Book publisher Harlequin has added a compelling final chapter to its tremendously popular So You Think You Can Write (SYTYCW) 2013 event by announcing seven winners from two writing contests held simultaneously in its search for new talent. One winner was named in the romance contest, featured on Harlequin’s official SYTYCW website, while six more were announced as winners of the New Adult competition, which took place on Wattpad, the world’s largest community of readers and writers.
Tanya Wright of Derry, New Hampshire was declared the winner of the 2013 So You Think You Can Write writing competition. Approximately 650 participants entered the English language romance-writing contest. Ms. Wright’s manuscript, entitled If Only, received the highest percentage of all ballots cast —27 percent —during a two-week online vote, open to the public. The Manchester-area resident was touchingly emotional when she received “The Call” from Harlequin editor Megan Haslam informing her that she had won the SYTYCW competition. Ms. Wright’s submission so impressed editors at Harlequin, that she has been offered a two-book contract—an exciting beginning to a career as a professional author. If Only is scheduled to be published in Fall 2014.
“Each year Harlequin’s unique online SYTYCW conference and writing contest has been a source of inspiration for writers,” said Dianne Moggy, Vice President Series & Subrights. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to acquire seven new authors for our publishing programs through two contests this year. Congratulations to all the winners!”
Harlequin expanded So You Think You Can Write in 2013 by partnering with Wattpad to host a New Adult-genre writing competition featured exclusively on the storytelling platform. Entrants uploaded chapters online and were able to receive immediate feedback from Wattpad’s community of 20 million avid readers. Four winners were to be selected but Harlequin editors were so impressed by the quality of the material that six writers will be offered book deals with Harlequin’s New Adult digital romance series.
“The New Adult contest on Wattpad was a huge success with more than 60,000 people voting for their favorite story,” said Ashleigh Gardner, Head of Content, Publishing at Wattpad. “Harlequin editors were spoiled for choice and ended up selecting six amazing Wattpad stories to publish from the entries on Wattpad, more than originally planned.”
The winners, a diverse group from five different countries and four continents, are Jo Watson of Johannesburg, South Africa for Burning Moon; Amber Lindley of the United Kingdom for Confident Women; Sarah White of California, USA for Rookie in Love; Melinda Di Lorenzo of British Columbia, Canada for Promises Made, Promises Broken; Claire Chilton of York, England for Hunted Hearts and Avril Tremayne of Sydney, Australia for Signed, Sealed, Delivered. Ms. Tremayne, in a remarkable display of talent, was also a finalist in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest. The stories are scheduled to be published by Harlequin in two New Adult ebook box sets in May and June 2014.
All contest winning titles will be accompanied by details and promotions declaring them So You Think You Can Write winners.
So You Think You Can Write is an annual digital conference where hopeful romance novelists get to spend time with more than 50 Harlequin editors from New York, London and Toronto through social media tools including podcasts, videos, blogs, live chats, community discussions and Twitter events. Aspiring authors are led through a virtual week-long “boot camp” designed to teach them how to write a romance novel that will attract the attention of publishers. The contest portions of SYTYCW allows entrants to experience the path a professional writer undertakes from the genesis of a story idea all the way through to, if selected as winners, the publication of novels.
So You Think You Can Write will return for its fifth conference and contest in September 2014.