This is the third year of The Sandy writing contest for unpublished writers and I noticed an interesting thing as the entries rolled in. While the contest has continued to grow averaging more than 36 % each year, the trend in each category genre has been surprising.
The second year, Mainstream grew 32% more than the contest overall growth of 39%, Romance remained fairly steady at 34% below overall contest, Fantasy/SF grew 39%, Thriller/Suspense was 8% below avg growth and Childrens/YA 4% below avg. The highest quality (the most number of high-scoring entries) genres were F/SF and Childrens—hands down.
This year (yr 3), Mainstream grew 35% above the contest growth of 33%, Romance popped up by 26%, but F/SF decreased by 45%, T/S rose by 21%, and C/YA was 13% below contest growth. The highest quality finalists were in Mainstream and C/YA.
2009, F/SF dropped significantly in both numbers and quality, and Mainstream continues it’s steep climb in both numbers and quality. C/YA remains relatively steady in quality and numbers. Romance and Thriller/Suspense are creeping up in numbers, but not so much in quality.
I wonder if this is a reflection of a sampling of what writers are choosing to write, of the popularity of the The Sandy spreading to more genres, or the number of available competing contests for unpublished authors in each of the 5 genres. Probably it’s a combination of the three.
In the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award—a world-wide writing contest for unpublished authors, the number breakdown of the top 500, by genre follows:
General Lit: 212, Fantasy/ SF: 88, Historical Fiction: 54, Mystery: 46, Suspense/Thriller: 78, Romance: 18, Western: 3 They too have FAR more mainstream quarterfinalists than an other genre. Interesting. Trend or no trend?
Somehow, my results seem skewed ‘cause romance sales typically account for 52% of paperback market, but . . . Could this be reflective of the beginning of waning popularity of F/SF and the rising of Mainstream? Has the world been saturated with Harry Potters and Twilights, and the new rising genre could be Mainstream?
What do you think?