Thursday, July 28, 2016


Well, everyone, it's that time. We started Red Light/Green Light out with some amazing first lines and progressed to some even more amazing first pages and queries. Today, it is my great pleasure to announce the winner of the contest, who will receive a full request with editorial notes from our judging agent, Kelly Peterson. But first, Kelly asked if she could address all of our contestants, and she had this to say:

First off, I want to say that everyone who entered into this contest is amazing. You all are so talented and determined and if you keep trying and learning, you WILL succeed! You took the first step by wanting to learn and entering this competition. In addition, I have been offering feedback to those who didn't make it into the final rounds because it's the reason you all entered this contest. You came to be better than what you were before. Reach out to me if you would like some feedback. I may not get back to you until late next week, but don't hesitate to ask and discuss your first lines with me.

I seriously applaud every single one of you and encourage you to find amazing beta readers and CPs and gather as much editing notes and suggestions as you can because these only make you and your writing stronger. When you finally feel you're ready, (which may be never if you're anything like Marie Lu whose agent has to pry the manuscripts out of her hands) query me, ask me questions, find writing friends, and never be afraid to put yourself out there. You can do this. You will do this. You will find your path. Keep pushing. Keep chugging along. Have faith in your life and your happiness and please don't hesitate to contact me. You. Are. Wonderful.

On to the results that you're all skipping ahead to anyways...

I based my final decision off not only the contestants' synopses, but their writing as well. I put both their synopses and first pages together onto one document to make the best decision I could because goodness gracious, this was SO DIFFICULT! With that being said, I'd like to ask ALL FIVE OF THE FINAL CONTESTANTS to send me the first 50 pages of their manuscripts. Honestly, this was probably the most difficult decision I've had to make yet, so thank you guys for being amazing. I can't promise you that I will get to them within the next week or so, but I am trying to get through my query box by the end of September. Seriously, all five of you, send it on over!

(A note from your friendly contest coordinator: If you are one of the top 5 Red Light/Green contestants, you'll find Kelly's agency query information here. Please use the subject "Red Light/Green Light Request" in the subject line of your email, and attach your 50 pages as a Word document. Should you have any questions, feel free to reach out to myself-- laura.weymouth(at)hotmail(dot)com or to either Kelly or I on Twitter (@lauraeweymouth and @YAFantasyFan). We're always here to help.)

Now the part you've all been waiting for...

Deep breath... And the winner is...

MARKED by Lindsey Myhr!

So, Lindsey astounded me from the beginning because she has such a natural talent for writing. She caught my attention by talking about a loose thread... Seriously, a loose thread. WHO DOES THAT?! I knew that this woman has to have some crazy inborn talent in order to write like that, and I was correct after reading her first page, and I look forward to reading more! She starts with the smallest detail which enables her readers to not only be pulled into the story, but the scene. She then goes on to open up that small scene of a loose thread to encompass her main character in a way that shows the reader who she is and how she probably acts. This allows readers to begin to build a picture of her main character in their heads and starts to draw that reader in like a fish on a hook. You become entranced by her and her life, all because she was picking at a simple loose thread awkwardly. This is a perfect example of my first date analysis. You don't want to give away too much, or else the reader may run away, but be genuine and give them just enough to keep them coming back to know more. If you haven't read her first page, you should probably do so! 
(You can read Lindsey's first page, along with those of our top 10 contestants, here.)

Not only that, but her book intrigued me. Honestly, I first read the synopsis and was like, "Oh boy, this sounds a whole lot like quite a few books I know," but when I really analyzed it, her synopsis was more about how she felt she didn't belong anywhere and was an outcast. This isn't quite your normal story about an heir to the throne, warrior-like woman. This looks to be a story about a girl on her own, no help and no such luck, honestly working for everything that she has to get through in life and just trying to find her place in a world that seems to hate her no matter which way she turns. She's not given anything, and actually, it seems to me like she may turn out less than lucky anyways. It's almost like Red Queen meets Throne of Glass. It's not quite one or the other, but it finds a nice in between that can still fit in today's market. I love it! 

What intrigued me even more is that this manuscript is nothing like what I expected from the synopsis. I thought this was a YA high fantasy of some sort by reading the synopsis, and I might still be correct, but it came with a large twist. The main character isn't brash right out of the box, but is being treated as if she were upper class in an 1800's U.S.A. instead. It has this classic historical feel, with lace gloves, parasols and governesses galore, mixed with a little bit of magic. It's honestly a fascinating combination, as normally you'll find a more adventurous, extremely independent, and very brash young woman on her own in YA fantasy novels. You open up the manuscript and you find a girl who just wants to fit in and have some class. It's a nice change of pace!

On top of this, her grammar is on point, her descriptions are vivid and succinct, and her writing is extremely well crafted. I can tell that she put a lot of time into her entry and I hope that this shows through the rest of her manuscript. :) 

Overall, you all did so amazing and I'm so proud of every single one of you. Keep going and never give up that dream!

Congratulations, Lindsey! Please find me on Twitter to get my submission instructions.

1 comment:

  1. Vivid descriptions are the most important advice. thanks for sharing it.
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