Top Ten Finalist Announced in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest

Your votes have been tallied and the top ten short stories have been chosen in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest. Without further ado…

The Top Ten stories listed alphabetically by author are:

  • No 54 – Sophy and the Armada, by K. Ann Adams
  • No 56 – The Love Letter, by Brenna Aubrey
  • No 25 – The Marrying of Margaret, by Tracie Banister
  • No 78 – Assuming: A Tale of Persuasion, by Hannah Cowan
  • No 23 – Carpe Diem, by Jane Greensmith
  • No 85 – Mary Bennett Falls Head Over Heels, by Jenni James
  • No 70 – The Lost Portrait of Jane Austen, by Miranda Liasson
  • No 31 – Attempting Elizabeth, by Jessica Melendez
  • No 04 – Spinning White Hair Gold, by Megan Snider
  • No 16 – Mr. Collins Last Supper, by Shannon Winslow

Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest 2011 graphicSelected from 88 entries, these top ten stories represent the voting public’s choice of their favorite stories in the short story competition that ended on February 28, 2011. The top ten finalist will advance to the next round in the competition. Myself and my editor will choose the Grand Prize winner among them and they will be included in the new short story anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do it, to be released on 11 October 2011 by Ballantine Books. The balance of the stories are still available to read online at the story contest board.

A big thank you to Myretta Robens of The Republic of Pemberley for hosting and facilitating the contest, and congratulations to all of the short story entrants for an incredible selection of Austen-inspired stories – and to our top ten finalist – best of luck!

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

Jane Austen Made Me Do It is available for pre-order from major online retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon and your favorite local brick and mortar bookstore. It will also be available in eBook format.

© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

It’s Not Too Late to Enter The Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest

Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest 2011 graphicAspiring Jane Austen fan fiction writers take heed.

The Jane Austen Short Story Contest is accepting manuscripts until February 13th, 2011. You can read the full details of the contest, including the rules for submission, at the official contest website hosted at The Republic of Pemberley. We have ten stories entered so far that can be read online. Voting for the top ten stories begins on February 14th, 2011. The lucky winner will have their story included in the new Jane Austen inspired short story anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It, to be published by Ballantine Books on October 11, 2011. Good luck to all!

© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Announcing the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest

Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest 2011 graphicThe Jane Austen Made Me Do It

Short Story Contest Begins

January 1, 2011

In conjunction with the publication of the new anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It, Ballantine Books, Austenprose.com, and The Republic of Pemberley are pleased to announce an online short story contest.  Enter for a chance to win the Grand Prize: publication of your entry in the anthology – a collection of original short stories inspired by the life and works of popular English novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817).  Hosted by the Jane Austen web site The Republic of Pemberley, the contest begins on January 1, 2011. Publication of Jane Austen Made Me Do It is tentatively scheduled for publication by Ballantine in Fall 2011.

Contest Highlights

  • Eligibility: Previously unpublished U.S. residents over the age of 18
  • Entries must be approximately 5,000 words in length
  • Manuscript submission January 1 – February 13, 2011
  • Voting for the Top Ten finalists February 14 – 28, 2011
  • Top Ten finalists announced on March 1, 2011
  • One Grand Prize winner receives $500.00 and a contract for publication in the anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It
  • Grand Prize winner announced Fall 2011 in conjunction with the official release by Ballantine Books (Random House, Inc.) of Jane Austen Made Me Do It

Jane Austen Made Me Do It contains more than twenty best-selling and popular authors who have contributed short stories inspired by Jane Austen, her novels and her philosophies of life and love. From historical continuations of her plots and characters to contemporary spinoffs and comedies, the stories encapsulate what we love about our favorite author: romance, social satire and witty humor. Contributing to the line-up are best-selling authors Karen Joy Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club), Adriana Trigiani (Brava, Valentine), Lauren Willig (The Pink Carnation series), Laurie Viera Rigler (The Jane Austen Addict series), Syrie James (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen), Stephanie Barron (Being A Jane Austen Mystery series), and the husband and wife writing team of Frank Delaney (Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show) and Diane Meier (The Season of Second Chances). Many Austenesque authors and others from related genres have also contributed stories to the project. One spot in the anthology remains open for the lucky Grand Prize winner.

