Saturday, May 28, 2011

Shelley Watters Contest

Shelley Watters
Made of Awesome Contest!

Shelley is sponsoring an agent-judged contest of the first 250 words of our complete MS. If your MS is finished, whip up a quick post and join the fun! The agent judge is Judith Engracia of Liza Dawson Associates, who is currently building her client list. Yay!

For those who may be interested in joining in today, here are Shelley's rules:
  1. Sign up on the link below. (at Shelley's blog)
  2. On May 28th, post your title, genre, word count and the first 250 words on your blog for critique.
  3. From May 28th through May 30th, hop around to the other contestant's blogs and critique their first 250 words.
  4. On May 31st, come back to my blog and post your final entry on my dedicated contest entry blog post. 
* Many of you have seen snippets of my excerpt before, but thanks to excellent feedback, the MS is vastly improved. So here is the latest, greatest version.  :-)

    Title: Scott and the Naughty Boy Factory
    Genre: Young MG
    Word Count: 19,700

    Pink pony piñata . . . check.
    Invisibility . . . check.
    Cup of worms . . . check.
    I crouched in my favorite tree, fourth branch up from the ground and only one branch over from my sister’s piñata. The perfect place for a ninja ambush. I just needed those girly girls to come a little bit closer.
    My little sister, Victoria, spent all morning picking out her perfect party dress, pink and lacy, with a bow in the back. She and her frilly friends had a fashion show with fake jewelry and feather boas, played “Pin the Crown on the Princess,” and paraded around Fancy Nancy style through the back yard.
     Boor-ing. Time to show Victoria how fun is done.
    I waited above her piñata, holding an old soda cup filled with worms. Only the best ones, though: long and fat and slimy. If worm-collecting was an Olympic sport, I’d be a gold medal winner for sure.
    Oh, yeah. This was gonna be good.
    When the girls finally got close enough, I took careful aim and dumped. The worms and dirt tumbled out of my cup and then—splat!—Victoria screamed and started hopping up and down. I raced down the tree for a better look.
    Victoria’s hair and the shoulders of her pink, frilly dress were covered in dirt and wriggly worms. Excellent! She shook her head and flipped her blond ponytail like it was on fire. Dirt and worms were everywhere, even on some of her friends—and they were screaming too.
    It may have been the greatest moment of my life.


    Be sure to stop by Shelley's blog HERE to visit other participants.

    Thank you, Judith Engracia of Liza Dawson and Associates!


    Old Kitty said...

    Well I think this is a very very strong contender and a fabulous entry!! Good luck Shannon!! I love your mc's voice and it's such a fun read too! Yay!!!!! Take care

    Jen Daiker said...

    Great entry Shannon!!! I am wishing you the best of luck as the winners are announced!

    Jemi Fraser said...

    I love this story line - fabulous beginning! Good luck with the contest!

    Heather said...

    I love the changes you've made! Wow! Honestly I'm not sure I have any feedback for improvement. You've done that great of a job!

    Dorothy Dreyer said...

    Love this first page! Makes me want to read more, and I love the voice. Good luck with the contest! :)

    Su said...

    Hee hee hee... I think I know this kid. Well done!

    Kaleen said...

    Wow! Great voice :) Can't say anything needs changing.

    Sophia Richardson said...

    I love that last line, brilliantly guilt-free.
    - Sophia.

    houseoflaoch said...

    I love the voice. I feel only a teensy bit bad for Victoria, but there is something beautiful about the perfect prank.

    Crystal Collier said...

    The first three lines got me. =)

    Charmaine Clancy said...

    Love the opening to your book! Who doesn't like a bad-boy? :)
    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

    K. Turley (Clutzattack) said...

    I feel like a lemming saying this, but I couldn't find anything wrong. I loved this!

    dougfashiondisco said...

    fun scene: check
    easy to relate to moment/characters: check
    can of worms: check

    good start!
    douglas esper

    Alison Miller said...

    This was great - I learned so much about your characters in so few words. Nice job!

    Julie Daines said...

    My kids would be hooked! Awesome. This flows nicely, is well paced, and very funny.

    You may have overdone the "pink/frilly" type adjectives. Other than that, it's great.

    Oh, and as a personal preference, I would punctuate the opening as two sentences:

    Pink pony pinata. Check.

    But that's just me.

    JSC said...

    i could tell this was mg from the first paragraph, and that's great. one place used present tense (fun is done) and it felt weird to me. but i think this is a great example of how mg voice should be handled.

    Theres just life said...

    I don't have a story, but I am looking forward to reading everyone's entry.
    I like yours, by the way.

    Pamela Jo

    Kari Marie said...

    Oh those boys! This is a GREAT excerpt. Good luck in the contest.

    Artemis Grey said...

    OMG totally love it! The only thing I'd like to see, is mention of worms being hopelessly stuck and tangled in Victoria's hair. I've had worms in mine... and they totally stick worse than chewing gum. But even without worm stickage, this piece had me laughing. Love. It.

    Nicole said...

    I *LOVE* (love love) the title of the novel. Your first line cracked me up, too.

    Nicely done!

    Shellie said...

    I really like this opening, but I feel it was rushed just a tab bit here: 'Oh, yeah. This was gonna be good.
    When the girls finally got close enough, I took careful aim and dumped.' I think drag out the suspense just a wee bit more. Maybe have the sister look up and spot him so that he knows he soon to be dead meet when all the hysteria calms down.

    erica and christy said...

    Ha, I love it! (since I also am a naughty boy factory, I can totally relate to one of mine doing this! :)

    Although that is pretty is her birthday... could you say he's getting her back for something rather than just ruining her day??

    Fun entry, good luck!

    Tracy Loewer said...

    This is adorable - my boys would be hooked for sure!

    lissawrites said...

    This is so cool - I actually giggled out loud from the last line. I love your character's voice and the antic itself is priceless. I'd love to read more, even though it's clearly aimed at a younger audience.

    Angie said...

    Fun entry!! My son would love this. My only niggling is that there should be some mention of him being well hidden so that he can't be seen because if the girls are looking "up" at the pinata, there's a good chance that they'll see him. I know you said he's invisible, but I think it needs a little more explanation.

    good luck!

    Jessica said...

    There is a lot I liked about this entry. The voice and the description was great. i also really liked that it reads middle grade and not older. The only thing is I agree with the comment above, maybe say something that he is getting his sister back for something. I want to love the mc and by ruining his sisters party for no reason makes it hard. I can see so many kids ready this and loving it. Great job and good luck!

    Jody Lamb said...

    Fantastic, Shannon. And yay for middle grade! Double yay for middle grade from a boy's perspective! :)

    The voice is very believable. The opening scene is hilarious. Even though he's up to no good with the worms, I still like him and I want to keep reading to see what else he does. :)

    Just a few ideas for improvement: I'm wondering about the main character's senses. What does the tree feel like? How exactly do the girls scream when the worms cash the party? I think you can elaborate on what he touches and hears to give it an even more real feel.

    I love this. Thanks for sharing and good luck!

    Yamile said...

    I love it too. Very clean writing and fun premise. I agree with Julie on the punctuation. I'd even do {:} instead of ellipsis, but it's maybe just me. Good luck on the contest!

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