Friday, July 13, 2012

WINNERS OF CHRISTMAS IN JULY!


Thank you SO much to everyone who entered Christmas in July, co-hosted by the ever-lovely Ruth Lauren Steven. It was a smashing success! There were 351 entries total, which was about 350 more entries than I anticipated. So YAY! But not only were there tons of entries, there were tons of GREAT, HIGH-QUALITY entries. So much so that it was tremendously difficult to pick just 30 winners between Ruth and I. But we did.

And here they are (my half of the winners, anyway), along with a little bit about why the work was chosen:

Melanie Stanford, DAZE AND KNIGHTS (YA romance)-Uh, why isn’t this book published yet? Seriously, WHY? Reading this hilarious/intriguing/exciting entry made me wish so badly I was a literary agent so I could snap up this author and make me some money help an artist realize her dream.

Philip Siegel, THE BREAK-UP ARTIST (YA contemporary) –Unique and quirky concept, fantastic writing, spot-on teen voice, and hilarious query letter and sample pages—this was everything I could have asked for in an entry. An easy YES!

Jenna Lehne, WASHED UP (YA contemporary)- One of my early favorites, this entry featured both hilarious-yet-subtle humor and a fun-yet-layered plot. It’s great news when I feel compelled to call my sister and read her the sample because I can’t wait to share it with the world. (Even greater news when she loves it too!)

Kathryn Sheridan Kupanoff, BLACK LACE AND THE CLOCK TOWER (YA Camelot-steampunk)-I might have actually screamed out YES! when I read this entry. I just love books that transport me to fantastical worlds, and I love them even more when they’re superbly written!

Anita Exley, NEFRITITI’S HEART (Steampunk thriller)-First line of the sample: ‘There was something cathartic about wielding a crowbar.’ Um, you have my heart, Anita Exley. YES! To anything! Just…YES!

Delia Moran, ONE HUNDRED KNOWN WORLDS (YA contemporary fantasy) –When your writing is so good it invokes some major writer-envy and your two-page sample already has me drooling over your main character, that would call for an EFF YES!

Franziska Green, BOUNCE! (MG tall-tale adventure)- This is a book I would have loved to have read as a child and would be thrilled to have the kids in my life read. Quirky, funny, and fresh! YES!

Ashley Girard, THE CHEERLEADER’S GUIDE TO ANARCHY (YA contemporary)- The main character in this entry had such an amazingly engaging voice. Add to that stellar writing and a unique, high-concept plot, and it’s another easy YES! 

Mara Rutherford, FOREVER FRIDAY (YA urban fantasy)- Fresh humor, great writing, and a voicey main character! This is a book I’d happily spend a Friday night snuggled up with (Soon? Please?)

RuthAnne Frost, HERE TODAY (Commercial women’s fiction) –Combine a hilarious and inventive concept with a hilarious query and even more hilarious pages, and we have a YES!!

Laura Frazier, SEMITONE (YA Romance with sci-fi elements) -Anna and the French Kiss meets The Time Traveller’s Wife? YES! It's a good sign when I get to the stakes in the query and utter a ‘Wow’. Even better when I finish reading the sample pages and am upset I didn’t make the contest for 85,000 words instead of 500.

Britt Mitchell, SPAGHETTI AND THE MEATBALLS (MG)-Who doesn’t love an adventure involving spaghetti? A perfect middle-grade voice combined with amazing writing and a fun, unique concept! Can I get an EFF YES?

Kajsa Paulson, BREAKING POINTE (YA contemporary)-Edgy and compelling subject matter + engaging voice + superbly written query and pages=YES!!

T.L. Bodine, TAGESTRAUM (Adult fantasy) –You had me at flesh-eating unicorns. YES!!

Jennie Bailey, SILO (YA speculative fiction)- Modern day Noah’s arc but with teens? Uh, EFF YES! I might have overlooked sub-stellar writing for a concept this fantastic (except not really). Good thing I didn’t have to, though, because the writing was just as fantastic as the fantastic concept (FANTASTIC!)


Sorry guys. Got a little carried away there. Winner's, expect your critiqued samples in your inbox by tomorrow. 


Now that that’s been taken care of, let me address the elephant in the room: You’ll have noticed there are many more teen/children entries than adult ones. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not that I have a boner for YA (which I do) or that I have a hate-on for adult books (which I don’t). It’s that out of 351 entries, 255 of them comprised of YA/MG/Picture Books (201 strictly YA, for those who are interested!). That’s 73% teen/children. With numbers like that there’s a high likelihood that there’s going to be more teen/children winners.

Now for those of you who didn’t make the cut, please do not despair. It was simply a matter of needing to pick 30 great entries and there being 351 of them.

