Every reader wishes for it at least once. They want to kiss Mr. Darcy or high-five Robinson Crusoe. They want to attend a class at Hogwarts or float upside-down in zero gravity with Ender. They want their favorite stories to be real.
So for Charlotte Kinder, the protagonist of Midnight in Austenland—the sequel to Shannon Hale’s bestselling and soon-to-be-silver-screen-gracing Austenland—Pembrook Park is a dream come true. Even though the grand estate is nothing but actors and props, guests who book a room there can spend their vacations pretending to live in the world of their favorite Jane Austen novels. Charlotte is planning on enjoying every minute of her Pembrook adventure . . . when things start turning dark. A sinister man, a mysterious ailment, and a body in the attic make Charlotte question whether someone at Pembrook is playing a dastardly double role.
But, whatever! Who wouldn’t risk a little danger for a chance to live in their favorite story? Maybe Charlotte was asking for it. After all, Northanger Abbey isn’t exactly the most relaxing Austen read.
Your challenge, in 2,000 or fewer words, is to write a story in which the fictional world and the real world collide. Maybe a fictional character comes to life, or a “real person” gets sucked into a fictional world. It’s up to you!
How to Enter
1. Read the full rules here.
2. Create an account on Figment.com.
3. Start a new writing. Your entry must be 2,000 words or fewer.
4. Tag that writing with austenlandcontest on the Details tab.
5. Press “Publish Now.”
6. You should receive a pop-up confirmation of your entry, and in about two hours or so, your piece should appear among the submissions.
You have until February 13, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST to post and tag your story. Voting will run until February 20, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST, at which point the 10 most-hearted entries will be sent to Shannon Hale, who will choose the three winning entries! First place will win copies of Austenland and Midnight in Austenland in addition to a “Jane is my Homegirl” t-shirt. Second place will win copies of Austenland and Midnight in Austenland in addition to an “I Love Jane” pin. Third place will win copies of Austenland and Midnight in Austenland.
Click here to see the finalists.