The 48-Hour Writing Marathon, which happened from June 23-25 2017 at the T.H.E. Tutoring Center, was a well-fought competition between peers to see who could get the closest to writing a full novel in 48 Hours of near non-stop authorship! It was difficult: there was little sleep, much junk food, any many distractions. f over twenty participants, only six went on to enter their work to be judged by a panel of three judges in a double-blind process to be crowned the first 48-Hour Writing Marathon Winner!
Via an alternate-vote process, the top two authors were so close in their scores (with a difference of only one point!) that we decided to make them both eligible for the prize! The first place winner was currently-serving WANL Secretary Kelley Power, whose submission (currently titled Milestones) blew the judges away with its intricate character dynamics and atmosphere. The runner-up, Jon Dobbin, penned an amazing (and yet Untitled) epic Western, giving the genre much-needed attention and an update for modern storytellers. We can’t wait to see what both do with their amazing starts!On the subject of Power’s Milestones, one of the three anonymous judges wrote: “The setting was fully realized. The setting grounds the reader in a sense of ‘reality’ almost instantly. Incredible dialog that not only moved the story along but revealed much about the characters at the same time: not an easy trick, and the author seems to have come by in naturally. Foster this talent! It’s something most professional authors cannot do, and those that do have to work hard at it. You have a natural gift for dialog and its place in narrative. A+”
Kelley Power has punched a dozen years in corporate communications both abroad and in Newfoundland and Labrador. She currently splits her time between communications consulting and dabbling in all types of writing. Her work has won the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters competition and has been published in wordhaus eZine.
Regarding Dobbin’s Western, a judge wrote: “For me it was brimming with newness and potential. There were lots of clever turns of phrase and the author seems to have a real knowledge of how to use tone, setting, tempo, pace, and structure all together to build the world the story takes place in: not an easy thing to do, and shows a real knowledge of the genre, its rules (and where to bend them) and of the tools of literature in general.”
The 48 Hour Marathon winner will each be awarded ‘front of the line’ manuscript evaluations by Engen Books, with each of their manuscripts moving to the front of any submissions the publisher has, should they choose to submit them. They will also receive free manuscript evaluations and beta reads from the Engen Books team once their work is completed. Because of the close nature of the competition, both authors will receive these prizes, with Power receiving one extra award: the 48-Hour 2017 Award Glass, fashioned by Baddy Vinyl (pictured above with recipient).
The judges have decided that both Power and Dobbin will retain the right to use the 48-Hour Marathon Award-seal on their novels and promotional materials regarding it, whomever they chose to eventually publish with, should they so choose.
48-Hour founder Amanda Labonté says the marathon was a tremendous success, congratulates both winners, and says that the event will definitely continue if there is interest. “Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and it would be great to reach an even bigger group of writers.”