Also of note, not getting chosen for a contest doesn’t in any way mean your work isn’t worthy of publication. Take me, for example. I entered last year’s Baker’s Dozen Auction over at Miss Snark’s First Victim. I didn’t get in. I now have a book deal with Random House.

What I’m driving at here is that this business is totally subjective (I know—barf, gag, puke—but it’s true!). Keep querying. Keep writing. You can do it. You’re awesome.

The following entries were so wicked awesome, in fact, that if could have chosen 29 entries for myself and not 15, they would have definitely made the cut. For that, they landed themselves an Honorable Mention:

-Shawn Keenan, THE INTERN’S TALE
-Amber Mauldin: PERFECTLY BROKEN
-Artemis Grey, GONE MISSING GIRL
-Sarah L. Blair, THE SHIFTING DARKNESS
-Kate Abbott, THE DISNEYLANDERS
-Karla Gomez, DIVIDED
-PK Hrezo, THE DESIREE
-April Wall, THE FAMILY VYGIL
-Rachel Simon, VIOLENT DELIGHTS
-Cortney Pearson, PHOBIC
-Veronica Bartles, THE PRINCESS AND THE FROGS
-Ari Susu-Mago, UNFAMILIAR SPELLINGS
-Sadie Ryan, THE BEND
-Carin Moonin, DIAL 9 TO GET OUT

Anyone not selected for this contest is still welcome to query the participating agents (that they haven't already queried, of course!). But not before hopping on over to Ruth's blog to see her list of 15 winners!

Winning entries will be posted on the blog Wednesday July 18th for agent perusal.

Congrats to all, and GOOD LUCK! 





61 comments:

  1. Yay!! Nice job you guys. The entries seem so great. Congrats to everyone who won and same for the honourable mentions!

    I am almost jealous enough to swap my manuscript with a winner (Not Really). But I would read all of these though!

    Oh and again... Awesome job Michelle and Ruth

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    1. Thanks, Utsav! It's so great to see writers coming together to support each other. That's really sweet of you!

      :)

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  2. Aggghghhhhhh! So much Kermit dancing!

    This was totally worth staying up for :)

    Congrats to everybody else who got in! I cannot WAIT to see all of these entries and I know Michelle's feedback is going to be AWESOME.

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    1. CONGRATS!!! I'll even do a Kermit dance for you!

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  3. So excited for everyone who got through and I have to throw some confetti and dance around with pom poms for two of my CP's: Anita Exley. YAY :) You rock. And Amber Mauldin. Your MS is fantastic too. You both BLOW ME AWAY. :) xxx

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  4. Those entries sound fascinating. I envy you, Michelle, having already glimpsed all of that awesomeness. :-)

    Congratulations winners and honourable mentions. Can't wait for the agents now. :-)

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    1. I can't wait either, Amaleen! The entries are HELLA GOOD!

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  5. Congrats to all the winners! I see a whole bunch I know there and in the honorable mentions - woohoo! :D

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    1. Certain congrats are in order to you as well :)

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  6. Great list! Can't wait to see the queries. Good job reading through everything so quickly. Love so much when writers help other writers : )

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    1. It was hard!! But so glad to be of help :)

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  7. Oooh, Michelle got Franziska!

    Congrats to all the winners and I particularly love this passage in the above post:

    Also of note, not getting chosen for a contest doesn’t in any way mean your work isn’t worthy of publication. Take me, for example. I entered last year’s Baker’s Dozen Auction over at Miss Snark’s First Victim. I didn’t get in. I now have a book deal with Random House.

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    1. Glad you liked it! It was hard at the time and a few f-bombs were thrown around (I'm not as mature as you lot, apparently!) but everything happened for a reason! I really believe that.

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  8. Hey thanks so much for the honorable mention!! Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Le sigh ...

    But more importantly is my uber awesome CP, Kathryn Kupanoff, up there with her Camelot steampunk story!!! YAY!!!!! I am so excited for her and will be biting my nails and cheering her on thru the whole contest! Go, Kat!!

    Michelle, you and Ruth deserve a nice day off after all this. 356 entries read? Wow, your eyes must've been bugging. :)

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    1. PK, The Desiree was a super strong contender! Seriously, I loved it! QUERY QUERY QUERY!

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  9. Michelle, thanks so much for this opportunity! Much appreciated. xx

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    1. Glad so many people found it helpful/exciting!

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  10. Congrats to all the winners! Hopefully some great new matches will come out of it!

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  11. Congratulations, winners! Looking forward to seeing the entries and results of the contest! ^_^

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  12. Congratulations to all the winners!

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    1. Some of the winners should be thanking you, Brandy, since you helped me to choose when it got down to the wire!

