Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hello, it's James Kennedy. I'm the author of the YA fantasy The Order of Odd-Fish. This is my first post round these parts, but by no means my last.

So far on YA-Tribe we've seen some great posts and discussions about the future of publishing, the challenges of publicity, and technical aspects of writing. But the casual reader of this blog might think, "What do these writers do when they're not on the job?"

For me, the answer is simple. I spend my time entering contests that I have only a thousand-to-one shot of winning. It brings me back to "my roots," i.e., sending out dozens of query letters and getting rejected by almost one hundred agents (until one finally bit). That is to say: I feel most at home with the long shot.

So, what's the contest?

Chicago's amazing Museum of Science and Industry is holding a contest to find someone to live in their museum—for someone to eat, sleep, and breathe nothing but science and industry for thirty days. Seriously! From their website:

We're looking for someone to take on a once-in-a-lifetime assignment: spend a Month at the Museum, to live and breathe science 24/7 for 30 days. From October 20 to November 18, 2010, this person's mission will be to experience all the fun and education that fits in this historic 14-acre building, living here and reporting your experience to the outside world. There will be plenty of time to explore the Museum and its exhibits after hours, with access to rarely seen nooks and crannies of this 77-year-old institution.

Here's the digs you'd be sleeping in:

Further requirements: "sleeping in confined or 'untraditional' spaces" (ooh, do we get to sleep on the U-505 submarine? the lunar lander?) To apply, you have to fill out a detailed questionnaire, write a 500-word essay about why you want to do this . . .

And most fun of all, make a one-minute video explaining why you should be chosen. My video is at the top of the post.

Semifinalists will be notified by August 25 -- that is, tomorrow. If I haven't heard from the Museum people by then, I'll let you know. If I have heard from the Museum people (and I haven't been sworn to secrecy) of course I'll let you know that too.

If I get this, it will be the most spectacular excuse for procrastinating writing my next novel EVER.


  1. As long as the position carries no responsibility for public safety...

  2. I'll stick with jet-skiing and swimming in the shark-infested waters of the Cape, but good luck with this! I like your spirit of adventure and wackiness.

  3. Oh well, maybe the Whitney has a room with a view?