The Modern Dickens Project is back as part of the Des Moines Social Club. After successfully releasing its first novel in 2011, The Devil is Done Sinning (available in paperback or eBook from Amazon and Barnes and Noble online), the Modern Dickens team has retooled and is re-launching in 2013 as an element of the Des Moines Social Club’s expanding program offering. The first chapter, Defining Darrell: Wounded written by 2011 The Modern Dickens Project author Chad Cox, was released in early December. Contestants are challenged to write and submit the second chapter for the 2013 novel through the Des Moines Social Club website before midnight on January 21st.

“Like the Des Moines Social Club, The Modern Dickens Project writing contest expands the range of artistic opportunities for undiscovered authors,” says The Modern Dickens Project co-founder and 2012 Des Moines Social Club board president Chris Draper. “Our first novel proves that this unconventional format can work. Our goal for 2013 is to start making it the go-to vehicle for aspiring authors.”

The Modern Dickens Project is a serial novel writing contest. The contest kicks off every December with a new chapter by a published author. By the 21st of each month, contestants submit entries for the next chapter of that year’s novel. On the 1st of each month, the winning entry is posted after light editing and the contest to win the next chapter starts again. The last publicly competed chapter will be submitted on August 21st. The final, ten-chapter novel will be available in time for the holidays.

“We have shortened and realigned the contest so it works better with our community,” comments Draper. “By releasing our opening chapter in December, we hope many people who are just coming off of NaNoWriMo will see the opportunity to showcase elements of their latest work.”

“It was an honor to write the first chapter,” says Chad Cox. “The opening chapter establishes a framework for submitting authors without handcuffing them to any specific characters or plot details. In the spirit of the project this novel, and its main character, will truly be defined by the community.”

“We are excited about the potential for the Modern Dickens Project to spark a wide range of new artistic endeavors, allowing local artists to take this community novel and turn it into micro-theater, plays, or visual art,” says Draper. “The Des Moines Social Club is about providing opportunities, which is why we are excited to bring The Modern Dickens Project under its roof.”

Read the first chapter Defining Darrell: Wounded written by Chad Cox.

Learn more at desmoinessocialclub.org/programming/modern-dickens-project. Follow The Modern Dickens Project on Facebook.