Fan fiction writers, grab your pens… or keyboards. Temple West, the author of the Velvet trilogy, is holding her first ever fan fiction contest. The winner of the contest will be permitted to beta read the third book in the Velvet series, while the runner-up will be able to have any fic of theirs critiqued by West herself.
The Velvet series is a story about an orphaned girl named Caitlin who ends up being protected by a vampire named Adrian. In order to keep appearances, he must pretend to be her boyfriend. The first book, Velvet, has a four-star rating on Amazon.com, and can be purchased for less than $8. Watch the book trailer for book two, Cashmere, below.
According to the contest’s homepage, entries must be entirely in first person but can be from any character’s point of view. The rules also require for a minimum of two characters from the series to be present, and for the story to take place logically within the Velvet Trilogy universe.
Entries will be disqualified for any story that contains overtly sexual content or extreme violence. In addition, every entry must contain the phrase “Well, that was unexpected.”
West started the contest after she worked on a character interview with the two main character from the series.
“Adrian and Caitlin got to interact and answer questions that I would never have been able to work into the novels themselves,” West said. “That made me think of what other side stories and possibilities existed outside of the strict scope of the three books.”
She also said that because the books she’s written are told from Caitlin’s point of view, she gets the chance to see what the other characters do, think and say when the main character isn’t around through fan’s stories.
Another reason for the contest is because of her limited marketing budget. This provided for an interactive way to spread the word about the Velvet series without saying the same things every author posts on social media.
“A fan fiction contest seemed like an excellent way to engage old and new readers while offering a significant prize in return.”
West confirmed there have already been entries submitted to the contest.
“[It’s] totally surreal,” she said, in regards to reading fan-submitted content. “Oddly nerve wracking, too. It’s like sending my kid off to preschool for the first time and hoping the teacher is good. But also insanely fun. I love where people have gone with this contest.”
Until now, West has never browsed for fan fiction of her series. She is excited to read the takes on side characters, and seeing how fans turn the side characters into the main characters in their stories.
The contest also allows for contributors to write about their own original characters, as long as the story includes a minimum of two Velvet-universe characters.
According to Goodreads.com, the third book is predicted to be released some time in 2018. Temple West can be found at the Facebook page ByTempleWest. If you want to enter the contest, check out the Velvet Pinterest board for some character inspiration. The contest runs through March.