Where I used to live, there was an annual duck race every summer to raise funds for a local charity. You'd buy a duck with a number on it, and on race day thousands upon thousands of ducks would be released into the river, drawing a massive crowd that followed their progress downstream to the finish line. The first duck to cross the line won.
Everyone had an equal shot. There were no special hurdles that had to be cleared. Just pay $25, get yourself a duck, and off you'd go.
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a duck race for writers? Conceptually, there would be one race for each genre (science fiction ducks over here, romance ducks over there, thrillers in the corner, etc.) You'd have the opportunity to buy one duck for every completed novel you want to enter (no WIPs or premises for novels that haven't yet been written).
The ducks for each genre would then get tossed into a river and everyone would elbow their way to the finish line to see which book had won.
Those books, in turn, would be given the full backing of a publishing house for a minimum of sixty days. No profit/loss statement required. For two months, your novel would be given full co-op placement in all book stores, receive ad placement in the best magazines for your genre's intended target audience. You'd gear up and do an exhaustive list of radio spots, morning talk shows, etc.
Would any of them become bestsellers? Who knows, but I'm guessing it'd be as entertaining as any of the reality shows you see on television.
And the best part? The money raised could go towards supporting writers with talent who can't afford to attend writers conferences, retreats, university, etc., fostering good literature for the future.
Yup, I like the duck race idea. Move over American Idol!