Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Winners!!

Before I could count the votes, I had to pull out my handy dandy notebook like this guy...

 And then I was like...

I can't believe how close all the finalists were! You guys are serious rock stars, seriously! And this is how I'm picturing you right now, but maybe with less hair...

And the two winners are...

It shouldn’t have taken a jolt in an electric chair to make me realize I’m not a Bob. You’d think I’d have figured it out before. I’m not stupid. Really. Some people say I’m gifted. I hate that word. They might as well draw a bulls-eye on my forehead with pink glitter paint. Anyway, I’d gotten into the habit of ignoring my name, Fred. It was like background noise. Or, like the jets that flew over our last house ten times a day. They were there, but I didn’t notice them anymore. 

(Shelly will have fifty pages and a synopsis considered by my amazing agent, Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreward Literary!)

India is not the spiritual home of wishy-washy mantras and life affirming experiences. It is the home of more than one billion people, who work their sun-burnt broken backs raw to keep their families fed and alive. Dreams lie dormant in tired eyes that only dare to sparkle and shine in the confines of a cinema, where Bollywood heroes preach the religion of love dishonestly. The nation survives between shots of morning chai and moist parathas, alive on meagre earnings and hopes that are as momentary as electrical impulses between every cell and synapse. But the colours, the red of the tikka, the rainbow of the rangoli patterns, the faded jades of sweaty sarees, the hues of dust on bright orange temples or mint green mosques; yes, the colours were a defiance to the fate that had doomed them to their brown skins and the poverty induced prejudice that came with it. Sakeena Ghulam, wry, young, poor, a basket of heavy washed clothes on one hip and a hand-decorated earthen pot on the other, belonged to those colours. 

(Azra will have a query and ten pages critiqued by none other than super agent, Gordon Warnock of Foreward Literary!)


Thank you, everyone! You are all AMAZING! I had a blast doing this contest with you! 

Also, if you guys are interested in more contests, the totally awesome Blue Rose Girls are holding a fifty word story contest and the prize is CHOCOLATE, so yeah, you should go enter. And THEE Nathan Bransford is spreading good cheer with the #ThankAWriter Project.


  1. Thank you for this opportunity, Naomi. I really did have a brilliant time! Also, totally excited about getting an expert opinion on my work!

  2. Congratulations to the winners!

  3. Congrats to the winners! You two deserve it. I hope you benefit from your critiques! :)
    Thanks Naomi for this opportunity. It's a great idea.

  4. Yay for the winners! Great stuff! And a HUGE thank you to Naomi for putting it all together! (((hugs)))

  5. Wow, I'm blown away and humbled at the same time. Oh, and terrified:-) Thanks so much Naomi for the contest, for your encouragement and for the opportunity to have my work critiqued! And congrats also Azra!

  6. You all are so great! Thank you! This was a blast :)

  7. Congratulations to the winners!!! Fabulous pitches and looking forward to seeing your books on the shelves!!!

    Sabrina Marchal

  8. Congratulations Azra and Shelley! You guys are amazing :)

    Thanks, Naomi - this was so much fun! I can't imagine the work that went into it :)

    1. It was definitely a good kind of work though, but I did take a very long nap--or maybe more, I'm too tired to remember lol!