Publication News / Fiction "Friday" [11]: The Freshman Fifteens' Common Room!


(EDIT: This is apparently my 150th post! How exciting and strangely fitting.)

(This is my second time doing a Fiction Friday on a Saturday, because I have the most terrible timing.)

I have some crazy amazing news for you all (but mostly for me). Some of you heard it on Twitter this week:
(The link in the tweet leads to the official winner announcement made by the Freshman Fifteens themselves. The info there sounds much more coherent and logical and nicely laid out, so head there if you're interested in a formal rundown of what's happening. If you'd like my disorganized version, stick with me.)

So, what does this "winner" thing mean?

It means I'll be part of a frighteningly cool group of teen writers who will be mentored by the Freshman Fifteens, a group of 2015 debut YA authors who have so generously extended this opportunity to us.

It means I specifically will be mentored by the amazing Kim Liggett, whose debut novel Blood and Salt will be out in 2015 from Putnam. I will even get to read said debut. (Psst. Add it to your TBR because it sounds so, so great. Seriously. GIVE ME ALL THE WITCHCRAFT. *cackles*)

It means my short story "Destinata" will be included in a collection of short stories by the aforementioned amazing teen writers and published as a whole on Wattpad.

Wait, how did this happen?

Back in July, I heard about this almost too-good-to-be-true contest opportunity for teen writers ages 13-19. I remembered a little belatedly that I was age 13-19. I messed around on a Google Doc, trying to get an idea for a short story. I dug up an old flash fiction contest entry that I wrote for Figment and then took down a few months ago. I tried to extend it. For a very, very long time, I failed.

Then, in the last two or three days before the deadline, I pounded out nearly three thousand words of story. And then I wrote a pitch on pure willpower. I even tweeted about it.
And then I uploaded "Destinata" and tried to push it out of my brain, because getting my hopes up wasn't going to be good for me. (Although I did do a little bit of tweet-gloating about the fact that I actually managed to get it in.)
But who am I kidding? I, along with many other teen Wattpadders, anxiously awaited the results of the contest.
And when I was contacted about being a winner, I did a not-so-little happy dance in my bedroom.

What's the story about, anyway?

"Destinata" is a contemporary fantasy about Evie Lancaster, a girl who has to fight off a pretty debilitating curse. Here's part of the pitch (the rest is over on Wattpad):
Sixteen-year-old Evie is a Lancaster girl, cursed by her lineage to drive herself mad and drown if she ever kisses her true love. Until now, she's obeyed her overprotective mother; she's never given herself the chance to meet this love, wherever he or she is. Until now, she's been uncatchable. But when Elliot Morgan - the boy she's been crushing on from afar for five years - asks her if she'd like to have dinner with him, Evie says yes before she can stop herself.
And how about the other winners? You seem to be talking an awful lot about yourself right now.

That's where the "Fiction Friday" part of this post comes in. I'd like to take a moment to highlight all of the other winning entries, because they all sound fabulous and so creative. I can't wait to read them when the collection is released in January, so I've included my favorite sentence from each of their entries.

"Soulless" by Rachel W., username Chandelier:
But I guess this is where the saying 'expect the unexpected' comes in, because I definitely did not anticipate the earth shattering catalyst in my life to be a roll of Charmin Ultra Strong. 
"Locked Out" by GracieWacie, username GracieWacie:
That wouldn't be too bad, if there wasn't a murderer on the loose.
"Violet" by Anne Lutz, username AnneLutz:
But there wasn't anything to say that would end his anger or Violet's pain.
"Mixed Messages" by Make Me Swoon, username MakeMeSwoon:
Alyssa Singh has never gotten over her first love; maybe it was because of how he simply smiled off her confession as his family drove away. 
"A Poisoned Pear" by Arminius, username Arminius:
When speaking of Johannes Skathi, the words lazy, worthless, and pay the damn rent get thrown around with alarming frequency. 
"The Married Tree" by Antara, username _coralsky_:
He was eternal and I was his bride. 
"Attachment" by Julia, username ceilingflower:
The wind stung like a warning on the tip of her tongue.
"Imagine" by Aisha, username Metaphorphosis:
But there's something about standing face to face with reality right in front of you that makes you think twice.
"Honestly" by Anne Brees, username AnneBrees:
Other people lie and steal for noble reasons: to feed their families or to keep warm at night.
"Leave the Light On" by Ashley, username ashjellison:
You have to find out who, or what is in your house, before it's too late. 
"The Voices in My Head" by Katie Spektor, username KatieSpektor:
And if everything is a lie, there is just one question: Is she really insane?
"Babysitting Grandma" by Coralie, username terryco:
What is it like to watch over someone who should be watching over you?
"A Thousand Stars" by Britton, username CutieFlutie:
"Someday," she would pause to smack her lips, "we'll all be dead, and if we were, at one point in time, star dust, then won't we all be star dust again at another point in time?"
"Library of an Old Ghost" by Shelly, username shellyzev:
Rachel knows that Jay is not the most trustworthy person but unable to resist his smug smiles, she agrees to help him on his adventure, if only to wipe that stupid smile off his face.
So, that wraps up this super long and happy and writerly post. I'd like to thank the Freshman Fifteens for this experience in advance, because I know it'll be awesome (literally awe-inspiring). I hope you all are excited to get into the Common Room, because I know I'm pumped to see how it looks when it's finished!
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


  1. Can't beat curses. I mean, you CAN, but as a story element, you just can't beat them.

    Haha, no idea if that made sense. Good luck!

    1. That made *perfect* sense to my writing-wired brain, haha. Thank you for coming over and commenting, E.R.!

  2. Wow, how exciting for you--congratulations!! Your pitch is certainly intriguing, and this sounds like a fantastic opportunity for you to develop your writing skills with the help of a soon-to-be-published author. I hope you enjoy every moment of your mentoring! :)

    1. Thank you so much, Taylor! I'm so glad you found my pitch interesting, and I'm even more glad that you took the time to comment about it ;)


I adore getting blog comments and am so grateful that you want to leave one! However, I'd like to ask that you please keep things respectful and spam-free. Thanks!