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Fifty warped stories about sex and love by twenty up and coming writers in one amazing volume.
Fifty warped stories about sex and love by twenty up and coming writers in one amazing volume.
69 backers pledged AU$ 1,804 to help bring this project to life.

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50 Shades of Awkward

AU$ 1,804

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We’re talking inappropriate.
We’re talking so bad it's good.
We’re talking ‘oh-my-god-my-eyes-can’t-unread-that.’

The University of Queensland Writers’ Club presents: 50 Shades of Awkward.

Meet the sewer worker that helps clean a lost man’s pipes. Shudder at the Sea Captain with an unhealthy obsession for Octopus. Laugh at heaving bosoms and throbbing love members… but then wash your hands afterwards, because it all feels just a little bit wrong.

                                                            ***

So tell me about this book.

Remember when you had a fantasy about that thing and would be totally embarrassed if anyone found out?
Remember how you've always wondered what it would be like?
Remember how you got caught in the bedroom when you were 13 and your mother had to have the talk with you?

This book is a reminder of those times.

50 Shades of Awkward is a collective effort by the UQ Writers' Club to write a book of short, awkward, love stories. These are stories that on purpose will make the reader cringe - through either content, characters, or purposely bad writing.

This book is not erotica, but is about love and sex. It is suggestive but is not graphic. Think ‘heat-seeking love missile’ as opposed to ‘hard rigid penis’ (can we say that on Kickstarter? I guess we'll find out). 

Some tales are light and funny, others are dark and disturbing. Some touch on love like a whimsical fairy might alight on a delicate petal. Others treat sex like a sledgehammer pounds jelly. Each author brings their own unique talents, writing style and direction to the vision that this book has become.

"50 Shades of Awkward is…awkward, but also funny, quirky, original, sexy, and wicked. I dare you to dip in!" 
   - Anna Campbell, bestselling author

Featuring: Sea men! Prostitutes! Really hairy people! Daleks (Ejaculate! Ejaculate! Exterminate your clothing)! Demons! Mothers (or is that the same thing)? Alleyways! Affairs in the library! Best friends! Best enemies! An itch downstairs, and more!

Awkward disclaimer: You should probably be an adult to read these stories. Although it may seem like a good idea at the time to buy this for someone in elementary school, their parents probably won't get the joke. And they will probably not appreciate having to give their kid the talk... five years early.

                                                              ***

Do you guys have pre-released content?

Regular books just give you one story. Can you believe it? Talk about crap value for money. In this book, you'll get fifty cringetastic stories! Want a sneak peek at what you're in for? Check out four stories right here absolutely free!

  • In The Shade of a Close Encounter, a UFO enthusiast gets probed in all the wrong places when he gets a close encounter of the very awkward kind. Featuring throat tentacles!
  • In The Shade of a Tunnel, a lonely sewer worker finds more than she bargains for under the city streets. Things get all hot and steamy as she cleans pipes and releases pressure!
  • In Fifty Shades of Yo Mama, our heroine wakes in a bed of rose petals, sour cream and melted cheese to find a re-enactment of losing her virginity has gone horribly wrong. This one is based on a true story. Yep.
  • In The Shade of White Bodily Fluid, a curious young man discovers himself while alone in the bathroom. “And there it was, staring back at him from the mirror. It was beautiful. It was giant. It was deep crimson.”  It's not what you think.

There’s 46 more stories just like this in our book 50 Shades of Awkward. They can’t all be bad… or can they?

                                                            ***

What is the UQ Writers' Club?

UQ Writers' Club is affiliated with The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia (whether they want it or not). We're a collection of students and occasional randoms who have banded together through love of literature to support each other and create a fun and engaging environment where everyone is welcome. We edit each other's work, we get guest speakers, we go to writing festivals. You know, cool stuff like that.

                                                            ***

How was this project started?

The idea for this book was born during a writing marathon. We set ourselves the task of writing a really awkward love story. We had so much fun doing it (and the results were so hilarious) that we decided to try and make it a full blown project. We're all budding writers; some of us have been published, but for most of us 50 Shades of Awkward will be our first venture into the world of authorship!

                                                            ***

What will the Kickstarter fund go towards?

Most of the funds will go towards printing, binding, and posting the first edition of the 50 Shades of Awkward paperbacks. Anything left over will go towards club-related activities such as sponsoring members for entry to writing festivals, writing workshops, and for guest authors to talk to us. Through these activities, we hope to inspire a new generation of creative writers. It's money for a good cause and an even better laugh!

