of the trip to New York City to spend a day shadowing a real live editor at Simon & Schuster, and some time hanging out with me, is...
WAIT. First, I have to say something, and it's from the heart:
I was absolutely blown away by all of you who entered. It made me happy that there are so many of you out there who love to write as much as I do. I am really proud of each person who put a little piece of him or herself out there for others to see. That's really hard to do.
Narrowing the entries down to the top ten was really difficult. There were so many great stories. Our team of judges had a really tough time deciding! We had a variety of reasons why these ten were chosen, including writing ability, style, creativity, plot, voice, and uniqueness in coming up with an idea that others haven't thought of.
Choosing the winner out of these ten great stories? One of the most difficult choices I've had to make in a while. A long while. I want to congratulate again the nine finalists, and I want you to hear me -- you are talented. You have great potential. If you enjoy writing, you should keep doing it, because you are good at it.
Being a writer, getting published, winning prizes when you're up against hundreds or even thousands of others is a hard mountain to climb. If you have the stamina and can handle the rejections, the near-misses, the not-quites, you will succeed eventually. You have to keep going, and going, and going. I had over a hundred rejections for the first novel I wrote, and it never got published. Nor did my second novel. But I kept writing, and I kept going, and I kept looking at rejection in the face and saying, "You are only making me tougher. You are only making me want to fight for this more."
I want you to keep going too. Everything you write is valuable. Nothing you write is a waste of time. Every word you write makes you better at the craft of writing. So keep going, knowing that you have what it takes.
Thanks for reading this (even though I know you all skimmed that bit, I hope you went back and read it again). :)
And now, for the moment you've all been waiting for, THE WINNER of the Wattpad/Pulse It story contest is... *drumroll*
CRAVE THE RISK, by lucille0912.
CONGRATULATIONS!!! I chose your story because I loved the way you approached the prompt. I love that you made the long-haired main character a boy. I love that you added the hint of a paranormal element with this boy having the strength similar to Samson (and I LOVED that you didn't name him, but made that story sound ominous, and it made the reader wonder what kind of society they lived in), and I liked the twist at the end. Your idea was fresh and different. The thing that clinched it for me, though, was your sense of voice in the story. It was strong and distinct, and I could feel his attitude, I could hear him speaking and thinking in my head. Voice is so difficult to learn to write well -- some writers have it naturally and some have to work very hard to achieve great character voice. Whether you had to work at it or it came naturally, it was there, and it was excellent. Additionally, some of your phrases were really stunning. I remember thinking "I wish I'd written that" a few times as I read your story.
lucille0912, I look forward to meeting you! I’ll be emailing you shortly so we can arrange your awesomely awesome trip to NYC.
Congratulations again to the winner and to all the writers who entered the contest. You are amazing! Keep going. :) And please stay in touch -- you can find me often on my facebook fan page and twitter.