I'm smacking everyone who confused the meaning of allegiance with alliance. Sheesh!
There were 155 entries which might be an all-time high. It's clear Veronica Roth's fans were out in force!
Here are the results:
Special recognition for homage to the Alot
"I fear no felt-covered grammatical error." Josin L. McQuein 2/2412 12:05pm
"Alot of wreckage" NotWarriorPrincess 2/25/12 3:20pm
Phrases that need to be used much more often
"I swore allegiance to the shark" Kathleen 2/24/12 12:07pm
"ninja Twinkies" Kregger 2/24/12 4:49pm
Entries that made my blood run cold
McWilliam 2/24/12 4:05pm
"reality fiction" Just Jan 2/25/12 12:06pm
Every writer should approach revisions like this!
Sarah 2/24/12 9:55pm
Bill Plante 2/25/12 1:06pm
Special recognition for a lovely homage to DIVERGENT
MrsAC 2/24/12 2:36pm
Brodie 2/24/12 8:26pm
These entries totally cracked me up:
Rachel Schieffelbein 2/24/12 12:10pm
Ari 2/24/12 12:27pm
Steve Forti 2/24/12 7:09pm
CherylAnne Ham 2/24/12 9:27pm
Shirin Dubbin 2/25/12 5:51pm
Here are the semi-finalists!
The Happy Amateur 2/24/12 12:08pm
Mrs. Silverstein 2/24/12 1:21pm
Gabrielle 2/24/12 11:35pm
M.R. Jordan 2/25/12 7:01am
Seldom Pays Attention Kid 2/25/12 8:59am
SiSi 2/25/12 11:53am
Marsha Sigman 2/25/12 4:05pm
OwlAndSparrow 2/25/12 5:50pm
Morgan Hyde 2/25/12 6pm
Bane of Anubis 2/25/12 12:43pm
Here are the finalists
Tobi Summers 2/24/12 12:08pm
“Zombie Hunters 2, the sequel! Action!”
Laughter. The camera shook, picture wobbling.
A quick cut. He was on screen now, wooden sword to another boy’s throat. “Do you swear your allegiance to Eltron, Lord of the Zombies?”
“No! I’ll destroy you first!” More laughter, the clank of swords as they fought.
Then she was on-screen, and he cried, “I’ll save you, Ashley!”
His foe demanded, “Would you risk your life for her?”
“I would die for her.”
“Then you’ve made your choice!”
She wiped a tear from her eye. He had.
She rewound the tape again.
Mark Koopmans 2/24/12 1:26pm
Alone in the dark.
Striding by without a glance, your allegiance is always elsewhere.
Because I wear no leather, and can’t rock or roll anymore?
Won’t you please sit?
I heard you may destroy me – is there no other choice?
I helped feed your first, the sequel and now all three boys. I fed you when needed.
Puked, sat and farted on, I never gave up – you left me!
Sports coat on – the one I wore – you’re moving onward and upward.
I was your first risk.
I’ll wait forever.
Your old, brown fabric office chair.
Nate Wilson 2/24/12 3:42pm
Maeve's brother died the week she was born; her parents never quite recovered. She traipsed through life as a ghost, the sequel to a book never written.
Only Rakesh had been there for her. To his people she held no allegiance, but she was indebted to him.
In the packed marketplace, the bulky vest weighed on her body, though not her mind. She knew her actions today would accomplish little -- you couldn’t destroy what was already ruined -- but still, better her than Rakesh. Maeve didn't regret her choice.
She risked a glance at her watch. Ten seconds.
Brian Wells 2/24/12 5:39pm
I run, never losing sight of my prey. It dives; I leap. I begin eviscerating before I land. Flesh and sinew fly as I destroy my catch.
Provider! I can't risk him finding me!
I have no choice. I may be Queen, but the Provider calls. I gather up the bones.
"There you are! Want to go again?"
A sequel! Yes! Why did I hesitate?
"Give me the ball."
To show my allegiance, I drop the carcass at his feet.
"Aw, who's a good girl?"
I cover his face with kisses. Doesn't he know it's me?
Terri Coop 2/24/12 6:45pm
It was raining lead in beautiful downtown Baghdad. Ducking into a storefront, I risked a moment’s respite only to find the space already occupied.
He was my age, another modern-day Crusader bound by ancient allegiances and trained to destroy.
My Kevlar and his Keffiyeh framed tired eyes and harsh lines that sleep would never erase.
“Stop fighting and I can go home,” I said.
“Go home and I can stop fighting,” he replied.
Silently we made our choice. The sequel might end differently, but no killing today.
Nodding, we backed through our respective doors. Back out into the rain.
Alec Breton 2/25/12 12:52am
A mobster exercises his bull mastiff.
