Alum wins Amazon writing contest to get novel published

first_imgFor Notre Dame alumnus Jim King, a long-awaited dream came true last May when he received an unexpected call from Amazon on a train ride into New York City. King, a member of the Class of 1977, was one of three finalists for the second annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, an international competition seeking the “next popular novel.” He would later be selected as the grand prize winner out of more than 6,500 manuscript entries.“I got a call one day from a guy from Amazon and he told me that I was one of three finalists,” King said. “Of course I just wanted to scream because I [have been] trying to get a novel published ever since I graduated from Notre Dame in 1977.”As the winner of the competition, King landed a $25,000 publishing contract with The Viking Press to publish his novel, “Bill Warrington’s Last Chance.” The novel is due for release in August.“The total number of manuscripts was around 6,500 and I had entered the contest almost on a lark,” King said. “I almost forgot about it because I didn’t think I stood a chance to win.”The panel that reviewed the top three manuscripts included “Secret Life of Bees” author Sue Monk Kidd, “Alphabet Mystery Series” author Sue Grafton, literary agent Barney Karpfinger and Penguin Press Vice President and Editor-in-Chief Eamon Dolan.King’s novel is the story of a man, Bill Warrington, who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, although King never explicitly mentions the disease in the book. Warrington is trying to reconnect with his three adult children who want nothing to do with him.“The main character was inspired by a neighbor of mine who had lost his wife shortly before I met him,” King said. “Over the years the house he built with his own hands was falling apart around him.”In the novel, Warrington decides the only way to bring his family back together is to kidnap his 15-year-old granddaughter April, who dreams of becoming a rock star. The two of them take off across America. Warrington forces his children to come together and talk to one another in order to locate April and him.“The book is about a man trying to bring the family together before it’s too late,” King said. The novel took King about a year and a half to write. He began writing the novel in a masters program he had entered after nearly 30 years of being away from school.“I found out about [the contest] on an agent’s blog and decided to investigate it and found out I was a day or two from missing the deadline,” King said. “I put together a pitch, description and manuscript and sent it in.” “Bill Warrington’s Last Chance” was already complete when King spotted the contest. King had previously written two novels that were not published. Winning the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award was truly King’s “first chance.”“I majored in American Studies. [Professor] Elizabeth Christman, who recently passed away, really encouraged me. She was confident that one day, I would have a novel published,” King said. King is currently a freelance corporate writer but hopes his breakthrough novel will lead him into a career of fiction writing.“I’ve already started on another novel, and I’m hoping this is beginning of a different kind of writing career,” he said. King tells aspiring writers getting published may take awhile, but the key to success is just to keep trying.“It helps to be a stubborn Irishman — which I am. It may take you awhile but keep writing, keep submitting, and don’t give up on the dream.”last_img read more

Hull City fans to protest at match against Premier League champions

first_imgA group of Hull fans have announced plans for more protests against the club’s owners, starting at the Premier League opener against Leicester next week.Hull are currently without a manager after Steve Bruce left on July 22 following a breakdown in his relationship with owners the Allams.And the East Yorkshire outfit – while being hit by several serious injuries – have failed to add to their first-team squad since winning promotion back to the top flight via the Championship play-offs in May.They have been up for sale since 2014 after the Football Association turned down chairman Assem Allam’s request to a change of name to Hull Tigers, and the club announced just prior to Bruce’s departure that takeover talks had been shelved for this summer.Some supporters took part in protests against the chairman towards the end of last term, holding up red cards in the stands.And ahead of the lunchtime home clash with champions Leicester on August 13 – the match that kicks off the new Premier League season – a statement from the Hull City Supporters’ Trust said: “No communication, no manager, no engagement, no signings, no identity, no concessions, no honesty.“The list goes on. You don’t need us to tell you what a state Hull City is in at the moment.“The owners are digging their heels in more than ever, discarding people at an alarming rate and pushing ahead with all of their ill-considered ideas with their usual arrogance and complete lack of interest in the damaging effects they will have.“A lot of people have been talking about protests in recent weeks, particularly since the departure of Steve Bruce. It’s clear that the desire to protest against the way that the club is being run by the Allams is stronger than ever before.“So let’s cut to the chase; it’s happening again. We will be organising and coordinating protests over the coming weeks, starting with our season-opening home game against Leicester.“This game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, with a large TV audience expected. We’ve been approached by Leicester City’s Foxes Trust asking how they can help us, so we look forward to welcoming them and involving them in things.“We have had success in the past with our peaceful red card protest, which took place at the end of last season. Expanding upon this idea will form a part of the protest.“We will be distributing cards to supporters outside the ground again, but they’ll be slightly different to last time.“Cards alone are not enough though, so we’ll be organising additional protests, but we’d like to keep some of this as a surprise for maximum impact, so forgive us for not sharing all of the details just yet.”On Tuesday the Football Association of Wales announced it had turned down an approach to speak to national team boss Chris Coleman from Hull, who are also being linked with ex-Watford and West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola.Tuesday also saw Hull fly to Austria for pre-season friendlies against Caykur Rizespor and Torino, with former Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan in caretaker charge. 1 Hull fans have been protesting at pre-season matches last_img read more


first_imgA well-known Donegal doctor has slammed two Senators who are calling for a ban on e-cigarettes in the workplace.e-cigarettes must be better than the real thing!Senator John Crown (Independent) and Senator Averil Power (Fianna Fáil) are introducing a Bill to ban e-cigarettes from the workplace.However Carndonagh GP, Dr John Madden has said there is no proven research to show that they are dangerous to anyone’s health. In a rather tongue-in-cheek letter to the Irish Times, Dr Madden said there could be as much danger in handling paper – but that has not been proven yet either!“I am surprised at this knee-jerk reaction to what is probably the most invaluable aid yet developed to helping people stop smoking. And all on the basis that their long-term effects cannot yet be shown to be safe.“I have just researched the long-term safety aspects involved in handling sheets of paper. As of this time there is no evidence that this practice involves no untoward side-effects. It is for this reason that I am sending you this missive via email rather than letter. Just to be sure,” he writes.DONEGAL DOCTOR SLAMS BILL CALLING FOR BAN ON E-CIGARETTES was last modified: February 5th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:banCarndonaghdonegalDR JOHN MADDENELECTRONIC CIGARETTESlast_img read more