Friday, April 29, 2016

4 Martina Boone Shares the Magic of World Building

Over the years, I have been privileged to read all Martina Boone's books...including a couple that have not YET been published. As immensely talented as Martina is, perhaps the skill I envy the most is her ability to craft a world in such exquisite detail that I feel as if I become a part of it along with her characters. So there is no one better equipped to share with us some specific tips for world building. Thank you, Martina.

World-building: The Hooks of Magic in Your Book
By Martina Boone

One of the things that J.K. Rowling does best with her Harry Potter books is the way that she twists and incorporates classic mythology to create something new. Myths have undoubted power. Tapping into them is a great way to add heart and depth to a modern story because, over time, the power of myth has burned into the human dna. 

As Joseph Campbell, perhaps the best known writer on the subject of mythology, put it:

"Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths."

When we write at our best and most enduring, I am convinced, we are writing our own personal spin on a myth. The deeper the myth and the more we embellish it, the truer it becomes. And at its core, fiction is truth. Unless we make a story true, we cannot make it readable.

So what is truth in fiction? Emotion. That is the real power of myth: honest emotion shown in a way that others can understand and relate to their own experiences.

We all know there are only a handful of stories in the world. What sets them apart are:

  • the craft and the artistry with which they are told
  • the timing in which they are delivered, and
  • the characters that bring them to life.
The truth is in the details. That is why we have to spend time on world-building. Whether we are writing fantasy or southern literature, paranormal or mystery, our characters must inhabit complete worlds populated by other round characters. They must all interact in interesting locations brought to life by unique and identifiable music, food, weather, clothing—all the trappings of actual life. In order to create a living, breathing book, we have to also create community, a place where readers want to move in and stay a while.

Here is another quote from Joseph Campbell:
"I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” 
What does that really mean? What is the experience of being alive in a book? It is the experience of what it means to be the characters in that book. It means that we aren't simply showing the action. We are making the reader experience it along with the characters. To do so, we invoke what the character's see, smell, hear, taste, touch, feel.  And we make that unique. That's what Rowling does best. She makes her world and her stories unique but universal at the same time. She taps into the power of myth to reach the deepest truth and build the truest fictional world.

Think about some of her most powerful images:

  • The boy with the thunderbolt on his forehead. Thanks to mythology, we all equate the thunderbolt with the strongest gods.
  • The boy in the closet under the stairs. As a symbol, this has great power. Not only is he metaphorically "in the closet" – with his true self hidden, but he is at the basest part of the house, at the very bottom with nowhere to go but up. He lives in the dark, he lives as a servant. She's told us all of that in one sentence: "Harry was used to spiders, because the cupboard under the stairs was full of them, and that was where he slept."
Don't make the mistake of thinking that a kick-ass plot and some bits of mythology or symbolism are going to turn your opus into the next HARRY POTTER. What makes J.K. Rowling (and every other bestselling author) so successful is the specificity of the world-building. Tap into this in your own work by using hooks.

In Susan Sipal's Writer's Guide to Harry Potter, she identified "the hook" as an aspect of Rowling's success. She applied it to character:
"One technique JKR utilizes to make each individual stand out unique from the others is to give each character a hook; a description, personality trait, or association which defines him or her and distinguishes them from everyone else. A hook is one of the earliest and simplest tools to help familiarize your reader with your character. Simply put, a hook is something the reader can hang their memory on, that helps them, especially in the early stages of your story, remember who that character is and what their place is in your world."
In my own writing, I have discovered that I can apply hooks to every aspect of my work. I am becoming convinced that each world, each fictional community, each character, each location, each chapter, each page in the book should have a hook. 

  • World: What sets your world apart from every other world? What makes it different than our world? What makes is more wonderful? More horrible? More terrifying? More beautiful?
  • Community: What sets this group of friends or co-conspirators apart from the norm? What brings them together into a cohesive unit? What makes this "group" something that your readers will want to belong to? What is the hook on which this community is based?
  • Character: What is the most memorable thing about your character? What distinguishes him or her from every other character? Physically? Personality-wise? In background? Include a hook for each.
  • Location: What is the most memorable thing about your setting? Your overall setting? Your scene settings? Include a hook for every place, and include things that your characters can interact with to "set" the mood and location in the reader's mind.
  • Chapter: What happens in each chapter that is unique? What is the one-sentence take-away and how did you make it memorable?
  • Page: Is there a detail of character, setting, scene, or community that is memorable and alive?
World-building is easier said than done. I think it is probably the most difficult thing to do. The artistry in it comes not from including overwhelming details, but from selecting the most telling details. In choosing the details that will best convey the hook to the reader, and then by artistically showing different facets of the hook to set it in the reader's mind.

