In the last few years, we’ve seen an explosion of diverse and wonderfully weird teen protagonists in young adult fiction. At Odd Voice Out we want to keep expanding the
In the last few years, we’ve seen an explosion of diverse and wonderfully weird teen protagonists in young adult fiction. At Odd Voice Out we want to keep expanding the boundaries of what a YA hero can be, throwing out stock characters and finding truly unique viewpoints. For our inaugural short story competition, Not So Normal Narrators, we are seeking short stories told through underrepresented and unusual teen voices. We’re hoping to see central characters of different ethnic, cultural and class backgrounds, characters who identify as LGBTQ+, characters with disabilities or mental health issues, or just any young character with circumstances or a perspective outside of the mainstream.
Think about the YA heroes you’ve not seen yet, and be the strange you wish to see in the world!
Your short stories with ‘odd voices’ must be written for a YA audience (that’s aged 13 and up), but other than that they may be set in any genre or time period. This means that relevant content which is sexual, violent or contains extreme language will be accepted, provided it is somewhat moderated for a teen audience, rather than for adults (think about movies rated 15, compared to 18).
Our contest is open to writers aged fourteen and over from all nationalities and backgrounds. Entries must be no more 5000 words long and be a minimum of 2000 words. Your entry should not have been previously published, self-published or accepted for publication in print or online, or have won or been highly placed (e.g. shortlisted or semi-finalist) in another competition at any other time. Longlisted stories are acceptable, provided they have not been in print or online in full.
After our closing date of Saturday 31st August, we will select ten finalists to feature in an anthology collection that will be made available in ebook and print editions, to be released alongside our Winter 2019 book range. The winning entry will also receive a £200 cash prize, whilst second and third place will receive £100 and £50 respectively. All ten finalists will also be invited to read extracts from their stories at OvO’s launch anniversary party, either in person or via Skype live link-up.
To cover prize fees and reading time, there is a small entry fee of £4 per story, payable via PayPal at the time of entering. Authors may enter up to five different stories, but must pay the entry fee for each one as a separate entry and transaction.
Co-authored stories are accepted, up to a maximum of two authors per story, and in the event of winning, authors would share the prize money evenly.
Entries will be read and judged by OvO Authors and co-founders, K.C. Finn and Kell Cowley.