The Great Novel Contest 2019: Shannon Ferretti — Finalist

Shannon Ferretti earned her spot as one of the top ten finalists in the Great Novel Contest 2019 for her exceptional manuscript, Earth 2.0.

The Great Novel Contest Returns on January 1, 2020! Get the details here.

Earth 2.0 centers on Kit, a girl who grew up in the City, Earth’s last civilization, surrounded by protective walls after the nuclear fallout from World War III. Believing in a future free of nuclear waste, Kit is willing to give up her life to the City so future generations can safely reclaim Earth and live outside the walls—until she discovers that the City is a lie. Now on the run from the society she grew up in, Kit must escape the City’s grasp and join the rebellion if she has any hope of learning the truth.

Shannon makes time to write “way too early” in the morning before working as a business systems analyst for library software. When she’s not at her day job or writing, you can find her wearing all black, avoiding small talk, spoiling her dogs, and reading in a cozy space filled with lit candles.

After skating through high school, Shannon attended Columbus State Community College and enrolled herself in every offered writing class while finishing her Associate of Arts degree.

She cites The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as a huge influence on her drive to write. “I read it over and over again during some dark times, and reading even just a few pages always distracted me and brought me away to another place,” she said. “I want to be able to give that back.”

She also looks to the Harry Potter series for inspiration and writing tips, specifically how “J.K. Rowling seamlessly weaves her plotlines and always keeps the story moving, with enough clues for the casual reader to stay with the story over thousands of pages.” For anyone trying to improve their craft, Shannon swears by Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

To keep herself motivated, she connects with fellow writers on Twitter through #WriteFightGIFClub. “They’re just the most supportive, enthusiastic group, full of cheesy inside jokes and well-timed GIFs. They’ve been there for me in times of doubt and kept me going.”

As for writing advice, Shannon knows that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. “Experiment with your writing process until you find one that works for you. Don’t force yourself to use someone else’s process and tell yourself you suck because it doesn’t work.”

Shannon discovered the Great Novel Contest 2019 through OWA’s email newsletter. She loved the idea of an Ohio-based contest, so she submitted the Earth 2.0 manuscript, which was “just sitting around on an extended rest” at the time.

She dreams of being published by one of the big publishing houses and spotting her name on the shelves at Barnes & Noble. To reach that goal, submitting Earth 2.0 felt like an easy choice. “I truly believe getting an acceptance is a numbers game,” she said. “The more you submit, the better odds you have, so submitting here [OWA] felt like a step along the path to publication.”

Keep an eye out for Shannon Ferretti and her novel, Earth 2.0.

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