Think of tapping into the power of myth as the structure of the story you are weaving, and use the hooks of your characters, settings, community, and so on as the threads that create a vivid and detailed tapestry. When you put the warp and weft all together, you will have something unique and enduring.

About the Author


Martina Boone is the author of Compulsion and Persuasion, out now in the romantic Southern Gothic Heirs of Watson Island trilogy from Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse. Illusion, the final book, will be out in October of 2016. Martina is also the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a three-time Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers Site, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site dedicated to encouraging literacy and reader engagement through a celebration of series literature. She's on the Board of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia and runs the CompulsionForReading.com program to distribute books to underfunded schools and libraries.



Thursday, April 28, 2016

2 Red Light/Green Light Contest: Announcing the Top 10!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Below are the top 10 entries in our Red Light/Green Light contest, where writers are vying for the prizes of a gift certificate to One Stop for Writers AND a phone call with fabulous agent Kimberly Brower at RF Literary!



CONGRATS to all who made it in to our top 10, and good luck going forward!  

And for those who didn't make it in, remember that this is all subjective. If you're unsure about your opening, consider entering AYAP's First Five Pages Workshop, which runs monthly, for some extra guidance!

And now, presenting:

THE TOP 10 ENTRIES
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Amanda Perry
Young Adult Other
They say the devil was once an angel, no one knew this to be true so well as Evelyn Wharton. It came as no surprise when Evelyn’s father said he no longer wanted her; he was never around all that often to begin with. 
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Stella Nadene
Young Adult Contemporary
Through the heavy blackness I somehow find peace for the two seconds it takes before the next burst of white light. The blow that sounds at the same moment of the light is sickening--it reverberates through my face, into my eye socket, and reminds me that I am still in the moment of defeat. 
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Ambiguous_A08
Young Adult Suspense
Adam almost didn’t notice the message written on the back of the yield sign. Carry the box across the road and set it down. 
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
J.A. Ward
Young Adult Contemporary
Three months ago I watched a stranger die, so I know what death looks like. In fact, I remember what it sounds like, what it feels like, too. 
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Maggie Hasbrouck
Young Adult Contemporary
My mother and every other woman who lives on Muriel Avenue gets paid to have sex, that’s just how it is. When I was in the fourth grade and just beginning to grasp the true nature of my family’s business, snot-nosed Tyler Williams shoved it in my face. 
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Christy C
Young Adult SciFi
The gun clicks and I smile. So much for acting like a professional. 
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Becky
Young Adult Suspense
 My best friend had just saved the world, again. By the fourth time, I'm pretty sure that's just called showing off.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Megan Snyder
Young Adult Fantasy
 Somehow she lived for almost 23 years without hearing of it. Not a word, not a mere breath of the curse was whispered by anyone in the kingdom.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Jamie Adams
Young Adult Paranormal
They arrived like thieves, in the dead of night, traveling along the edge of a silence as sharp as a knife. Maggie was carrying two of them, knives, one in a sheath at the small of her back and gathering beads of sweat despite the cold, the other strapped just above her left ankle. 
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
A Reading Red Sox
Young Adult Contemporary
The boy in front of me will most likely have to die. His photograph stares at me from the screen mounted on the wall, innocuous, unassuming, disarming; his eyes are blue, his hair brown, and if you didn’t know any better, you’d think that he’s just another teenage boy. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

4 Writing vs Being a Writer by Jessica Love

Today we're welcoming Jessica Love to the blog. Jessica is co-author of the popular Push Girl, and her debut as a solo author, In Real Life, published in March this year. Jessica has written a thoughtful post on remembering to write, that speaks to writers at all stages of their writing journey.

Writing vs Being a Writer by Jessica Love

Sometimes the best advice comes when you're not even looking for it.

For me, the most game-changing advice I received at the 2011 SCBWI national conference in LA wasn't a key line from one of the keynote speakers or something I jotted down during a panel. No, I heard this advice while I was sitting in the lobby bar, and it came from the person sitting behind me, an author whose debut novel would be coming out the next year.

She said, "You can only come to so many of these things without something happening for you before you're just a publishing groupie."

Now, she wasn't talking to me. She likely had no idea I was listening like a creeper to her conversation with her friends. And I doubt now she even remembers saying this. But it lodged like shrapnel into my brain, and it started a fire under me.

It reminded me a lot of another piece of writing advice from William Faulkner. He said, "Don't be a writer. Be writing."

At that point, back in 2011, I was writing. I had a half-finished manuscript. I was struggling to complete it, but I was close to giving up. I was also trying to learn about the publishing business. I spent a lot of time on twitter stalking agents. Participating in writing chats. Going to conferences. Blogging, and commenting on the blogs of other writers. I was writing, yes, but I was spending more time "being a writer" than I was actually writing.

I was on the fast track to becoming a publishing groupie. Especially because the thought of actually finishing my manuscript and putting it out there terrified me. It was easier to not finish. It was easier to blog about writing and hang out in the lobby bar talking about writing. It was easier to "be a writer" than it was to write. It was easier to be a groupie.

That's why this author's comment hit me so hard. Did I want to come back to the SCBWI conference the following year with no progress made? Did I want to be here in two, three, five years still stalking agents? Or did I want to be where she was, with a deal in hand and a book on the way?

Now, I know there are so many things in publishing that are out of our control. I could complete several amazing books and never get an agent. I could have book after book go on submission to editors and never sell. But there were things that were within my control, like finishing my manuscript, no matter how difficult and scary it was. Like starting another one and finishing that one, too.

Like writing instead of just being a writer.

It's easy to get caught up in the life of a writer, and to spend all our free time talking the talk. Just like it's easy to keep starting books but never finishing them, or to have a notebook full of ideas and never do anything with them. But you can't just live the life of a writer without writing...then you're just a publishing groupie. You're just the person showing up at the conference year after year after year still poking at the same manuscript because you're too scared to move forward.

This author and her pretty harsh assessment of the publishing groupies helped motivate me to finish that manuscript I had been working on forever. (Seriously, it had been 3 years at this point.) Then I queried it and got an agent, and now I have books on the shelf. And I honestly don't know if I would have been able to do it without that tough love kick in the pants from someone I had been eavesdropping on. Yeah, it was a bit of a groupie move, but it all worked out.

ABOUT THE BOOK


Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There's just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah's romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and meets Nick's girlfriend, whom he failed to mention. And it turns out his relationship status isn't the only thing he's been lying to her about. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads

About the Author

Jessica Love is a high school English teacher who lives in Southern California with her husband and their two tiny dogs. She's working on her Master's Degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Spalding University, and her big love is contemporary YA romance. Jessica spends all of her free money on concerts, constantly tries to prove that blondes have more fun, and is pretty much always on the internet.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2 Emotional Recharge and TWO Book Deals for Sarah Glenn Marsh

I'm just back from the Southern Kentucky Book Festival, which was amazingly fun. In conjunction with their Children's Day on Friday, they had a teen writer workshop with over 500 teen writers signed up from the local high schools. In addition to panels on fantasy and romance, I had a chance to do a workshop on world building, which is one of my most favorite things of all time. But the weekend got me thinking.

Great Teen Writers in the Worldbuiding Workshop at SOKY


As writers, many of us are introverts. We are in our heads with our characters and our story worlds, and that can be a comfort zone, a safe place. But it's also a lonely place where self-doubt can too easily take root.

Going out to festivals and events is exhausting. I don't sleep well in hotels, and then I had a TV interview before the festival started, so basically, by the time that I crawled home from the airport on Saturday night, I'd been "on" for three days, and predictably, I ended up with a migraine the next day. But you know what? I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

With Victoria Devon on the SOKY Sunrise set at WNKY


Getting the chance to talk to other authors, writers, and fans refills the well. It reconnects us with our creativity and reminds us why write. So if you're writing in a bubble, especially if you're feeling in need of an emotional or creative recharge, let me highly recommend getting yourself out to a place where there are a lot of other writers talking about craft.

