Well, we were absolutely thrilled, and a tad bit overwhelmed, when no fewer than 407 of you entered your novel synopses and first 2,000 words to our first-ever "We Love New Novelists!" contest. I can't stress enough how proud each and every entrant should feel of herself for being ready, willing and able to share her work at this level; She Writes members are terrific, and the quality of the work we read was really outstanding. More on that after I get to the goods, as you would all be skimming this bit anyway:
Our five winners, who will get feedback on their synopses and excerpts, as well as guidance about next steps toward publication from agents SALLY WOFFORD-GIRAND and ELEANOR JACKSON, and editor SARA WEISS are...
Shannon Lee Alexander, from Fishers, Indiana: "Unknown Variable"
Linda L. Graham, from Cave Creek, Arizona: "Voices Beckon"
Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar, from Washington, D.C.: "An Unlikely Goddess"
Allison Sample, from Brooklyn, New York: "Clean Breaks"
Julie Lawson Timmer, from Ann Arbor, Michigan: "Here When You Need Me"
I know that 402 of you are disappointed right now, and I hate that! So here are a few words of comfort: we are almost surely going to do this again, perhaps with a focus on particular genres (though don't hold me to that one yet), as I am certain that more than five you deserve to have your work read, like, tomorrow. And on Tuesday September 13th at 3PMEST (make a note, we had originally said 1PMEST), Sally, Eleanor, Sara and I will do a one-hour She Writes Radio show where we talk about how to grab your reader with your first 2,000 words, as well as the current publishing climate. Our agents and our editor will share tips, best practices, and dispense plenty of advice to all lovely She Writers looking to publish their work. Finally, don't forget that you have found a community here, and specifically with the other entrants to the contest. I hope you will take the momentum and energy you put into this and RUN WITH IT!
Finally, stay tuned -- in the next hour or so I will post the synopses and excerpts our five winners submitted, so that they can share their work with She Writes, and you can enjoy it -- even if it might be a bit bittersweet at first.