Monday, October 16, 2017

8th Annual YA Discovery Contest!




No query? No pitch? No problem!

 Get in front of top YA Editors and Agents
with only the first 250 words of your YA novel!

Serendipity Literary Agency is hosting our eighth annual Young Adult Novel Discovery Contest.

Do you have a young adult novel—or a YA novel idea—tucked away for a rainy day? Have you been putting off pitching your idea simply because you’re not sure how to pitch an agent? No problem! All you have to do is submit the first 250 words of your novel and you can win exposure to editors and a critique of your manuscript by one of New York’s TOP literary agents Regina Brooks.
Regina Brooks is the CEO of Serendipity Literary Agency and the author of the award-winning book Writing Great Books For Young Adults, now available in its second edition.

In honor of National Novel Writing Month (—an international event where aspiring novelists are encouraged to write an entire novel in 30 days—this contest is meant to encourage the aspiring YA author to get started on that novel by offering an incentive for completing the first 250 words.

You too can join one of the many contest finalists who have gone on to get a top tier agent and an amazing publishing deal!

“I never had much luck with query letters. Writing about my book was harder than writing the book itself! So, when I saw the Discovery Contest, I jumped at the chance to let my book speak for itself. I was thrilled when I won…but not as thrilled as I was when I was offered representation. Getting my agent was just the start: what followed was invaluable revisions and development that transformed my book from a great story into an unforgettable journey. Shortly afterward, The Whitecoat’s Daughter was sold at auction, and is now due for publication with HarperCollins in 2018. We’re beginning work on foreign rights and talks with film agents and it’s hard to believe that all this started with winning a contest. I always said I just needed someone to read the book—not a query letter: the book­—and it turned out I was right. The Discovery Contest gave me the chance I needed, and I will always be grateful.” 
—Olivia Cole, “The Whitecoat’s Daughter”
(retitled "A Conspiracy of Stars")
(Garnered a two-book deal at auction with Katherine Tegen Books)


Great Prizes
The Grand Prize Winner will have the opportunity to receive a full manuscript critique from YA literary agent Regina Brooks, plus a collection of gourmet teas from!
The Top Five Entrants (including the Grand Prize Winner) will receive a 15-minute, one-on-one pitch session with Regina Brooks, one of New York's premier literary agents for young adult books.  They will also receive commentary on their submissions from editors at HarperCollins, Little, Brown, Macmillan, Skyhorse, Simon and Schuster, Abrams Books, Penguin Random House, Disney, and James Patterson’s new imprint, JIMMY Patterson.  In addition, they will receive a year's subscription to The Writer magazine!

First 50 Entrants receive a copy of Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks.

Here's How It Works 

Entering the contest is easy and the rules are simple. Entries are to be submitted via the contest website at Valid entries shall include the title and ONLY the first 250 words of your manuscript.
One entry per person; anyone age 14+ can apply. There is a $15 entry fee.  Open to the U.S. and Canada (void where prohibited).  Entries for the YA Novel Discovery Contest will be accepted from 12:01 am (ET) November 1st, 2017 until 11:59 pm November 30th, 2017 (ET).

YA literary agent Regina Brooks and her team will read all of the entries and determine the top 20 submissions.  These submissions will then be read by the following editors: 

Hannah Allaman (Disney)
Tiffany Lao (Henry Holt BFYR/ Macmillan)
Sasha Henriques (Little Brown, JIMMY Patterson Books/ Hachette)
Courtney Code (Abrams Books for Young Readers)
Kate Meltzer (G.P. Putnam's Sons BFYR/ Penguin Random House)
Sarah McCabe (Simon Pulse/ Simon and Schuster)
Alexa Pastor (Simon and Schuster BFYR/ Simon and Schuster)
Becky Herrick (Sky Pony Press)
Christine Krones (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt BFYR)
Lauren Smulski (Harlequin Teen/HarperCollins)
Alex Ulyett (Viking Children’s/ Penguin Random House)
and more...

These judges will whittle the top 20 down to five winners, including a Grand Prize Winner.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Maine Women's Sailing Team World Champions!

All-Women Sailing Team From Maine

For the first time, an all-women team of sailors from Maine won first place for all-female finishers in the 2017 J/24 World Championship in Mississauga, Canada. The J/24 World Championships included qualified J/24 racers from all over the world. The championship consisted of ten races over five days of racing, the whole event spanning September 15-23, 2017. The Sea Bags Women’s Sailing Team finished in 39th place out of the 63 teams that competed in the World Championship.

While Sea Bags has a long history of supporting sailing regattas and sailing teams, including the 2016 Atlantic Cup, 2015 J/24 World Championships, 2009 J/24 Nationals, 2013 J/24 North Americans, the Offshore New England Championships, and the 2007 Horton/Nichol Olympic Campaign, this represents the first time the company has sent an all-women’s team to a World Championship race for competition on this scale and came back with quite an achievement.

Beth Shissler, President and COO at Sea Bags, says, “We could not be more proud of Erica and Jessica and their all-women’s team. They have worked so hard individually and together to win the Jager Women’s Trophy. “

Erica Beck Spencer, Skipper of the women’s sailing team says, "Our goal was to be the top women’s team and to reach that goal felt surreal.”

Accomplishing their goal was not an easy task as there were many obstacles they had to overcome. “We started off the event as the top team, but that is almost harder than coming from behind, as the other women’s teams were steadily getting better as the week went on,” added Spencer.

The above excerpt was taken from the Sea Bags press release on the team.


This is an absolutely incredible feat! These women over came some incredible odds and brought home the J/24 World Championship in sailing!

They competed against the best sailing teams, from all over the world! This is the first time EVER that an all women's team from Maine has competed in the championship. And they brought their A-game! This is something that the team of 11 has worked towards since Erica Beck Spencer and Jessica Harris started the team three years ago.

I am truly amazed and proud to post this. These women are truly amazing! I cannot think of a more empowering group of ladies. After reading this myself, and reading blog posts on the team from the Sea Bags blog. I decided to expose my 7 year old daughter to the team and stories as well.

Well it has now been decided that my daughter Maddie now wants to be a sailor! When asked why she wanted to be a sailor now, she states " Mom, look at them! They are so strong, why wouldn't you want to be a sailor? I want to be just like them! Strong and powerful! Can we go sailing this weekend? I need to start now mom!"

We are now looking into sailing classes for my mini me. She gave a very convincing argument. Why wouldn't she want to be empowered by such an amazing team. It showed her that girls and women can accomplish anything when applying a lot of hard work. Isn't that what we want all our daughters feel? Accomplishment, empowerment, and that they can accomplish incredible things?

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