Here Are a Few Ways to Re-Charge and Level-Up Your Writing:

  • Go to writer's conferences. SCBWI and RWA have some amazing conferences both on the national and regional level.
  • Go to writer's retreats. I'll be doing one later this year at the beach in North Carolina, and a lot of other authors also help to host retreats for aspiring or published authors. They're a great chance to network and work on craft one on one or in small groups.
  • Go to writer's workshops. Google the term, and you'll come up with a zillion options anywhere in the world from Kauia to the Swiss Alps and anywhere in between. Big Sur is a good one, and Margie Lawson offers some unique and focused options for serious writers. Free-Expressions offer my personal favorites.
  • Find a critique group. Chances are, if you go to any of the above, you'll come away with lifelong friends and critique partners. But if you need more sources, try this list at The Write Life. Our monthly First Five Pages writing workshop has also resulted in a bunch of longterm match ups, since each participant gets critique from the other four participants in addition to the three author mentors and the agent.
Okay, and now on to the fun stuff. The reward for doing a lot of workshopping and networking and working on your craft really hard, along with a phenomenal amount of talent, is a career that takes off like our very own Sarah Glenn Marsh's.

HUGE Congrats to Sarah Glenn Marsh!

In addition to yet another new picture book deal, Sarah has just recently sold two YA novels!



To recap Sarah's meteoric sales trajectory, here's a list of things you'll see coming out from her in the near future:
  • Fear the Drowning Deep, my YA historical fantasy, publishes with Sky Pony Press on 10/4/16!
  • A Campfire Tail, a picture book, publishes with Sterling Children's in Spring 2017!
  • Selfie Sebastian, a picture book, publishes with Sterling Children's in Fall 2017!
  • Anna Strong: Daughter of the American Revolution, a nonfiction picture book biography, is forthcoming from Abrams Kids!
  • Reign of the Fallen, a dark YA fantasy, and its sequel, are forthcoming from Razorbill/Penguin!
Amazing, right?

And To Celebrate, How about a Fantasy Giveaway?

All four books will go to the same winner, so jump in and enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author


Martina Boone is the author of Compulsion and Persuasion, out now in the romantic Southern Gothic Heirs of Watson Island trilogy from Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse. Illusion, the final book, will be out in October of 2016. Martina is also the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a three-time Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers Site, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site dedicated to encouraging literacy and reader engagement through a celebration of series literature. She's on the Board of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia and runs the CompulsionForReading.com program to distribute books to underfunded schools and libraries.

 What About You? 


Have a favorite writing conference, workshop, retreat, or tip for recharging? Please share in the comments below!


Monday, April 25, 2016

18 SEVEN Giveaways plus New Releases and Author Interviews for this week 4/25-5/1

Happy Monday!

We have so many giveaways this week! It looks like this last week of April is a special treat for all of us. Don't forget to check out all the releases this week and enter to win at the bottom of the post!

Happy Reading,

Shelly, Lindsey, Martina, Jocelyn, Erin, Susan, Sam, Sarah, Sandra, Kristin, and Anisaa





Saturday, April 23, 2016

2 Adam Shankman and Laura L. Sullivan, authors of GIRL ABOUT TOWN, on a sense of joy

We're delighted to have Laura L. Sullivan and Adam Shankman stop by chat about their novel GIRL ABOUT TOWN.


Laura and Adam, what was your inspiration for writing GIRL ABOUT TOWN?

Laura:
While we were working on a different project, Adam and I were talking about our mutual love for the Nick and Nora/Thin Man movies, about a sophisticated, wealthy wife and a scrappy, working-class private investigator husband who solve crimes in amusing, hedonistic ways. Adam said, “Wouldn't it be great to have a YA version of that?” And so Girl About Town was born.

Adam: Well, I guess, that would be a big: SEE ABOVE (answer to Author Question)! Lol. Other then the Oz books, and, well, the entire Dr. Seuss catalogue, mystery series were my favorites, and I think shaped my thinking to a great extent. I loved series, and how characters developed and continued to handle stressful situations with humor and irony. I graduated very early to all the Agatha Christie books, so this is clearly a genre I am drawn to and inspired by.

0 Mariko Tamaki, author of SAVING MONTGOMERY SOLE, on talking to yourself

We're excited to have Mariko Tamaki with us to share more about her latest novel SAVING MONTGOMERY SOLE.

Mariko, what was your inspiration for writing SAVING MONTGOMERY SOLE?

This past couple years, I've really felt like celebrating nerds. Because I was a huge nerd in high school and the moment I realized that was a good thing was a huge game changer for me.

