June 11 – 18, 2009 Edition

Dorchester to Reward
Top Cell Phone Story

Dorchester Publishing is sponsoring a competition for aspiring novelists via the serialized fiction service, Textnovel. The winner will earn a $2,000 advance and will be published by Dorchester next year.

Textnovel, founded in 2008 by literary agent Stan Soper, has about 2,000 authors and readers. Writers create stories via e-mail or text. Readers receive the stories on their cell phones in chapter-length installments. Readers can be alerted for additional chapters as the author adds them, and the stories can be made either private or public. Readers can rate or review the content.

The site is focused on new, undiscovered writers. The 2008 winner of the Textnovel prize, Saoirse Redgrave, won a three-book contract with St. Martin’s press.

According to Soper, “the site helps authors take their writing to the next level and helps publishers validate the market potential of new fiction.” Soper acts as the agent for stories he thinks merit representation. He works in Park City, Utah, and has a software team in California.