Thursday, September 18, 2008

Operation First Novel Contest Winners

Since I'm on an Operation First Novel contest kick (I entered the Christian Writer's Guild's first one, as well as this year's) I thought it might be fun to list past winners so we could all get an idea of the type of stories Tyndale is looking for in the contest. I'm not sure if any of the judges were Tyndale editors, but it's still interesting. It seems coming of age stories are popular.

2004 Winner:

Troublesome Creek
by Jan Watson

Copper loves life on Troublesome Creek. But the waters that nearly stole her life so long ago now bring change she doesn’t want to face.

With a stepmother determined to transform her into a proper lady, a loving father still bound to his painful past, and a suitor bearing the promise of a whole new life, Copper faces the biggest crossroads of her life.

Her passions run as wild as the churning waters of Troublesome. But perhaps her heart will lead her into calm depths she’s never known before. . . .

2005 Winner:

In Everything Give Thanks
by Terry Barnes
Contemporary/Coming of Age

God betrayed us on that terrible July night. . . .

Matthew Collins loved to run. A high schooler growing up in the uncertainty of the early sixties, Matt was happiest running cross-country with his dad cheering him on. But a tragic accident on a two-lane highway changed all that. Bitter over his loss, Matt makes a deal with God: he’ll leave God alone if God leaves him alone.

Then Wade Hampton, a boy with cerebral palsy, moves in next door and is determined to make Matt is his best friend. Complete with a stutter, an obsession with the Civil War general he was named after, and a determination to one day be a preacher, Wade attracts the attention of the school bullies and makes Matt a target too. Matt makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with his new neighbor, but Wade doesn’t give up easily. And through this unexpected young man, Matt learns that while God may allow tragedy . . . He will never leave us alone.

2006 Winner:

by Tom Pawlik

Three strangers each encounter the same mysterious storm and awake the next day to find that everyone else has vanished. There's Conner Hayden, a successful but unscrupulous trial lawyer who has forsaken his family for his career; Helen Krause, a middle-aged model struggling to come to grips with her fading beauty; and Mitch Kent, an enterprising young mechanic unable to escape a past that still haunts him. Afraid and desperate for answers, their paths eventually cross and they discover they are being watched. Elusive and obscured in shadows, the "observers" are apparently forcing them to relive vivid hallucinations of events from their past. They discover a mute homeless boy in tattered clothing and believe he may hold the key to the mystery, but the "observers" soon become aggressive and the four are forced to flee. When the boy disappears, the four decide to head from Chicago to Washington, D.C., in search of answers...and more survivors.

2007 Winner:

Fireflies in December
by Jennifer Erin Valent
Historical/Coming of Age

“The summer I turned thirteen, I thought I killed a man.”

So begins the story of Jessilyn Lassiter, a young girl whose world is torn apart the summer of 1932. When Jessilyn’s best friend, Gemma, loses her parents in a tragic fire, Jessilyn’s father vows to care for her as his own, despite the fact that Gemma is black and prejudice is prevalent in their southern Virginia town.

It doesn’t take long for the Lassiters to attract the attention of a local band of Ku Klux Klan members, who make increasingly violent threats on Jessilyn and her family.

As she struggles to navigate a complex world of first crushes, loyalties, and betrayals, Jessilyn ultimately discovers what it takes to be a bright light in a dark world.

1 comment:

C. said...

Hey, Good luck on the contest, C. J.!