This journey began for 30 writers seven weeks ago and now as it draws to a close we should take a moment and reflect on all of the wonderful writing we've seen. To reach this point in WRiTE CLUB
- having your work read and judged by a conglomerate of industry professionals - is no easy task. But then again, it's not supposed to be. Writing is a gift, perfected with hard work, and this contest plays only a small part in drawing that gift out into the light. A hearty WELL DONE to each of the contestants that made it into the ring this year.
The readers/voters have spoken and decided that IshYouNotIshMe
will face off again (they went against each other in a very close bout during the Playoff round) for the opportunity to be crowned the 2019 WRiTE CLUB
Champion. An interesting side-note, these are the two contestants our Slush Pile readers picked as the top two submissions in their voting as well. The winner of this final bout will be announced at next weeks DFW Conference
in Dallas. Both of our finalists have had their 1,000-word samples forwarded to our celebrity judges (listed below) and those samples are also displayed below. Although the votes/comments will not carry any weight towards deciding a winner, everyone is welcome to leave a vote/critique in the comments. Comments in this round do not count towards the gift card giveaway
book writer, screenwriter, and blogger. New York
Times & USA Today bestseller.
& Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author
bestseller and New York Times bestselling Author
||Copywriter turned novelist & 1st ever WRiTE CLUB Champion
||Agent - Irene Goodman Literary Agency
||Agent - Nelson Literary Agency
||Editor - Acorn Author Services
||Submissions Supervisor & Social Media Trailblazer - Clean
||Agent - Chalberg & Sussman
||Agent - Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
||Agent - The Prospect Agency
||Agent - D4eo Literary Agency
||Agent - L. Perkins Agency
||Agent - Speilburg Literary Agency
||Agent - Prentis Literary
||Agent - Corvisiero Literary Agency
||Agent - BookEnds Literary Agency
||Agent - Fuse Literary
||Previous WRiTE CLUB Winner
|Previous WRiTE CLUB Winner
|Previous WRiTE CLUB Winner
|Previous WRiTE CLUB Winner
|Previous WRiTE CLUB Winner
||Previous WRiTE CLUB Winner
We will also announce the two winners of our random voter giveaways at the conference as well.
Without further ado, here are the last two submissions from our finalists.
Mother pulled a tray of chocolate
chip cookies out of the oven. Put her in a poofy dress and heels, and she’d
pass for a Stepford Wife. Never a hair out of place or a smudge of lipstick on
her teeth. Always gorgeous. God, I resented her.
“S’up, Susan!” Mother’s name felt
foreign in my mouth.
Mother set the cookies down on a
rack and turned to me, Barbie smile glued to her face. “Hello, dear. How was
She didn’t even glance at my hair.
“Leslie and I did each other’s
hair.” How could she ignore that I’d cut it and colored it taffy pink?
“Well, perhaps Leslie can come over
here tomorrow and help you study for your Lit final.” She put another tray of
cookies into the oven. “Would you like one? They’re still gooey.”
“I’m not hungry,” I mumbled as
stomped to my room.
I stood at my locker, looking
through my texts. Kids shouted and shoved each other. Lockers slammed. A
“Hey, Regina, nice hair!” Greg’s
locker was three down, but he’d never said a word to me.
“Thanks.” Heat spread across my
chest, up my neck, and settled into my cheeks. I brought my hand up to my head.
I really did love it.
“Why the change?” He reached up, but
stopped just short of touching my hair. I swear I felt electricity run from his
fingertips to my head. When he moved his hand away, disappointment gnawed at my
“I just needed a change.” I pulled
books out of my locker and hugged them. “And I was trying to piss off my
“Regina Cabot, honor student, yearbook
editor, and student council president wanted to piss off her parents? Why?”
anger swirled in my belly. Hearing
my accomplishments reminded me how much energy I always put into pleasing my
parents instead of myself.
“I guess I wanted to control something
for once, even if all I could control is getting in trouble. But they didn’t
“I bet going out with me would
work.” A crooked smile raised one corner of his lips and his green eyes
No way could they ignore Greg. With
his leather jacket and motorcycle; his long hair and attitude.
