Mindy, Sharon and I tried to give this much thought and pick a good variety of entries. We kept an eye out for diversity, but also for unique concepts or interesting methods. We found entries that made us laugh and those that made us cry. You, the writers, are amazing!
Even more so this year there were way more fantastic entries than there are spots. We had so much trouble narrowing down the field. In fact, we were making the last picks moments before this post went live.
Before the reveal, I just want to remind everyone that contests are for fun and meeting other writers, building contacts. In no way are they a reflection on a story. There are only 20 or so picks out of 820 entries. Maybe people have entered contests and gotten no love, only to get an agent from the query slush--like me. For one thing, we are limited to the number of picks we can showcase, while an agent is not. So keep querying, keep writing those adorable picture and chapter books.
It's very tough. I know the disappointment. Hugs. Use it to keep going.
Please if your title is on the list, watch my blog early on Wednesday and check your entry for typos or formatting problems. Let me know as soon as possible what needs fixed in this post or on twitter.
So here are the 25 picks, listed in no particular order and color coded like a rainbow just for fun.
The Little Pink Robot
Detective Jelly Donut Investigates: Vegetables Gone Bad
Ten Just Wants to Have Fun
Strong Hands: The Story of Young Potter Maria Povika Martinez
A Flood of Kindness
Delphine Denise and the Best Mardi Gras Ever
Bro vs. Peas... How to Feed a Sister
Down My Snowy Street
Bert and Wert: We Do the Dirty Work
The Three Little Pigs Need Your Help
Ruth Bixer, Problem Fixer
Mako Brown and the Ghoul Dragons
The Robot that Could: The True Story of Mars Opportunity Rover
Keep on Truckin': The Story of the Red Ball Express
Flap Your Hands
Pauli's Key: How One Woman and Her Typewriter Changed the World
Including Alice: The Story of Alice Johnson and the First Soap Box Derby
A Flag Full of Suns
The Princess and the Key
It's not over! There's more!
Because we had so many agents interested in illustrations this year, we are doing something about that. There will be a special entry of just illustrations--each one labelled with a number. Agents can request by number which artist they would like to see more of. If you submitted an illustration, check for your artwork there tomorrow morning. (If I have time I'll get a list added to this post.)
Congrats to the finalists! Hugs to those who will be watching! See you Wednesday for the agent round. It does last three days. Nobody is promised requests, but our fingers are crossed.