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Bookhabit announces Unpublished Competition Winner

Bookhabit announces Unpublished Competition Winner

Wellington, New Zealand, 25 June 2008 is pleased to announce the winner of the inaugural Bookhabit Unpublished Competition is Matt Fullerty’s book The Pride and the Sorrow. The international competition received nearly 300 unpublished books from authors vying for the $5000 prize. Fullerty is “thrilled” with the recognition and potential that winning the competition represents.

The Pride and the Sorrow is the story of Paul Morphy (1837-1884), born in New Orleans as a chess prodigy, his famous journey through Europe and his ultimate downfall on and off the chessboard. He is celebrated in fashionable European society, honoured by Napoleon III of France and Queen Victoria of England and returns to New Orleans a local celebrity, only to find Civil War looming, a storm brewing in his family and his own mind coming apart...

The book captures the romanticism of New Orleans and demonstrates the regeneration cycle and unique heart of the city, as prevalent historically as it is now.

Geoff Cush, a member of the judging panel, said "There were some fine pieces of storytelling among the finalists, and some characters it was interesting and enjoyable to spend time with.  I would particularly recommend NOAH and I DIDN'T KNOW I WASN'T BLACK to Bookhabit readers.  What made Matt Fullerty's writing stand out, from the very first sentence, was an unusually strong and individual way with words.  Taking us into the vanished world of old America and Europe he uses a highly textured language to give an almost physical experience of being in that place and time.  Drawing subtle lines between a society top-heavy with leisure and the profligate genius it produced in Morphy, he holds back the historical and personal reckoning while letting it gather and brood like the storm that finally washes away New Orleans.  In my view this makes THE PRIDE AND THE SORROW a stand-out all rounder in the craft of literary fiction."

Fullerty was born in England and educated at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University (BA, English) and the University of East Anglia (MA, Creative Writing). He was recently awarded a PhD in English from The George Washington University, Washington, DC. The Pride and the Sorrow is his first novel. He is now writing The Murderess and the Hangman.

The first chapter is available for download on and the full ebook is available for purchase. is an online community connecting authors and readers. Bookhabit enables authors to post works online free of charge, in an online library of works available to readers all over the world. The site includes fiction, non-fiction, and plays and scripts, and can potentially include any publishable work. Bookhabit readers can sample a book, with a free first chapter, before they buy.

The Bookhabit Unpublished Competition was open to unpublished books of any genre, with a 50,000 word minimum.  The first round consisted of 10 weeks, with the weekly top 5 voted books, plus a wildcard, going through to the second round. In the second round the 60 books were ranked by readers to determine their 10 favourite books.  Round 3 was judged by a panel – Geoff Cush, Susan Fogarty, and Clare Tanner.

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