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Poster for Madville's Blue Moon Novel Competition 

$1000 advance + publication for the winning novel.

Publication for the runner(s) up.

$35 entry fee

Accepting submissions from October 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. 

Winners will be announced May 1, 2021.

We've called it The Madville Blue Moon Novel Competition in honor of the last blue moon we'll see until August 2023, but don't think of the moon or the blue moon, for that matter, as a theme. We hope to receive submissions in various styles and on various themes.

Judge, Clay Reynolds 

Clay Reynolds Will Be Our Judge This Year

Award-winning novelist Clay Reynolds is a retired professor of Arts and Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas, where he taught creative writing and literature and humanities. He previously served on the faculties of the University of North Texas, Villanova University, The University of South Dakota, and Lamar University. He holds academic degrees from UT Austin, Trinity University, and the University of Tulsa, where he took his PhD in Modern Letters. He is the author or editor of twenty books, ranging from novels to short stories to essays to scholarly analysis, as well as more than 1500 other publications including hundreds of book reviews and essays on education and culture, and well academic and scholarly articles. He lives with his wife, Judy, in Lowry Crossing, TX.

When asked what sort of entries he hopes to receive for this contest, Reynolds has this to say: 

Successful entries in this contest are typically those that do one thing: they tell a simple story well, without the garnish of fashionable trends, fancy experimental styles, or attempts to write abstractly rather than directly. I look for great characterization, natural and credible dialogue that fits the speaking characters, accuracy and vividness of setting, consistency in point of view and technique, and above all else, a well-written piece of fiction that is free of misused words, contemporary slang and jargon, grammatical and mechanical error, and stylistic flights of fancy. I am not interested in work that appears to be argumentative or tries to sell me on a particular perspective or point of view, that is trendy or that tries too hard to be fashionable. I also shy away from work that imitates some other contemporary, popular writer, either in style or content. Don't reinvent the wheel. Be original. I look for honesty and directness in the writing, something that entertains and holds interest and gains admiration, even envy for its creativity.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Length: 50-75,000 words
  • Formatting: 12pt. Times New Roman, double spaced, 1” margins, pages numbered.
  • Blind submissions: There should be no information on the manuscript or in its file name that identifies the author. Use the story title to name your file with dashes between words, like this: story-title.docx.
We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.