Rewrite Victorian Vampires for Fun & Prizes

By Jason Boog Comment

To celebrate Mediabistro’s upcoming Media App Summit, we are hosting The World’s Longest Literary  Vampire Remix writing contest.

Follow this link to sign up for our new writing contest. With the help from writers around the country, we will rewrite Varney the Vampire–a bestselling vampire novel from the 19th Century filled with enough star-crossed romance, vampire action and purple prose to inspire another Twilight trilogy.

You will rewrite a small section from the book your own unique style (from poetry to Twitter updates to cartoons to imitations of your favorite writer). We will publish and distribute the final product as a free digital book through Smashwords (complete with Victorian-era illustrations) so it will be available at the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, the Diesel eBook Store, and others.

Intrigued? You can sign up at this link. Registration closes on Oct 8, 2012.

We will have two grand prizes for the writing contest.

One winner will receive a free pass to our Media App Summit, day-long conference in New York City that will include digital book lessons from publishing professionals like Lyle Underkoffler (Disney Publishing Worldwide vice president of digital media), Claudia Romanini (Barnes & Noble’s director of digital products & developer relations), and  Matthew Cavnar (Vook’s VP of business development). You can also learn about the world of self-publishing with experts from Wattpad, Voxie Media and the Copyright Clearance Center. See the complete program at this link.

Another writer will win a free Mediabistro course. You can choose among our many writing courses online, enjoying a class like these fall offerings: Personal Essay WritingChick Lit Writing, Nonfiction Master Writing Class, Advanced Young Adult Novel Writing or Memoir Writing.

Follow this link to download a free eBook copy of Varney the Vampire by Thomas Preskett Prest. Don’t worry about being scared, it’s pretty tame stuff from the 19th Century–but the wooden prose and confusing writing might give you nightmares!

In The Vampire in Nineteenth Century English Literature, literary scholar Carol A. Senf described Varney the Vampire like this: “Varney was written at breakneck speed for an unsophisticated literary audience that was apparently more interested in fast pace and galloping suspense than in coherence or subtle character development. It was, despite its aesthetic flaws, one of the most popular works of the age.”

In 2010, our readers remixed Horatio Alger’s Joe’s Luck for our first writing contest.

In our contest, you can turn a flowery Victorian soliloquy into a stark Cormac McCarthy scene; refurbish wooden dialogue with Virginia Woolf stream-of-consciousness style; or rewrite a dull description with technicolor Thomas Pynchon prose.

We were inspired by the Star Wars: Uncut project, an online remix that divided the Star Wars film into snippets and gave hundreds of filmmakers the chance to re-shoot one 15-second scene. Check out Reality Hunger: A Manifesto by David Shields for some provocative ideas about literature and remixing. You should also explore John Scalzi‘s reasons for rebooting a classic science fiction novel, Fuzzy Nation.