The Writers Voice Contest

Here is my entry to an agent run writing contest called… ta-da!… “The Writers Voice Contest”, which, by some strange coincidence, is exactly what I titled this post!  All joking aside I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Monica B.W, Cupid, Brenda Drake, and Krista Van Dolzer for their parts in organizing this contest – please visit their blogs and peruse them at your leisure.  Monica is a lover of Young Adult literature, as well as an author of the same.  Cupid is a matchmaker, Brenda writes, and Krista understands the cycles of life – as well as literary submissions.

As for me?  Well, I’m an aspiring author of epic adult fantasy with a deeper, and perhaps darker undercurrent.  OK, who am I kidding?  I don’t really know what genre my writing truly is, what I do know is that I need help (some would say “restraints”, of the physical variety) – which is what is what I’m hoping for by entering this contest.  (Wait, do I want help or restraints?  It’s all so confusing…)

I’m feeling on top of the world right now!  You see, by purest chance, I managed to secure entry number 66 – which, in the context of Malmaxa, is extremely significant.  In Malmaxa the number six is called “The Number of the Gods” and is a powerful portend of both good and ill.  (Nope, it has nothing to do with the number of the beast…)

And so, on to the action!

The Query.

Envision a foreign, yet familiar world.  A world ruled by ritual devotion to six divine decrees – immutable laws, which offer no moral guidance, while demanding absolute compliance…

Liaju longs for her twelfth marks, arcane symbols etched into her flesh – by command of the second of these strange laws.  These mystic marks grant access to Malmaxa, and her first match.  Troubling dreams plague Liaju – visions… unveiling the precipice the Seizen, her people, approach.  Yet Liaju’s dreams also reveal an obscure, hidden path of possible escape.

Only Liaju holds escape’s elusive key, as incomprehensible as it is frightening…  Self-Sacrifice.  Must she relinquish all, to secure the Seizen’s survival?

Eden, a mischievous child, succumbs to temptation and leads her cousin astray.  Their road leads through terror, then death, and on to ultimate understanding.  Trickery reveals treachery, for Eden’s misdeed exposes a monstrous murder.

Within Malmaxa are no kings or queens, no machines, no pre-determined social hierarchy, and no laws allowed – other than those of the Gods themselves.  Is this anarchy unleashed, or paradise’s picture?

Envision Malmaxa, then step inside and experience a world at once astonishingly different, and disturbingly familiar.  Join me on this journey, and experience… enlightenment?

Malmaxa I – Beltamar’s War, is the start of journey unlike anything you have yet experienced.  Weighing in at a meager 135,000 odd words (and yes, I do mean very odd) I can promise, with absolute sincerity, that you have never read anything quite like Malmaxa.  Whether good or bad, I leave you to be the judge.

The first 250 words of the Manuscript.

Assigned as sentry when Ripkira called the noon halt, Adelmar was in a foul mood.  With winter’s imminent arrival, and their Ancient Enemy suddenly departing the field of battle, his dreams were dashed – and doubly so.

Dreams of glory, gone – for there could be no heroes, without conflict.

Dreams of vengeance, vanished – along with the groth, and the elusive chance for revenge each battle brought.

The only other survivors from his town were Lucinda and Beltamar.  Many times had they dodged death together, seen comrades slain, gathered the Chukrah of the fallen for the Rite of Return.  He smiled ruefully.  They were staunch brothers in arms now, seldom parted for long.

How he longed to bear Beltamar’s Chukrah to the hoard.  Battle after battle he fought with all the tenacity he possessed, struggling to survive and succeeding, albeit barely.  After each conflict, he dared hope.  Yet always, his searching eyes found Beltamar.


By petitioning against him at the Convocation, Beltamar had earned his hatred.  Petitioning, and prevailing.  Jalgar, that stone-faced bastard, had ignored the scribes – all of whom had termed his petition ‘exemplary’, obviously favoring it over Beltamar’s.  Lip curling in scorn, he recalled their lackluster approval of Beltamar’s petition – damned with the faint praise of being merely ‘qualified’.

In every way had his petition surpassed those of all others, and there had been many.  Jalgar had listened to the scribes exalting him, in the reserved manner of their class. ….

About C.G.Ayling

Born and raised in a country of five names, a citizen of the world. A thorny old man.
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71 Responses to The Writers Voice Contest

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      And to you as well Adam, I do fear we need it :). There is some compelling stuff – the standards are amazingly high!

  1. Hi C.G., I’m stopping by from the Writer’s Voice Contest to wish you the best of luck! Nice to meet you.

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      Stella has a good friend in you, Matthew – and I think she knows it. Thanks for stopping by, come back sometime and read a little, pull up a chair, and relax…

  2. Amalia T. says:

    Hooray! Another Adult Fantasy Writer!! We need to stick together 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind words on my blog — and good luck to you, as well!!

