Submissions are currently open for Black Balloon Publishing’s inaugural Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize, an award of $5,000 and a book deal with Black Balloon given for a fiction manuscript. The deadline is May 6.
Previously unpublished novels and short story collections of at least 50,000 words are eligible. Fiction writers may submit an excerpt of no more than 4,000 words via Submittable by May 6. Those who are selected to move on to the second round of judging will have one week after being notified to submit their final manuscript. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but entrants must notify Black Balloon if a manuscript is accepted for publication elsewhere. Short story collections containing previously published stories are eligible. There is no entry fee.
According to the Black Balloon editors, “we champion the weird, the unwieldy, and the unclassifiable. We are battle-worn enemies of boredom and we’re looking for books that defy the rules, bend reality, twist preconceptions, and imagine the unimaginable.”
An independent press based in New York City, Black Balloon accepts submissions of literary fiction, nonfiction, and memoir year-round through its online submission form. The press also produces the Airship, a digital daily that features emerging writers from across the country.
The book prize is named for Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, a one-eyed and one-armed British naval commander made famous for his victories against the French during the Napoleonic Wars—a man, the Black Balloon editors write, “who defied convention at every turn.”