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Category: Contests

Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop – the results…

Orbit Fantasy Workshop with Karen MillerThis summer, we ran our first ever Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop. It was led by the million-copy bestselling author Karen Miller, and we’re pleased to say it was a great success. We had an enthusiastic response from writers taking up the challenge to write 2,000 words of a fantasy novel in one week, and a large number of these participants also submitted their sample to our writing competition at the end of the week.

We were superbly impressed with the quality of submissions we received. All of them showed promise, and we can honestly say that we enjoyed every sample we read. The judging process proved very tricky, but the Orbit Editorial Team and Karen Miller have now picked their winner.

Congratulations to S. M. White from Louisville, Kentucky, who has won the competition with his submission “The Broken Door”.

We were all thoroughly captivated by this sample. It tells the tale of Kirren – a soldier who has been set to watch over the gates of his city and guard against the demons that wait outside. When a battle-worn stranger appears at the walls, demanding to be let in, Kirren refuses – as he has been ordered to open the gates to no one. But when the stranger outside is attacked by a demon, Kirren must decide whether to obey his orders, or give into his compassion by aiding his fellow man…

This sample fulfilled the writing challenge that Karen had set of writing about a moral dilemma – and it did it in style.

The Falcon Throne, a new epic fantasy novel from Karen MillerThe prize S. M. White will receive is a number of editorial consultations with an Orbit editor and Karen Miller herself on this sample and further sections of his complete novel.

We have also informed a small number of competition entrants about being on the final shortlist, and they will all be receiving free copies of Karen Miller’s novel THE FALCON THRONE (US |UK | AUS).

For all those who took part but didn’t win – please don’t be disheartened. The quality of everything we received was high, and we hope that you’re going to keep plugging away, because writing is all about sticking at it!

We’re hoping to run another Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop in future, so please do look out for that. In the meantime, for more writing inspiration, follow Karen Miller on her site at www.karenmiller.net

Orbit Fantasy Workshop – join the write-along challenge!

Orbit Fantasy Workshop with Karen Miller

Have you always wanted to write your own fantasy novel? Have you got some great characters and plot lines bouncing around in your head that won’t leave you alone? Have you written a few stories but finally want to get going on your first real masterpiece? This is your chance . . .

I’m delighted to say that today we’re kicking off the Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop.

This is a communal online write-along event, designed to get the creative juices flowing for aspiring fantasy authors worldwide.

It’s a great opportunity to finally put pen to paper, and get some advice on what makes a great story. Sitting down and writing can be tough, but it’s easier when you know there are many other people like you going through the same thing at the same time. So get involved and get writing today!

The Challenge

I’m setting you a specific challenge – to write 2,000 words of your very own fantasy novel by the end of next Monday, 3rd August. But I have some guidelines:

Since one of the most vital things about what makes a novel tick is the characters, I’d like you to write a scene which shows how one of your characters is morally conflicted i.e. a scene in which they’re torn between doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, or the wrong thing for the right reasons.

This could be a scene merely made up of a conversation between one or more other characters. It could show a character’s actions on a battlefield. It could be a tale of an assassin who shows mercy, or an honourable champion doing something terrible. It could have an epic fantasy feel, a coming-of-age feel or an urban fantasy feel. So long as it’s a fantasy scene which shows characters that are neither obviously good nor bad, it will fit the bill.

We hope this workshop inspires you to get writing – because that should be a highly rewarding experience in itself. But there is a competition element to this too.

The Competition

Once you’ve written your 2,000 word sample as per the above challenge, you can either just sit back and admire your work – or you can submit it into our competition. The Orbit team will read every submission that is entered (submissions must be a maximum of 2000 words). And along with the Orbit folk, I will be picking one entry to win a series of in-depth editorial sessions about their writing with myself and an Orbit editor.

This is your chance to have your writing read by industry experts and receive feedback that could set you on the path to writing your own bestselling fantasy novel. An entry form will be posted on this site on Friday 31st July, and entries can be submitted until the end of 3rd August.

Advice Along The Way

The Falcon Throne, an epic fantasy novel from Karen MillerI hope to be able to offer some helpful guidance over the coming week for any budding authors who get involved. My own writing career so far, from writing my debut THE INNOCENT MAGE (US | UK ) to my latest novel THE FALCON THRONE (US | UK | AUS), has been a wild ride. And if a new writer can be helped by something I’ve said, it will make all the hard work worthwhile.

Throughout this week I will be providing words of advice and encouragement on the Orbit site and on the Orbit Twitter feed (though there’s no requirement to be on Twitter to take part). Feel free to leave any questions or comments below, or use the hashtag #OrbitFantasyWorkshop to let us know how your writing is coming along. And if you’d like to ask any specific questions about writing during the week, you can ask me them directly in the Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session I’m doing this Wednesday. I’m here to help, so fire away!

Let’s get going!

