Apple-Obsessed Author Fella

Revenge Of The Awkward Author Photo Contest

At the end of last summer, I ran an awkward author photo contest.

Which is to say, I asked people to submit authorial photos of themselves that were, in a word, completely terrible. Truth is, most author photos are somewhere between fine to great. A novelist smoldering with intellectual possibility! A crime author at a fake crime scene! A sci-fi author looking up at the stars! A literary author staring off at the middle-distance and haunted by literary things! Pierce Brown just being super handsome! (Seriously, I met him this past weekend at Phoenix Comic-Con and it’s like, dude, you need to ugly it up a little. Handsome? And talented? And charming? Hint-hint, that guy better be a serial killer or he’s just too good to exist. We’re watching you, Pierce Brown. We are watching you.)

But then sometimes you get this guy:

(That’s last year’s winner, by the way — it’s not a real author photo.)

In fact, you can check out last year’s entire submission photoset here. I mean, holy shit. Lady with a chicken! Dude in a wolf hat! A lion eating dinosaurs! What the fuck is happening!

I loved the contest so much, it’s time to do it again.

SO, here’s the rules:

Submit to me the most awkward author photo you can conjure of yourself.

This must be a photo of you. Not someone else. You must also own the rights to the photo.

Send this photo to me at terribleminds at gmail dot com with subject header:


And send it to me by [EDIT: 6/23], at noon EST (meaning, you get two weeks).

Photoshop or other manipulation is okay, but not necessary.

You get one entry per person. Multiple entries disqualifies you automatically.

Winners will be determined by your voting (a roughly week-long process).


All three winners get:

That is the Secret to Writing mug.

(You have to be in the United States to win and receive the mug — though international can win it provided you’re willing to pay for the shipping.)

But as they say, WAIT, THERE’S MORE.

First prize winner (the one with the most votes) also gets:



I will kill you in the fifth and penultimate Miriam Black book (tentatively titled The Raptor & The Wren) in some creative manner. Miriam always sees death — since it is her gift to behold how people are going to die by touching them — and you will creatively perish in the book. (And yes, I’m totally stealing this idea from Kevin Hearne.)

Second prize winner will get (in addition to the mug):

My writing e-book bundle — eight books, y’all, $20 value.

Third prize winner gets:


I mean, except the mug.

But c’mon, it’s still a mug.


So, that’s it.

That’s the deal.

Get your photos lined up. Go big. Go awkward. Be as terrible or weird or what-the-fuck as you can. Play with the expected tropes of having an author photo — or don’t! YOU DO YOU. And we’ll vote.