She Writes' Young Adult Novel Contest! (To Benefit Girls Write Now)


She Writes' Young Adult Novel Contest!  (To Benefit Girls Write Now)

If you have a young adult novel in the works or complete, and want to get feedback, advice and guidance from four top editors and a literary agent, this is the contest for you.  All entry fees will benefit our philanthropic partner, Girls Write Now, mentoring the next generation of women writers.


Location: Contests, Fiction
Members: 106
Latest Activity: Jan 23

She Writes' Young Adult Novel Contest Guidelines!

She Writes' First-Ever Young Adult Novel Contest is now closed.

Our five winners were:

Melanie Bishop, for "My So-Called Ruined Life"

Sarah Combs, for "Breakfast Anytime"

Helene Dunbar, for "In Case of Emergency"

Kathryn Kupanoff, for "Black Lace and the Clock Tower"

Joni Sensel, for "Escape Velocity."

To read the winning entries, see the the discussion forum posts below.

Our mission at She Writes is to support the efforts of women who write, as well as to support girls on their way to becoming the women writers of tomorrow.  For our Young Adult Novel contest, we have partnered with Girls Write Now to use our networks, connections and platform to give five women authors immediate and exciting access to major literary agents and editors -- as well as the opportunity to share their projects with the She Writes and Girls Write Now communities at large.  Thanks go all who entered, we raised a whopping $3975 for Girls Write Now.

The winners were selected on the basis of the merit of their entries, consisted of a cover letter and a 2,000-word excerpt (preferably the first 2,000 words) from their young adult novels.  Each of our five winners will receive this priceless prize: feedback, guidance and concrete advice about what to do with their work next from a literary agent and three top YA editors from major publishing houses.

She Writes and Girls Write Now believe that all too often, writers (particularly women and girls) struggle to have their work discovered.  It is hard to get attention when you don’t have personal connections or contacts in the publishing industry; and it is hard to know, as an outsider, exactly which agents or publishing houses to query, and how.  Through our first-ever "Young Adult Novel" contest, She Writes and Girls Write Now aim to provide that access and know-how to women writers everywhere.

Huge thanks to our judges...

The agents:

Elizabeth Kaplan, Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency

Elizabeth Kaplan has represented numerous critically acclaimed and best-selling authors throughout her 20-year career as a literary agent. She is known for the sharp insights and editing skills she brings to the development of successful projects and authors’ careers.  She works tirelessly to connect individuals, and to find the right home for each project.

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Elizabeth moved to New York City and began her publishing career as the assistant to Jim Silberman, the founder of Summit Books. Elizabeth worked as an editor at Summit for three years before moving on to assist another publishing legend, the literary agent Sterling Lord. Before beginning her own agency in 2002, she worked as an agent at Sterling Lord Literistic, and the Ellen Levine Agency.

Elizabeth's main areas of focus include: literary fiction, young adult fiction, narrative nonfiction (especially issue-based books), history, biography, food writing and cookbooks and memoir.

Kirby Kim, William Morris Endeavor

Kirby Kim is a literary agent at William Morris Endeavor, where he represents fiction for children and adults, memoir, pop culture, and general nonfiction. Kirby is originally from California, where he attended Pomona College in Claremont and Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. He is also a member of the boards of the Asian American Writers Workshop and Kaya Press.

The editors:

Michelle H. Nagler, Editorial Director, Bloomsbury Children's Books

Michelle H. Nagler is the editorial director of Bloomsbury Children’s Books, where she oversees the diverse and distinctive list that ranges from picture books through teen. As an acquisitions editor, she has a special fondness for commercial fiction, and is a passionate advocate for books that truly make children want to read. Recent projects include: the NYT bestselling teen paranormal Need series by Carrie Jones; the uproarious middle-grade A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup (An Al Roker Book Club pick); Tonya Bolden’s acclaimed historical novel Finding Family; the hip and stylish picture books Too Purpley! and Too Pickley! by Jean Reidy and Genevieve Leloup; and Leslie Margolis’s contemporary tween series Annabelle Unleashed and the Maggie Brooklyn Mysteries. Michelle also developed Our Children Can Soar, a picture book about the US Civil Rights Movement featuring thirteen different illustrators, winner of the 2010 NAACP Image Award for Children’s Literature.  Before coming to Bloomsbury, Michelle helped re-establish the teen list at Simon Pulse, and edited paperback series and licensed properties at Scholastic.

Lanie Davis, Editor, Alloy Entertainment

Lanie Davis is an editor at Alloy Entertainment and has worked on such series as Pretty Little Liars, The Lying Game, Private, and The Clique. She graduated from Brown University and now lives in New York City, where she still gets lost wandering around the West Village.

Stacey Barney, Editor, Penguin/Putnam Books

Stacey Barney is an editor at Penguin/Putnam Books for Young Readers and primarily acquires middle grade and young adult fiction. Her list includes such acclaimed and bestselling books as The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had and The Lions of Little Rock, both by Kristin Levine; Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman; NYT bestselling Ask Elizabeth by Elizabeth Berkley; Sparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor; The Implosion of Aggie Winchester by Lara Zielin and Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne.

Discussion Forum


Started by Ciara Jones Aug 30, 2013. 0 Replies

I feel like my brain is rotting awayI don’t know how to explain itI can’t describe this feelingI’m tired of going on FacebookAnd looking at the same thingsIt’s just not amusing me anymoreOr giving me…Continue

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY has a book deal!

Started by Helene Dunbar. Last reply by Ciara Jones Jul 24, 2013. 1 Reply

Thrilled to announce that IN CASE OF EMERGENCY has been sold, in a two-book deal, to FLUX for publication in Spring/Summer 2014.-HeleneContinue

"My So-Called Ruined Life," by Melanie Bishop

Started by Kamy Wicoff. Last reply by Melanie Bishop Jan 21, 2012. 14 Replies

It's one thing to lose your mom shortly before your sixteenth birthday. It's another thing to know she was murdered. Blunt object to the mother's pretty skull, sixteen times, one for each year you've…Continue

"In Case of Emergency," by Helene Dunbar

Started by Kamy Wicoff. Last reply by Kiersi Burkhart Jan 20, 2012. 4 Replies

Fifteen-year-old Gordie Allen’s life shattered when he was ten and his mother drove her car into the river, killing herself and his younger siblings. He knows he was lucky to survive, but all he…Continue


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