The Envelope Please…

If you’re a regular reader, you know we conducted a writing contest in 2010, the OUT OF THE SLUSH PILE, Novel Journey’s Fifteen Minutes of Fame Contest.

Open to any unpublished novelist, entrants submitted their first chapter and synopsis. Each month we chose a winner in a particular category. (For example, in January and June we did Historicals; February and July were Mystery/Suspense; etc.) At the end of the year we recruited a new panel of judges, none of whom had participated in any of the previous rounds, to select the best of the best.

The results are all tallied, and our Grand Prize Winner is….
The Button Girl, by Sally Apokedak of Marietta Georgia

Some of the judges’ comments:*Interesting premise; well executed. 
*The characterization was wonderful. I understood and identified with each one’s actions/reactions.
*The setting drew me into the story as if I was right there and I loved the insight into a strange and unusual culture.
*The first paragraph grabbed my attention and the rest of the chapter kept it incarcerated.

Sally will receive a handcrafted Muse to sit on her shelf to inspire her, and Novel Journey will arrange with a to-be-determined selection of agent(s) and editor(s) to consider her story. It will go to them personally, not to their slush piles.

Congratulations, Sally! We wish you every success!

We also want to thank each of you, our readers, who helped keep this contest alive by submitting your entries. We had the opportunity to read a lot of excellent stories, and we’re thankful for the privilege of providing even a small amount of help and encouragement to budding writers.
I personally would also like to thank each of the many knowledgeable judges who gave of their time and expertise and made some tough decisions.

We’re looking into the possibility of running a contest again in the latter half of 2011. Readers, would you like that? Is there anything you’d like to see done differently next time? Let us know your thoughts — email us at