The anthology’s editor, Laurel Ann Nattress of Austenprose.com, is very excited at the prospect of discovering the next star in the burgeoning sub-genre of Jane Austen sequels and inspired books. “Jane Austen has been inspiring writers for close to two hundred years. It seems quite fitting that she should be the witty muse of our anthology and short story contest. Encouraging writing and discovering new talent is in spirit with her true legacy. I am ‘all anticipation’ of what will develop, and am honored to be part of the selection team.”

Visit the official Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest web page for official contest rules and eligibility requirements.  Best of luck to all entrants.

“[S]uppose as much as you chuse; give a loose to your fancy, indulge your imagination in every possible flight which the subject will afford.” Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 60

New Jane Austen Short Story Anthology Announced Today

Hot off the presses is an announcement today in Publishers Weekly of a new Jane Austen short story anthology to be published by Random House in 2011. The collection will include approximately twenty stories inspired by Jane Austen, literature’s witty muse of the modern novel and astute observer of human nature and the heart.

Readers familiar with Austen inspired paraliterature will recognize many popular authors among the list of those contributing and a few surprises from best selling authors who greatly admire Austen’s works. Contributing to the line-up are best selling authors Karen Joy Fowler (Jane Austen Book Club), Stephanie Barron (A Jane Austen Mystery Series), Adriana Trigiani (Brava, Valentine), Lauren Willig (The Pink Carnation Series) and the husband and wife writing team of Frank Delaney (Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show) and Diane Meier (The Season of Second Chances). Approximately twenty Austenesque authors and others from related genres have already committed to the project including:

Pamela Aidan (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Trilogy)

Elizabeth Aston (Mr. Darcy’s Daughters, & Writing Jane Austen)

Stephanie Barron (A Jane Austen Mystery Series, & The White Garden)

Carrie Bebris (Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries Series)

Diana Birchall (Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma, & Mrs. Elton in America)

Frank Delaney (Shannon, Tipperary, & Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show)

Monica Fairview (The Darcy Cousins, & The Other Mr. Darcy)

Karen Joy Fowler (Jane Austen Book Club, & Wits End)

Amanda Grange (Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, & Mr. Darcy’s Diary)

Syrie James (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, & The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte)

Diane Meier (The Season of Second Chances)

Janet Mullany (Bespelling Jane Austen, & Rules of Gentility)

Jane Odiwe (Lydia Bennet’s Story, & Willoughby’s Return)

Beth Pattillo (Jane Austen Ruined My Life, & Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart)

Alexandra Potter (Me & Mr. Darcy, & The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather: A Novel)

Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino Bradway (Lady Vernon & Her Daughter)

Myretta Robens (Pemberley.com , Just Say Yes, & Once Upon a Sofa)

Maya Slater (The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy)

Margaret C. Sullivan (AustenBlog.com, & The Jane Austen Handbook)

Adriana Trigiani (Brava Valentine, Very Valentine, & Lucia, Lucia)

Laurie Viera Rigler (Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, & Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict)

Lauren Willig (The Pink Carnation Series)

In addition, a short story contest hosted by the venerable The Republic of Pemberley website will be held to fill one slot in the anthology for a new voice in Austenesque fiction. Further details on submission and manuscript deadlines will be posted here and at Pemberley.com.

And if you were wondering how I know so much about the project, I have been secretly working on it for months and will be the editor. I’m the luckiest Janeite in the world!

Cheers, Laurel Ann

© 2007-2010 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Jane Austen Illustrators: The Republic of Pemberley

 Image of Lyme Park, Cheshire, by Nan, Republic of Pemberley

 ACCOMPLISHED

“Oh! certainly,” cried his faithful assistant, “no one can be really esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with. A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved.”

“All this she must possess,” added Darcy, “and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”

“I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder now at your knowing any.” Caroline Bingley, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 8

Image of The Republic of Pemberley logoOne of the most popular Jane Austen websites on the Internet has been The Republic of Pemberley, where Janeites can find a “haven in a world programmed to misunderstand obsession with things Austen.”

For over ten years we have enjoyed the delights of joining with other Jane Austen enthusiasts and authorities in civil discourse on a myriad of Austen topics ranging from Jane Austen’s life and times, her novels and, –  if Mr. Darcy is truly a snob or just shy! It is a wonderful respite for discussion, an incredible resource of information, and a delight to our sensations with beautiful images; – all logically organized, civilly moderated, and beautifully presented by the talented Republic of Pemberley volunteer committee.

