Tag Archives: Contests

Chocolate Café and other news…

On Sunday, March 28, somewhere between 10:00 and 10:30 a.m., I’ll be reading a short selection from my new YA novel, Boarder Patrol, at Isabella’s Chocolate Café in Oshawa.

The reading is part of the second annual Coffee, Tea & Words 24-Hour Read-a-Thon, a fundraiser for the Literacy Council of Durham. I’m part of a group of readers from the Writers’ Circle of Durham Region; we’ll be reading for five minutes each. Other WCDR readers are Sue Reynolds, James Dewar, Carin Makuz, Dorothea Helms and Ruth Walker. I know these people and they’re all extremely talented writers–and good at reading in public, too! It promises to be a great show, with lots of interesting work shared.

Plus, it’s at a Chocolate Café. Yes, Chocolate. In case anyone is wondering about my willingness to read aloud. I will do many, many things for access to chocolate. I think the good cause is influencing people, too–Susanna Kearsley and Jill Edmondson will also be participating, at different points in the Read-a-Thon. This should be a great fundraiser for Durham Literacy.

(Incidentally, because the lovely Sue Reynolds fixed up my Boarder Patrol ARC picture, I’ll post it here rather than just linking to it. Just because I can. Thanks, Sue!)

Boarder Patrol ARC cover image
Boarder Patrol Advance Reading Copy

Book Launch Date Set

On the topic of Boarder Patrol, I’ve finally set the date for the book launch. It will be held on Saturday, May 29, 2010, at Blue Heron Books in Uxbridge. I’m not sure of the exact time yet, but probably sometime during the early afternoon–starting at 1:00 or 2:00 or so. There will be cake. There will be door prizes. There will be nice people there, and an absolutely gorgeous bookshop to browse. It should be fun!

And look! Here’s the book on Orca’s web site. This makes it feel real!

Book Giveaway Contest!

Becky Levine (@Becky_Levine on Twitter) is hosting a book giveaway contest. All you have to do is leave a comment on her book review page, and you’ll be entered in a draw to win a copy of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book… enough so that I probably shouldn’t tell anyone about this contest, because I’m hoping to win the draw. However, I can’t quite bring myself to be that mean. Here it is: Becky Levine’s review of Shiver.

Book Promotion Contest!

My friend and co-author, Cheryl Rainfield, is holding a contest to spread the word about her two upcoming books. You can find the details here, on her web site. She’s offering book store gift certificates and signed copies of all three books in the Dragon Speaker trilogy (embarrassing aside: I still sign my name the way I did in grade eight. Guess I should work on that), as well as some fancy pens and magnets she’s had made up as promotional pieces.

The first book mentioned, The Last Dragon, is book one in the Dragon Speaker trilogy from HIP Books. Deb Ouelett wrote book two, and I wrote book three. 

Cheryl’s other book, Scars, has been longer in the making, and will be available from Westside Books in the spring. It’s an edgy teen novel that deals with cutting. Cheryl can write dark and edgy very well, but there’s always a trace of hope in her stories. I haven’t had the chance to read this one yet, but I look forward to it. 

Cheryl’s promotional YouTube videos, however, are not dark and edgy. They’re sweet and funny. You can see them here: 

Video One

Video Two

Check them out! Enter the contest! You’ll make Cheryl very happy. 🙂

NYC Midnight Short Story Contest: 3rd place

This is the second year that I’ve participated in the NYC Midnight Short Story Contest. It’s a great way to get new story ideas. Each participant is assigned a genre and a topic to build their story around. There’s also a fairly tight timeframe, so it encourages “just get it done” writing… which, to be honest, is the way I like to write my first drafts. I find it much easier to revise when I’ve got something to work from.

In round one, participants are divided into heats… usually 30 heats, with 20 or so participants in each. Each heat is assigned a different genre and topic, then participants are given a week to write their 2500-word stories.

Round one first-place and second-place winners go on to compete in the final round. Everyone in the final round is given the same genre and topic, and has 24 hours to complete a story.

It’s a great way to end up with two seedling stories, and since the contest does not publish the winning stories and ownership stays with the writer, you’re free to revise and market them.

Last year my first-round entry (sci-fi, investment) turned into a story that I was able to sell to On Spec magazine. My second-round entry (ghost story, salesman) was terrible and shall never see the light of day.

This year, I was less happy with my first-round entry (action-adventure, hot air balloon), but my final-round entry (sci-fi, neighbours) won third place overall. Apparently I like to write grim sci-fi stories. Very strange. That’s not at all what I read.

Novel marathons and contests like this one have convinced me that constraints and time limits make it easier to write… first drafts, at least. I don’t write a lot of short stories, but I think next year I’ll sign up again and hope for the chance to write two more.

Short story contest–third place! :)

I entered a YA short story in the WCDR (Writers’ Circle of Durham Region) short story contest, and it won third place! 

I’m very happy, because I like this story. I’d been working on it for a while, with feedback from my wonderful writing group and from Peter Carver’s class at Mabel’s Fables last spring. 

I’d also like to point out that the second-place winner, Nora Landry, is a friend from that same wonderful writing group! Yay, Nora. 🙂 

There’s a link to all the winning entries here, if anyone would like to read them.