Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The American Title Contest

It's American Title time again!

Every year for the last three years, Dorchester Publishing has sponsored an "American Title" contest, a contest aimed with discovering the year's best new "previously undiscovered" writer. First prize is a book contract, and guaranteed publication of the winning manuscript. The idea is based on "American Idol", in that it's a competition that's open to anyone, narrowed down to the top ten entries by three editors at Dorchester, and then the winner is determined by a series of elimination rounds, all based on votes. This year's theme was paranormal, futuristic, time-travel and fantasy tales.

Each month until June 2008 (when the winner is announced), the contest is open for votes from the public on rounds like "Best First Line", "Best Hero and Heroine", "Best Plot Summary", etc. The authors get to present a very brief excerpt from the manuscript each month to put up for voting purposes. Voting has just begun on the "Best First Line" round. You can go here to vote for your favorite.

So do I have a favorite? Why, yes, thanks for asking. :) It's THE MAGIC KNOT by Helen Scott Taylor. I had the distinct pleasure of judging this manuscript in a contest last year, and I loved it - well-written, great characters, old legends beautifully woven into a modern-day setting - I definitely feel Helen has a great shot at winning this competition. So go vote for her! :)

The judges, actual editors Hilary Ross, Leslie Kazanjian and the anonymous "Flavia Knightsbridge" are loosely based on Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson (aka the good, the bad, and the ugly). Leslie's comments are always nice, Hilary's comments are usually neutral, and "Flavia's" comments are usually somewhat cutting. Helen's first line was excellent, and she got a thumbs-up from all three judges. Highly unusual, but well-deserved.

Good luck, Helen!

1 comment:

Helen Scott Taylor said...


All I can say is WOW!

Thank you so much for the wonderful endorsement. This means a lot because I know you're basing your judgement on more than the first line.

Many thanks,
American Title Finalist-The Magic Knot