"Forget family allegiance. Kill every rat."
A choice '56 Lincoln convertible slows.
The 18-year old driver risks being destroyed.
"I'm late for my birthday party."
The car looks eerily familiar.
"A ghost? Theresa?"
She flashes a faded newspaper: "Socialite Tortured To Death"
"Theresa died eighteen years ago today in 1956."
She delivers a flesh-searing message.
"Sequel time: Theresa was carrying your child. You killed yourself."
He clutches his chest.
"Stop! I'm sorry I hurt her."
She fades away.
His bodyguard shouts.
Crimson stains the mobster's shirt.
"No! Those are holes."
AcireRo 2/25/12 12:22pm
“Present your payment,” Mr. Nein said.
The choice to steal for Nein came with great risk, but guaranteed my protection. Otherwise, Nein would destroy me. He didn’t like my kind.
“A sequel to yesterday’s?” He took the cotton-blend material, rubbing it along his face. “Your allegiance is promising.”
“Cay, it’s dinner time.” said Nein’s female companion.
“We’ll meet again tomorrow.” He took his newest gift, retreating into the night.
I snuck back home, making my way through the hole in the front door. Master looked across the table to the woman who had joined him, “Have you seen my socks?”
Melinda 2/25/12 2:04pm
I never had a choice. I could destroy him, or he would destroy me. Either way, it meant the same thing.
I had to risk it. My life couldn’t become the sequel to a horror movie. Terror forever set on repeat.
I turned to face the officer. “I know who killed my parents.”
She waited, one finger poised to scratch her chin.
“It was me.” I glanced at my brother, silent on the couch.
My false confession wasn’t allegiance to him. Prison was the only safe haven.
And they wouldn’t have given the six year old anything worse than juvey.
I can't decide!
I'm ready to start throwing darts at names on post-it notes! The late night denizens of Twitter are NO help at all (find 8 arcs of INSURGENT they say! --if I had 8 arcs, I'd be the most popular person in NYC!).
There's only one thing to do.
Call in reinforcements.
"Hello, Veronica Roth speaking."
J: "Hello Veronica, this is your finned fan in New York"
V: "How did you get this number?"
J: "ummm...." (hiding Rolodex purloined along with ARC from Miss Molly O'Neill)
V: "It's 11:30 on Saturday night, shouldn't you be tormenting authors?"
J: (craftily not pointing out Veronica IS an author) "They're tormenting ME!"
V: "Good! About time." (pause) "How?" (sound of tapping on keyboard that those versed
in Morse code would translate as Notes On Shark Strategies)
J: "155 wrote amazing entries for my most recent blog contest! 8 of them are so good they are the finalists. I can't pick the winner!!" (pathetic shark wail)
V: "Ha! This sounds like a great day for writers everywhere. What do you want me to do?"
J: "Read the finalists. Pick a winner."
V: "Hmmm... I could do that. Send them over."
(incoming email bell)
V: "oh. That's good. That one too. REALLY, very good. Oh yes. Uh huh. Yes. Oh man, that's clever. Yup." (pause) "Hmmm. You have a real problem here. They're all good."
J: "I told you!!! I've never not been able to choose before. Oh my god, I'm becoming... DIVERGENT!"
V: (rolling eyes) "Get a grip, Shark. You're not a character in a book."
J: (regaining control) "You're right. But I still don't know what to do."
V: "When I don't know what to do, I call my amazing agent Joanna Volpe."
J: "Brill! Byeeeee!"
JV: "Hello, Joanna Volpe speaking!"
JV: 'Hi J."
JR: "Your amazingly talented client Veronica Roth has created a HUGE problem for me!" (sound of muffled snort of laughter from other end of phone) "I finally managed to pick 8 finalists from 155 entries, but now I can't pick the winner."
JV: (scanning the bank of spy cam screens in her underground lair) "Hmm...No extra ARCs to be had, I suppose?"
JR: "Sadly, no."
JV: (scanning list of ARC recipients) No one we can put in cold storage for a while?
JR: 'I tried that. My cold storage locker is filled up."
JV: 'Hmm...let me see the list." (sound of incoming email bell)
JV: "These are all really good."
JR: "See, I told you!"
JV: "Back in the day when I was your minion, you told me to keep one thing in mind when reading queries."
JR: "Look for the good stuff?"
JV: Well, yes, that.
JR: "Forward all the twenty-dollar bills to me?"
JV: "That too."
JR: "There was something else?"
JV: "Yes. You told me look for the story that made you want to read the next page. The one that made you want to read on."
JR: "But that's almost unfair here! They were only asked to write a story in 100 words! No one said anything about reading on!"
