Thursday, November 11, 2010

Awesome Art and YAlitchat

Last month, I entered my query in a contest over at YAlitchat to win a query critique (for the top 10 queries by popular vote) or a full submission to Little Brown (for the top query as judged by agents and editors). Thanks to my lovely blog followers and friends, my query for OPEN MINDS made it to the Top 10!

*balloons*  *streamers*

THANK YOU so much for your support!!
Please cross your fingers for me that I might win the top query award!

In a separate awesome contest at my friend Adam Heine's blog, I won a sketch from the multi-talented Mr. Heine. I asked him to sketch a scene from my YA paranormal novel OPEN MINDS. Here's the log line for the story:

Although everyone now reads minds, sixteen-year-old Kira Moore can't and never will. When she almost kills her best friend by accident, she discovers she can control the minds of others and is torn between passing for normal and exposing the hidden pushers of her world.

In the scene I sent to Adam, Kira meets a young fellow pusher named Laney on their way to deeper trouble. This is what he drew:

So. Awesome.

I loved seeing how Adam brought the scene to life, adding touches like Kira's blue sneakers and Laney's skirt and ankle socks that weren't described in the text. As Westerfeld mentioned at his book signing, the interaction between author and illustrator can be an important one in shaping the story. I'm going to add in those ankle socks, just because Adam drew her that way. Having just a small chance to experience the author/illustrator interaction, and having Adam bring something I made up in my head to life, was beyond awesome. Thank you, Mr. Heine!

Finally, if you are a young adult or middle grade writer, I highly encourage you to check out YAlitchat, the sponsors of the contest above. Not only do they hold fantastic contests, but it is a great place to meet other authors, swap critiques, and share in the writing journey. There is so much in YAlitchat, I'm going to borrow Georgia McBride's words to describe it:

Georgia McBride from YAlitchat....

Hello new members! Welcome to YALITCHAT.ORG! Jut wanted to share a few things! Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of .ORG! Can you believe it? We are approaching 1900 members! HOW COOL IS THAT? We have so much going on. First, today I submitted 8 writers from our Agent Mailbox to our agent panel at 12:30PM EST. By 3:00PM we've had 7 requests for partials of up to 50 pages. HOW COOL IS THAT? We just added a contest for our NaNoWrMo participants. Top prize is a Kindle. I wish I'd decided to participate since I STILL do not have one. Grrrr. Member Alyson Noel (yes THAT one) just announced the winners of our teen writing contest over on her blog! First prize was $100! We had our first-ever members-only chat with Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl this part Friday. If you missed it, no worries. We'll try to do one once/month. I'm giving away a ton of stuff on my blog on Weds to celebrate our anniversary so don't miss out. We are growing in so many ways. Members are taking your advice on how to make their queries and first pages sing and getting agents and book deals. Super amazing. Our published authors are rocking the NY Times bestseller list. NICE! Most of all, we're getting together in support of causes like bullying, encourages boys to read more, taking a stand against intolerance and showing the world that YA literature is as important if not more than others. We are YALITCHAT.ORG--we read, write and LIVE YA! WELCOME! 

YAlitchat is a rocking place to be - check it.


  1. congrats on making the top ten!
    very cool of adam to illustrate for your story!

  2. Congratulations! And how much fun is that, to have an Adam Heine original for your story - I always enjoy looking at his drawings.

  3. That is soooo cool! In the top 10?! *Jumping up and down for you *

  4. hi miss susan! hooray for you getting in that top 10. i just know youre gonna win the big prize. that drawing is really cool. i could like to have a drawer for my books some day. i want at that yalitchat and its pretty cool. im gonna join up cause there lots i could learn there.
    ...hugs from lenny

  5. YAlitchat is beyond awesome. And congrats on your query making it to the second round!

  6. @Aspiring Thanks! And I was very excited when I won Adam's contest. :)

    @Deniz I know! Too fun.

    @LM Thanks! :)

    @Lenny If you check out YAlitchat, be sure to let them know you are a student - I think they have discounts (or free)memberships and special scholarships for young writers! :)

    @Nicole Thanks!! :)

  7. Great, Susan. That's so exciting about being in the top ten. I loved the sketch of your scene as well.

  8. @C.Lee Thanks! And you are part of what makes YAlitchat such a great place to be! :)

  9. Congrats X 2! It's wonderful that you won both contests!! :-)

  10. Congratulations on both accounts! It looks like you are having an awesome week. :)

  11. @Shannon Thanks!

    @Sharon Truly! I need to remember my luck, if I'm ever tempted to complain. :)

  12. Hey, now he just has to illustrate the rest of the book. Should be easy.


  13. Quite happy to do it, Susan. I have to remember to offer drawings as prizes more often.

    And I'm kinda stoked that my picture inversely affects your manuscript :-)

  14. @Adam I was quite motivated to win that prize! :) #happiness


Erudite comments from thoughtful readers