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  13. *joins T.L. in Kermit dance*

    Congratulations, everyone! And ALL THE THANK YOUS to Michelle and Ruth for this awesome contest. Yay!

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  14. Congrats to all of the winners! And to the honorable mentions! I suppose I'd be more disappointed at getting an honorable mention, but there were so many entries and I made honorable mention on BOTH blogs, so that's something to smile about :)

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  15. Thanks for the honorable mention, Michelle. I know you and Ruth worked yourselves to death with this contest. It was a great opportunity. I can't believe there was another Camelot-steampunk in this batch! I was sure that was mine. I hope to be able to check out DAZE AND KNIGHTS at a bookstore someday soon. Sounds like it's awesome.

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    1. Oh, darn! Now I feel bad for hinting on twitter :( Live and learn, I guess. But your entry was fantastic, Shawn. Really!!

      *Bear hugs Shawn*

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  16. Congrats to the winners and thanks for the honorable mention!!! :D

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  17. What? Me? Yeah baby!!!
    Congrats to all the other winners and good luck!
    AAAAHHHHHH!!!! (still screaming)

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  18. Congrats to the winners and honorable mentions!! What a fun contest :)

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  19. Congrats to all chosen and thanks so much for the honorable mention!

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    1. Congrats, April! The Family Vygil is great!!

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  20. Congratulations all around and thank you Michelle and Ruth for the energy and rapid response. The wait is so much easier with a date involved!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the ride, Faith! It was fun for us too (if not exhausting) :D

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  21. Congratulations to the winners! I can't wait to see their queries and first 500 words. I was wondering - do we get to comment on them or just the agents? (P.S. Wo0ts to all the other honourable mentions :-))

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  22. We're going to ask that no one comment on the entries for the week that agents are making their requests, in the interest of fairness--not everyone has 30 friends who will act as cheerleaders on their behalf! But once the week is up we're happy to allow comments.

    Congrats on the HM, Rachel!

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  23. Like an idiot I mashed up two entries--The entry that's The Time Traveller's Wife meets Anna and the French Kiss belongs to Laura Frazier's Semitone!

    Both amazing entries :)

    Sorry, Laura and Melanie!

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  24. Thank you and Ruth for hosting this contest! All of these entries sound awesom! Even though I'm Jewish, I'm all for celebrating Xmas in July.

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    1. It's funny, Phil, because we did discuss that 'Christmas' wasn't exactly welcoming of all faiths, but you know, Holidays in July just doesn't have the same ring! :P

      And a huge congrats to you! So excited!

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  25. So many winners. Good to all! :-)

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  26. Congrats to all the winners! I can't wait to read the entries.

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  27. Congrats to all the winners and a big WooHoo to Michelle and Lauren for the hard work. You guys are amazing! Looking forward to stalking some entries :)

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  28. OMG! I'm late here cause its taken me this long to be scrapped off the floor!
    Thank you Michelle and Ruth for hosting this epic opportunity. I am gobsmacked to make Team Michelle. And excited. And doing a muppet flail. And trying to drink my coffee :)
    So many amazing entries, I don't know how you guys did it.

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    1. Congats, Anita!!!

      (Hint: it involved little sleep and lots of coffee)

      :D

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  29. I feel so excited to be part of the Honorable Mentions group^^
    I'm glad you enjoyed it! And I too wish you had 29 picks ;) Hehe.
    Can't wait to read the entries :D

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  30. One more question (gah, seriously maybe I should rename myself Question Girl LOL): Are we allowed to take these queries we sent in to you and give them for a Query critique that you do on your blog?

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    1. Definitely, Rachel. I'll be re-opening to the blog query critiques soon!

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  31. I didnt win, but thanks for hosting a great contest. You both worked really hard picking the winners. Good luck to the winners for next week :-)

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  32. Congrats to the winners selected - I hope good things come your way!

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  33. Congrats to all the winners!!

    I'm so honored to be one of the Honorable Mentions! This positive response gave me the courage to submit my first page for a Picture Book First Pages panel at an SCBWI regional conference this weekend, and I got nothing but positive feedback and encouragement from the editors on the panel!! (And even better - a suggestion from the illustrator on the panel for a slight tweak that makes my opening paragraph really sing!!!) I wouldn't have had the courage to put myself forward that way, if I wasn't still riding on the high from this contest, so I had to come say THANK YOU!!!!

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    1. That's great news, Veronica! I'm so happy this contest helped you!

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  35. I am very excited to read all the entries. I recently read two horrid novels (one being YA) and I am looking to have my faith restored. No doubt that there are amazing, yet undiscovered, authors out there !

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    1. And restored it shall be! The entries are seriously wicked, Paulina. I'm just as excited to share them with everyone as you probably are to read them!

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