JV: "True. But all of these entries are great. You have to figure out some way to separate one from the rest. Short of random numbers, or counting the number of entries that have the all important letter J in them, what else can you do but raise the stakes."
JR: 'Stakes! I'm always yapping about what's at stake."
JV: (sotto voce) "Don't I know it."
JV: "Nothing. Just um...singing."
JR:" Ok. This has been a big help."
After I hung up the phone, I reviewed the entries again.
Yes, they were all good. Each deserves a prize but I have only one ARC.
One entry however made me want to read the next page.
The winner of the ARC of INSURGENT and the winner of the most hellishly hard to decide contest EVER in the history of this blog is:
Nate Wilson 2/24/12 3:42pm
Congratulations Nate! Congratulations to all the finalists, and thanks to everyone who entered. This was an AMAZING display of talent!
Nate, send me your address via email and we'll get you your much sought after copy of INSURGENT!
Nate, send me your address via email and we'll get you your much sought after copy of INSURGENT!
Only that the winning entry reminds me of ‘Grace’ by Elisabeth Scott.
But still congratulations to the winner! Enjoy Insurgent.
These finalists were all really, really good. Bravo!
Congrats, Nate! Yours was one I thought ought to have at least been a finalist. And well done to everyone mentioned!
Congratulations Nate! Awesome story. You do know you have to loan the ARC to the other seven of us, don't you?
What? It's right there in the small print ::scurries off to insert small print::
I feel like a winner. Not only was I in this incredible group of finalists responsible for waking up the author and another agent, but because of the compliment paid me in the comments by Cole Howard.
And, I swear, we are not related.
The original working title of my tale was "Outside the Wire" based on military slang for leaving the green zone compound. It now lives in my hard drive as "Baghdad Rain." Thank you Janet, Veronica, Joanne, Cole Howard, all the finalists and writers.
>the sequel to a book never written.<
What a great line!!!
I hope Nate seriously examines the possibility of taking his entry further. There is definitely a book in this, the query is already written:)
Note: Reposting this, I mistakenly put it in the comments re: the Mustang book posting.
Janet, thank you for the contest, it was fun (thanks for noticing my ant story!)
Have a good week, everyone!
Nate, congrats--what a great hundred words! You packed so much into it!
Janet, thanks for the nod! It means a lot!
I am gob-smacked to have made the final eight(of 155) that I had to post about it:)
Congrats to Nate, of course, but your admission that this was the first time EVER that you couldn't choose is awesome for the other Not-So-Secret Seven :)
Thanks again, it was a blast!
So many brilliant entries! I'm glad I didn't have to choose the winner.
Congrats Nate. :D
Lovely! I didn't enter this contest, but I have been reading along. Great entries, everyone! Congrats to Nate!!! :-)
These were all great. Congratulations, Nate!
Congratulations, Nate! And thanks, Janet. That was a hoot.
Congratulations, Nate. Your story was awesome, as were all the finalists. Thanks for hosting, Janet:)
Er... I mean... Congrats, Nate. Of course that's what I meant. (No one heard the anguished cry of defeat did they? Good.)
*makes note to bribe the Alot for the next contest.*
Congratulations Nate, and all the finalists. You guys are all amazing!
Ms. Reid, I'm so glad I made you laugh. :)
Wow, so close! Congrats, Nate. Lots of great entries. The Happy Amateur's was my favorite.
Wow. Thanks, Janet! Considering the stiff competition, I'm especially honored you selected my tale. And to think, I didn't use a single J.
Thank you all for your kind words, and congratulations to the other finalists.
Oh, and Terri: Excellent suggestion. I may just have to pass the Insurgent ARC around to the rest of you once I've finished with it.
Yes! If it hadn't been Nate or Terri C again (there's some serious skill in all of 'em) I'd have lost faith. Nailed it. Great contest, lots of fun to read the entries!
LOL! Nate, you rock . . .
Enjoy and here's to seeing you again in the shark pool.
Love your tale. One of my trunkers is about female suicide bombers and I read a lot (alot) about the phenomenon. You caught it perfectly.
First of all I would just like to say what an honor it was to just be a semi-finalist...oh hell, who am I kidding?
I am grinding my teeth in envy! But congrats, Nate!!
Loved the line-'the sequel to a book never written.'
Congratulations to Nate and all the finalists--I'm really glad I didn't have to choose the winner!
Yikes! How much colder can a Shark's blood get??
Congrats, Nate! Enjoy the ARC.
Congrats, Nate. Kudos to all the finalists.
I'm glad my entry was giggle-worthy! :D
This is so cool! I have loved reading all of them. Congrats to everyone and especially Nate! :)
Who knew Nate could be serious? These were all incredible. Congrats!
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