Scholarship Guidelines

2007 Backspace Writers Conference Scholarship Guidelines

Thanks to an extremely generous anonymous donor, two full-tuition scholarships to the 2007 Backspace Writers Conference will be awarded to writers whose work shows exceptional promise, and who have completed a novel and are actively seeking an agent to represent their work.

Tuition scholarships cover the conference registration fee, travel expenses to and from New York City, and hotel accommodations (May 30 - June 1).*

Applications must be received between January 15 and March 1, 2007. Winners will be notified by April 15, 2007.

Applications will be accepted via email only, and should include the following:


1. A copy of your query letter and one-page synopsis (synopses may be single or double-spaced)

2. A detailed list of publishing credits (if applicable)

3. The first three chapters of your novel (maximum 10,000 words), formatted according to the guidelines below. If your novel opens with a prologue, the prologue should be included

4. A 400-word essay explaining how you hope to benefit from the conference

Manuscript submission guidelines:

• Submissions will be read blind. Please make sure that your name does not appear on your materials except in your cover email.

• Manuscript pages should be in standard format, double-spaced with 12 pt. font (Courier or Times Roman) and margins of at least 1.25"

• Materials (400-word essay, publishing credits, query letter, synopsis, and sample pages) should be compiled into a single file named "tuition scholarship-title of book." Email the file as an attachment (.doc or .rtf extension) to:

Materials will be acknowledged by email receipt. There will be no additional correspondence except with scholarship winners.

Applications received outside the application window (January 15 - March 1, 2007) cannot be considered.

Award determinations will be based on both the writing sample and the personal essay. Winners will be asked to submit a picture and bio for the conference program and website. Judges’ decisions are final. Please refer questions to Karen Dionne (

* Each scholarship will include airfare for one round-trip coach ticket from anywhere in the continental United States to New York's LaGuardia Airport, three night's lodging for one at a hotel conveniently located to the conference hotel, and complete conference fees including one ticket to the banquet. The winners of the scholarship will be responsible for all other fees and expenses including meals other than the banquet, travel to and from the airport, and travel around the city.

Sleeping rooms for award recipients will not be booked at The Algonquin, but will be reserved at Backspace’s discretion at a nearby hotel. Cost of travel to and from New York City will be reimbursed once travel arrangements have been booked by scholarship winners. Award recipients may be asked to help out during the conference in minor ways that will not interfere unduly with their benefitting from the conference program.


Mark Bastable, Scholarship Chair

In 1977, London-born Mark Bastable dropped out of University to become a music journalist. This led him into book publishing as a copywriter and editor, before he discovered an interest in computing. He became a peripatetic nerd, travelling extensively in Europe and living for a while in Cambridge, Mass. He has been a columnist for both GQ and Esquire and has written for TV. Two novels have been published in the UK by Hodder, and Mark is working on a third at home in South London, where he lives with his American wife and three children.

Harry Hunsicker

A founding member of Backspace, novelist Harry Hunsicker writes a thriller series about a Dallas private investigator named Lee Henry Oswald. Hunsicker’s debut book, Still River (St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books, May 2005), was nominated for a Shamus Award for Best First Novel by The Private Eye Writers of America. Hunsicker is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the Private Eye Writers of America, the International Association of Crime Writers, and an original member of the International Thriller Writers. (photo copyright 2006 Martin Rogers)

Elizabeth Letts

Elizabeth Letts is the author of two novels, Quality of Care and Family Planning, and a children's book, The Butter Man (forthcoming, Charlesbridge, Spring 2008) Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, Philadelphia Magazine, The Delaware News-Journal, Women's Lifestyle Magazine, and XM Radio, and has been selected by The Literary Guild, The Doubleday Book Club, The Rhapsody Book Club, and The BooksaMillion Book Preview Club. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and children. She is currently working on her third novel.