by REBECCA SPARROW
Two years ago Erika Leonard sat at her computer and – just for kicks – started writing an online piece of fan-fiction; a story inspired by the characters Bella and Edward from the Twilight books.
Today Erika is better known as E L James, the author of Fifty Shades of Grey – that hotter than hot trilogy the whole world is (pretending not to be) reading right now in their kitchens, bedrooms, lounge rooms, on trains, at bus stops and during their daughter’s ballet classes (look, I was bored).
James’ story of the virgin, the billionaire and a shitload of whips hasn’t just been a best-seller, it’s been a global publishing phenomenon of Harry Potter proportions. The trilogy has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and has turned James into an instant millionaire. And like Twilight’s Stephenie Meyer and Harry Potter’s JK Rowling, this was the formerly unpublished James’ debut novel. First time around, she knocked it out of the park.
Critics sniff that the trilogy isn’t particularly well-written. So what? It’s a page-turner nonetheless. This forty-something British author has written a book that women the world over have devoured. An erotic tale with the right mix of romantic love, fantasy, engaging emails and, well, scenes with ropes and hot wax.
And now Mamamia wants to help you get in on the action. It’s time to unleash your inner-minx!
Think you could write something as good as or better than Fifty Shades? Then we want to read it! Send us the first chapter of an erotic novel and the best entries will be published right here on Mamamia. The winning story will not only have their work exposed to over 500,000 readers but you’ll be given the chance to be published by Mamamia’s very own e-book division, Mamamia Publishing.
Choose whatever genre you like – from romance to detective, sic-fi to fantasy. You may want to write a contemporary tale (that steamy sex scene between Offspring’s Nina and Patrick springs to mind!) or an historical saga chock-full of ripping bodices and throbbing manhoods.
And just remember – erotic fiction is nothing new.
When French-Cuban writer Anais Nin wrote Delta of Venus - a book of erotic short stories – in the 1940s, it spilled over with taboo tales of lust and love. Tales which still today can make you catch your breath. E-readers have just made it easier to read saucy stories right under the nose of your mother-in-law while she stands in your kitchen making her famous three-bean salad. (‘No seriously, Bev, I’m reading Wild Swans.’)
So here’s what you need to do to enter:
Submissions should be between 800- 1000 words and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Entries must be double-spaced, in 14 point, Garamond font.
Your story should be an original work, written by you, not published anywhere else nor submitted elsewhere for publication.
A selection of finalists will be chosen and their work will be published on Mamamia.
All entrants retain the copyright for their work.
The winning entry (as decided by Mamamia) will be given the opportunity to submit the full length manuscript to Mamamia Publishing when it is completed. Mamamia Publishing offers 30% royalty to authors.
The competition is open to anyone over 18 years of age.
Competition closes on 31st August 2012.
And for a little bit of inspiration – you know, to get the creative juices flowing – here are some actors who could play Christian Grey in the upcoming 50 Shades of Grey film.
What have you got to lose? Nothing! So get writing. And if your mother-in-law asks what you’re writing, tell her you’re just answering messages on Facebook. Your secret’s safe with us.