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  • Writer's picturehelenryghpedersen

SPFBO 8 - Waking Ursa Minor

So....I did a thing.

On the 14th May 2022 the doors to SPFBO 8 opened at 2pm GMT+1.....and I entered Waking Ursa Minor into it!!!

Now what is SPFBO I hear you ask. Well, that is a very good question.

SPFBO stands for the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off and it is a competition run by traditionally published grim dark fantasy legend Mark Lawrence to celebrate self published fantasy books. 300 books are entered and split amongst 10 judges (or groups of judges) who are all book reviewers, bloggers, youtubers etc. The first stage takes about 5 months and by the end of that the judges should have whittled out a finalist from amongst their pile. That finalist goes into a pool of 10 which all the judges then have to read and rate to give a winner.

What does the winner get? Well... a selfie stick, so while it is not the most lucrative of competitions, its not about that. It's about finding new hidden fantasy gems that you might not otherwise have known about. Its about supporting and bringing together indie authors.

I watched last year's contest with avid detail as I knew it was something I wanted to enter and my goodness was SPFBO 7's final a close one!

But even though I had got absolutely everything ready...the internet in my entire valley didn't seem to be working that day. I was watching the clock with increasing panic as 2pm drew nearer and there was still nothing, no wifi, no 4g, no signal for SMS...nothing.

As a last ditched attempt I decided to try the internet at my work, and praise the self publishing gods it worked! So with pounding heart I was able to enter this year's competition on time, and a good job too!

In the first 9 minutes 106 people had entered, after two and a half hours over 240 had entered and all 300 places were filled within 9 hours. A new record!!!

The competition starts on June the 1st, but if you want to know more about the competition please check out Mark Lawrence's blog here, or join the SPFBO facebook group where the judges post links to their reviews and most of the action really happens if you want to watch the competition in real time as it were.

There are some amazing books in this year's line up so I am just happy to be in the competition for a bit more publicity and to find so awesome new indie fantasy reads.

I will keep you updated of any developments.

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