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      🙂 we seem to be in the minority Amalia. I can’t wait to see your book in print, and I have no doubt it will be there soon. I love your writing, which makes me sad – how can I be so conflicted? Love your writing, hate your competition :).

    • Amalia T. says:

      Haha. I understand!! I’ve been feeling that way about a lot of entries in this contest, too!

      I hope we both make it!

  3. Jamie Grey says:

    I love this opening – it raises a lot of questions and makes me want to read more to figure out what’s going on!

    Good luck with the contest!

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      Thank you Jamie. By the way there is a 17,000 word sample available right here on the website – just click on [Book Sample] up in the picker at the top of the page and bam!, you’re deeper in Malmaxa that you imagined you would ever be. 🙂

  4. Well done, and best of luck! It’s fun!

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      Sorry for the delayed response, been out of computer range since last night. Thank you Linda, and good luck, I’ve already visted your blog and liked what I saw.

  5. Eric Steinberg says:

    Sounds like fun, I’ll have to check out the longer sample. Good luck to you.

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      Thank you Eric, in all honesty I must admit that I don’t think Malmaxa is a really a “fun” book. Though I do try to keep the subject light, and try even harder to never guide a reader to a viewpoint, the subject matter is a tad on the heavy side. I’d love your opinions though.

  6. K.L. Layton says:

    Sounds interesting! Thank you so much for your kind words. Best of luck!

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      Kind words? NO! no, no no! they were words of pure fear :).

      I always try and become friends with the greats… wish I had the energy to post on everyones blog, but I simply refuse to post unless I take the time to read first. Jokes aside, I loved your writing.

  7. Becca C. says:

    Great entry! Good luck in the contest!

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      I found you Becca! Love your entry – hope you don’t take my “nastigram” seriously :).

  8. Yu Chen says:

    What a nice post. It makes me feel like a jerk for not even thanking the organizers in my post.
    And what did you do to the query? I love it.

  9. Oh, and I see you’re a magical realism gal as well! My favourite always!! : )

    • Yu Chen says:

      CGAyling is not a girl.
      Unless you are talking to me, Linda. Because I am a gal.
      I checked out your blog. Why is everybody’s blog so fab? Sigh. I need to work on mine.

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      Hi Linda, I take that as a compliment, but Yu is correct – I’m an old married man with four chiluns… and a great granddaughter named Eden. Eden just turned two, and even writing her name brings a smile.

  10. Good Luck from #199!

  11. SC Author says:

    I came over from the contest to wish good luck. I love all the world building info that you already researched! Your world is intruiging, and lawless premise has the potential to ask exciting questions about modern life. I love those types of stories 🙂 Good luck!

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      Ever feel we must be deranged to be writers? I often do. Thanks for your post SC – you managed to nail a few of the things that are important to me about Malmaxa. Btw I tried to post on your blog – your premise is also very interesting as it raises a question about “accepted morality” – something else important to me. Perhaps my comment is in the moderation queue?

  12. Alex Hayman says:

    Sounds very cool. Good luck!

  13. Jacky, UK says:

    Hmmm, what is it with numbers. George Martin is all about the 7’s, you’re all about the 6’s and add you two together and you get me (Imy claim to fame is that I was 13 on Friday the 13th).
    I’m loving your style, ideas and voice and can’t wait for you to get it out there – will defo be sneakin’ a peek @ your extract, please feel free to do the same of mine (it’s on the website).
    Thanks for your kind comments Sir.

  14. Hong says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Good luck with your entry!

  15. Oooo interesting stuff!! Good luck ;o)

  16. Best of luck, C.G.! 🙂

  17. Lisa K. says:

    From just your query alone it sounds as if the world you’ve created is beautifully drawn. Plus I was so happy to find another adult fiction entry amid all the YA! Best of luck to you in the contest.

  18. Wow! I love this! Good luck!

  19. ferris says:

    good luck with the contest, and the great grandbaby!!

  20. Dani Nau says:

    This sounds amazing! I love your writing, especially at the end when you talk about his lips curling in scorn. That really brought me in and I wanted to read more! I love fantasy novels, and I think this one is going to be very exciting. This world you have created sounds astounding and I would love to read more and see what happens! Good luck in the contest!

  21. Tessa says:

    Very intriguing!!

    Good luck,
    Tessa #183

  22. Anne Pfeffer says:

    CG — good luck with your exciting adventure story… and stay away from deep water!
    Anne #102

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      I don’t mind deep water, and even snorkeling – there is just no way I’ll ever don a scuba tank again :).

  23. Tina says:

    You aren’t kidding when you say epic! Your voice is very powerful, and I think you set the tone for your story in the beginning.

    Good luck!

