I took the plunge…..last night I signed up for NaNoWriMo. Am I crazy? Maybe. But I’m excited! I have no idea what I will be writing but I plan to give it my best shot. I also have some of my students working on the Young Writer’s NaNoWriMo as part of their independent writing projects.

I’m also excited about a pretty cool contest running in conjunction with NaNoWriMo.  Here comes the press release!


Get in Front of Top YA Editors and Agents with

ONLY the First 250 Words of Your YA Novel!

Have a young adult novel—or a YA novel idea—tucked away for a rainy day? Are you 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 both exposure to editors, and a one-on-one chat with one of New York’s TOP literary agents Regina Brooks.


Regina Brooks is the founder of Serendipity Literary Agency and the author of Writing Great Books for Young Adults. Brooks has been instrumental at establishing and building the careers of many YA writers, including three-time National Book Award Honoree and Michael Printz Honoree Marilyn Nelson, as well as Sundee Frazier—a Coretta Scott King Award winner, an Oprah Book Pick and an Al Roker book club selection. As an agent, she is known for her ability to turn raw talent into successful authors.


ADDITIONALLY: The top 20 submissions will all be read by a panel of five judges comprised of top YA editors at Random HouseHarperCollins, Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Penguin. All 20 will receive free autographed copies of Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks. Of the 20, they will pick the top five submissions and provide each author with commentaryand a one year subscription to The Writer magazine. ONE Grand Prize Winner will have the opportunity to get feedback on a full YA manuscript and win a free 10-week writing course courtesy of the Gotham Writer’s Workshop.


Please submit all entries via the contest website at One entry per person; anyone age 13+ can apply. Open to the U.S. & Canada (void where prohibited). Entries for the YA Novel Discovery Contest will be accepted from 12:01am (ET) November 1 until 11:59pm (ET), November 30.



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.


So apply now!



YA literary agent Regina Brooks, along with editors at Sourcebooks, will read all of the entries and determine the top 20 submissions. These submissions will then be read by Dan Ehrenhaft, head Acquisitions Editor at Soucebooks Fire; Alisha Niehaus, Editor at Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin); David Linker, Executive Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books; Michele Burke, Editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House); and Evette Porter, Editor at Harlequin. These judges will whittle the top 20 down to four winners and a grand prize winner—all five will be provided commentary on their submissions.


What a great opportunity!  I’m sure my first 250 words will be far from great, but I plan to enter just for the fun of it.  You should, too!

5 Responses

  1. Good luck. I’m also doing it for the 2nd year running and wondering what on EARTH I’m thinking! 🙂 Teachers don’t have time. On the other hand, one of my fellow teachers just finished her first draft of her first novel so . . .

  2. Yaaaaay! I am SO EXCITED for Saturday night, I can’t even tell you.

  3. I’ve taken the plunge this year and feel pretty confident that I’ll get farther then I did last time I tried this (about 6 years ago and it was an epic fail). I also have my 7th graders doing it to. Should be fun! We’re going to do a novel unit for writing and literature in the month of November to coincide with NaNoWriMo.

  4. If you give it a try, then I’ll give it a try. Just remember to keep me working on it — it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but never stuck to.

  5. Good Luck!!! How are you progressing? Keep your readers posted. We can be your cheerleaders. Rah Rah Rah

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