Jack London at Utah State University: Sinclair Lewis Plots
Sinclair Lewis was born February 7, 1885, in Minnesota and went on to become a well- known novelist, playwright, and short story writer. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He died in 1951.
As a young author, Lewis became acquainted with London and subsequently sold story ideas, or plots, to him. Although famous for his own writing, London had been on the record to say, “I’m damned if my stories just come to me. I had to work like the devil for the themes,” and that he possessed a “damnable lack of origination.” Needing more story ideas, he sought Lewis, whom he had met via Socialism affairs. 
On three separate occasions, Lewis submitted at least 55 plots to London in which London purchased 27 for a total of $137.50. Out of those, however, London used only five plots; three for published short stories (When the World Was Young, Winged Blackmail, and The Prodigal Father), one for a novelette (The Abysmal Brute), and one for a novel he never completed, but was published after his death (The Assassination Bureau).