Daily Archives: March 19, 2012

Guest Judge Sends Results In . . .

Our judge the week is LOUISE PLUMMER!!!!
(Cheering heard all around the globe!)

Ann Dee asked Louise to be our Romantic Judge and I don’t think we could have chosen anyone more romantic!
Here’s her bio.

Louise Plummer is a noted author young-adult fiction and a retired associate professor of English for Brigham Young University. She lived in New York, New York with her writer/professor husband Tom. Together they have four sons.

The Plummers moved from Boston to Minnesota in 1971 when Tom took a position at the University of Minnesota. While there, Louise earned a master’s degree in English. They both took positions at BYU in 1985, the same year her first novel, The Romantic Obsessions and Humiliations of Annie Sehlmeier, received the Delacorte Press First Young Adult Novel Contest, leading to its publication. The book later became a children’s choice book with both the New York Public Library and the International Reading Association.

Awards received by subsequent books include her second novel, ALA Best Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, Utah Arts Council Best Young Adult Novel, Association for Mormon Letters Best Young Adult Novel, and another New York Public Library Children’s Choice Book for her second novel, My Name is Sus5an Smith. The 5 is Silent. The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman was also an ALA Best Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, an Association for Mormon Letters Best Young Adult Novel. Her A Dance For Three was also an ALA Best Book.

(Carol here. If you want to read an amazing novel, read Louise’s Dance for Three. The truth is, ALL of Louise’s novels are amazing. This one will knock your socks off. I remember I read Dance in a hotel room, my kids crawling all over me as I lay in the bed, and wept.)

So, after waiting and waiting and waiting–here is our winner!

Winner: Rosalee Diamond is first place. 

I sat on Noah’s hospital bed with my knees curled to my chest, and I concentrated on his heart monitor, making sure the peaks that marked each heartbeat kept coming.
“This isn’t how I pictured our first date,” he said.
“You didn’t think I’d let you completely miss prom, did you?”
I tried to laugh, but the sight of Noah, pale and vulnerable, hooked to all those tubes and wires, felt too heavy for laughter.
He turned to reach behind the raised head of his bed, pulling out a disco-ball key chain and a rose corsage. “Surprise.”
A smile slipped onto my face before I could tell it not to. “How did you know I’d cancel my date?”
He shrugged. “A guy can dream.” He slipped the corsage on my wrist.
I tried to enjoy the surprise, but my smile was hard to hold on to.
“I’m not dying,” he said.
I ran my fingers along the bars at the side of his bed. “I know,” I lied.
“In fact, I’d ask you to dance if my babysitters would let me out of bed,” he said, his voice edged with frustration.
I made myself perk up. “This is better than prom. See,” I wiggled my sock-covered feet. “No heels required.”
“In that case, I’d say you owe me.” His mischievous grin reminded me of cookie snitching in preschool, prank wars in second grade, night games in junior high.
I loved that grin.
“How about a game of Dare,” he said.
I laughed for real this time. “We haven’t played Dare since fourth grade, when you made me put the tarantula in the principal’s desk drawer. I got suspended.”
“You got off easy. I’m scarred for life after wearing your Little Bo Peep costume to my soccer tournament.”
We reminisced and laughed till tears ran down our faces. A nurse shushed us, so we quieted to giggling and grinning at each other. I shifted to lean back next to him and sighed, wishing we could always be together like this, only somewhere without nurses and IVs.
Noah grew quiet and serious.
“Is something wrong?” I asked.
He traced my happy tears with his fingertip and cradled my chin in his hand. “Kiss me, Meg?”
I gasped. For years, I’d hoped we could be more than best friends. I’d just been too afraid I’d lose him to try, but I’d never pictured us here, like this.
“I dare you,” he whispered, mouth quirked in my favorite smile.
Still unsure, barely breathing, I closed my eyes and leaned into him. Our lips touched, soft and tentative at first, and then I kissed him with all the longing of years spent wishing we could be this kind of us.
One of his monitors started beeping, calling a nurse to check on him, and he pulled away, looking at me with a shy smile. I hid my face against his chest, savoring the fragrance of my corsage and counting each beat of his heart.

Here’s what Louise said:

“I liked that it took place in a hospital room and that the protagonist had given up prom to be with Luke, although her prom date may be scarred for life (but that’s another story).  The disco ball key chain alongside the rose wrist corsage makes for a nice irony, as does the game of Dare with its images of tarantulas and Luke dressed as Bo Peep.  I like the way that Dare then becomes a means of getting her to kiss him.  My favorite phrase, though, is “ . . .wishing we could be this kind of us.”
Nicely done, Rosalee Diamond.  You know, of course, the boy must die.  He. Must. Die.”
And Louise is sincere when she says this. She never lets the girl get the boy.

The writer who moves to the Play at Home side: Aeary Jenkins

There is NO IMMUNITY for the rest of the contest!


This week you are going to LOVE what the contest is. Last week was all about love, right? This week we want you to think of love betrayed, or wicked step mothers or red hot iron shoes. That’s right, we want a Fairy Tale retelling!

You get 600 words.
Here’s what must happen before you end your piece–the judge has to know which fairy tale this is. Do all the stuff we’ve been talking about–you know the drill! Excellent sense of place, excellent character development, excellent forward movement with the plot.
And when you write your piece, twist things this way and that. Make it dark. Or make it hilarious. Just make it different.
Retell Your Fairy Tale.

Don’t forget RULES:

Use a new name, but don’t tell anyone that name until after the judging is over.
 The contest closes at seven (7) pm on Wednesday, March 21, 2012.

Remember, the old standards–You may vote for two (2) people.
 Judging will be on Thursday and Friday and will close at midnight.

You might want to think of a fairy tale that hasn’t been done to death. Or, if you have one that HAS been stripped originality, add your unique wonderful amazing beautiful fantastic voice.

We’re getting close, Everyone.
Close to the end and a first chapter read by agent Steve Fraser.

Hey, PS guess what?!
For any of you who are interested in meeting Steve face-to-face, he will be at BYU THIS Wednesday, in the Tanner Building, room 251, from 5:10-7:20.
I think I may sing a song to introduce him.



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