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Monday, July 6, 2015

New Orleans Novelists Launch Contest/ Rewrite Challenge to Would-be Writers

Dianna Riley

Dianna Riley, co-creator of the “Summer Harvest” Rewrite Challenge

New Orleans, LA — The authors of a novel based on a black family’s struggle through three generations of slavery and racism have launched a special contest/rewrite challenge to would-be writers.

Authors Dianna and Tom Riley created the “Summer Harvest” Rewrite Challenge. As part of the challenge, the Rileys launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $30,000 to edit, publish and distribute the book. Anyone can become a backer by pre-ordering the book with a pledge.

At the end of the Kickstarter campaign, any person who becomes a backer can send an email to dianna@shthebook.com letting the Rileys know they are interested in participating in the “Summer Harvest” Rewrite Challenge. At that point, those specific would-be writers will receive a PDF copy of the unedited manuscript. The writer can choose any section of the manuscript to rewrite, but there is a minimum of 150 words for each rewrite. Each writer will need to list page the number and the original section/content he or she is rewriting.

“This concept is based on a simple premise that it doesn’t matter if the book is well written, it’s important how good the story is in entertaining, uplifting and educating them,” said Tom Riley, a website designer and developer. “It’s one that enfolds them into a world in which they have never been, and one that gives them a window into the lives of others or a mirror to reflection on themselves.  These are the qualities you’ll find in ‘Summer’s Harvest’.”

All winning rewrites will be chosen during the editing process, selected writers will share 25% of the book’s profits that will be placed in a special account and paid out quarterly. Each writer’s share of the book’s profits will depend on the amount of rewrite material used. Each writer’s edits that are accepted will be listed as a co-writer.

“Summer’s Harvest” allow readers to travel with a slave named, Jeremiah, as he makes a thrilling escape from slavery as two relentless slave catchers and their dogs pursue him.  Jeremiah encounters an old Irish sea captain, serves in the Union Army and searches in the Deep South for his parents. The adventures continue as the Ku Klux Klan takes over a small southern town and goes on a murderous rampage.  A brave white sheriff sets out to prosecute those involved, but dodges death. The book reaches its climax when the town’s dark secret is revealed.

“We are thrilled to offer this challenge to anyone who has ever thought about becoming a writer. If they want to get a sample of the book they can go to the kickstarter site and download the first four chapters of the book. If they can rewrite a better section of any of the 550 page unedited manuscript they’re in. We hope each backer will choose to participate in the rewrite challenge. That they select a section or two within the manuscript, put their thinking cap on, and get their creative juices flowing, and get those rewrites in,” said Riley, he attended both Xavier and Loyola Universities in New Orleans. “Our rewrite challenge, in short, gives backers the opportunity to participate in the book’s success and a chance to test their writing skills against ours and it also enables those with little or no writing skills, a great writing experience.”

For more information on taking the “Summer’s Harvest” rewrite challenge, visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/summerharvest/summers-harvest. For interviews with the authors, contact Dianna Riley at dianna@shthebook.com or (504) 292-2325.


Dianna Riley
(504) 292-2325