So where to begin? The answer is to pick up your pen and start writing. And in order get your ideas in line, see my first piece of advice here on Writing Your First Fantasy Novel.

See details of the next stage here.

*Update* Submissions are now open here.

Orbit launches a Fantasy Writing Workshop with Karen Miller

This summer, Orbit is launching an online fantasy writing workshop, hosted on OrbitBooks.net. It will be led by Karen Miller – the million-copy bestselling author who rose to fame with her debut The Innocent Mage, and whose most recent release is the critically acclaimed epic fantasy The Falcon Throne (UK | US | ANZ).

The free week-long event, which starts on 27th July 2015, will invite aspiring authors to take part in a communal online “write-along” challenge, during which they will each be encouraged to pen their own sample of a new fantasy novel. They will also be invited to submit this sample into a competition at the end of the week.

Miller will be kicking off the writing workshop by setting a writing challenge for aspiring fantasy authors on 27th July, and will be providing advice and words of encouragement throughout the week. She will also taking part in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session on 29th July, during which time participants will be able to put their own questions on writing to her.

Miller said: “One of the hardest things about starting a writing career is the feeling that you’re alone, that nobody understands what you’re going through, and that it’s really hard to figure out how to do it right! That’s why I’m so excited to share a little of what I’ve learned since I wrote my first fantasy novel. It’s been a wild ride, these past few years, and if a new writer can be helped by something I’ve said, it will make all the hard work worthwhile.”

Any aspiring authors interested in taking part should follow @OrbitBooks on Twitter and look for the hashtag #OrbitFantasyWorkshop for updates, or sign up to the Orbit newsletter here.

For further information contact gemma.conley-smith@littlebrown.co.uk or anna.jackson@littlebrown.co.uk

The High Druid’s Blade & Shannara Family Tree

This week sees the release of THE HIGH DRUID’S BLADE (UK | ANZ), a brand new stand-alone novel by Terry Brooks, set in the Legendary world of Shannara.

This exciting epic fantasy adventure tells the tale of Paxon Leah, a descendant of the royals and warriors who once waged war with magical weapons. But to Paxon, those days of legend are long gone now, and he leads a quiet life – until extraordinary circumstances will rewrite his destiny . . .

To celebrate the release, we’ve designed the beautiful Shannara family tree below (click to enlarge it!) showing the Ohmsford and Leah family lineage. It really demonstrates the richness of the Shannara world. But the great thing about the new book THE HIGH DRUID’S BLADE is that it’s a stand-alone novel, so a great place to discover this world for the first time. You can read an extract here.

Readers in the UK now have the chance to win a beautiful A2 poster of this family tree.Check out our competition on the Orbit UK Facebook Page.

Ohmsford and Leah family tree

Click to see the full size

Calling Kevin Hearne fans! Do you have a question for the author of the Iron Druid Chronicles?

On 17th June, we release SHATTERED, the brand new Iron Druid Chronicles book by Kevin Hearne. It’s urban fantasy at its most exciting, fast-paced and just darn witty.

To celebrate the release, we wanted to ask Kevin what it was like writing the new book, what fans can expect from it, and what he and Oberon the adorable Irish Wolfhound are up to in general.

But then we thought – WAIT!! – there are thousands of fans out there who might love to ask Kevin (or Oberon) something themselves.

So we’re giving fans in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand the chance to submit your own interview questions to one of the loveliest authors on the planet (FACT). You can do so by filling in the form below before next Friday. Then Kevin (or Oberon!!) will answer the best ones right here on the Orbit site in a week or two.

We’ll also randomly select one winner from all those who send us questions. This winner will receive five free copies of their favourite Iron Druid Chronicles book. These will be perfect to gift to your friends, neighbours and local occult practitioners, helping to spread the love of Atticus O’Sullivan even further . . .

Fill out the form below with your question:

:

:


Don’t forget to read our terms and conditions before entering.

Find a unique hand-written note in every HARRY AUGUST hardback

Recently we’ve been asking people the following question: If you could go back, with what you know now, and give your past self a message, what would it be?

It’s a question inspired by the ingenious novel The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (UK | US | ANZ) by Claire North, and we’ve had an amazing response already.

So many people are engaging with this novel in wonderful different ways because it’s such a unique book. So unique, in fact, that here in the UK we wanted to make each and every hardback of the book different in some way to reflect this . . .

So if you pick up a UK hardback copy of Harry August from your local store or online retailer, look out for one of the hand-written postcards inside. Every single one is different! Written on these postcards are individual pieces of advice – messages left from lives lived before, such as:

“Be on alert for a message when the clock strikes midnight”

“Your destiny awaits you in the honeysuckle hedge in the garden”

and “Remember to trust your gut instinct”

But amongst all the hardbacks out there, there are fifteen messages which are particularly special. This is because they’re signed by Harry August himself. If you’re lucky enough to find one of these cards, you can email orbit@littlebrown.co.uk to claim a prize: a treasure from one of Harry’s fifteen lives. Look at Harry’s study below to see what you could win!

