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We champion the weird, the unwieldy, and the unclassifiable.

ABOUT THE PRIZE

The Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize is awarded annually to a previously completed, unpublished and original fiction manuscript of over 50,000 words. The winning author receives $5,000 and a Black Balloon Publishing book deal. There is no reading fee.

Black Balloon Publishing will accept submissions for the 2014 Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize between October 1st and October 31st, 2014. We'll post a Submittable link at this page on the day submissions open.

HORATIO WHO?

Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson was a man who defied convention at every turn. A one-eyed, one-armed lunatic genius who never gave up, he began his military career fully intact, but eventually lost his right eye (Corsica, 1793) and his right arm (the Canary Islands, 1797) in battle. He refused to wear an eye patch over the wound and used it to deliberately ignore a direct order from a superior officer during the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, coining the phrase “turning a blind eye.” When egomaniac and noted short stack Napoleon attempted to use our beloved balloons for evil during the 1798 Battle of Aboukir with a “military balloon corps,” Nelson immediately destroyed the approaching objects, putting a permanent stop to the short-lived European militarization of these symbols of wonder. Our hero.

Like Nelson, we believe in relentless creativity and perseverance against all odds. Are you the next literary Horatio Nelson we're looking for?

PREVIOUS HORATIO NELSON FICTION PRIZE WINNERS

Mike Meginnins won the inaugural Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize in 2013 for his novel, Fat Man and Little Boy. Black Balloon will publish Mike’s ambitious and surreal debut in October 2014. Read an excerpt here.

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