Image of the garden gate at Luckington Court in Wiltshire by Nan, Republic of PemberleyWhen the committee decided that it was time for a re-design of the site in 2003, they did not have to look far to find a talented and qualified artist within their ranks. The beautiful drawings of stately homes and Regency images enhancing the site are credited to committee member Nan, who holds a BFA, from the venerable Parsons School of Design in New York City, and a MA, from New York University, ITP at Tisch School of the Arts.

Re-designing a large website such a Pemberley is a huge project, and the images were very important to relay the theme Image of St. Nicholas Church, Steveton, Hampshire, by Nan, The Republic of Pemberleyand tone that the committee had in mind. Nan explained “I was free to choose whatever I thought worked best, but the process was unusually collaborative. The whole committee made suggestions, did research, shared ideas and then I made the final choices about images.” This joint intellectual endeavor exemplifies the civil atmosphere of Pemberley which is somewhat unique. “Just like the running of the site itself, the whole committee was involved in the project. We did indeed have a theme, which we jokingly called the “gestalt”. Initially, we wanted to use only images of Regency architecture to convey the essence of a topic, but it didn’t always translate, particularly with the auxiliary pages at Pemberley. It was easy enough to select structures for the actual discussion boards, but pages like “Recommended Reading”, “Chat” and “Milestones” forced us to branch out into Regency furniture.

Image of Chawton Cottage, Chawton, Hampshire, by Nan, The Republic of Pemberley

Nan’s inspiration came from her early admiration of Jane Austen’s writing that started in her junior year of High School. “For the most part her craftsmanship feels effortless, like she sat down to write a friendly letter and something brilliant flowed out of its own accord. Of course, I’m sure it was anything but effortless, yet her work gives the appearance of it. I’m very jealous of that kind of cleverness.”

Image of Barnsley Park in Gloucestershire, by Nan, The Republic of Pemberley

The theme of architectural images of the stately homes and public building from the movie locations of the Jane Austen adaptations, and common Regency objects that Jane Austen may have encountered in her life emerged. “While it took several months for us to finalize the look and feel, theme, images, etc., the physical drawings were finished quickly. It’s hard to quantify because I’d often work on several at once, moving from one drawing to another when I got bored. Once in a while I would finish one in a single setting and that would take no more than 3 or 4 hours.” That is amazing. Only three to four hours to complete such miniature jewels!

Image of Montacute House in Somerset, by Nan, The Republic of Pemberley“The Pemberley drawings were done entirely in various types of pencil: woodless, HB & 2B graphite, and plain old school-grade #2 pencils. The color washes were done later in Photoshop, my very favorite piece of software. It was really wonderful to spend time drawing for a change. I love it, but have no time. All those years in art classes and practicality has forced me to into an all-consuming job where I use almost none of those skills. It’s a shame, really.” We agree!

Nan has her own favorite images; the lantern from the search page, the interior of a gentleman’s library table filled with books, a globe and small statuary from the library board and the oriel window at Montacute House in Somerset that served as Cleveland, home of the Palmers in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. My particular favorite is the stunning image of the dome of the Music Room at the Royal Pavilion at Brighton. Her choice of vantage point of the dome accentuates the Moorish architecture with its sweeping circular lines and intricate detailed windows perfectly. 

Image of The Royal Pavillion, Brighton, by Nan, The Republic of PemberleyIn retrospect Nan admits that she “really liked that everything is so unified. It appeals to my sense of order to have the entire site be consistent in look and feel. I’m at the boards multiple times per day, every day so I almost don’t notice the headers anymore. However, once in a while I’ll stop and click on a board header (particularly Virtual Views or the Library) and think, “How did I do that?

Indeed Nan! We are all amazement also, and are delighted at how well it turned out! Thank you for your thoughts on the project and for enhancing our enjoyment of Jane Austen and her world. 

* Images ©The Republic of Pemberley.

