Monday, July 12, 2010

Announcing our winner

Holy Swiss cheese on rye, people! Did you ever come through or what?

My critique partners and I were blown away by the number and talent of those who entered our humble contest. Here are some cyber chocolate chip cookies for everyone. (Take a napkin. The cookies just came out of the oven and the chips are still gooey.) It takes courage to put your work out there.

We hope this contest was a great experience. It was a terrific learning experience for all of us as well. Reading through the entries was kind of like being an agent or editor or a judge on America’s Got Talent. We didn’t know exactly what we were looking for, but we knew it when we saw it. And it made us go back to our own one-sentence summaries and take a second look. (We may post these at later date.)

So, what *were* we looking for? As it turned out, the entries that got our attention had a few things in common:

* They were (for the most part) short and sweet. Hint: try reading your sentence out loud. It shouldn’t take more than one breath.

* They told us the important stuff about the main character (age, greatest strength / weakness etc) and about their obstacle or setting. There weren’t a lot of details about theme or what the character learned - just the bare facts. Hint: a good one-sentence summary can often tip a book’s theme without being obvious.

* They had a unique plot or a fresh twist on an old story.

To determine the winner, each of the MiGs compiled a Top Five list. Then we found any overlapping names and tallied the count.

The winner was clear. She was the only person who made everyone’s Top Five list. All the Honorable Mention winners received several votes as well.

So without further ado….

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):


A jester’s daughter and a painfully introverted princess begin their friendship as the most underestimated young girls in the kingdom, but end up heroes when they uncover and prevent the overthrow of the monarchy.


A sixteen year old with a talent for shoplifting leaves her dying father to travel to her estranged mother’s underwater lair, where she makes a deal in exchange for lifesaving medicine that will have repercussions for the residents of this South Carolina tourist town, above and below the surface.

Sandy Shin

In a society where logic reigns and wishes are illegal, Lenore accidentally releases a defective genie.

Elliah A. Terry

A twelve-year-old girl struggles to forgive her father after he leaves her in the woods with nothing but a smoldering fire and her pest of a brother in this retelling of Hansel and Gretel.

S.L. Bynum

Five sixteen-year-old girls of various races develop a bonding friendship while dealing with the stress of being secret teenage superheroes.

And the WINNER:

Susan Bradley

A sixteen year old FBI profiler wanna-be conducts her own investigation when her older sister is murdered.

Congratulations, Susan!!!! (Clap, clap, clap - uh, watch out for the confetti cannon. It's been acting wonky.) Please contact us for critique details.

Thanks again to everyone who entered!



  1. Grats to the winner and the honorable mentions.

  2. Thanks for running the contest! Congratulations to Susan and all the HMs!

  3. Congratulations to Susan Bradley and the honorable mentions!

    I had fun reading through all of the entries in the comments. I found myself REALLY wishing I could get my hands on some of these manuscripts.

    Thank you for the fun contest.

  4. We had so much fun reading through the entries! I think my favorites left me with a few questions. Why did the father leave his children in the woods? How does the younger sister's grief affect her investigation? It was a great learning experience.

  5. Oh, the one about the defective genie was awesome! hope you guys keep your promise and post your own one-liners.

  6. YAY!! Congrats Susan! :::clap clap clap:::


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