Book Wish Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity providing high-impact reading aid for people in crisis, with a current focus on refugees from Darfur and AIDS orphans in Ghana. They give some of the world's neediest readers the books they wish for, taking requests for specific titles and subjects. This helps ensure the books will be matched to the needs of the readers, and appropriate for their reading level and culture.
They are holding an essay contest for aspiring writers and they wanted me to share this with you guys. So to all of my readers who are also aspiring writers of young adult fiction, this is a rare opportunity to get a renowned author or literary agent's feedback on your unpublished manuscript! This is very big and will definitely help you out a lot in your writing career!
You could win a manuscript critique from:
Laura Langlie, literary agent for Meg Cabot
Nancy Gallt, literary agent for Jeanne DuPrau
Brenda Bowen, literary agent and editor of Karen Hesse's Newbery Medal winner Out of the Dust
Ann M. Martin, winner of the Newbery Honor for A Corner of the Universe
Francisco X. Stork, winner of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award for The Last Summer of the Death Warriors
Cynthia Voigt, winner of the Newbery Medal for Dicey's Song and the Newbery Honor for A Solitary Blue
All that separates you from this prize is a 500-word essay about a short story in Book Wish Foundation's new YA anthology, What You Wish For. Essays are due Feb. 1, 2012 and winners will be announced around Mar. 1, 2012. If you win, you will have six months to submit the first 50 pages of your YA (or middle grade) manuscript for critique (which means you can enter the contest even if you haven't finished, or started, your manuscript). You can even enter multiple times, with essays about more than one of the contest stories, for a chance to win up to six critiques. Essays will be judged on style, creativity, understanding of the story, and understanding of the refugees. Essays and winners' manuscripts must be written in English. Stories you may write about:
Essays must be emailed to email@example.com no later than February 1, 2012, either pasted into the body of the email or attached as a Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, or PDF file. Essays must include the name and email address of the entrant. Book Wish Foundation staff will judge the initial round of the contest and recommend finalists to the agents or authors, who will select the winners. Winners will be notified by email and announced on bookwish.org on or about March 1, 2012. Winners' manuscripts must be received by September 1, 2012. Manuscript critiques will be sent to winners within six months of receipt.
Essays may be published on bookwish.org. By submitting an essay, you grant to Book Wish Foundation the right to edit, publish, copy, display, and otherwise use your essay, and to further use your name, likeness, and biographical information in advertising and promotional materials, without further compensation or permission, except where prohibited by law. The preceding applies to the contest essays, not winners' manuscripts. Winners retain all rights to the manuscripts they submit for critique.
This contest is open to residents of the United States who are at least 13 years old. Excluded from entering are the employees, officers, directors, agents, and representatives of Book Wish Foundation, Penguin Group (USA), Inc., the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the authors of What You Wish For, and the authors' literary agencies, as well as the immediate families (spouses, parents, children, siblings, and their respective spouses) and residents of the same households of all of the preceding. Void where prohibited.
WAIVER OF LIABILITY:
By submitting an essay, you agree to release and hold harmless Book Wish Foundation; the participating authors, literary agents, and literary agencies; any promotional partners; each of their parent, subsidiary, affiliate, and related companies; and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, and agents from and against any losses, damages, rights, claim, or cause of action of any kind arising, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, out of participation in the contest or resulting directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize awarded in connection with the contest, as well as claims based on publicity rights, defamation, and/or invasion of privacy.
Winners will be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability in order to receive a manuscript critique. The affidavit must be returned within fourteen (14) days of notification or another winner will be selected. If a winner is under 18 years of age, his/her parent/legal guardian will also be required to sign the affidavit.
If you dream of being a published YA author, this is an opportunity you should not miss. For more information visit http://bookwish.org/contest.
Good luck and best wishes!
Note: What You Wish For (ISBN 9780399254543, Putnam Juvenile, Sep. 15, 2011) is a collection of short stories and poems about wishes from 18 all-star writers: Meg Cabot, Jeanne DuPrau, Cornelia Funke, Nikki Giovanni, John Green, Karen Hesse, Ann M. Martin, Alexander McCall Smith, Marilyn Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Joyce Carol Oates, Nate Powell, Sofia Quintero, Gary Soto, R.L. Stine, Francisco X. Stork, Cynthia Voigt, Jane Yolen. With a Foreword by Mia Farrow. Book Wish Foundation is donating 100% of its proceeds from the book to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to fund the development of libraries in Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad.