The OK Cupid Writing Contest Winners

20100216writingchallengeblogIt's been a few weeks since Valentine's Day, so that bouquet of flowers may be starting to wilt a bit (or be completely dead if you didn't water them); however, a little bit of love lives on through the winners of the OK Cupid writing contest. Here they are--the masters of desire, the puppeteers of passion, the lords of love. Winners!

Always Something Doing by sigmundsquirrel  
Gripping and hard-boiled, with a historical setting that is authentic without feeling dated - this narrator left us wanting the next piece of the story! 

A Connoisseur, Of Sorts by jblane
Great poetry in this piece that movingly describes the love that never leaves you - just wait till you learn the identity of the beloved lady! The author's descriptive powers bring every sense to life. 

Trying on Sweaters by JayneGrey 
Smart and sweet, in the grand romantic tradition of our favorite sassy chick-flicks. Boys may be boys, but some of them understand how true love fits. 

Borders by Eloquent_MJ
What if Romeo and Juliet were separated by far more than just their family's prejudice? This story sets a contemporary pair star-crossed lovers under literal stars, experiencing the small squabbles of a relationship amid a larger and suspenseful obstacle to their love.

A Secret Admirer's Worst Nightmare by AreannaLuckett
This story captures the tension, excitement, and agony of your first big love with measured realism, and does an excellent job of incorporating several months of back story into one pivotal scene. 

Keeping Tabs by Jvd9
Sometimes the only cure for heartbreak is finding a new love - sometimes who you least expect! This story skillfully avoids sentimentalism by describing the new object of devotion through insinuation. 

Congratulations to the winners! You will receive your PageToFame coupons in your WEbook in-box soon.

If you didn't win, don't go home with a broken heart just yet. We've extended the deadline for the Building Description Writing Contest, so try your hand at describing a structure! 

Ten Things You Didn’t Know about John Corey Whaley

We’re totally proud of John Corey Whaley, the WEbooker who found an agent through AgentInbox…and then got a book deal with Atheneum, leading to the May 2010 release of Where Things Come Back. Corey's debut earned him recognition all over town—he might not be Kardashian-famous just yet, but he did scoop up the American Library Association's William C. Morris Debut Award, and ALA's Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. Kind of a big deal.

We caught up with Corey on his most recent trip to New York City, to chat about how much has happened in his career since he first clicked on to a little writers’ community called WEbook. We heard about recent excitement, like when the National Book Foundation named him to their Five Under Thirty-Five list, and upcoming fun, like going on tour with Daniel Handler and Maggie Stiefvater later this spring. Turns out, iced caramel macchiatos just might be his truth serum, because we also learned a whole lot more.  

 John Corey Whaley…you think you know…but you have no idea.

  1. He loves going to birthday parties.

  2. When he gives author readings, he doesn’t usually read from his work – he tells jokes instead.

  3. He can name the ten largest cities in the country.

  4. He judges books by their covers and their titles.

  5. It takes him about five weeks to write a book. (Yeah. We kind of hate him, too. Just a little bit, just for a second.)

  6. Even though he writes YA fiction now, he spent his actual teenage years reading Vonnegut, Salinger, and Chbosky.

  7. He thinks sex in books should be funny, not dreamy.

  8. He loves Strand Books in New York City (but who doesn’t?!).

  9. He worked at a library in high school.

  10. He loves public speaking, but advises against picturing the audience in their underwear.

While it’s clear that Corey is enjoying life on the other side of the Printz Award, he’s not taking his success lightly. “Writing is so much fun for me. Finding a character, putting that character’s story together – it’s just fun. And I get to do that as my job! I’m like a kid in a candy store. And I’m eating all the candy.” And though he didn’t plan his career to be a YA author, he considers it something of a noble task. “When you ask someone what book changed their life, they always name something they read when they were a teenager. And that’s really an honor, to be the one putting books out there that might have that impact on someone.”

Corey’s second novel is currently pegged for Fall 2013. In the meantime, two lucky WEbookers won signed copies of Corey’s amazing Where Things Come Back by participating in our recent giveaways (are you following us on Twitter? Don’t miss out!)  

And we’re giving a copy to the winner of our latest Writing Challenge – we're extending it to this Friday, March 2, so get writing! You could be the next proud owner of a signed Whaley.  