                                                            ***

What Kickstarter Exclusive Deals can I score?

As a thank you for all your support on this project, we're offering the chance to score a series of deals Exclusive to Kickstarter:

  • Being listed as a backer in our cat stroking video  
  • Your name immortalised forever in our book as a backer.  
  • Bragging rights by supporting a book 'before it was cool'  
  • Your book signed by all every single author  
  • Your manuscript edited and critiqued by UQ Writers' Club authors  
  • Having the names of your choice written into custom printed versions of the book as characters in various stories!
Limited edition Kickstarter cover art
Limited edition Kickstarter cover art
 

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge we've had with this project has already been met - have you ever tried to get 20 writers to stick to a deadline? It's like herding cats!

We're 90% of the way through writing stories (just finishing up a couple of last chapters) and about 50% of the way through the editing process. So you can be very confident that you'll actually get a book out of this if you back it, and not just an empty box delivered to your doorstop with one of those surprise springy snake things inside.

Thanks for reading! We have put answers to specific questions we think you might want to know in the FAQ below; if you want to know anything else, please don't hesitate to ask (we promise we'll answer no matter how awkward the question).

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1 or more About US$ 0.68

    STROKE IT. As thanks for your pledge we will make a YouTube video of us all stroking a cat while thinking of you!

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    Pledge AU$ 5 or more About US$ 3

    LOOK AT IT. So you want more than a cute cat video made in your honour, do you? Well how about the cat video PLUS your name in the back of our book? That’s right, we’ll list you on a special backer thank you page, there for your bragging rights forever (or at least until your mother throws your book out in disgust when she finds it in your underwear drawer)

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    Pledge AU$ 10 or more About US$ 7

    IT’S GONE SOFT. Everything above, PLUS a DRM-free digital download of 50 Shades of Awkward. Trust us, it’s the best (and worst) decision you’ll ever make!

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    Pledge AU$ 25 or more About US$ 17

    GET BOUND. The paperback version of 50 Shades of Awkward, plus the ‘stroke it’, ‘look at it’ and 'it’s gone soft’ packages. It'll be the best romp between sheets (of paper) you'll ever have. We swear baby!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 40 or more About US$ 27

    GET BLACKMAILED. The paperback edition of 50 Shades of Awkward signed by all 20 authors. With so many writers working on this book you've got a better than average chance that one day, one of us will be famous. When we are, a signature on a book like this will be our own personal 'One night in Paris'. That is - we'll be ashamed of it. Because that's what Paris feels about her video, right? Includes the ‘stroke it’, ‘look at it’ and 'it’s gone soft’ packages. Hey - there's more parallels to her video here than we thought!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 150 or more About US$ 102

    HAVE OTHERS WATCH. Are you a fellow writer? Want honest feedback about your work before you submit to a publisher? Three writers will each critique the synopsis and first three chapters of your book, telling you what we like and more importantly, if there's anything you need to work on. We'll do it better than your friends (who will tell you what you want to hear) or a publisher (who may not respond to you at all). It's the cheapest manuscript assessment service you'll ever see, AND we'll check for grammar and the usual basic stuff as well. 20pp/15,000 word limit.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 250 or more About US$ 170

    GET DENOUNCED. We’ll print a special edition of the book with your name (or someone else's!) written into one of our stories as a major character. Be warned: you take your chances with what they’ll be doing! If you want to include a (fully clothed) photograph we can try to include physical characteristics if you wish as well. Reward includes a digital version of your book and two limited edition hardcover versions as well.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 500 or more About US$ 339

    GET LOVED. We’ll print a special edition of the book with the names of you and your partner written into EVERY STORY. Well, every story that we can, anyway. Like 99%. There are one or two where specific names are required to make the story work, but you get the idea; everything else. Reward includes a digital version of your book and two limited edition hardcover versions for you and that special someone, delivered in time for Valentine's Day. Seriously, how much is getting laid worth to you? Because this pledge is guaranteed* to make that happen (*not a guarantee).

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    Pledge AU$ 1,000 or more About US$ 678

    DO IT BY HAND. Each author will hand write their story and then sign it, before it is bound into a beautiful hardcover book with a custom cover. Reward also includes digital download and paperback versions of the book.

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Funding period

- (25 days)