Archive for category Competitions

Genre for Japan

We have all been made aware of the terrible events in Japan since the earthquake and tsunami on 11th March and many of us have felt that we ought to be able to do something to help. Well thanks to the efforts of a group of genre enthusiasts we can.

Genre for Japan is an online auction of prizes donated by authors, publishers and others involved in genre fiction. It’s an appeal to the speculative fiction community to raise money for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami.

The press release is below: ~

Press Release: Time to Donate Prizes!

Genre for Japan

We’ve all heard the news and seen the horrific pictures coming from Japan in the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami – and no doubt we’ve all wondered how to help.

Following the example of Authors for Japan, where bids are now closed, we’d like to introduce Genre for Japan, a chance for the comics, science fiction, fantasy and horror communities to unite and show our generosity to those who need it right now. We are planning to run auctions for genre-themed prizes and we need YOU to donate. We are looking for really fantastic prizes: examples might include signed first editions, coaching sessions with agents for that perfect submission letter or original artwork!

Some of the prizes already donated include a year’s supply of books from Tor, signed artwork from Solaris Books and editing/critiques from professional authors and editors.The prizes will be auctioned on our website, through JustGiving, in aid of the British Red Cross Tsunami Appeal.

If you have something really special to donate, please drop us a line at including information such as a starting bid amount, a sentence or two about the item, and whether you wish to send the prize to a central collecting point or would be willing to post it to the winning bidder. Photos would also help us to list the item, if relevant.

The deadline to receive offers of prizes is 25th March, with the auction set to begin on 28th March.

Find out more information on our website:

Follow us on twitter: @genreforjapan
E-mail us:

Genre for Japan is organised by:

Amanda Rutter: reviewer and webmistress at Floor to Ceiling Books
Jenni Hill: editor for science fiction, fantasy and horror publishers Solaris Books
Louise Morgan: author and interviewer for the British Fantasy Society
Ro Smith: writer and reviewer; blogger at In Search of the Happiness Max
Alasdair Stuart is the editor of Hub magazine.

If you’re an author or publisher, I encourage you to get involved. If you have collectables that you would be willing to donate, then likewise. If you are a speculative fiction reader, please take a look at the fabulous items available – tell your friends about it – tweet about it – put it on Facebook – Phone your auntie and tell her.

For my part I am offering the following: ~

For Readers

The winning bidder gets to have one of the fey-human characters in the third book of The Courts of the Feyre series named after them, with a mention in the explanatory notes at the back of the book which Mike always includes. He is also open to discussions on physical appearance and magical ability, though within the constraints of the plot and story arc. Note that this character may or may not ‘survive’ the book to appear in later work and may or may not be one of the ‘good guys’.

For Writers

Not for the faint-hearted, this is a no-holds-barred detailed critique of up to 10,000 words of a single piece of prose with explanatory notes, comments and suggestions. The work can be a short story, part of a novel, or even a synopsis and agent query. As a professional author, Mike will endeavour to help you take your writing to the next level. Submission and critique via email.

The auction will start on Monday 28th March, so start saving your pocket money.

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Bedlam Competition Winner

Firstly, a big thank you to all the people who entered the competition to win signed copies of both Sixty-One Nails and The Road to Bedlam.  It helped me celebrate the US launch of the second book in style.

I have to say that you made selecting a winner hard for me – there was a good crop of entries and I was amazed at the detail and imagination that you put in to them. What a creative bunch you are!  Everything from using the ground for scrying, to boiling the water in your opponent’s lungs (ugh!) – well thought through and wonderfully inventive.

There can be only one winner, though, and she came up with a peach of an idea:

My elements are Water and Air, and the fey power is one of communication.It allows you to read the memory of water, which has to be interpreted as it is fluid, but you can do things like follow someone or know a bit of what they are feeling/thinking. There is water everywhere, even in a desert.
It can also be employed to influence people, sending emotions and suggestions into their minds, through air and water combined and if you’re very powerful, you can load an idea into a glass of water before they drink it. More often it is a power to use from a distance. It works better though rain. Running water, like underwater streams, can intensify it.  This is a very emotional power; unstable but also untraceable.

The winner is Anabel Portillo, from Dublin: I really liked that way she thought through the implications of her suggestion – the clincher was the idea that you could imbue a liquid with a memory, passing on ideas or thoughts, all through a glass of water. It’s a superb idea and makes Anabel our winner – congratulations to her, the signed copies will be on their way this week.

Thanks again to everyone who entered, I hope you had as much fun with the competition as I did and congratulations once again to Anabel, our winner.

Happy Halloween!

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It’s Bedlam Out There

The Road to Bedlam

Today is the release day for The Road to Bedlam in the United States and Canada and we’re celebrating here at Shevdon Manor by giving away copies of both books: Sixty-One Nails and The Road to Bedlam as a pair, in the US edition, signed and dated 26th October 2010, to be posted anywhere in the world, free of charge.

In order to win, you will need to put your thinking caps on.  In the books, fey power is an expression of five elements.  These are Fire, Earth, Air and Water and the Void, as in the early classical elements of Buddhist, Hindu and Greek philosophy.  These are not literal elements, but a way of understanding how fey power manifests, which is through combinations of these elemental aspects.  The void does not combine with other elements but underpins all, so it stands alone.

There are situations where fey power is used in Sixty-One Nails, but in case you haven’t read it yet (why not?) an example would be; Blackbird is a creature of Fire and Air and she can create a swarm of hornets by breathing into her cupped hands, releasing stinging mayhem upon an attacker.  The troll, Gramawl, is a creature of Earth and Water, and can move silently, no matter what surface he walks upon.

In order to win the books, you must imagine that you are able to combine two elements from Fire, Air, Earth and Water to express a magical fey power.  Email me to explain what the power is, how it works and, importantly, what limits it has. Note that the Void is excluded from the competition as it stands alone, and for reasons that may become clear in future books.

The most imaginative and interesting entry will win the signed copies and, potentially, may be included in book three as one of the powers of an escapee – the relevance of that word will become clear as you reach the end of The Road to Bedlam.

Send your entries by email to mike (at) shevdon (dot) com with a subject of BEDLAM COMPETITION ENTRY, including your name and contact details so that I can get in touch if you win.  You need to explain in the email which pair of elements create the ability, and what this achieves for the fey concerned.  Remember that this could end up in a book, so dream up something urban, magical and edgy – but not so powerful that it unbalances the rest of the story, otherwise I won’t be able to use it.

I may award secondary prizes for close runners-up and even post the best ones on the blog for all to see.  As usual in these matters, family members and those involved with producing or publishing the books are excluded from the competition.  The rules are as I make them, and I reserve the right to change them if I need to.

The best entries will win points, and you know what points mean….

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