The Top Five (in the order they happen to be in my email) are:
- Kelly Lyman, The Watcher
- Lori Calabrese, Playing Hardball
- Tiffany Harrison, Shades of Gray
- Buffy Andrews, Brain Invaders
- Susan James, Beneath the Trees
Congratulations to you all, and thank you to all of those who entered. We had a tough time narrowing it down to those five.
All five of these did an excellent job of fully representing their story but still staying within the word limit. They all gave me an excellent idea of their entire plot, introduced me to the key characters, and were straightforward and well written. What they did not do was have teaser questions, hint at a plot point but then not tell it, or play coy.
Now, when we went to choose the two overall winners, we did not judge solely on the summary. You have to recall that manuscript request was the prize, so the Blooming Tree folk and I had to consider what would be a good fit for our overall list. One of the summaries was for an adult novel (the rules didn't exclude them), but neither CBAY (which doesn't do adult) nor BTP (which does but isn't acquiring for right now) are reading adult ms at the moment. So obviously, this summary couldn't be an overall winner right now.
So (drumroll please) the overall winner for Blooming Tree Press was Playing Hardball, a midgrade boy's book with baseball and injustice.
The overall winner for CBAY was Beneath the Trees, a YA high fantasy complete with love, loss, and good and bad fairies.
Congratulations again to the winners and to everyone who entered. There wasn't a single summary I read that made me think, "Ick. What a horrible idea for a book." (I have read some query letters before that have made me think that.)