Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Contest Week Two

Week One of the contest has come to an end, and here are the first two semifinalists:

Josin L. McQuein, ARCLIGHT (dark YA fantasy)

Pat Remick, MURDER MOST MUNICIPAL (Traditional/Cozy Mystery)

The semifinalists will be contacted individually on Wednesday, June 16 with instructions on how to send their pages to Sophie for final round judging.

There were so many wonderful entries! The judges would have loved to keep reading many of them. And Daisy, they said that if you have the synopsis/query/30 pages, they'd put you in the semifinals too - apparently you had them at "Larry didn't have tentacles"...

On to Week Two! If you did not final, you are welcome to enter again this week with a different manuscript. Otherwise, please continue to spread the word. The rules are exactly the same as week one. More semifinalists will be chosen next Wednesday, June 9. Just submit your title, genre, and first five lines to be considered for a manuscript critique by agent Barbara Poelle. Complete rules, and other prizes, listed here.

Thank you so much for sharing your work!


Josin L. McQuein said...

Cool! Thanks, Sophie.

This is a great contest. :-)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Josin and Pat!

Anonymous said...

So, six sentences is okay? I would have thought that having more than five sentences in a Five Sentence Contest would, you know, disqualify a person.

Silly me.

David Backer said...

Hi Sophie,

I edit, an aggregator site for online fiction. We choose three stories from online magazines to present a wider audience every day. We found your piece "A Taste for It" on Darkest Before Dawn and liked it. We'll be featuring it on 5 June under our "Genre" category.


--David Backer

Sophie Littlefield said...

David - thanks so much! I have to admit I'm fond of that story too. I'm honored to be included. - sophie

Daisy said...

Hey, if someone's going to read it, I'll send you thirty pages, a synopsis, query and a plate of fresh-baked brownies. :)

I have two weeks, right?

PatRemick said...

What a lovely way to start the month! Thanks!

Carole said...

Title: Dry Bones
Genre: Murder Mystery

First Five Lines: I feel compelled to tell you that you never suspect when your life is going to do a one hundred eighty degree turn. You busy yourself with the mundane routine of living and wham—right in the kisser, as Ralph Kramden would say. Today, the routine consisted of baking pies for the annual church bake sale. I opened the oven door to check on the third set of pies. Five more minutes should do it.

B. Light said...

What an awesome contest! Thanks, Josin, for telling me about it!

Title: The Collected
Genre: YA Paranormal

First Five Lines:
Through the glass of Emma’s bottle the tiny basement room appeared curved and distorted. The door crashed open and the Collector limped over the threshold. He dragged his left leg behind him, smearing blood across the floor with his foot. Emma’s heart sank. He needed her talent again.

Xvee said...

Title: Stalker Gray By Xvee

Epic Fantasy

Stalker Gray pulled the giant’s eyeball by the optic nerve up the sloped street of the open air market. Three feet in diameter, the organ picked up all the dirt and grime of the cobble road and left a slippery trail of jelly. Blood matted Stalker’s long auburn hair and streaked her face like war paint. Repulsed onlookers kept away and made comments about her sanity, threatened to call the guards to give her a beating, or priests to burn the unwholesome creature at the stake while they hurled stones and did some pious dancing around the fire as she cooked.

Janine said...

Genre: YA Steampunk
Title: Firebird

First Five Sentences:

Octavia checked the sky out her window again, and restrained the urge to ask her maid to go faster. It would only result in another bruising pin shoved through the curls being carefully piled on top of her head.

“Wiggling your feet won’t speed this up,” Jenny admonished, as she added yet another pin. “You still have a few minutes before sunset.”

“I know, I know. It’s just—I haven’t seen the firebird since I’ve been home.”

Jennifer said...

Hm...hoping I get the HTML thing right. Anyway, thanks for the contest, and here goes nothing:

Title: The Life and Times of Dale McCarthy

Genre: Action/adventure/suspense (still working this out, actually)

Georgie called again. Fourteen times last night. I’ll leave it to you to take care of.

As a general rule, you know you’re in for a bad day when the first thing you find on your desk is a note about a mentally ill homeless man with a grudge against superheroes because they won’t help him rescue his invisible cat. Again.

Joyce said...

Title: Untitled (although lately I've been calling it THAT F&*#ING BOOK)
Genre: Mystery

First 5 sentences:
I knew it was going to be a bad day when the Chief of Police keeled over in my office.

I'd just entered the last police report into the computer when I heard a noise in the doorway. Since my boss was the only other person in the station--our two daylight officers were on patrol--I didn't bother to look up. "Hey, Chief."

He didn't answer, so I turned around.

J.S. Wood said...

