Thursday, July 21, 2016

0 Announcing the Top Five Finalists for the Red Light/Green Light Contest

We've made it to the second last round, so next week--July 28th--we'll be announcing the winner of a full request with general editorial notes from agent Kelly Peterson. You've all entered some fantastic work, and I encourage you to continue pursuing ways to get your writing out there. At the beginning of August, we'll be hosting another First 5 Pages Workshop here at AYAP, which affords those who get in a chance to workshop their openings with industry professionals. In addition to that, PitchWars begins August 3rd and I strongly urge all of you who entered Red Light/Green Light to submit your manuscripts there!

With that, I am pleased to announce our Top Five Red Light/Green Light entries, for which you'll be reading queries today.

DON'T
Kyra Palmer

Seventeen-year-old Char wouldn't mind being science lab partners with the hottest guy in school if he hadn't terrorized her childhood. As if depending on a partner for half her grade wasn't bad enough. Now Jasper is all grown up and armed with wicked charisma. His ponytail yanking antics have evolved into a rap sheet. One that proves his heart isn't gold, it's rotting. Keeping a safe distance sitting two feet away from him and his infuriating arrogance turns out to be impossible for even a single day.

Char stands up to Jasper and embarrasses him in a public display, triggering a dangerous challenge of one-upmanship. Too stubborn to walk away, she believes she can win. It isn't long before their back and forth game of getting even ricochets out of control. The consequences
expose his still beating heart, and spark an ember in hers she can't put out. As the line between predator and prey fades, all rules and caution go up in smoke. He trusts and confides in her too much for someone he claims is a toy.

Jasper getting arrested brings all playing to an abrupt halt. Suddenly love and grades aren't the only things at risk as he holds Char responsible and lures her into a trap. Pitted against him in a fight for her life, she’s alone with no witnesses and no one to save her. Losing her heart and failing class isn't an option, but neither is being the one who goes home in a body bag.

MARKED
Lindsey Myhr

Something black is spreading across seventeen year old Catia's shoulder. It started as a bruise from her illegal swordfighting lessons, but she doesn’t know why it’s growing or taking the shape of a bird. Catia searches for answers and uncovers the shocking truth: the bird mark means that she was born in the warrior kingdom of Hawkwind – her Empire’s sworn enemy – and also identifies her as the heir to its throne. 

When Empire knights start torturing Hawkwind fugitives, Catia’s birthright promises death. She doesn’t belong anywhere – not in the Empire, and certainly not in Hawkwind, where the tyrant who killed her parents sits on her rightful throne. Catia knows her survival depends on staying hidden, but when the Empire’s Prince Ryland catches her dueling, her anonymity disappears. In one horrible moment, he also sees her mark. 

Trusting Ryland with her secret is dangerous, but the more time she spends with him, the more she can’t resist falling for him. But when he betrays her and her secret is publicly revealed, Catia has nothing left but a mark on her shoulder and a noose with her name on it. Suddenly her only chance of survival means escaping to Hawkwind – and killing the tyrant who destroyed her kingdom.

STARLESS WORLDS
Nicholas Kelly

If Jane had to list the things on her mind, helping her family survive the coming winter would come first. A close second would be her dream of catching a glimpse of the stars that no one on her planet has seen for more than 500 years. Coming in third would be her hatred and fear of the Echelon, the masters who rule the galaxy, hid the stars, and genetically engineered her ancestors. The Echelon shoots to number one the night starships arrive in her village. One ship presses Jane into service. The other takes her brother, her sister, and all the village’s children away for an unimaginably dark purpose.

Condemned to servitude under the harsh, unforgiving, and young Captain Dullahon, Jane fears she will never see her family again. Working in the bowels of the ship she discovers that her shipmates have rebellious spirits and have been waiting for the perfect time to mutiny. They find out Jane has unusual talents that prove useful in a fix: a gift for working with the ship’s strangely lifelike engine and a striking resemblance to Captain Dullahon. As they struggle to escape the Echelon and survive in space, Jane and her new mates face disaster, the deaths of loved ones, and treacherous space pirates who know a secret to the origins of Jane’s people. Jane faces a crucial choice: help her friends unlock the truth of their hidden past or risk everything to save her family.

CYNISCA AND THE OLIVE CROWN
S.Q. Eries

The Games at Olympia have ever been a competition of men–until Cynisca enters her chariot.

Seventeen-year-old Cynisca is the awkward princess in the Spartan Royal House. Unlike her savvy siblings, her only talents lie in horsemanship, and to her politically minded relatives, she's useless. But everything changes when her crippled brother abruptly inherits the throne. Controversy erupts, and when an anti-royalist publicly insults the new king, Cynisca snaps. A hostile exchange leads to a racing challenge, and Cynisca trounces the scoffer. That gives the king an idea: demonstrate royal authority by having Cynisca defeat his detractors in the great Olympic chariot race.

Cynisca jumps at the chance. For her, it's a rare opportunity to make her family proud. But the stakes–Olympic glory and unparalleled clout–are enormous. Moreover, no woman has ever dared enter the Games. With hostility from officials and entrants alike, the journey to Olympia may prove more treacherous than any track Cynisca's raced.

DREAMMARE
Shannon Thompson

Instead of fight or flight, sixteen-year-old Amea mastered both. A Wing Chun fighter and an avid jogger, no one would guess Amea also has narcolepsy and an unworldly secret.

As a child, Amea witnessed a murder—a murder in a dream world—and so did her two closest friends. Childhood nonsense, according to their parents, but one afternoon, Amea’s best friend claims to know the truth. Two days later, he goes missing and leaves his father’s murdered body behind along with cryptic clues for her to follow. Chasing him is her worst mistake.

When Amea’s narcolepsy thrusts her into Dreammare—a shadowy dreamscape where nightmares are people, princes need saving, and spirits steal our subconscious—she falls into a coastal castle town threatened by a thousand-year war. A war led by the very friend she chased. Torn between her deranged friendship and the castle holding all the answers to her cursed past, Amea teams up with a shy prince, a warrior consort, a romantic nightmare, and a conniving spirit to save her loved ones from the land of dreams or succumb to madness herself.

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