The Sobol Award
If you haven't heard of it, that's about to change. Arguably the hottest news event in the literary world, the Sobol Award, like other literary awards, will be given out to a bunch of different authors this year "“ the difference here being that unlike the Pulitzer Prize or the National Book Award, the winners of the Sobol Award will be unpublished novelists who will have coughed up $85 big ones (gasp) to enter a contest (double-gasp).
Part of the reason why this award/contest is being discussed all over the web right now is because the literary agency that is sponsoring it doesn't seem to have much of a track record. Many see this as a quick way for them to not only get a lot of attention, but also rake it in (some have estimated that the firm stands to net several million dollars, even after paying out the cash prizes -- top prize is $100,000).
Of course on the other side of the page is this: you probably spend more than $85 a month on your cable TV package, so why not take the chance and submit that novel you've had sitting on the shelf forever, even if it means missing a few episodes of Lost? Heck, I know people who spend more than $85 a month on lotto tickets!
So if you're interested in entering, or just plain old curious, contest information can be found at SobolAward.com. And for some of the nastier (yet funny!) responses to this contest, check out all the comments on MissSnark.com, a literary agent's website.