Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off

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The Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO) is an annual literary contest intended to bring greater visibility to self-published English-language fantasy authors.

The SPFBO has been operated since 2015 by the author Mark Lawrence. He distributes about 300 novels submitted by the authors to ten fantasy bloggers to review. Each blogger selects a finalist, which is then reviewed by all ten bloggers. The winner is the finalist with the highest average review score.

The contest has been credited with making high-quality self-published novels discoverable, and with boosting the careers of the winners.[1][2] Though not the primary purpose, it has helped several authors find publishing contracts. These include Jonathan French, the 2016 winner, and Josiah Bancroft, whose book Senlin Ascends, despite losing out before the semi-final stage of the same competition, was reviewed so positively that it gained widespread attention in the fantasy community.[3]

Winners[edit]

Year Winner Title Score out of 10 Notes
2015 Mike McClung[4] The Thief Who Pulled On Trouble's Braids 8.00
2016 Jonathan French[5] The Grey Bastards 8.65 Commercially published by Crown in 2018, ISBN 9780525572442
2017 Rob J. Hayes[6] Where Loyalties Lie 8.10
2018 J. Zachary Pike [7] Orconomics 8.65

Finalists[edit]

2015[edit]

# Title Author Score out of 10
1 The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble's Braids Michael McClung 8.00
2 Blood Rush Ben Galley 7.75
3 The Weight of a Crown Tavish Kaeden 7.30
4 City of Burning Shadows Barbara J. Webb 7.15
5 Sins of a Sovereignty Plague Jack (Simon Watts) 7.15
6 What Remains of Heroes David Benhem 7.00
7 Shattered Sands W.G. Saraband 6.70
8 Under a Colder Sun Greg James 6.60
9 Priest Matthew Colville 6.30
10 A Soul for Trouble Crista McHugh 6.25

2016[edit]

# Title Author Score out of 10
1 The Grey Bastards Jonathan French 8.65
2 Path of Flames Phil Tucker 7.70
3 Paternus Dyrk Ashton 7.30
4 Fionn: Defence of Rath Bladhma Brian O'Sullivan 7.20
5 Larcout K.A. Krantz 6.70
6 Assassin's Charge Claire Frank 6.35
7 The Music Box Girl K.A. Stewart 6.30
8 The Moonlight War S.K.S. Perry 5.95
9 Outpost F.T. McKinstry 5.95
10 The Shadow Soul Kaitlyn Davis 5.10

2017[edit]

# Title Author Score out of 10
1 Where Loyalties Lie Rob J. Hayes 8.10
2 Sufficiently Advanced Magic Andrew Rowe 7.60
3 The Crimson Queen Alec Hutson 7.60
4 Devil's Night Dawning Damien Black 6.70
5 Jack Bloodfist: Fixer James Jakins 6.55
6 The Way Into Chaos Harry Connolly 6.45
7 The War of Undoing Alex Perry 6.30
8 Chaos Trims My Beard Brett Herman 6.00
9 Tiger Lily K. Bird Lincoln 5.45
10 Pilgrimage to Skara Jonathan S. Pembroke 4.35

2018[edit]

# Title Author Score out of 10
1 Orconomics J. Zachary Pike 8.65
2 Gods of Men Barbara Kloss 8.05
3 We Ride the Storm Devin Madson 8.05
4 Sworn to the Night Craig Shaefer 8.00
5 Symphony of the Wind Steven McKinnon 7.40
6 Aching God Mike Shel 6.90
7 Ruthless Magic Megan Crewe 6.35
8 Out of Nowhere Patrick LeClerc 5.50
9 The Anointed Keith Ward 5.10
10 Sowing Angie Grigaliunas 4.55

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cropley, Matthew (23 November 2017). "The Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off and the Evolution of Publishing". Grimdark Magazine. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  2. ^ Hughes, Laura M. "Self-Published Fantasy: How the SPFBO is Revitalising SFF". Fantasy Faction. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  3. ^ Holman, Curt. "Metro Atlanta fantasy author rides giant boars to mainstream book deal". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  4. ^ Lawrence, Mark (27 February 2016). "The Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off results!". Mark Lawrence. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  5. ^ Lawrence, Mark (27 April 2017). "The SPFBO final results". Mark Lawrence. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  6. ^ Lawrence, Mark (13 June 2018). "SPFBO 3, we have a winner!". Mark Lawrence. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  7. ^ Lawrence, Mark (25 May 2019). "SPFBO 4, we have a winner!". Mark Lawrence. Retrieved 13 June 2018.