Thursday, February 25, 2016

5 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 prize of a phone call with fabulous agent Patricia Nelson at Marsal Lyon Literary.

Be sure to check back next Thursday, when we'll post our agent judge's top 5 selected entries!

CONGRATS to all who made it in, 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:


Author: D Lollis
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary
"Mom, Brandon is smelling his dirty underwear—again," my older sister Bethany yelled as I crawled on the cold marble tile of the third floor laundry room. She grabbed her black jacket from a hanger, rolled her eyes, and left me to search for kind-of-clean boxers.

Author: Ellie Luken
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Entry: Only fools or the desperate wandered beyond the city walls by themselves. Zarailla had yet to determine which one of those categories the man on the horizon belonged to.

Author: Olivia Hinebaugh
Genre: Young Adult Magical Realism
Entry: There wasn’t a funeral. Not like she deserved at least.

Author: Laurine Bruder
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Ivy Greenhill's mind ticked as the prison wagon trundled along the dirt road. The stench of her waste made her gag, and her empty stomach cramped.

Author: Joan Albright
Genre: Young Adult Steampunk
Silas clung to his tiny chainskiff, arms wrapped around the rail while it rocked and pitched and finally settled against the chain that held it in the sky. "Would you knock that off?"

Author: PJN
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Four years ago no one knew my name. Now they chant it as I scale the stairs leading to the Rumeena.

Author: Lana Pattinson
Genre: Young Adult Historical
Ominous clouds hovered over the loch, and Rowan Sinclair was about to lose his chance at freedom. The dense, yeasty aroma of alcohol settled on the sleeping casks like a thick blanket as Rowan crept into the whisky warehouse.

Author: Holly M. Campbell
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
The man standing in the kitchen had not been dead long. Mary recognized the signs of a newbie.

Author: Cassidy Taylor
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Sounds of revelry drift up to Ruby's sitting room, but she wants no part of it. It is a distant cacophony, sounds of another world, another life.

Author: Lizz Huerta
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
The stink of the Fire Warrior reached Indir before he spoke. She pretended not to know he was standing behind her, breathing through her mouth and concentrating on painting in the lines of the carving on the temple wall.


  1. When do the first pages go up? Is that just the top five? Thanks, Sarah!

    1. Hi Olivia! Yes, first pages are what the judge will use to select the top 5! :) Look for them next Thursday!

  2. Wow these first two lines are sooooo strong! Congrats to all! Now I'm inspired ... **scurries to writing cave*** :D

  3. Congrats to these top 10. they are great examples of compelling opening lines!


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