First, let me start by announcing our winner and runner up for the Hook Us With Your Hook contest:
Books & Such Literary 25th Anniversary Contest Winners Announced
The winner of the Books & Such Literary Management 25th Anniversary Contest is Marilyn Nutter’s Mourning Hope for Widows: Reflections on Loss and Life.
As president of Books & Such, Janet Grant was tasked with making the difficult final decision. “When I started to read the proposal and opening pages of Mourning Hope for Widows,” says Grant, “I was prepared to be unimpressed. Another book on widowhood? But as I read the proposal, I noted the apt selection of words, thoughtful presentation of the concept, and angles of approaching the topic that were fresh, something we agents are always looking for.”
Grant continues, “Then I read the beginning pages of the manuscript. Next thing I knew, I was so engaged in the flawless writing, beauty of expression, and ways Marilyn told about her husband’s death, that I was reduced to tears of empathy. This writer knows the power of the right word in the right place.”
Marilyn’s prize is a $250 Visa gift card. Congratulations, Marilyn!
The contest was designed to select one overall winner. “But, as I considered the proposals and sample chapters of the projects each agent chose as her pick, I couldn’t decide between two of them,” Grant says. “After waffling back and forth several times, it occurred to me that I could add a runner-up category. These two projects are both winners, and a cat’s whisker separated them in my mind.”
The runner-up in the 25th Anniversary Contest is Jessica Roach Ferguson with her romantic suspense, A Bad Guy Forever. Of the book, Grant says, “The tension between the hero and heroine is created through snappy dialogue and the guilt, anger, shame they both bear over a tragic moment in their past. The building suspense elements kept me engaged through every page.”
Jessica will receive a $100 Visa gift card. Congratulations, Jessica!
The Books & Such team also reviewed and made comments on each of the proposals submitted by the finalists and those will be returned to the 25 finalists in the coming week.
Thank you all for celebrating our 25th Anniversary with us!
The Books & Such agents have never done a contest like this before, so we had no idea what to expect. It was awe-inspiring to us how much could be determined from a one- or two-sentence hook. The quality hooks really did lead to some quality proposals and projects. It seemed that those who had really mastered their hook and had the ability to tell what the core of their book was in a brief way, had also taken the time to really nail their proposals and sample chapters.
We were very pleased with the projects we saw and had a lot of fun while we were evaluating them!
So I’d encourage you all to keep working on your hook (and proposal, too) get some feedback and have your critique partners weigh in. It can really make a difference!
Thanks, again, to those of you who participated in our contest! It was wonderful!