PBS to Connect Jane Austen Community

Illustration by Miroot Puttapipat, “Boxhill Picnic”, Emma, Chapter 44CONNECTION 

I congratulate you, my dear Harriet, with all my heart. This is an attachment which a woman may well feel pride in creating. This is a connection which offers nothing but good. It will give you every thing that you want — consideration, independence, a proper home — it will fix you in the centre of all your real friends, close to Hartfield and to me, and confirm our intimacy for ever. This, Harriet, is an alliance which can never raise a blush in either of us.” Emma Woodhouse, Emma, Chapter 9 

In Jane Austen’s 18th-century society, personal alliances fueled the social strata, connecting families in marriage, and in business. And so it continues today, as PBS reaches out to the Jane Austen community to promote its upcoming series The Complete Jane Austen, through its online guest blogger project Remotely Connected.

Eight Austen enthusiasts and authorities from the online community have been invited to write about each of the upcoming Jane Austen adaptations and a new biography being presented by Masterpiece Classic, beginning Sunday, January 13th with Persuasion, and concluding in April with Sense & Sensibility.

Uniting these eight unique Austen resources brings together a talented and diverse group of Janeites, who have created the most informative and lively web sites and blogs on the internet to honor and discuss their favorite author. Here is a list of the accomplished writers in order of their contribution to Remotely Connected, and their online entities.

Image of Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot, PBS presentation of Persuasion (2008)Victoire Sanborn (Ms. Place) of Jane Austen’s World: This blog brings Jane Austen and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th-century historical details. Enjoy thoroughly researched and enlightening posts about everything from netting a reticule to Jane Austen’s timeless insights. Her other blog Jane Austen Today explores how we see Jane Austen today through movies, print, sequels, web sites and modern day media. The talented and knowledgeable Ms. Place will be writing about Persuasion, which airs on Sunday, January 13, at 9:00 pm.

Image of Felicity Jones s Catherine Morland, Persuasion (2007)Heather Laurence of Solitary Elegance: This web site is a collection of educational and research resources relating to Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen’s often overlooked and underrated work. It also prominently features a beautiful collection of watercolor illustrations from all of Jane Austen’s novels by the renowned artist, C.E. Brock. Heather also shares her unique sense of humor, Jane Austen passions, and family exploits on her clever Gimletblog, (more fun than a poke in the eye with a stick). The accomplished and elegant Heather will be writing about her favorite novel, Northanger Abbey, which airs on Sunday, January 20, at 9:00 pm.

Image of Billie Pier as Fanny Price, Mansfield Park (2007)Lori Smith of Jane Austen Quote of the Day: This blog features daily wit and inspiration from Austen through quotes from her novels and letters, with such gems as “I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible” and “Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief.”. Lori is a freelance writer and recent author of the lovely and favorably reviewed book, A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love and Faith. You can read the latest news about its release on her other blog, Following Austen. Lori’s sensitive and patience nature will serve her well when she writes about Mansfield Park, which airs on Sunday, January 27, at 9:00 pm.

Image of Olivia Williams as Jane Austen, in Miss Austen Regrets, (2008)Laurel Ann Nattress of Austenprose: My blog is a daily celebration of the brilliance of Jane Austen’s writing, including passages and quotes from her novels and letters, and focusing on her ability to write of the society in 19th-century rural England with keen observation, irony and wit. Also featured are vintage and contemporary illustrations from her novels. I am a life-long Austen devotee who now augments my passion by introducing others to the delights of Miss Austen as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble. I also co-blog with Ms. Place at Jane Austen Today. I will be writing about the new biopic, Miss Austen Regrets, which airs on Sunday, February 3, at 9:00 pm.

Image of Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet, in Pride & Prejudice, (1995)Myretta Robens of The Republic of Pemberley: As the co-creator of the pre-eminent Jane Austen site on the web, Myretta has an acclaimed and established history as an authority of our authoress, and  online communities. Author of two Regency era novels, Just Say Yes, and Once Upon A Sofa, you can read further about her accomplishments at her web site: Myretta Robens, Regency Romance. Myretta will be writing about her favorite novel Pride & Prejudice (1995), staring Jennifer Ehle & Colin Firth, which airs on three consecutive Sundays, February 10, 17 & 24, at 9:00 pm

Image of Kate Beckinsale as Emma Woodhouse, in Emma, (1996)Jessica Emerson (Janefan) of Austen-tatious: A Jane Austen fan blog, “marked by, or fond of, conspicuous or vainglorious and sometimes pretentious display of all things related to Jane Austen“, that is always light, entertaining and filled with news and personal insights about movies, books, print media and news around the web concerning Jane Austen. Jessica is a professional writer in the communications industry and an avid reader. Visit her other blog, The Bookworms Hideout, for her perspective on current book publications and the classics. Jessica will be writing about the adaptation of Emma (1996), staring Kate Beckinsale & Mark Strong, which airs on Sunday, March 23, at 9:00 pm.