A picture of Harry August's stufy, and all the prizes within it you could win - a competition to celebrate the release of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

And don’t forget to read our full terms and conditions here.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is out next Tuesday 8th April from Orbit in the UK and ANZ, and from Redhook in the US.

Become part of the story by leaving a message to your past self at www.harryaugust.net

Terry Brooks UK signing!

BrooksTerryOrbit is so excited to announce that Terry Brooks will be visiting the UK for the first time in over 5 years!  He will be in London on holiday but has spared an evening to schedule an event at Forbidden Planet – on Wednesday 3rd April at 6pm.  He will be signing copies of the first in his new series, Wards of Faerie (now available in paperback) and his new hardback Bloodfire Quest (out 12th March).  Like our Orbit UK Facebook page for full details and updates.

terry badge

And for all Terry’s UK fans who can’t make it to London, never fear… whether you can attend the signing or not, every person who emails a question for Terry to orbit@littlebrown.co.uk will receive a Bloodfire Quest badge!  We will film his answers so everyone gets to ‘meet’ him.  Plus the top three questions will win a signed and dedicated book.  (UK entrants only).

Join us to celebrate a great year for a legend of the fantasy genre!  2013 is an especially exciting year for Terry as his full Dark Legacy of Shannara series will available, with the last novel in the trilogy, Witch Wraith, publishing this July.

Wards of Faerie: The Dark Legacy of Shannara, Book One

Wards of Faerie: The Dark Legacy of Shannara, Book One

Bloodfire Quest: The Dark Legacy of Shannara, Book Two

Bloodfire Quest: The Dark Legacy of Shannara, Book Two

Witch Wraith: The Dark Legacy of Shannara, Book Three

Witch Wraith: The Dark Legacy of Shannara, Book Three

Iain M. Banks global launch event for The Hydrogen Sonata

Iain Banks

Orbit are excited to announce that Iain M. Banks will be participating in an international Google+ Hangout to celebrate the publication of THE HYDROGEN SONATA.  The event will take place on Thursday 27th September at 6pm BST, and Iain will be hanging out with Alastair Reynolds, Peter F. Hamilton and a few lucky fans…

For a chance to be part of this amazing panel please post your best questions in the specially created event page and make sure that you have circled +Google Play to find out if you have been successfully shortlisted.  Don’t have a Google+ account but want to take part?  It’s easy, find out here.

For those of you who miss out, never fear, the Hangout will be broadcast, so you will be able to watch the discussion in real time, and your questions may still be asked.

The Hydrogen Sonata UK cover image

And for everyone in the UK, Iain will be touring in October:

Plus, Orbit and SFX are running a competition to interview Iain M. Banks in person!  For full details pick up the current issue of SFX, and to enter submit the ten questions you would ask Iain.

 

FULL BLOODED blog tour

The cover for FULL BLOODED by Amanda Carlson - the start of a new urban fantasy shifter series perfect for fans of Rachel Vincent, Kelley Armstrong, Cassandra Clare and Patricia BriggsThe start of a simply irresistible new urban fantasy series, FULL BLOODED (UK | US | ANZ) by Amanda Carlson, is released today in the UK, and worldwide within a week!

If you’re into shifters, paranormal girls who know how to kick some ass, sexy supernatural men and all the good things that come along with them, then this book is for you. (Check out an extract here to confirm!)

To celebrate the release, Amanda is doing a mega-epic blog tour, visiting every corner of the interwebs. So you’re likely to see her stopping by at a pixel near you . . .

Check out all of the dates she’s already done below, as well as what’s still to come!

August 23: Goldilox and the Three Weres

August 26: Review at Literary Escapism

August 27: Between Dreams and Reality

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Job Opportunity: Laundry Field Agent. Do You Have What It Takes?

You: you’re a civil servant, working in an administrative or support role, within SOE X Division, commonly known as the Laundry. You have signed the Official Secrets Act. You know the score. You know that when you carry out certain computation operations, it has echoes in the Platonic realm of pure mathematics – echoes audible to beings from other universes, who can be bound to act at our command. Magic is a branch of applied mathematics, and there are agents out there working ceaselessly to protect the realm from esoteric alien threats. You aren’t one of them – yet.

You believe you can contribute more to the organisation by taking a proactive role. You’re a dynamic self-starter and a team player, flexible and able to plan and execute on your feet while remaining within official guidelines. And you want to get out from behind your desk.

Do you have what it takes to handle an active service assignment?

We’re looking for the next Laundry field agent to assist our rising star employee, Bob Howard. Bob has seen service. He’s dealt with nameless horrors you could only dream of, and with only limited . . . mishaps.

Starting today, we will be releasing clues that will allow you access to the Laundry Vault.
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