The Australian Literature Review is seeking to match up pairs of fiction writers to write an epistolary novel together. An epistolary novel is one made up of letters (or something equivalent, like emails) written between the characters.
These pairs will write letters back and forth to one another in character throughout December and January (via email). During February, one of the co-written stories will be chosen for each of its two authors to receive three copies of their story as a printed book. Ten copies of the story chosen will also be printed and auctioned for a literary-based charity project.
This project can be a great way to practice writing skills, stay motivated to write fiction regularly and have another person to help inject fresh ideas into the story.
This is a great way to build fiction writing skills even if you would not normally feel up to attempting a novel. The only skill you need to get started is the ability to write letters to the same level of ability as your character would – and your character will probably not be a professional writer or storyteller.
Two or three writing duos for each of the following epistolary story types are being sought:
1. Fan – Celebrity
A fan writes to a celebrity and they keep writing to one another.
2. Random Pen Pals
One character writes to a person they don’t know (but may have encountered somewhere), the other character writes back and they keep writing.
3. Couple Kept Apart
Two characters in a relationship are kept apart and stay in touch by writing.
To apply to be matched up with a writing partner (via email), in 300-600 words:
Pick story type 1, 2 or 3 and describe the character you would like to use for the story.
- If choosing type 1 or 2, include explanation of why your character either decides to send the initial letter or why your character would respond and keep writing back to a stranger who sends them a letter.
- If choosing type 3, include explanation of why the two characters could be kept apart and why the two characters use writing to keep in touch (instead of voice or video calls).
Apply to email@example.com by midnight November 20th.
Any applicants under 18, mention your age so you can be matched appropriately if selected. Any applicants interested in hand writing their character’s letters and emailing scans of them to your writing partner, mention this when you apply.
Good luck to all applicants and happy writing.
The Australian Literature Review