "A dinner party with a person from Orkney, another from Belfast, a guest from Istanbul and an Australian nanny can cause casting problems."
The FutureBook Conference, now in its 10th year, launched its audio stream, AudioBook Revolution, back in 2016, and it continues to be a lively and important part of the overall event. Today, audio remains a growing part of the book market, with original audio also now offering new opportunities for writers, publishers and retailers to explore ways of storytelling that get to different types of audience.
Lutyens, who has pioneered a number of audio-only deals, added: "Original audio and podcasts is going to play an important part in the future of our industry, and it is a thrill to be involved at a grassroots level, and to see how this format shapes people’s writing."
Jones said: "Building on last year's first ever fiction writing competition, this is a fantastic opportunity for authors to write specifically for listeners, and then to share their experiences of the publishing and production process at the FutureBook Conference on 25h November."
The competition runs from 2nd September 2019 until 29th September 2019, with the winner to be notified at the end of October.
Entries should be sent to FutureBookComp@thebookseller.com. A separate 500 word document can accompany the entry to set out how the audio might work; however all production decisions will be made by Heavy Entertainment, with the intention of using a single-voice narrator (one actor).
Entry to the competition is free for all authors, and there will be no production costs levied on the author. Bolinda Publishing will make the audio original available for listening across its platforms, with rights to the original material retained by the author, and rights in the audio recording ultimately reverting to the author.
For information on how to enter—as well as the full Terms and Conditions—click here.