Even before we Freshman Fifteens signed our book contracts and officially entered the KidLit writing world, we were floored by the generosity of this terrific community. We’ve each been helped beyond words by our agents, editors, fellow authors (published and not-yet-published), and each other. It’s made this crazy (and stressful!) journey a much more enjoyable ride. As a group, we wanted to work together on a project that would allow us to pay it forward and help the next generation of authors.
And so on June 26, we kicked off our COMMON ROOM short story teen mentoring contest. We were extremely lucky to find a terrific partner in this contest to mentor teen writers: the 25-million-plus online community of Wattpad.
In the contest, the winning teen writers experience the process of having a book published, from the “query” stage where they pitch us their short story idea, to getting their “deal” when a Freshman Fifteens author selects them as their mentee, to working with their author as they would a book editor, going through two rounds of revisions, through the copy edit stage, cover reveal, release date, and—finally!—book launch.
The finished collection of fictional short stories will be published as an anthology, titled COMMON ROOM, on Wattpad, debuting in January 2015. Winners will also receive signed books, swag, and more.
For the past month, our Freshman Fifteens have been reading the entries, and we’re astounded by the talent. The short story pitches submitted to us were so incredibly engaging and the writing so universally strong and vivid that it made choosing our final 15 an extremely difficult challenge. (Check out the entries here.)
Before we announce the winners, we want to congratulate each writer who submitted to us. It is a very brave thing to put your work forward for reading and critique. You should be proud of yourself for entering and, more than that, know how hard you—with your talent—made this decision for us. Please continue writing. Keep entering contests, keep honing your craft, and keep reading to learn and improve. That’s what we all did—and still do.
And now, here are the winners and their Freshman Fifteen mentors!
We will be working with our writers throughout Fall 2014 to revise their stories in anticipation of their January 2015 debut in the COMMON ROOM anthology.
Be sure to follow the Freshman Fifteens on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or right here on our blog to find out more about the winners in the coming months and to read their stories in the COMMON ROOM anthology!