A big congratulations to Anande Sjoden — she’s the winner of the Steampunk Apparatus Contest, co-hosted with YALSA’s Teen Tech Week!
We were lucky enough to have author Kathy Erskine (the National Book Award winning author of Mockingbird) review the 15 final entries. This is what she had to say about Anande’s entry, Never Take It Off: ”The clarity of writing, the voice, the use of the Narrika device itself, and the keep ‘em guessing ending all made this a beautiful short story — particularly impressive in so few words!”
Kathy also selected a runner-up entry: The Coast by Johnny Riley. She said: “I loved the action and adventure in this short story — yet there was palpable emotion and good characterization, too. A great sense of place and urgency, with the Narrika integrally incorporated into the story. Well done!”
To all the finalsits, she had this to say: “All of the contenders were amazingly well written and compelling. Any one of them could have won and had another person judged the contest the outcome may well have been different. As with all stories, it’s a subjective process. Remember that when you submit to an editor. If you get a rejection — or 10 or 20 or 50 — it doesn’t mean your story isn’t good. Assuming your story is well crafted, as was the case here, it simply means you haven’t yet hit the right editor at the right time. They may have just picked up something that speaks to them a little more strongly than your piece. The bottom line is, always, keep writing.”
A BIG thank you to Kathy, to YALSA, to Fiona Plunkett for inventing the Narrika, and congratulations to all of our participants!