The Sandy Honor Roll
I am very proud of all our finalists and would like to share good news of Sandy finalists
who have gone on to sign an agent and/or sell a book - or three.
Elysia Whisler, Black Rocks, Honorable Mention Romance
After winning the Romance category in 2009 with Broken Souls, Elysia finaled in the Romance category again in 2010 with Black Rocks. She came to the Sandy Writers Conference that year, and after being the sole survivor of the First Pages Workshop (alongside Judy Blume) with Every Passion, a work of Mainstream Women's Fiction, she went home to finish the manuscript. With Every Passion, Elysia acquired an agent, Sara Megibow with Nelson Literary Agency, and is currently working the final revision before the manuscript is submitted to editors.
Kelly Fitzpatrick, Pleasant Lake P.D., 1st Place Mainstream
After winning first place in the mainstream category of the 2009 Sandy with Pleasant Lake P.D., which went on to final in the 2009 Golden Heart, Kelly sold a different manuscript, Lily in Wonderland, to Cerridwen Press.
Catherine McKenzie, Sober, Mainstream
After missing the finals in the mainstream category of The Sandy by one point, Catherine McKenzie sold Spin (originally titled, Sober) and a second novel (mainstream entry titled Arranged) to Jennifer Lambert at HarperCollins Canada through her agent, April Eberhardt of Kimberely Cameron & Associates . SPIN will be published in Canada on January 9, 2010.
SPIN is about Katie Sandford, a young woman who has just gotten an interview at her favorite music magazine, The Line. It's the chance of a lifetime. So what does she do? Goes out to celebrate -- and shows up still drunk at the interview. No surprise, she doesn't get the job, but the folks at The Line think she might be perfect for another assignment for their sister gossip rag. All Katie has to do is follow It Girl, Amber Sheppard, into rehab. If she can get the inside scoop (and complete the 30-day program without getting kicked out), they'll reconsider her for the job at The Line.
Katie takes the job. But things get complicated when real friendships develop, a cute celebrity handler named Henry gets involved, and Katie begins to realize she may be in rehab for a reason. Katie has to make a decision -- is publishing the article worth everything she has to lose?
Find out more here.
Kat Falls, Dark Life, 1st Place F/SF
After winning first place in the sci-fi/fantasy category of the 2008 Sandy writing contest, Kat Falls sold her novel Dark Life, a sci-fi adventure story for young audiences, to Scholastic in a two-book deal via Josh Adams at Adams Literary. Dark Life is set in the near future, when global warming has caused the oceans to rise and reduced America to half its former size. Fifteen-year-old Ty and his family live on an ocean floor homestead. When outlaws attack the pioneer settlement, Ty teams up with a girl from the "Topside" who has arrived sub-sea to search for her brother. Together they face dangerous sea creatures and venture into the frontier town's rough underworld to discover the secret behind the outlaws' eerie abilities. Dark Life will arrive in bookstores in May 2010.
Skyler White, and Falling, Fly, 2nd Place F/SF
and Falling, Fly -- Skyler White's dark fable of desire between the fallen angel of desire and a self-medicating neuroscientist -- took Second Place in the 2008 Sandy writing contest, and was subsequently sold by Holly Root to Leis Pederson at Berkley in a two book deal. Set in a steampunk, underground Irish hell, and Falling, Fly will appeal to readers of Neil Gaiman and fans of Joss Whedon. It hits shelves March 2, 2010.
Maureen Hardegree, A Ghoul Just Wants to Have Fun, 1st Place C/YA
Maureen Changed the title to Haint Misbehavin' and sold the book to Bell Bridge in June 2009, for release June 2010.
Kaki Warner, Mesquite Tree, 2nd Place Romance
Kaki found her agent, Nancy Coffey of Nancy Coffee Literary and Media Management in June 2008. Coffey sold Mesquite Tree - now titled Pieces of Sky, as the first book in Kaki's Blood Rose Trilogy (a western-themed historical romance), in a three-book deal to Berkley Trade. Pieces of Sky will be released Jan 2010, Book two, Open Country, is scheduled to be released June 2010, and book three, Chasing The Wind, will be released January 2011.
Shannon Baker, Ashes of The Red Heifer, 2nd Place Thriller/ Suspense
Judi Fennell, In Over Her Head, 3rd Place Romance
After placing 3rd in The Sandy, Judi entered In Over Her Head (he's a merman and she's terrified of the ocean; toss in some talking fish, a shark with an attitude, a few sea monsters and plop the whole thing down in Atlantis) in the online contest: First Chapters Romance. Judi made the Top 5 finalists, garnered her multiple agent offers (she accepted the offer from Jennifer Schober of Spencerhill Associates), but didn't win the contest. What it did for Judi, was to bring her story to the national romance buyer for Borders and she gave Judi some feedback and "championed" it to editors. She was instrumental in the story being bought.
Judi's editor, Deb Werksman at Sourcebooks, bought not only In Over Her Head, but also the next two in the series. In Over Her Head debuted in June 2009, Wild Blue Under comes out November, 2009, and Catch of a Lifetime comes out February 2009.
And Judi's happily at work on her next series for Sourcebooks, pitched as I Dream of Jeannie meets Indiana Jones. Look for the first book, tentatively titled, I Dream of Genies in fall, 2010.
Lori M. Dixon, The Women of Haven, 3rd Place F/SF
After twenty years of silence, after retiring from teaching literature and medieval culture and after surviving three recurrences of breast cancer, I found myself with enough freedom and time to write, and write whatever pleased me. I began with fiction and poetry.
I was a finalist in the Fantasy category of the 2007 Sandy with the traditional fantasy The Women of Haven. Shortly thereafter, I started to work with Emily Keyes of the Lori Perkins Agency. I haven't sold the manuscript or series yet, but I think it's just a matter of time. I have finished the sequel The Land of Song, and am shaping up the rest of the series. In the meantime, I've been publishing poetry and non-fiction.