Image of Charity Wakefield as Marianne Dashwood, in Sense & Sensibility, (2008)Laurie Vera Rigler of A Great Deal of Conversation: The Blog & Forum: Calling all Austen addicts, be prepared to (almost) satisfy your obsession at Laurie’s beautiful web site and blog, featuring conversation (blog & forum), passions (links), many charming views (videos) and information about her latest book, The Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. Laurie is a freelance book editor who teaches writing workshops, and is a popular guest blogger. Her vibrant comedic style and high energy will serve her well when she writes about Sense & Sensibility, one of Austen’s most moving and humorous novels, airing on two consecutive Sundays, March 30 & April 6, at 9:00 pm.

Image of Hattie Morhan as Elinor Dashwood, in Sense & Sensibility, (2008)Margaret Sullivan (Mags) of AustenBlog: A compendium of news about Jane Austen in popular culture, because (as she should be) …”She’s everywhere.” Mags’ unique wit and waggish voice will keep you laughing and shaking your head at the foibles of the news media, writers and movie makers who attempt to interpret Austen in their ‘own’ light. Her recent book, The Jane Austen Handbook: A Simple Yet Elegant Guide to Her World, received high praise within the industry and Austen community. Her other online accomplishments include web sites Mollands and Tilneys and Trap-doors. Mags will be writing about Sense & Sensibility, airing on two consecutive Sundays, March 30 & April 6, at 9:00 pm.

I am sure that you will join me in congratulating each of these talented and devoted Janeites, visit their sites and blogs, and bookmark the PBS blog Remotely Connected to have your share of the conversation after each adaptation airs.

(Post Script) Did you notice that each of the ladies personalities match the heroine of the novel/adaptation that they are writing about? Hah! I did. Present writer excluded since saying I was like Jane Austen would, – – like be so totally fer sure not true babe,  – – as if!

*Illustration by Niroot Puttapipat, “Pardon me – but will you be limited as to number – only three at once”, page 336, Folio Society, London, (2007)

Jane Austen gifts & toys

Image of Jane Austen license plate

THIS IS GRATUITIOUS SELF PROMOTION

BUT I LOVE MY JANE AUSTEN TOYS

 

I wept the day I moved away from the state of California. My family thought that I was being sentimental, and rightly so. I had lived there all of my life. I was leaving friends, connections and fair weather. Reason enough to be sad. Truth-be-told, I had just learned that the state of Washington did not offer a heart character in their personalised license plates. I would not be able to re-create my favourite Jane Austen toy; – – my ‘heart’ JAUSTN license plate. Oh misery and woe, you are cruel companions!

My next shock was when I visited the state automobile registration office to apply for a new license. When the clerk coldly asked me to hand over my California plates, you never saw someone walk so decisively out of a government office. Total knee jerk reaction. I didn’t even realize what I had done until I hit the street. Phew! Only Lydia Bennet’s stealth elopement had more velocity.

I can’t tell you how I managed to keep them, because I like my freedom.

Image of the Pemberley ShoppeThere are so many ways that Janeites can celebrate our passion for our favourite authoress. The Republic of Pemberley has a wonderful selection of Austen inspired items at their Pemberley Shoppe. Recently my favourite item is the 2008 wall calendar entitled Aimable Rancor, featuring twelve months of inspiring Regency images and pert quotes by, – – you guessed it, – – Jane Austen. Image of Pemberley 2008 Aimable Rancor Wall CalenderPemberley’s items are so clever and beautifully designed that it is difficulty to decide which one to gift to a dear friend, or hoard for myself. Purchases are guilt free though, since the profits benefit a most deserving web site, The Republic of Pemberley.

What are your most amusing and or cherished Jane Austen items? Image of Peacock edition of Pride & Prejudice, published by George Allen, London (1894)Are you the lucky owner of the elusive Jane Austen bobble-head, or the highly collectible ‘peacock’ edition of Pride & Prejudice from 1894? Do you live in your Mrs. Darcy wanabe T-shirt? How many copies of the 1995 Pride & Prejudice have you gone through? Tell all.