The Dark Crystal was the scariest movie I remember watching as a kid. Well, that and maybe the Last Unicorn are probably tied for being most terrifying children's movie ever. Heck, I'm almost 40 and whatever these things are still scare the crap out of me.
But, if you're brave enough, and you're interested in writing a tie-in to The Dark Crystal, The Jim Henson Company and the Penguin Young readers Group have an open submission for you!
They're asking for proposals for the prequel to the movie. Submissions should be 7,500-10,000 words and the final book should be around 50k words. It's under a tie-in contract so the prize for the author will be a flat $10,000. It's not bad, but there are a few things to consider.
Just from skimming the rules, here's some main points. I advise you all to read the fine print.
1. The $10,000 is a one time payout. There are no royalties. This is pretty standard for tie-in novels.
2. You only need to submit a proposal. This is a big bonus. Most first time authors and many who already have a book out still submit on spec, which means they have to complete an entire manuscript before it goes on submission. Only established authors submit on proposal.
3. Here's the kicker (you knew there'd be one) and it's controversial. Whatever you submit will be their property. So if you submit a short story for this contest and don't win, Penguin Youth owns the story.
The last piece is a pretty nasty part of the contract. Everyone's mileage will vary whether they think it's acceptable or not. Personally, I wouldn't submit part of a novel or a quality short story I already had. Remember, after you submit to them, you can't submit that same piece anywhere else.
The contest starts Oct 1, 2013 until Dec 31, 2013. You can find out more about this contest here.
If you're participating, good luck!