• Passion Project
  • Decisions, Decisions -- Why Did You Have To Make It So Hard? (In a Good Way)
Decisions, Decisions -- Why Did You Have To Make It So Hard? (In a Good Way)
Written by
Passion Project
August 2010
Written by
Passion Project
August 2010
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.

Allison Landa, Running Into

Allison Stevens, Untitled

Alyssa Brennan, Alice in Vodkaland

Amy Campbell, A World Away

Amy Risher, I Will Bring You Home

Dana Campbell, Baby Brains

Elena Schwolsky-Fitch, Patchwork Journey

Honeysmoke, Raising Simone and Nadia

Jasmina Nogo, Untitled

Jean Ellen Whatley, Imperfect Lives

Nicole McLean, My Fabulous Boobies

Rebekah Spicuglia: I'm NOT a Deadbeat Dad

Sally Kohn, The Antidote

Sandy Kuntz, A Glass Half Shattered

Tamiko and Teruko Nimura, The Wake

Victoria Hudson, Weekend Warrior, Citizen Soldier

Wilson Diehl, Not Quite What I Expected

Xian Horn, 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 and I 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.

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  • Katherine Harms

    Congratulations to all the winners! Best to all of you, and I will be working hard, too. Thank you She Writes for this great community to encourage us to write, write, write.

  • Jessica Keenan Smith

    Congratulations to all the finalists! Best to all and can't wait to follow the progress.

  • Mariana Noble

    Congratulations, everyone. And thanks, Kamy, for reminding me that I can be a part of the whole process along with the winner. Whew! I'm still dizzy from the excitement.

  • Rebekah Spicuglia

    Omg this is so exciting!! Thank you and congrats to all <3 XOXO

  • I love reading all these warm wishes -- and don't forget you can all continue what you have started by working on your proposals together over time, with our team's expertise visible to all of you!

  • Brooke Linville


  • Caitlin Constantine

    Congratulations to the finalists! I'll admit, I'm a bit disappointed, but my disappointment is tempered by the fact that one of my former journalism professors is a finalist! You know who you are. ;)

  • Karen H. Thompson

    Congrats to all of the finalists and to everyone who submitted an entry!

  • Mary Keating

    Wow - congrats to the 18 finalist! I anxiously await your books..... Hugs, Mary

  • Allison Landa

    Congrats everybody! Good show!

  • Amy Wise

    Congratulations to the finalists!!!! I am so excited to read your excerpts and to continue on this amazing adventure with all of you. The Passion Project lit my fire to keep moving and keep writing and I have now re written what I originally entered and am so excited about this new beginning! So to the 18....congrats to all of you! We are all winners in this journey together! Woohoo! Can't wait to follow you to the end.....good luck!

  • Caryn FitzGerald

    Congratulations to all the finalists! Can't wait to read your excerpts too!

  • Susanne Hampton

    Congratulations Ladies! Good luck in the finals and with your books!