Last night, Kamy, Debbie, Amanda, and I were on the phone for hours (yes, hours) debating the merits of each and every entry. We were incredibly moved by what you shared with us—your lives, your brilliant writing, and your shining enthusiasm. We wanted to call you, laugh and cry with you, email you, even hug you.
THANK YOU for entering this contest, and for reminding us why She Writes exists.
We narrowed down the list to eighteen finalists, each of whom has a strong, compelling, and promising entry. It was hard to come up with this short list—there were so many wonderful writers to consider. But we took every facet of every entry into account: whether the project could support a full-length book, or was better suited to a magazine article, whether it had a chance in this challenged market, and whether the excerpts and the pitches were evenly balanced (there were some fascinating premises with lesser excerpts, and some beautiful excerpts that weren’t supported by a narrative arc).
In the end, we are most passionate about the following entrants, listed here in alphabetical order by first name. Congratulations to our 18 finalists, whose entries will now go to our illustrious judges: Valerie Boyd, Erin Hosier, Betsy Lerner, Brooke Warner, and Alissa Quart. (For bios, click here
Not all of you had titles yet (no worries!), but for those who shared them with us, we are including them here.
, Running Into
, Alice in Vodkaland
, A World Away
, I Will Bring You Home
, Baby Brains
, Patchwork Journey
, Raising Simone and Nadia
Jean Ellen Whatley
, Imperfect Lives
, My Fabulous Boobies
: I'm NOT a Deadbeat Dad
, The Antidote
, A Glass Half Shattered
Tamiko and Teruko Nimura
, The Wake
, Weekend Warrior, Citizen Soldier
, Not Quite What I Expected
, Late Bloomer
Each of the women on this list has a story to tell and the writing chops with which to tell it. Huge congratulations to our finalists -- the winner will be announced, as promised, on September 7th at 1PM EST.
For the 273 of you who didn't make the cut, first remember how STIFF this competition was (291 entries, all from passionate, talented women) and second, don’t despair. Because if you choose to finish what you have started, and complete a book proposal ready to submit to agents and editors, She Writes will be with you every step of the way. How?
The prize of the Passion Project
is the gift of knowledge and support, something we believe wholeheartedly in sharing. And after we announce our winner, every member of She Writes will be privy to each step the winner takes with the help of our experts, and can follow along, if she likes, to complete a book proposal of her own.
You’ll look over Christina Baker Kline’s
shoulder as she helps the winner craft a dynamite proposal. Erin Hosier
will show the winner (and you) how to polish a query letter. You’ll listen in as Sarah Wilson
coaches the winner in building a winning marketing proposal for her book. You’ll follow along as Courtney E. Martin
and Twanna Hines
show the winner how to make her presence known via blogging and social media. You’ll learn from Sharon Avnon
how to create a website that maximizes visits. And Amanda Johnson Moon
will help you understand the art of revision as we edit the winner’s proposal and sample chapters. Not only that, but life coach Rebecca Rodskog
will share highlights of her weekly coaching sessions with the winner!
Perhaps most wonderfully of all, the support network you have already begun to form with your fellow Passion entrants
will be there for you, as will the team at She Writes, to help you realize your passion and complete your proposals. For those of you who didn't apply, but who would like to work on a nonfiction proposal, I feel sure the Passion entrants will embrace your efforts with open arms, too. From the way they have rallied around each other, it's clear to us that that's just the kind of women they are. She Writers, through and through.
Lastly -- stay tuned for EXCERPTS from our finalists' entries, so you can all see what we saw over these past weeks.