“That’s a good idea.” The bell rang
but neither of us moved.
“Does seven work?” His hand came
back up, and this time he ran his fingers through my hair. I shivered when his finger brushed my
I didn’t bother telling my parents I
was going out. I didn’t want the same old lecture, I wanted World War III. Greg
rumbled up my driveway at ten after seven. I ran down the hallway, past the den
where my parents sat reading the paper. No joke, they still read the newspaper
like it was 1965.
“Just a minute.” Father’s voice was
stern. “Come in here.”
“Where are you going?” Mother asked
without looking up.
“With whom?” Father licked his thumb
and turned the page.
“Greg. He’s waiting. Can I go?”
Disrespect always triggered them. I prepared for battle.
Father took a deep breath. Outside,
Greg revved his engine and honked. I could practically see anger rising in
“It’s a school night,” he said.
“Yeah, I know.” I put a hand on my
hip and sighed.
Was this a trick? Mother turned the
page and didn’t say anything.
“You look lovely.” He sipped his
“I don’t know when I’ll be back.”
“Then take your key.” Mother laid
the newspaper in her lap and smiled. “Your father’s right, you look lovely. Now
don’t keep your friend waiting.”
Greg wolf-whistled as I approached
his bike. “You look—Wow.” He held a helmet out to me. “It’s a shame to cover up
that hair, but better safe than sorry.”
I slipped the helmet on and climbed behind
him. As we roared past my house, I looked to see if my parents were watching.
They weren’t. I don’t know why my parents suddenly stopped caring, but maybe it
wasn’t so bad. If I didn’t have to worry about being perfect, I could live my
Greg parked and helped me down. I
handed him my helmet and floofed up my plastered-down hair.
“Don’t bother, you look great.” He
tilted my chin up and kissed me lightly. My first kiss.
“Yeah.” My reply came out a whisper.
“This place has the best burgers.
Let’s eat and figure out what to do with our night.” Greg wrapped his arm
around my waist like he did it every day.
I wanted to skip the burger, get
back on his bike, and take off. To be wild and reckless, but that’s not what I’d
“I have a Lit. test tomorrow. Will
you take me home after this?”
“Yes. Please don’t be mad.”
He smiled and took my hand. “If
that’s what you want, that’s what we’ll do. But can we eat slowly?”
“My parents always complain that I’m
a slow eater,” I replied.
“This was too good to be true,
“I’ve wanted to ask you out since I
moved here, but I figured you wouldn’t give me the time of day.”
“What?” I studied him, looking for a
crack in his lie. “Why would you think that?”
“You’re smart and busy perfect. I’m
not the kind of guy your type goes for.”
“This is so weird.” I tried to hold
back a giggle.
“This situation. I’ve been
fan-girling over you for months, but you never even looked at me.”
He slid in next to me. “This is
weirdly poetic, isn’t it? We could have been coming here for months if either
one of us had taken charge and said something.”
“It’s weird, alright. But good.”
I looked into his green eyes and my
heart soared. I lifted my face to his and kissed him.
“How’s that for taking charge?”
Damnit. I stare at the message from
Des saying she’s broken her leg and can’t be my partner for the Dreor Scavenger
Hunt. Without a partner, I can’t enter the hunt. Without the hunt, I can’t win
the prize money and possibly redeem myself.
I glance around the dingy duplex that
always smells like cheese. I’ve hidden out here for six months, never planning
on making it, nor Earth, my permanent residence. At least I look human. Mostly.
My phone beeps again. I’m sorry.
Anger and defeat rush through me. “No you’re not.” I tighten my grip on
my phone so I don’t hurl it across the room, but none of this is Des' fault. I’m
the one who ran away after starting that fire. I was going to use the prize
money to pay for all the damage I caused. And maybe even convince my family to
forgive me. But now…I sink to the floor, the rough wall digging into my back.
There’s no one else I trust to be my partner—to keep my location a secret.
“Kit!” my co-worker, Chase, calls from
outside. “You there?”
Unless…an idea, a wonderfully crazy
idea, pops into my head. I bolt off
the floor and fling open the door, excitement and hope replacing my misery. “Hey!”