So, on the one hand, this book is inspired by my love of geeks of all ages, by the joys of geeking out on something. About what it's like to love something no one else gives a crap about. The specific inspiration for Monty's geek outs in the book are a mix of my obsessions. I was super into Wicca in high school, which later morphed into an obsession with the X-Files, which has now transformed into an obsession with random internet searches, documentaries (of all kinds) and many other woo woo finds discovered with my ever expanding posse of woo woo sisters. I have long wanted a place to write in my fascination with trepanation (which I've had since grade 9) and now I've done it.

At the same time, SMS is definitely inspired by the work I did as part of the LGBTQ Parenting Network in Toronto, working with queer families, wanting to celebrate and talk about queer families (some of my favorite families) and also look at what it means to be part of a family that is discriminated against.

1 Frances Hardinge, author of THE LIE TREE, on not being afraid of writing rubbish

We're thrilled to have Frances Hardinge here to tell us more about her latest novel THE LIE TREE.

Frances, what was your inspiration for writing THE LIE TREE?

I came up with the idea of a tree that fed on lies while I was taking a long walk, and I don't remember the train of thought that led up to it. Other sources of inspiration included Victorian gothic novels I read while I was growing up, a curiosity about post-mortem photography, the Crystal Palace dinosaurs, and information provided by a good friend with a background in archaeology.


What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

The scenes which I find hardest to write are never the scenes of which I am most proud once the book is finished. I find myself writing and re-writing the scenes that are necessary but less interesting - transitions, journeys, information-dumps and so on. The dramatic episodes I usually find much easier!

The scene that I feel happiest about is probably the confrontation between Faith and her father when she admits to looking in his strongbox. (I'm also reasonably happy with the funeral and its aftermath.)

0 Thanks to April's 1st 5 Pages Workshop Mentors and Participants!

I am sad to say that our 1st 5 Pages April Workshop has come to an end. We had such a great group of talented writers. A big thanks to our guest mentors, author Estelle Laure and agent Rachel Burkot!! They both provided such helpful critiques. If you haven’t checked out THIS RAGING LIGHT you should - it's wonderful!

And as always, thank you to our talented and fabulous permanent mentors, who read, comment, and cheer on our participants every month. Congratulations to our mentor Melanie Conklin whose debut middle grade novel, COUNTING THYME was just published. I loved it!

Our May workshop will open for entries on Saturday, May 7, at noon, EST. We'll take the first five Middle Grade or Young Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. (We are no longer taking New Adult entries.) Click here to get the rules. I will post when it opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages.

So get those pages ready - we usually fill up in under a minute!

Happy writing (and revising!)

Erin

Friday, April 22, 2016

0 Agent Interview with Rachel Burkot of Holloway Literary

We are thrilled to welcome agent Rachel Burkot with Holloway Literary. Rachel is fairly new to agenting, but not to publishing. She worked for six years as an editor acquiring romance, and is now using her knowledge and skills to advocate for her authors. In reading another interview, I'm happy to see she's also a Harry Potter fan! Rachel's here to share with us what she's looking for right now.


1. What is it about a manuscript that excites you?
Feeling as though I've found a unique voice; fresh writing; compelling characters and engaging storyline; when I can't stop reading; flawed, realistic, three-dimensional characters that are so lifelike you feel like you could run into them in real life.

2. What is on your wish list? 
Some of my favorite authors are Emily Giffin, Diane Chamberlain, Liane Moriarty, Gillian Flynn, Kristan Higgins, Nicholas Sparks, John Green...I'd love to find authors in any of these veins. I'm looking for any of these: deep women's fiction; laugh-out-loud contemporary romance; tearjerker, star-crossed lover stories; psychological thrillers a la Girl on the Train or Gone Girl; intense character studies; coming-of-age literary or YA novels; powerful YA books that give you all the feelings; Southern fiction; urban fiction.

3. What are some things you love to see in a query?
I like to see what I call the book's "demographics" in the first paragraph: title, genre, word count, any comp titles (i.e., X meets X). I like the second paragraph to be a brief teaser of the plot and characters, and paragraph three to give any relevant background/personal info on the author. That's my ideal query!

4. Are you an editorial agent? 
I was an editor for almost 6 years, so yes, I'm definitely an editorial agent. I like to get the story in the strongest shape possible before submitting to an editor, because that gives it the best shot to sell. So if I read a story and have ideas for how to improve on characters, plot or just general writing, I'll make these suggestions to the author at an early stage.



