Bushel & Peck Books to Publish RC1 Writer(s)

Introducing RC1’s first ever Publisher Challenge: Middle Grade Legends

Yep, that’s right. RC1 has secured our first publishing partnership. Bushel & Peck Books is looking for a debut author from within the RC1 community to help fill their middle grade list. This means a guaranteed book deal is coming for at least one of our users. And if we can prove that our community can do this at a high level, it will be the first of many opportunities we create for each other.  

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PS – It’s FREE to participate

We make no bones about the fact that RC1 sustains itself through paid courses, live events, and members-only opportunities. But our mission is to create more access and opportunity for the next generation of authors regardless of where they are at financially. So, in support of all writers everywhere, this one’s on us. We hope you’ll catch the vision and decide to stick around.

Here’s more from Bushel & Peck:

(Pssst. Feel free to share this graphic.  ☝☝☝)

So… What’s the skinny on this whole Publisher Challenge thing?

The Middle Grade Legends Publisher Challenge is out to find character-driven fiction with middle grade protagonists for a debut book deal with Bushel & Peck Books. Your story can span any sub-genre from contemporary to fantasy and everything in between. What matters most is that you can demonstrate the following in your first five chapters:

  • An unforgettable main character
  • Strong narrative voice
  • An intriguing plot / story problem that keeps a reader hooked

Here’s a statement from the publisher about what they’d love to see: 

“Bushel & Peck is looking for stories to help our growing publishing house expand into the middle grade market. We’ve chosen “Middle Grade Legends” as the theme for this challenge because we are hoping to read character-driven stories with legendary middle grade protagonists. Your work can span any sub-genre from historical fiction to sci-fi. Our best advice is to craft unforgettable characters who bring unexpected solutions to unusual story problems. Wrap all of that in a theme that mirrors the joy and pain of having to grow up, and you’ll be putting your best foot forward.”

When / where does the challenge happen? 

Start polishing up those pages! We will officially launch the challenge on May 20, 2024 and will select a winner by the end of summer. The challenge will be held through Ready Chapter 1’s Peer Critique Forum, a feedback exchange for writers.

What is Ready Chapter 1 and what are you guys REALLY up to?

Like you, we’re a bunch of writers. We’ve got some out-of-the-box ideas to leverage tech-enabled tools (like the feedback forum where this challenge takes place) to discover new talent. And guess what? Publishers are taking notice. As we become more and more comfortable giving each other measurable, constructive feedback, we’ll become a go-to writing community that publishers trust to deliver market-ready stories. Everyone wins.

How will the winner be picked?

The editorial team at Bushel & Peck Books will review the finalists and has promised to choose at least one for a publishing offer.

Who picks the finalists?

We do! You and us. In the RC1 ecosystem, writers swap constructive feedback to help each other level up. To ensure everyone gets their stories reviewed, writers are required to give feedback before they receive it.
That feedback, aggregated and analyzed, plays into our finalist selection process. But it’s not just the Story Scores. We’re also looking at how you act as a professional within our community. (This means that anyone who ‘Christmas trees,’ doesn’t actually read, tries to sink a fellow writer’s score, or otherwise attempts to game the system will be disqualified and likely disinvited from the platform.)
To recap:In order to become a finalist, write an amazing story. Then, be an amazing critique partner to others.

How do I participate?

To be considered for this challenge, all you have to do is fill out an entry form with the details / pitch for your story, and then post your first five chapters along with your required critiques over the course of seven weeks.

What if I got bad scores and I want to post a revised chapter?

You absolutely can! (And it’s kind of the point of Ready Chapter 1.) You’ll need to create a new version of your chapter and not just edit the old one. We’ll take the highest scoring version of each chapter you post.

Will this be a six-figure deal with a Big 5 publisher and a billboard in Times Square?

Nope. It will, however, be a traditional publishing offer with an advance and royalties from a reputable and legitimate publishing house. We can’t promise it will be the biggest book deal of your career, but our entire community will treat you like a big deal.

But what if I don’t write middle grade?

All you need is an idea and five chapters. Even if you don’t typically write for this age group, why not give it a shot?

What if I’m already traditionally published as a middle grade author?

This challenge is designed to discover one or more authors who have not yet ‘made it’ as middle grade authors. If you’re J.K. Rowling, you don’t need this. But if you haven’t reached that level of success and want to participate, you’re welcome.

What if I have been traditionally published in a different category such as adult, YA, or picture books?

This challenge is open to you.

What if I have self-published books or worked with a hybrid publisher?

This challenge is open to you.

What if I have an agent?

This challenge is open to you. If an offer is made on your manuscript, you’ll need your agent to review it.

What kind of publishing contract will it be?

This opportunity with Bushel & Peck is for a traditional publishing contract, which is a licensing agreement to further develop, produce, and distribute your story as a printed book and beyond. The copyright will be in the author’s name. Subrights are to be negotiated. Additionally, any publishing offer made will be just that: an offer for the writer to accept or reject. If the writer has an agent, the agent will be involved from the time of the offer moving forward.

Any special rules for the feedback we give to other writers?

Our goal is that all feedback is helpful and actionable for the person receiving it. Qualifying reviews include something positive to encourage the writer as well as something they can work on. Please take two minutes to write something specific to each entry you review. Participants can be disqualified if their reviews don’t meet community standards.

Challenge Rules: 

  • One story per writer, five chapters. (You can post more, but only the first five chapters will be counted.) 
  • You must review other writers before you post each chapter. The system will tell you how many posts you need to review before posting your next chapter.
  • Please read each entry that you review fully and take the time necessary to write specific feedback for each entry. Anyone found trying to game the system, Christmas tree their answers, copy and paste the same review, etc, will be disinvited from future participation. (Basically, just be good to each other.)
  • You may edit something you’ve submitted, but it will not reset the scores.
  • If you’ve won a previous contest, great! You are welcome to use those pages for this challenge. 
  • If you’re having trouble, please ask questions in the Site Feedback category. We don’t expect everything to work perfectly on the first try, so thanks for being patient.
  • Unlike with short-term contests, this is a multi-week challenge. Your chapters will stay visible on the site unless you ask us to remove them.
  • RC1 NEVER asserts any ownership of your story. (We’re writers, too! We get it.) As part of our terms of service, we do ask that you allow us to publicize great writing and success stories, which may include a high-scoring chapter of your story.

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