    Tina (#194)

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      Thank you, Tina. I’m feeling a little light headed from the praise – now what can I do to remember this moment of glory?… 🙂

  24. Sarah says:

    I love a great fantasy story and this one sounds epic! Lots of twists and turns. Good luck!

    -Sarah #146

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      Thank you, Sarah. It might interest you to know that there is a character named Sarah in Malmaxa – she is Liaju’s twelfth mother.

  25. I don’t know why I jumped in on the gal thing so quick. That’s terrible!
    You sound wonderful and so does your entry. Wishing you the best of luck again!
    We have a terrific community here! Thanks for popping by, again! You’re very kind! : )

  26. Aldrea Alien says:

    Another Adult Fantasy. Just when I thought I was going to drown in a sea of YA.
    Nice word length, suitable for an epic. And I trust, with a title like Malmaxa I, that there’s several more of similar length waiting in the wings. ^_^
    I can top the length though. ^_~ I’ve a Science Fantasy that’s pushing 187k. That’s doorstop territory.
    [edited by C.G.Ayling to correct an invalid URL]

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      🙂 Malmaxa II – The Pilgrimage is through its second edit already. It is 145k words, with not a single rehashed element. Since that is one of the things about epics that I dislike – authors rehashing the same stuff over and over – I completely avoided it, making the decision that people must read the first book to have any hope of really enjoying the second. I may be taken to task for that if I ever land an agent or publisher, but that is so far from likely I’m not worrying about it.

  27. Rin says:

    Ooh, I agree! Adult fantasy’s something I regularly read, so happy to see one here! Best of luck! 🙂

  28. I love epic fantasy! Your plot summary is intriguing and hey, how about those sixes…maybe it’s a good omen 🙂 Best of luck to you!

  29. Robyn says:

    Thanks for stopping by! So glad you enjoyed my post 🙂

    Love your voice- best of luck to you

  30. Sylva Kelegian says:

    Thanks for your message…..good luck to you! Very compelling, interesting story!

  31. SueJay says:

    I love your MC’s contempt for Beltamar. Very nicely done in such a short amount of space.

  32. Jenn says:

    Haha, you are too funny. Your sense of humor alone makes me want to read your stuff, and then add to it your premise and well, you’ve got a good thing going. Best of luck! 🙂

  33. Oh, this sounds right up my alley! Good luck!

  34. Amy Kinzer says:

    Best of luck to you. Looks the first 250 words are off to a great start.

  35. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog 🙂

    Love how everything you write – even the blog posts – are dripping with voice! Best of luck in the contest!

  36. RaeChell says:

    It seems like you have a very good grasp of what your genre is. 🙂 Good luck1

  37. Very interesting concept, C.G.! It sounds like you have a vivid, boundless imagination and an apetite for creating epic fantasy worlds. And you’re right, Malmaxa definitely sounds like one heck of an experience!

    It may also be more than coincidence that you ended up with an entry number that has significance to your story. I too, was hoping for that: entry #151 – BUT I’m just glad that I was able to get in! Thanks for your encouraging note on my blog and I hope you get the most out of this contest!

    PS: Here’s a blog post that may be helpful to you when it comes down to positioning and selling your work to an agent (the other posts also have a wealth of insight):


    John Krissilas

  38. Jani says:

    This sounds wonderfully complex. Good luck!

  39. Jess L. says:

    Ooo, nice voice! Sounds like a cool story 🙂 Best of luck in the contest!

  40. Best of luck!
    Carolyn, #157

  41. j smith says:

    nice! i’m not a fantasy reader, but must say, i’m intrigued! best of luck to you!

    • j smith says:

      ok, wow. sorry for the duplicates. i *really* wanted you to know JUST how intrigued i was.

    • C.G. Ayling says:

      No problem at all – that is what editing is for… 🙂 “we have the technology…”

  42. Jennie says:

    I love adult fantasy – and we don’t see enough of it. Love your voice in this! Good luck!

  43. Donelle Lacy says:

    This is definitely epic fantasy! Good luck on the contest! (#99)

  44. Kimberly says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. This sounds great. I love fantasy.

    Good luck!

  45. Issy says:

    I’m not a heavy fantasy reader, but this is right up one of my friend’s alley– I’ll have to point him to this! Good luck in the contest!

  46. Very intriguing world and concept! I like the description of Jalgar, “that stone-faced bastard.” Good luck to you as the contest continues! Thank you for stopping by my blog as well! WVC #28

  47. Very intriguing world and concept. I like the description of Jalgar, “that stone-faced bastard.” Good luck to you as the contest continues. Thank you for stopping by my blog as well! WVC #28

  48. Leslie says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’ve enjoyed reading the few adult entries in this contest. We are in the minority. 🙂 Love your story idea.


  49. Gianna says:

    Hey! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I don’t normally read much adult fiction but this looks great! You are a deft writer and use fantastic verbiage! Great job and good luck to you 🙂

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