Rachel Burkot
Rachel Burkot has been in the publishing industry since 2009. She got her start as an intern at two literary agencies, reading mostly young adult and thrillers. She then worked as an editor in the romance business, acquiring category romance, contemporary romance and women's fiction. She has decided to transition her skills to the agent world in order to be an advocate and champion for her authors because she loves finding new talent and helping authors' dreams of publication come true. Rachel’s career highlights include helping her authors achieve prestigious romance book nominations and two selective awards, including the National Readers Choice Award, and several top reviews in Romantic Times magazine for her books.

Agency Website | Twitter | QueryTracker









 -- posted by Susan Sipal, @HP4Writers


Thursday, April 21, 2016

2 Red Light/Green Light Contest: Announcing the Top 25!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Below are the top 25 entries in our Red Light/Green Light contest, where writers are vying for the prizes of a gift certificate to One Stop for Writers AND a phone call with fabulous agent Kimberly Brower at RF Literary!



CONGRATS to all who made it in to our top 25, and good luck going forward! And for those who didn't make it in, remember that this is all subjective. If you're unsure about your opening, consider entering AYAP's First Five Pages Workshop, which runs monthly, for some extra guidance!

And now, presenting:


THE TOP 25 ENTRIES

Author:
Genre:
Entry:
JR Creaden
Young Adult SciFi
Muffled sobs drummed into my awareness as my vision washed over with endless white.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Sheryl Stein
Young Adult Contemporary
I chugged the final drips of chocolate milk through the tiny, white straw and looked around the noisy school cafeteria, my eyes stabbing madly over faces and hairnets and trashcans all around the room.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Amanda Perry
Young Adult Other
They say the devil was once an angel, no one knew this to be true so well as Evelyn Wharton.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Stella Nadene
Young Adult Contemporary
Through the heavy blackness I somehow find peace for the two seconds it takes before the next burst of white light.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Ambiguous_A08
Young Adult Suspense
Adam almost didn’t notice the message written on the back of the yield sign.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Maureen O'Leary
Young Adult Contemporary
On the final night of summer vacation it didn’t matter what kind of fun I was having.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Valerie Bodden
Young Adult Contemporary
I bury my face deeper in the sticky-sweet grass and try to tune out the shrieks and splashes coming from the pool on the other side of the yard.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Michelle Collins
Young Adult Fantasy
Bearing the collective memory of an entire village is a burden meant only for a person of great strength and power.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Ash Holland
Young Adult Dystopian
So far, there are no signs of danger.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
J.A. Ward
Young Adult Contemporary
Three months ago I watched a stranger die, so I know what death looks like.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Ellen Plotkin Mulholland
Young Adult Contemporary
As if I need any further evidence we don't swim in the same gene pool, my brother bounds down the stairs.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Maggie Hasbrouck
Young Adult Contemporary
My mother and every other woman who lives on Muriel Avenue gets paid to have sex, that’s just how it is.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Rebecca J. Allen
Middle Grade Adventure
I stomped off the bus, weighed down by soul-crushing news and the long school day ahead of me.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Jeri Baird
Middle Grade Magical Realism
The day the preacher called me cursed, I knew my life had changed.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Jamie M. Selgen
Young Adult Paranormal
I tried to scream but my mouth refused to cooperate.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Christy C
Young Adult SciFi
The gun clicks and I smile.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Olga
Middle Grade Contemporary
Antonio glanced at the carved wooden box in his mom's room and opened it quickly.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Annie Oakes
Middle Grade Contemporary
My cool black duffel bag shot out of the plastic curtain onto the baggage carousel and slowly circled towards me.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Nova Lee Zaiden
Young Adult Paranormal
The shock returns in the middle of the night.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Becky
Young Adult Suspense
My best friend had just saved the world, again.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Megan Snyder
Young Adult Fantasy
Somehow she lived for almost 23 years without hearing of it.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Jamie Adams
Young Adult Paranormal
They arrived like thieves, in the dead of night, traveling along the edge of a silence as sharp as a knife.
Author:
Genre:
Entry:
Amira
Middle Grade Fantasy
Gaia’s lifelong dream was about to come true, and waiting patiently was incredibly hard
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A Reading Red Sox
Young Adult Contemporary
The boy in front of me will most likely have to die.
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Dana Nuenighoff
Young Adult Fantasy
No one witnessed tears stained my ocean-weathered face.