This is a great contest!

Title: Larch
Genre: YA sci-fi dystopian

The excitement flowed through my body like molten lava, until I thought I would explode with happiness. I’ve always wanted to use that expression, molten lava, how many people have seen it? We can only guess what it feels like winding sinuously down the mountain, and that is what I felt like was going through my body. Today was the day I would meet my secret friend, the first friend I’d ever had in my almost fifteen years of life, and I just knew it would be special.

It wasn’t as hard keeping the friendship a secret as it was hacking into the guards’ illegal internet connection to experience the outside world.

deltay said...

Title: Freezing Charley

Genre: YA science fiction

First Five Lines:

Damn. Fear hops around in my stomach like a frog in a pot of boiling water.

I hoist myself up, up, up over the fence. Drop to the ground, slide a little on the landing. The grass is slick with dew, and pressure echoes through the balls of my feet, slamming through my ankles, bulldozing into my knees.

Grapeshot/Odette said...

Title: World of Mirrors
Genre: Suspense

Through the plate glass window, I watched the juggernaut of Monday morning traffic on the Edens Expressway, longing to be in one of those cars heading into Chicago. Instead, I stood in the suburban Northfield office of Coppola and Henry staring at my boss in mute disbelief.
He held my letter of resignation at arms length between his thumb and forefinger, like a dirty diaper. “One last trip, Zara,to Germany—rather East Germany. The Wall is down now, so no problemo.”

Peg said...

Title: TBD
Romantic Caper (the Hot Flash Club Meets Charlie's Angels)


"Robin called." Cynthia Baxter looked around the table where her words landed with a splat, surely audible above the melodic tinkling of glasses, clang of silverware and low murmur of well-modulated conversation around her.
"Robin!" Brenda "Mack" Macaroni looked up from her plate where she had been smooshing the last 250 calories of her Death by Chocolate dessert between the tines of her fork. "What the hell did he want?"

Amanda P. said...

Title: The Devil's Utopia
Genre: YA Sci FI


Whispers of an outsider’s arrival have been flying between the mouths and ears of the Forsaken all day. It’s hard to keep secrets from us, especially when it’s something curious.

My own ears were still ringing from the orders Frau Meier barked at me not five minutes before. “Don’t stop, Adelaide. Just drop the tray and come directly back."

I had to cut it in the middle of some dialogue. :/

D. L. Richardson said...

Here goes nada!

Title: As of yet, Untitled. I've got names for it, but none polite.
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Ah, the alarm clock: the first thing in line to ruining a perfectly good morning. Mind you, it ruins every morning, but generally speaking if that’s the worst part of my day I’ll do alright.

I mean seriously, every morning I wake up to that damn thing I figure is a lucky day, all things considered. But then again, tromping in he-wolf puke two steps out of bed is crucial.

Way crucial.

Josin L. McQuein said...


When you say synopsis, do you mean the detailed kind that can run like 5-10 pages, or the short overview kind that's 1-2?

Sophie Littlefield said...

Hey everyone, I would say you can do your synopsis however you like. Barbara will probably prefer a short one, 1-2 pages.

abbi said...

Hey, congrats to Josin and Pat! I totally forgot about this until a few minutes ago.

And, congrats Sophie on your Anthony nomination.

Debating what to post next . . .


Norma said...

Title: Death of a Hot Chick
Genre: Mystery

First five sentences:

The boat needed a lot of work, which was good. I needed to scrub, polish, wax, and definitely not think. When I hosed down the cabin roof, the water drained in streaks instead of beading and left a lot of bird doo. Before I waxed the gelcoat I needed to get serious with a brush.

"Cyd Denlinger, shape up," I muttered with clenched teeth.

Amanda P. said...

Fark. Just noticed a tense error in mine (The Devil's Utopia). Not that it matters now, but I noticed!! lol

Regan Leigh said...

Title: working title is HAYES
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

I couldn’t imagine how a dead man in a casket would make people hungry, but whatever. I’d buy the doughnuts as one last inconvenience for the old man -- the bastard.

I stood in the town’s only bakery, surrounded by a Saturday crowd of moms and snotty kids, as I tugged at my choking tie. I’d bought it for my graduation, but the gown was still hanging in my closet and I’d dressed up for my father’s funeral today instead.

I waited behind the only snot-free person, a girl who looked to be about my age.

MC Rogerson said...

Title: Wrack Line
Genre: YA Paranormal

A glass crashes against a wall. The band falters and then plays on. A chill runs across my neck. I don’t like this pub. The Ship’s a run-down place at the bad end of the promenade with stained carpets and air thick with fry-ups. If mum knew I was here, she’d kill me.