Thursday, March 17, 2011

Results from "I knew she knew" prompt

This last prompt received a record number of entries - 37! When I first had the idea for this contest, I thought maybe there'd be like 10-15 when we got started. That we might get close to 40 entries by the end of the year. Amazing.

Like always, you made the judges' job tough! Here's the list of those who placed, along with an honorable mention. Again, there's no points for honorable mention, but it's cool all the same.

Received votes for first place:
Rachelle Rea
Monica Burke

Received votes for second place:
Sierra Bennett
Teddy Chan

Received votes for third place:
Monica Burke
Jennifer Grimes

Honorable mention:
Ariana Root

This round's writing prompt went live on Monday (click here to check it out). And, as always, here's a sampling of last round's winners:

By Monica Burke

When she stormed into my bedroom, eyes ablaze, I knew she knew.
“You killed him.” Without even looking, I knew she was in tears.
I calmly set aside my paperwork, careful not to mix up any of the files on my desk. There were at least three important cases I had yet to file, and there was no use in falling behind.
“Alright, so I killed him.” I put the cap on my pen and place it into the cup next to the computer. “Questions?”
“Just one.” She pressed something against the side of my head and I heard a click. “Any last words?”

The comments: The surprising anger at the end was an interesting twist to the calmness of the narrator./Wow. You got it all…setting, intro to characters, mood (a bit sassy, I might add—nice!), hook, and big stakes. Superb.

By Rachelle Rea

When she stormed into my bedroom, eyes ablaze, I knew she knew.

“How could you?” she shrieked.

My tongue refused to roll out a response.

That afternoon, I had been offered a book contract. And all because of one little writing contest. But it was my sister who wanted to be the author in the family, not me. Though there was something tantalizing about that contract.

I watched Jessica’s face turn purple with rage, a captivating contrast to her bright orange sweater. Then, in one flash, the fire in her eyes extinguished itself. She sighed.

And her calmness scared me much more than her fury.
The comment: I liked the narrator's awareness of what was happening outside of her...that distance that allowed her to notice the purple face as a "captivating" contrast to the orange sweater.

By Sierra Bennett:
When she stormed into my bedroom, eyes ablaze, I knew she knew.

"Where is it Ess?" she demanded.
"Mother!He didn't mean to burn the cart.It was an accident.
Alessandro wouldn't do such a thing on purpose."
"I've had it Esmeralda.He has to go"
"At least let me talk to Father" I begged.
"He's busy.There's an Ambassador here.
We are thinking about a marriage between our countries.Wouldn't that be lovely?"
"I don't want to marry some tedious Prince.I want to keep Alessandro!" I cry desperately.
"That dragon has been nothing, but trouble.Gone by tomorrow Ess, hear me?"
No, I hear runaway.
The comment: You just have to like someone unwilling to give up a dragon.

By Teddy Chan:
When she stormed into my bedroom, eyes ablaze, I knew she knew.

Without mercy, her hand slammed against my face, knocking me into my bed.
"I told you to never talk to them!" she screamed, her jaw trembling with every word. I forced back tears and covered throbbing cheek. I could hear her heels clack as she paced across my floor.
"Why did you do it?” she asked. "Look at me !" she exploded.
I did.
"Jamie, those people," she pointed across the street, "can’t be trusted. They are a threat to this family - to you. We can’t let them jeopardize our plans. Not now.”
The comment: Awesome job! The hook is clear, conflict strong, emotion engaging and characters introduced through their actions. Love hearing the sound of Mom’s shoes and feeling the slam across the face/knock into the bed. Not to mention the mention of the home across the street. Well done.

By Jennifer Grimes:

When she stormed into my bedroom, eyes ablaze, I knew she knew. My heart pounded against my ribs as I waited for her to say something. She held my gaze, but refused to speak. Her coal-black eyes narrowed at me in anger, disgust, and even hatred. What do you have to say for yourself? I could imagine her saying, yet she remained silent. I felt the onset of hyperventilation. I had to do something. Moving from the comfort of my bed spread, I stood nearly toe-to-toe in front of her. “So?” I whispered, my mouth suddenly dry.

“You,” she spat, her eyes even fiercer than before, “are a murderer!”

The comment: Great job developing an enticing hook and using strong verbs to create mood.


  1. Rachelle! How cool, I didn't even know you had entered this. Good going friend.

  2. So happy I placed!
    Congratulations to everyone else!

  3. Great entries! Stephanie, I think you get as excited over the people entering as we all do to have this opportunity :)

  4. Do the judges have rules for how they are to judge? On my entries they always say something positive & then constructive, which is helpful
    The positive comments are well positive. But I'm not placing so when I hear some of their comments I wonder if it's truly good OR they are saying that because they have too.
    i know not everyone will place when you have nearly 40 entries, that's not the issue. I'm more asking if the strengths they point out are strengths and "good job" or "very interesting" "great hook"  is  because they have to or I might have written something ok?

  5. I actually kinda agree with Anonymous... I'm really enjoying getting the feedback though thats really awesome. =)

    And I do get constructive criticism. But... I don't think the judges are supposed to be mean about the judging, thats just rude and inhumane.
    But yeah, I do kinda agree with you Anonymous...

    I do love this contest though =) Even though I haven't won yet, I'm still entering. =D

  6. I'm glad you asked.

    I've asked the judges to point out sonething you do well as well as something you can work on. If they say you're doing something well, I hope they are being sincere. Several of you have emailed me with questions about feedback you've received and I'm always happy to help if I can.

    Sometimes it isn't that there is something mechanically wrong with an entry. Sometimes another is just a bit "more." Shows more creativity, uniqueness, etc. Likewise, sometimes something has a great voice, but the mechanics aren't there yet.

    Again if you have a question or feel like a judge was unfair, please email me.

  7. Thanks Mrs. Morrill for clearing that up =)
    hopefully sometime I'll get placed at third or something eventually once I figure stuff out. =)

  8. Jazmine, I've found that persistence counts for a lot in this business!

    Those who judge for Go Teen Writers contest do it because they have a real heart for encouraging the next generation of writers. They want to help you grow, but they also want to cheer you on. It's a tough balance to achieve.

  9. Yeah I can imagine, I'd have a tough time judging thingies like this if I was judging.

    I get ancy about my future as an author, I would LOVE to get published like perhaps during my late sophomore year in High school and then junior year and up; but unfortunately I don't know if many publishing companies accept manuscripts from teenagers.
    So yeah, I just get worried about if I'm even publishing material sometimes.
    I'm hoping its still superstition and for now I'm convincing myself to enjoy my freelance writing :) lol

  10. Well, I'm living proof that if you don't accomplish your dream of being published while in high school, there's plenty of time afterward for it to happen :)

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Thanks for the advice, and I'll be sure to use it next time!