Chase takes a step back, startled. “Everything
I step onto the porch and immediately
start sweating in the summer heat. “Of course. Why wouldn’t it be?”
“I dunno.” Chase studies me, confusion etched
on his face. “You seem, uh, strangely excited.”
“I just had the best idea.” I hook my
arm through Chase’s and guide him down the driveway. “I have a favor to ask.”
“You can’t have my shift at the store.”
Chase pulls his arm free. “I need the extra hours.”
“It has nothing to do with work. In
fact, it’s something that’ll help us both.”
Chase cocks an eyebrow. “The last time
you said you had something that would help me, I ended up with two dead fish.”
Chase gives me a pointed look.
“Well, not entirely. But they were
only fish. It’s not like I killed your dog or something.”
“Exactly. And I promise no fish will
get hurt. Or anything else that breathes.” Probably.
Chase eyes me, his expression guarded.
Which is to be expected, I guess. Some of my ideas haven’t turned out exactly
as planned. But, then again, Earth’s very different from my home planet. I
flash Chase my most winning smile. “So…?”
He sighs. “Fine. What do you need help with?”
“Sure. What do you really need help
“Just that, a scavenger hunt. One with
a cash reward.”
Chase straightens, obviously
interested. “How much?”
“Twenty-five grand. Each.”
Chase lets out a humorless laugh. “You
may find it funny to make fun of my money problems, but I don’t.” He turns to
“No, wait!” I grab his hand. “It’s not
your normal type of scavenger hunt.”
Chase hesitates and then swivels to
face me. “Go on.”
“It’s a scavenger hunt…in space!” I
throw my arms up in a ta-da sort of motion.
“I’m an alien,” I blurt out in
“No really, look, I’ll prove it to
Frustration flashes across Chase’s
face. “And how are you going to do that? Pull out a laser gun? Maybe reveal a
“No, something much better. Well,
maybe not as great as a second head, I’m not Andullian after all, but still
really good.” I sit on the sidewalk and pull off my shoe and sock.
I hold up my foot, wagging it in the
direction of his face. “I have seven toes.”
“What?” Chase does a double take, his
mouth moving silently as he counts. “So? What does that prove? It could be some
sort of weird…genetic…thing.”
“That’s six toes, not seven.” At least
according to the internet. “Anyway, I can show you my other foot if that’d
help.” I reach for my other shoe.
“It’d only prove you have fourteen
toes. Is there anything else? Do you have two hearts I can listen to? Or
something else I can see?”
“No, but I do have three stomachs and
Chase snorts. “What are you, exactly?
An alien cow?”
Indignation sweeps through me. “No.
There’s nothing cow-like about me if you haven’t noticed. I don’t even eat
grass.” Although I did try it once. It wasn’t very delicious.
I scramble to my feet. “I swear, I’m
telling the truth. And I’d let you see, but then you’d have to eviscerate me
and there’s no way we’d win the scavenger hunt if my entrails were sprawled
along the sidewalk.”
Chase glances at my bare foot and then
back at me. “Let’s say I believe you. Then what?”
“Then we get on my spaceship and enter
“And where does it take place?”
“All over the Bitali Galaxy.”
“Of course there is!” Before he can
answer, I reach into my pocket and pull out a small ship transporter. “I’ll
show you.” I grab his hand and push a button. A second later, we materialize on
“Told you I was an alien.” I can’t keep
the smug satisfaction out of my voice.
“What the hell?” Chase turns in a slow
circle, mesmerized. “Where are we?”
He walks over to the view screen as
though in a trance, staring at Earth. “Is that, like, real?”
“Yup. And,” I fiddle with the console,
changing the image, “that’s the Bitali Galaxy.”
“Whoa!” He glances at me. “Why didn’t
you show me your ship in the first place?”
“Because everyone has spaceships, but
not everyone has seven toes. That’s much more impressive.”
Chase looks incredulous. “You thought—”.
“Never mind what I thought—are you in?”
He grins. “Hell yeah I’m in.”
I'll be at the DFW Conference next weekend and have a vendor table to promote next years contest, so if you have the opportunity to attend the fabulous writer event and you have a free moment, please drop by and say hello!