Contest Final!

Congratulations to Christy for winning the contest! (Please contact me via email.) Kudos to all of you in the top six – great job.

Thanks to EVERYONE who entered, commented and voted. I hope this was a little bit helpful and instructive.

(Scroll down for today’s actual post.)

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. Jabbertype on December 11, 2011 at 2:03 AM


    Wonderful blog post, saw on…

  2. Christy on October 29, 2008 at 4:52 PM

    >Wow, I’ve been all aflutter the entire day.

    Thanks, Rachelle for another fun contest and thanks to everyone for their kind words and votes.

  3. Anita Mae on October 29, 2008 at 2:30 PM

    >Congrats Christy and all the others who entered whether you made the ‘short list’ or not.

    Vince – you’re special.

    Have a God day!

  4. Randy Mortenson on October 29, 2008 at 12:30 PM

    >”Houston, we might have a problem.”

    Timothy, in this instance, I liked the suspense. Obviously in the greater context of a story or novel the reader should not be left wondering: “What was it she was looking at?” In movies they often show characters’ reactions to things before showing the things themselves (which in an M. Night Shyamalan movie might not happen toward the end!). Hence, great moments of suspense.

  5. Timothy Fish on October 29, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    >Suspense has its place, but clarity is also important. If we aren’t giving the reader enough information to determine whether our character is looking at a sunset or a spacecraft the size of a city, we might have a problem.

  6. Randy Mortenson on October 29, 2008 at 11:09 AM

    >Congratulations, Christy! I particularly liked the last line: “He had forgotten his mother painted.” It’s poignant because of the well-done showing leading up to it. As Marcie pointed out, “had forgotten” are telling words, but I read that line as adverbial in the sense that it’s adding to the showing, not taking from it. If that makes sense.

    Kay Day, if you’re reading this, one thing I really liked about your entry is that you actually didn’t describe the sunset at all, other than the word “color.” And it’s active color that “accosted” the character! How cool is that. And, there’s lingering suspense because it may not even be a sunset she’s looking at. I keep picturing Will Smith’s character in “Independence Day”, when he goes outside to pick up the newspaper and sees everyone staring across the cityscape…at a UFO.

  7. Jessica on October 29, 2008 at 9:35 AM

    >Congrats everyone!!
    Thanks for the contest 🙂

  8. Marcie Gribbin on October 29, 2008 at 8:20 AM

    >Nice, Christy! Yours got my vote (though I liked some others, too) because I was immediately there “amongst the tangle of oak roots” and could feel the smile on “his” face fall, even though you never actually told us he was smiling. You gave us a fond memory with out saying “he remembered” or “memory” or any of those telling words. And even though you wrote “He had forgotten…” which is somewhat “telling,” it was entirely appropriate- no over writing. Nice!!

  9. Davey on October 29, 2008 at 8:00 AM

    >Yes, very helpful, Rachelle. And Christy, good job. You got my vote.