I don’t recommend it.
As others pointed out, it’s a community event and you get the most out of it when you go all in and I don’t know if you’ll be able to go all in if you’ve got another project at the same time.
Unless working on two works out for you for some reason.
Have fun with it. When you’re enjoying your own work, it comes through to the readers.
As for writing a novella, I recommend being careful of your scope so you don’t end up with too much story that you can’t fit in 40k words. Think about one simple catchy premise and stay away from subplots or multiple protagonists.
So, aside for my 1990’s potential story, my two others are:
—another novella set in the Knowable World, my matriarchal Hindu Hellen setting. It’s YA in an East Asia inspired setting. The good thing is I can add it to my main Knowable World book (Hearts in Zenith).
—sci-fi with merpeople and a super-villain (sort of) who repents. The outline needs lots of work because I am not seeing a solid storyline with strong enough anything.
Overall, I think 1990’s story is most promising in terms of how interesting it is and having a point.
I so badly want to know what the prompts are. I hate waiting for ONC to release the prompts it always feels like it takes forever… which I mean they did post the book over two weeks ago now so that probably explains that.
So, I thought of it some more, and my idea to write the last Tangorello book (my mafia series) as a novella first for ONC actually moved to front-running position along with that 90’s b-stuff. I made a sample cover and started brainstorming ideas for the outline.
This will be my second time joining ONC after giving it a try last year. After seeing how the contest helped me a lot, pushing me to finally write the prequel of my series, something that I always wanted to start writing but had trouble figuring out the meat of the story, I think I’ll be joining the contest more often.
This year I’m planning to revive and develop/improve two abandoned stories that have been stuck in my notebooks for a long time. I’m crossing my fingers to find perfect promts that fit one of them.
I hope I’ll have the same luck as last year and finish writing my entry in time even though I have a WIP I’m currently posting on wattpad.