Wednesday, November 14, 2012

EVER Title Contest Winners!

What a fun contest! After writing pitches and queries, isn't it refreshing just to enter your title in a contest? So easy. I'll have to do this again.

This was tough, because we liked a lot these! But here are the winners:

Jessa's Winners


Tendril by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet (Winner of EVER & a query critique)
Screamers by Connie Michael (Winner of EVER & a query critique)

John Wayne Marshall's So-Called "Sex Life" by John Marshall (Winner of EVER)
Stricken by A.K. Morgen (Winner of warm fuzzies)

Jessa's analysis:

Obviously, you can all probably tell I'm a huge fan of one-word titles. (EVER and DIVIDE are examples of that.)

STRICKEN is such a powerful word in and of itself, that I would want to pick up the book just by that. I can't wait to see a cover to go with it!

TENDRIL just sounds so creepy to me, and it is such an un-used word, that the uniqueness alone would make me curious. I know it is a Rapunzel redux, but it could really go a gothic/creepy direction too. Love it!

SCREAMERS makes me picture a dark horror, or a Zombie story - but I could be way off there. I picture an artistic book cover with a drawing of someone screaming, but stuff is coming out of his mouth instead of sound. That makes no sense, I know, but hopefully you get the gist.

My other choice, JOHN WAYNE MARSHALL'S SO-CALLED SEX LIFE, makes me laugh, and just by the title I'd be curious. The title alone makes me think that this is probably a humorous take on the awkwardness of young love and the ups and downs of hooking up in High School and possibly beyond. We've all been there - those awkward moments we wish we could forget - so seeing them through someone else's experiences might make us feel a bit better about our own snafus. This title grabs my attention, and with an equally charming and awkward cover, I think it could make me pick it up and read more.

Sharon's Winners


Once in Limberlost by Natasha Hawkins (Winner of a Red-Cross benefiting title & a query critique)
Broken Branch Falls by Tara Tyler (Winner of a Red-Cross benefiting title & a query critique)

Sharon's analysis:

ONCE IN LIMBERLOST has a great quirky fantasy feel. The word "limberlost" has "lost" in it and also makes me think of the word "limbo". It's a made-up word that reminds of real words and thus evokes real feelings, and that's great way to have a creative title that is still meaningful to people.

BROKEN BRANCH FALLS evokes a clear image and even some sounds and smells. Also it has some good conflict words, "broken" and "fall". There's also a double meaning. Is it a waterfall known as "broken branch" or a broken branch falling? :)

For the record, I also LOVE Tendril and Screamers. Even though I am limited on how many prizes I can give, I wanted to name some runner-ups:

Runner's up:

TENDERWOOD has a strong, epic sound to it. It's another great made-up word that sounds real. My only critique is that "tender" is a warm, fuzzy word and the story is dark. Can we go edgier?

THE GRAVE CLOTHES LAUNDRESS, I'll admit, is a mouthful. :) But something drew me to it, mainly it's sheer originality. It leaves me asking questions, in a good way. And of course "grave" is a great word which evokes an image and lots of emotions. Perhaps it could benefit from being shorter, such as just "The Grave Clothes." Also "laundress" feels somewhat old-fashioned to me, like it would belong on the cover of a literary historical novel, not a paranormal YA.

SPEECHLESS has been used for quite a bit of novels, movies, and albums, so it may be a good idea to find a way to add a new twist to it. However, I liked this matched with the Little Mermaid concept. Under water, you can't speak, and it just gives me a deep sense of the themes you take on in your Little Mermaid re-telling.

Popular Vote Winners

Props to...

Shattered Secrets by Krystal Wade (winner of warm fuzzies)
Heirs of War by Mara Valderran (winner of EVER)

Congratulations winners! 

If you won a copy of EVER, please send your email address to Jessa(at) so she can send it to you. If you won a query critique from her, please send it to the same address.

If you're one of my winners, email your query to sharon(at) and let me know which of these books you would like. Even if your query isn't ready, please send me your book selection by 11/16 so I can purchase it during the promotional period!


  1. Ooh! I love me some warm and fuzzies! :-) Congrats to all the winners!

  2. I loved this, it was fun and so relaxing after all the contests that really stress us all out!

    Tenderwood was mine, thanks for the Honorable Mention, Sharon. I'm currently looking for something darker to use instead of tender... but I really like the way it sounds... I think with the right cover the point could get across alright. Thinking of Chokewood or something like that... not sure why I'm stuck on 'wood' - wonder what that says about me?

  3. Thank you!! I'm so excited, and so looking forward to reading EVER - the query crit is just icing on the cake :)

  4. Yay! Free book that I really want! :) Thanks for the votes, guys!

  5. Congrats to all the winners!

    YAY!! I can't wait to read the book I won (picked), Krystal Wade's, WILDE'S FIRE.

    AND a query critique, too?!?! I'm in heaven!! Thanks so much!!

  6. I love winning warm and fuzzies! :) Congratulations, everyone!