In a time of collapsing morals, economic hardships,
and assaults on the environment … people are giving up.

But there is one who has hope!

The Contest

In a bold maneuver, a billionaire proposes the most daring social experiment of all time: a sort of political and cultural Olympics. The resulting global media frenzy christens it “The Contest.”

Some see the effort as a beacon of salvation; others are threatened by the disruptive forces that are unleashed. As the competition reaches its final round, the conflict between heavy-handed greed and enlightened creativity results in an explosive climax.

About the Author

Ben Easton, a former math teacher, now works as a software trainer and a freelance writer. When he’s not on the keyboard, he can be found playing golf with his friends, discussing politics and metaphysics with anybody who can stand it, noodling on his guitar, or watching Netflix with a pint of Häagen-Dazs close at hand. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Ben is presently working on his next novel: The Church of the Open Sky. Stay tuned …

Award Winner

THE CONTEST wins the 2018 Nautilus Silver Award for Fiction (Small Press). The Nautilus Book Awards are committed to showcasing better books for a better world, identifying and presenting works that inspire hope, wisdom, and joy to the broadest audience possible.

Reviews of The Contest

“... the tale is big and ambitious—like the contest itself. An imaginative debut with memorable characters and a pleasant dose of idealism.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“... I was impressed with the global scope of the book and the author's ability to create a narrative that spans everything from board rooms in New York to favelas in Brazil, to the future of Kazakhstan, to the one-child policy in China … I found Minerva's determination to include children on the Contest teams truly inspirational … Well done!”
— Elizabeth C. Yerxa
"Enjoyed this novel from page one. Great characters and well thought out subjects. Won this novel in a giveaway on Kirkus Reviews and was not obligated to write a review, but wanted to make sure other readers could meet this new author. Can't wait for Easton's next book. Thanks for the autographed copy!"
— J.A. Proctor
"Easton has written an enjoyable, thought-provoking and engaging novel. What captured my imagination, even more than the story itself, is the radical suggestion that he brings to light. There is a grand 'What if?' at the core of the novel that deserves consideration."
— Nicholas Keene
"I found this novel intriguing, with many interesting characters and a unique plot ... It had just the right amount of intrigue, dialogue, and discussion of global issues. Anyone who enjoys a mystery without psychoses, gore, and incomprehensible plot twists should read this highly entertaining novel.”
— Jackie King
"Here is a story about high-level philanthropy and global politics, but children are thrown into the mix. What?!! Once I got 20 or 30 pages in, I couldn’t put it down. The vivid descriptions brought the characters to life for me, especially the Brazilians. I found myself imagining the story could actually unfold in our very near future. The dialogue is intelligent and natural. My favorite thing about this book is the spiritual mission lurking just below the surface. The Contest is hopeful!"
— John Dodds
“… Easton writes with authentic flair - mixing fact with fiction - making you hopeful that The Contest is just one billionaire away from becoming real … Loved this book. Be a great movie too.”
— Richard Formato
"The Contest travelled to Turkey and back to Texas with me over the summer as I read with great enjoyment this optimistic tale of philanthropist Minerva Bennett and her novel approach to solving society's most vexing problems. I found the story to be creative and the characters engaging. It made me think about all the ills of the world and what we might do to truly accomplish any meaningful change."
— CowboyMom
"Mr. Easton does a wonderful job of keeping a fun story, engrossing characters, and an unshakeable faith in humanity together … I highly recommend this book.”
— James M. Black
"This is great storytelling … the concept is wonderful, and I would love to see it come to fruition in reality ... I would love to see the winning manifesto put into practice."
— Jeffrey P. Phillips

Want to contact Ben?