Pratchett and Transworld launch writing competition

<p>Sir Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers have launched an award for aspiring debut novelists, the prize of which is a publishing contract with a &pound;20,000 advance.</p><p>The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now Prize will be judged by the Discworld author alongside actor and &#39;Time Team&#39; presenter Tony Robinson, Mike Rowley from Waterstone&rsquo;s and two members of the editorial team at Transworld Publishers. </p><p>Pratchett said: &ldquo;We are after stories set on Earth, although it may be an Earth that might have been, or might yet be, one that has gone down a different leg of the famous trousers of time (see the illustration in almost every book about quantum theory). </p><p>&quot;We will be looking for books set at any time, perhaps today, perhaps in the Rome of today but in a world where 2000 years ago the crowd shouted for Jesus Christ to be spared, or where in 1962, John F Kennedy&#39;s game of chicken with the Russians went horribly wrong. It might be one day in the life of an ordinary person. It could be a love story, an old story, a war story, a story set in a world where Leonardo da Vinci turned out to be a lot better at Aeronautics. But it won&rsquo;t be a story about being in an alternate Earth because the people in an alternate Earth don&rsquo;t know that they are; after all, you don&rsquo;t.&quot;</p><p>He added: &quot;Perhaps in the seething mass of alternate worlds humanity didn&#39;t survive, or never evolved - but other things did, and they would have seen the world in a different way. The possibilities are literally endless, but remember, it&rsquo;s all on Earth. Maybe the continents will be different and the climate unfamiliar, but the physics will be the same as ours... In short, the story must be theoretically possible on some version of the past, present or future of a planet Earth.&quot; </p><p>The deadline for submissions will be 31st December, and a shortlist of six entries will be announced on the 31st March 2011. The winner will be announced by the end May 2011. </p><p>Earlier this week, <a href=" target="_blank">Transworld announced it would be publishing two novels started by Pratchett more than 25 years ago, which are being completed in collaboration with XX author Stephen Baxter.&nbsp;</a> </p>