What do a 28-year-old PhD student from the University of Chicago and a 56-year-old horse farmer from rural Michigan have in common? Both of these lucky women will soon have their romance manuscripts published by one of Americaâ€™s most prestigious publishing houses.
We are pleased to announce that Meredith McGuire, author of The Shadowâ€™s Kiss, is the grand prize winner in our First Chapters Romance Writing Competition. AND, as a testament to the amazing talent of the Gather community, Simon & Schuster has decided to award a second publishing prize to Starr Toth, author of Trust Me.Congratulations to Meredith and Starr on such a tremendous achievement!
In addition to their guaranteed publishing contracts with Simon & Schuster, grand prize winner Meredith will receive a $5,000 cash advance and runner-up Starr will receive a $3,500 advance.Â Meredithâ€™s novel, The Shadowâ€™s Kiss, will be published this spring and Starrâ€™s novel, Trust Me,will be published in the fall of 2008. Both novels will also be promoted at Borders retail stores and available for purchase wherever books are sold.
Maggie Crawford, Editorial Director of Pocket Books, had this to say about the First Chapters Romance Writing Competition: â€œGather.comâ€™s community of readers, writers and aspiring authors has allowed us to tap into talent we would have had no way of previously knowing about. The quality of submissions in this competition far exceeded our expectations and we are truly excited to bring Meredith and Starrâ€™s talent to the public.â€
To help spread the good cheer, we invite you to share your best wishes and congratulations with Meredith and Starr. Your Gather username will be included in the published booksâ€™ acknowledgements!
We will be holding live chats with both women in the coming days as they begin to adjust to their new lives as soon-to-be-published authors. Look for a live chat wtih Meredith this Thursday, November 1 at 4pm ET, and a chat with Starr next Tuesday, November 6 at 2pm ET. Please check back at eventcalendar.gather.com for links to these chats.
Weâ€™d like to extend a special thank you to all of our finalists â€“ the depth of your talent made this a very tight competition.Â And once again, thank you to everyone who participated in this competition and helped make the First Chapters Romance Writing Competition a great success!