My official announcement: I'm entering the November Novel-in-a-Month contest
You warn about cheating, but how can anyone cheat if you draw randomly from the entries? Surely, you will have a six-year-old from an orphanage draw the winning name out of a tumbling cylinder on a stage in front of thousands.
And accomplished authors can enter (by your own rules), even those with best-seller status. If you truly draw randomly, even Stephen King et al. would have no advantage over anyone else.
Does the novel's first draft need to be completed by Nov. 30? With your random drawing, anyone need only type "the end" and profess that the first draft is in fact completed. Thus, Nov. 30 anyone working on a novel is a full fledged applicant.
Hey, I realize this is a recruiting gimmick, but, considering my above comments, why not simply toss the names of all the Red Room membership in along with those of all the new applicants?
PS. Must we wait till the morning of Nov. 1st to begin typing? Will we be subjected to lie-detector testing on this point?