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Saturday, 17 April 2010

Song Quest Cover Design Contest

As you all know, I want to get Song Quest by the wonderful Katherine Roberts back in print. First published in 1999 by Element and then in 2000 by Chicken House in the UK and in 2001 by Scholastic in the US.

Book trends change over time obviously. We are going through an explosion of all things paranormal right now. Not only do trends change over time but covers change also. Another of my favourite authors - Marcus Segdwick - is having his whole backlist updated with more commercial covers. He is published by Orion.

So what was in vogue ten years ago is pretty outdated now. Thus, I thought I should run a contest for you guys to design a new cover for Song Quest. I have of course checked that this is ok with Katherine and she thought it was a great idea and even agreed to choose the winning design. Hopefully, this will give potential publishers ideas for a fresh new look for the series and encourage them to reprint  them with a whole new audience in mind (i.e. my students).

Now I know that there will be very few entrants who will have read the book so I will add the blurb and Katherine's background to the series below to give you a flavour for the cover. You can also read my review which might generate some ideas. If you want any more details added, you can leave me a comment and I will  do my best.

To enter:
Design a new look cover for Song Quest. Please use a jpg. format.
Email me (thebookette @ googlemail.com) your entry with your name and a link to your blog
Open internationally
(You do NOT need to follow my blog to enter)
Closing date: 8th May 2010 Midnight GMT


The winner will be selected by Katherine and I will post all entries on my blog.

The prize (kindly donated by Katherine) is a signed hardback copy of Crystal Mark (second book in the Echorium Sequence). There will also be some goodies from me but I haven't decided what they will be yet. Check back to this post as I will update it.

Song Quest summary from the Katherine's website:

When a ship is wrecked on the Isle of Echoes, novice Singer Rialle hears the cries of the fish-tailed merlee, who are being hunted by the mainlanders. She is sent with a Singer delegation across the sea to the Karch, where she discovers her rival, the runaway Kherron, has been tricked by the Khizpriest into helping the enemy. Only by working together can the two young Singers rescue the merlee and return to the Echorium to break the power of the dark crystal.

The Echorium Sequence
Long ago, before human history began, the world was inhabited by beautiful creatures  - half human, half animal - who knew the secret of using the ancient  power of Song to control their  environment.  These Half Creatures lived in harmony with their human neighbours.

But the humans, impatient for progress, began to turn their back on the old ways. they made tools and built great towns and cities, ships to sail the seas, and wheels to travel the land. They made war on one another, destroying the very things they ahd built. The Half Creatures fled to the remote regions of the world - deep into forests, to the bottom of lakes, and far beneath the waves - taking their secrets with them.

Not all humans forgot the old Songs. Those who saw how destructive their way of life had become set out across the sea to find a haven. On an island of enchanted blue-stone, they built a school and taught their children the five ancient Songs of Power: Challa for healing, Kashe for laughter, Shi for sadness, Aushan for discipline, and Yehn for death.

News of the enchanted isle where people were healed by the power of Song quickly spead to the furthest corners of the world. The island became known as the Isle of Echoes, the school become the Echorium, and the people who lived there became the Singers.

The Singers made it their mission to restore harmony to the world. They dyed their hair blue to enchance the power of their Songs and added diplomatic skills to their lessons. Any youngster who voice could not manage the Songs was trained in self defence so they could help protect the Echorium. Singers negotitated treaties with the world's leaders and ensured these treaties were kept. When necessary, they sailed to the mainland to stop wars and put an end to cruelty. Their children were able to speak with the Half Creatures and became friends with them. But as the  fame and influence of the Singers grew, so did their human enemies.

Welcome to the world of the Singers!
© Katherine Roberts 1999
Good luck everyone and please just shout if you need anything else to inspire your design!

P.S. Please link this contest everywhere you can possibly think of! Tweets, links, posts: all very much appreciated.


LovesSam said...

Do you know what is really bizarre? When me and Jenny was in London we found an original copy of this in a second hand book shop!

The Book Bug said...

Oh yay! More about SOng Quest- I need to read that all ready. Whens my stop, again? :) Now, I would enter this, but unfortunately, I cannot draw to save my life, let alone design a cover.

Becky said...

Carla - I really hope someone sees that copy and buys it. I think it must be a sign from the book Gods.

Book Bug - You don't need to be able to draw. You can design it on the computer just like you would a button for your blog. You are stop 2 btw!

Lauren said...

What a great idea! I'm not exactly a design wizard but I'll give it a shot. I'll add a link in my sidebar. :)

Gregory @ Teens Read and Write said...

I'm not very good at the design stuff but I put the contest on our sidebar. Hope you are successful!

Nina said...

When I'm back tommorow I will put the link at my side bar!
I do like the cover of the US, 2001!

brizmus said...

Wow! I wish I could participate in this, but like Gregory, I am TERRIBLE at design stuff. I wouldn't even know where to begin. I'll be sure to link it around, though, and I'm looking forward to seeing some of the covers people come up with!

rachelhestondavis said...

This is a great idea to help reboot a book. I am so impressed. I wish I was a better designer but alas, I'll have to leave that to other minds. I am interested to see the finished product though!

I've never read this particular fantasy, but it has elements of so many wonderful classics. The idea of an island where people are schooled in magic that controls their environment reminds me strongly of EARTHSEA (or HP, for that matter), while the idea of song creating/controlling things hearkens back to THE SILMARILLION and old mythologies. (Songs and names are two of the most frequently-used themes in fantasy to give the protagonists power over other things). And of course the half-animal humans reminds me of Narnia, though these things can be found in many, many other tales.

Thanks for bringing this book to my attention.

Rachel Heston Davis
Up and Writing

dArLyN said...

I think I want to give a try.. =) Great contest =)