The Building Description Writing Contest

20100216writingchallengeblogWhen you’re reading a book, it’s easy to take a good description for granted. After all, if a description is doing its job, the reader shouldn’t notice the words as much—they should see whatever is being described.

The thing is, those “spot on” descriptions that instantly conjure a detailed and vivid image into the mind’s eye are both time-consuming and difficult to write. Describing people, places, trees, fields, cars, and buildings are all hard, especially when the descriptions are mixed around with dialogue, plot, themes, and all that other stuff.

So, why not practice? We’re going to narrow things down a bit just to keep things focused. For this writing contest, you must describe a building in 300 words or less.

The-building-challengeIt can be any building you want, described from any point of view.  A child looking at a barn. An omniscient narrator exploring an entire castle. As long as it’s a manmade structure, you’re golden.

The deadline for this writing contest is 10 PM EST on February 29th, 2012 March 2, 2012 (just extended thanks to John Corey Whaley!). WEbook will choose our six favorite winners and award them free entry to PageToFame, our flagship writ ing contest.

The #1 winner will receive an autographed copy of Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley (you may have heard of him around WEbook). 

To enter the contest, start a new chapter in this writing project



Where Things Come Back Book Giveaway Winners

WtcbsealscopyThe comments have been cast. 

The hashtags have been written. 

The tweets have been sent. 

The winners have been chosen. 

And they are:

From the blog comments: Julia Uribe

From the twitter hashtag: @NewCallieAnn

Congratulations to the winners, we will be in touch shortly to send you your copies of Where Things Come Back. Thanks to everyone who entered this book giveaway, be on the lookout for more opportunities to win books from us, we love giving them away!  

In the meantime, if you're looking for something to do, we currently have a writing contest going on and the deadline to submit is 10 pm on February 14th. This one has some romance in the air, so if you're feeling some of the love vibes, try your hand at the contest

WEbook Giveaway: The Twitter Chapter

Where-Things-Come-Back-1-199x300You may have noticed (although it seems like a lot of people didn't) that you can also win a copy of John Corey Whaley's award winning book, Where Thing Come Back, by throwing down a hashtag on twitter. 

It's our first Twitter book giveaway, so help us wrangle this newfangled tweet machine: Send out a tweet that includes the hashtag #congratsJCW and you will be automatically entered to win a copy of Where Things Come Back

Don't forget, you can also post a comment on this blog post, and double your chances of winning.

So what are you waiting for?

UPDATE: The Deal has Sweetened!

The books given away will be signed copies from the big man himself, Corey Whaley! Thanks for doing that JCW!

Book Giveaway to Celebrate John Corey Whaley, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award

Some of you WEbookers who have been around the block a bit will remember a fellow by the name of John Corey Whaley—the first author to find an agent using AgentInbox.

WtcbsealscopyAfter connecting with all-star literary agent Ken Wright in the fall of 2009, Corey went on to live every debut author’s dream. His novel—Where Things Come Back—was picked up by Atheneum Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, in early 2010. We covered John’s path to publication over the next year  and on May 3, 2011, Where Things Come Back was published.

Since that big day, Corey and his novel have received numerous accolades, including a New Voices for Teens Selection by ABC Children’s Group, a nomination for Best Fiction for Young Adults by the American Library Association, and an Indigo Books and Music Best Teen Books of 2011.

 Most recently, Corey received the prestigious Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature—one of the highest honors available to Young Adult authors!

Where-Things-Come-Back-1-199x300We were thrilled to hear the great news. It seems like not so long ago we were filming videos of Corey from his kitchen in Louisiana, and now he’s winning literary awards for his amazing novel. It has been a truly great journey to witness.

We touched based with Corey and asked him about the moment he heard about the award. He said:

"When I got the call that I'd won the Printz Award, I was driving down the interstate and had to pull over on the side of the road to avoid causing a massive pile-up. It was the best, most dangerous news I've ever received."

We’re so glad you survived the news. Congratulations, Corey! Can’t wait to see where you fly to next!

If you haven't read Where Things Come Back, you're in luck. To celebrate Corey's win, we're giving away a free copy of his book to a lucky reader of this blog. Simply shout out a quick congratulations to Corey in the comments section, and be entered to win a free copy of Where Things Come Back from WEbook.   

We'll pick a commenter at random and announce the winner on February 13!

UPDATE: The Deal has Sweetened!

The books given away will be signed copies from the big man himself, Corey Whaley! Thanks for doing that JCW!

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