First Chapter Contest

Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting.” The Rabbit

The controversy surrounding both the gallery show and the release of Wendy Liddell’s new book of photographs has brought this young photographer unprecedented attention. The mayor’s office released a statement reminding New Yorkers that no public funds were used in the mounting of this show. So how do you feel about the response to your work?

I really don’t know what to say (The artist’s voice was pleasant but slightly hoarse, as if she had smoked too many cigarettes or given too many interviews in too short a period of time). I’ve been accused of all sorts of bizarre things. It’s all been very confusing. On the editorial pages The New York Times is defending me on the basis of the First Amendment, but questioning the validity of my work on the arts page. People seem to forget that artists don’t, and can’t, control the way an audience responds to the images that he or she creates.

He or she . . . (The smooth voice of the interviewer broke in). Do you think we’d be having this conversation if you were a man? Are there double standards for men and women artists?

Somewhere between American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance lies a contest for novelists on It’s called the First Chapters Contest and the first, second and third chapters of novels are posted and voted on in elimination rounds. The grand prize is…. Drum roll… a publishing contract, so…

The first chapter of my friend Candy’s novel, Wendy and Alice, is up now and will be there for 14 days. If it survives the first round, the second chapter will go up, then the third. That’s when the professionals step in and start reading.

Wendy and Alice has been rejected by some of the best publishing houses in the country, but it has come very, very close to winning a contract several times. One publisher hung on to it for a full year before finally saying no. It’s been called too intelligent and too dark, but I think that editors who think it’s too anything are underestimating their readers.

Please follow the link to read, and vote. You’ll need to create an account. Once you read the chapter, click on the number of stars to vote.

Thanks for helping my friend out.