A Call to All Writers! A Call to All Illustrators!

48 Hour Novel Contest

Roanoke Pulp and Paper announces its own birth with The 2013 Roanoke Pulp and Paper 48-Hour Novel Writing Contest Pulp Literature

Set in the great city of Roanoke. Prize Money of $500.00 All novels will be written between the hours of 9:00 am of Saturday, March 23rd, 2013 and 9:00 am of Monday, March 25th, 2013. Thereafter, anonymous judging will commence By the celebrated writer and former Roanoke denizen C.L. Bledsoe, > Author of numerous poems, memoirs, essays, and novels including Last Stand in Zombie Town! The winner will be announced on March 30th, 2013 at Vaudeville Night During the 2013 Marginal Arts Festival! > Books will be printed, bound, etc., available that night! Cover Illustrations are therefore sought! Covers are due simultaneously.


1.)  All contestants must register beforehand.  Registration shall consist of notifying contest administrator Josh Chapman and having that notification acknowledged by email.  Address: jchapman@communityhigh.net

2.)  At 9:00 am of Saturday, March 23rd, 2013, all contestants will receive a copy of the rules, along with individual guidelines (discussed below).   The contest will be launched and concluded from the lobby of the Community High School at 302 Campbell Avenue, SE.  If arranged in advance, contestants not living in the Roanoke area may commence and conclude via email.

3.)  The allowed writing period shall be 48 hours, and will conclude at 9:00 am on Monday, March 25th, at which time manuscripts must be submitted to Josh Chapman in Microsoft Word or compatible format.

4.)  In order to constitute a NOVEL, for the purposes of this contest, manuscripts are expected to contain, minimally, 30,000 words of sustained, fictional narrative.

5.)  In order for manuscripts to be fairly described as PULP, for the purposes of this contest, authors are encouraged to assume and converse with the tropes and derived parameters of genre fiction.  This is, of course, a direction rather than a clearly defined rule.  See the Prime Directive.

6.)  All stories must be SET IN ROANOKE.  Other settings may be incidentally employed, but not at the expense of Roanokeness.  This, too, is a direction rather than a rule; every contestant is assumed to carry in his or her own “Roanoke of the Mind.”  See the Prime Directive.

7.)  As stated above, each contestant will be issued INDIVIDUAL GUIDELINES.  These will contain mandated elements, themes, characters, plotlines and/or locations to be used in the manuscript, and are meant to aid in composition and to ensure the pulpiness and Roanokeness of entries, as well as to prevent contestants from cheating by submitting previously composed material.

8.)  Contestants are encouraged to write in public.  Facilities will be provided for those wishing to do so.

9.)  All manuscripts will be passed to the judge anonymously by contest administrators.

10.)   Completed manuscripts will be evaluated March 25th through the 27th by an outside judge, accomplished and published in Pulp fiction.  Manuscripts will be evaluated according to criteria of the judge’s own devising and taste; all decisions of the judge are opaque and final.

11.)   The winning manuscript will be printed and bound, thanks to the miracle of modern technology, on March 29th.  A print run of between 30 and 100 copies is anticipated.  Roanoke Pulp and Paper will have all rights to submitted manuscripts for any printed and published material produced before April 15th of 2013.  All rights will thereafter return to authors; if all parties are lucky, maybe we’ll renegotiate down the line.

12.)   The winner will be notified as soon as possible, and publicly announced during Vaudeville Night, Saturday March 30th in the June McBroom Theatre between 7:30 and 10:00.

13.)  The winner will be asked to publicly read a short excerpt of his or her work and to bow before the assembled throngs.

14.)   The winner’s PRIZE shall consist of $500.00, and a free copy of the printed book.

Roanoke Pulp and Paper Prime Directive


Roanoke is a physical and political entity, a historical and cultural aggregate, a clumsy, sloughing and mutating heap.  A polis!  It is ours to imagine, cast, castigate, celebrate, define, deride, distort, explode, explore, sustain and renew.  New York can take care of itself.  Live where you live, for goodness’ sake.


Historically, Pulp is a market position and only inadvertently an ideology, supposed to be disposable, a literature meant for others and not for self-embalmment.  This does not preclude Art.  It may free it.  The distinction between Pulp and Literature writing is a historical contrivance and a fraudulent mirage.  This is not an excuse for hidebound thinking, willful lies, sentimentality or other sins.  Just this: make art, tell stories.  Surprise with the truth.  Like Louis B. Mayer said, “You want to send a message, send a telegram.”


Real books are made of paper, and, as David Gelertner said, ergonomic masterpieces.   And, with all respect to Walter Benjamin, they acquire individual character and cumulative “authenticity” as they age.  So, as long as possible, no “E-Books.”

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5 Responses to A Call to All Writers! A Call to All Illustrators!

  1. Joey Tucciarone says:

    I am interested in participating. Very interested, in fact. I lived in Roanoke all my life and moved to Johnson City, TN about three-and-a-half years ago to finish school. Though I no longer reside in Roanoke (temporarily, that is), I am Roanoke to the bone and shall always be so. May I participate?

  2. Gwenda says:

    We will advise Josh but use this email to contact directly. Looking forward to seeing you work.
    Josh Chapman email – jchapman@communityhigh.net

  3. Want to do the 48-hour bit. Advise, please.

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