Contest Winners....Step Up To The Podium!

First off, I really enjoyed reading everyone's hooks. Keep in mind, taste is subjective, but here were some of the things I looked for when considering each one and the power it had to pull me into the story:

--Did the opening prompt questions that I felt compelled to find answers for?
--Is Voice present?
--Does the hook provide an unusual combination of setting, character and circumstance?

Here's some stats you might find interesting:

--Of 71 hooks, 11 directly centered on death or funerals
--23 made the short list (with so many to choose from I had to be tough right from the start)
--9 made it to the semi finals
--6 entries would have made the the semi finals or better except their hook contained awkward phrasing/incorrect tense
(always proof your work!)
--1 person made it to the podium but wasn't a Follower in any way. It broke my heart, but I had to exclude their entry to be fair to those who are.

And now, the winners!

Bronze medalist
(2 page critique) Creative A

Her Hook: Aria fell. Once, a long time ago, she had dreamed that the sky could catch her. (I liked the lyrical quality of this opener and it made me wonder about the events that lead to this moment as well as the current action.)

Silver medalist: (5 Page critique) Delilah S. Dawson

Her hook: Blackstone Farmhouse was the dullest place on earth until about three in the morning, when the screaming started. It had been happening for weeks, but it never failed to surprise Lena. (This one promises something unusual, I think. I liked the clash of the 'routine country lifestyle' and an unexpected disturbing event.)

Gold Medalist: (10 page critique) Abby Annis

Her hook: Three seconds. That's how long it took for my life to end. (short & sweet, a bunch of questions come to mind about the POV character--questions I feel compelled to have the answers to.)

Winners can find my email here. Please contact me and I'll give some brief guidelines on what to send.

I think everyone deserves a big pat on the back. You guys did a great job with your hooks, and it was very, very hard to choose winners. Much of it came down to my own gut, which is exactly how I imagine agents and editors must ultimately decide when they sift through a deluge of queries.

Thanks so much for sharing a bit of your work with me. I'm sure there will be more hook contests to come!


Abby Annis said...

Yea! Thank you! I'm emailing you right now. :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Woo-hoo, Abby, Delilah and Creative A! Those were among my favorites, too.
This contest was fun to read and I learned a lot about what works by reading so many different entries. It was a wonderful thing for you to do, Angela.

Bish Denham said...

Congratulations to the winners! Excellent hooks.

Conda V. Douglas said...

Wow, it's obvious why these were the winners! Congrats to all!

Kelly said...

Ohhhh, these are good! Great picks!

Marcia said...

This is really a fantastic contest!

jessjordan said...

woohooooo, Abby! And congrats to all the winners. Thanks for the contest, Angela. I had fun reading all the entries.

I have issues with this following thing. I click "follow blog" up top, but I've only recently realized that doesn't mean I'm listed as a follower. so maybe that's what happened to the non-follower?

Tere Kirkland said...

Congratulations, Abby! Way to go, Delilah and CA!

What a great opportunity to try out those hook.

Danyelle said...

Yay! Congrats to the winners! I really liked this contest. Made me think. :D

Delilah S. Dawson said...

Thank you so much! Emailing you now!

I woke up feeling all whiny and covetous, but this totally made my day.

Karen Lange said...

Congrats to the winners! They were great.

Creative A said...

Wow! Thanks everyone! And congrats to the other two winners; you guys really deserved the win :)


Angela said...

Congrats to the winners, and thanks to everyone wh entered!

Jess, I've looked you up and you are listed as a follower. To be safe, I looked on everyone's personal profiles and through my list (all 500+!) because some people have the blogs they follow as hidden.

Christine Danek said...

Great pics. Congrats to all the winners :)

jessjordan said...


Wow, you are a committed contest thrower!

This was a ton of fun. (Abby's was my favorite, too.)


MG Higgins said...

Great hooks! Congrats to the winners!

Erica said...

Congrats to the winners!! I remember Abby's. I would have picked that one too - even over my own ;o)

Congrats to Creative A and Delilah as well - great job!!

Kathy McIntosh said...

Wow. Great hooks. I want to read the rest of the stories.

Andrea said...

Congratulations to the winners! Angela, this contest was a great idea. It made me take a good hard look at all the openings for my novels!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

These were amazing hooks! I especially loved Abby's.

Mary Witzl said...

All three of these were great, but Deliah's is the one that's got me longing to read her book. I've got to know who was screaming!

L.J. Boldyrev said...

Great hooks! Congrats, all!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Hurray for the winners! :-)

Miriam said...

Oh no I'm so mad I missed this contest - I love writing hooks! Congrats to the winners, they were really good.


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