2015 So You Think You Can Write Winner selected from over 1,400 Entries
Online PR News – 25-November-2015 – New York – Today, Harlequin (www.Harlequin.com), a leading publisher of books for women, and Wattpad, the world’s largest community of readers and writers, added a happy ending to Harlequin’s tremendously popular So You Think You Can Write (SYTYCW) 2015 event by announcing Lauren D.M. Smith of Brockville, Ontario, Canada, as the winner of its writing contest and the recipient of a two-book contract with Carina Press, Harlequin’s digital-first imprint.
“This is the first time we’ve opened up the SYTYCW contest to include Carina Press, so we are thrilled that Lauren chose to write for that imprint,” said Dianne Moggy, Vice President of Romance Editorial at Harlequin. “Lauren’s entry stood out for our judges and readers for its strong heroine and compelling fantasy world. We are delighted to offer Lauren her very first publishing contract. She is a talented new voice with a refreshing way of telling stories and will make a wonderful addition to the Carina Press publishing program.”
Over 1,400 entries were submitted on Wattpad, where community members offered comments and feedback, allowing the entrants to revise and hone their submissions before Harlequin editors selected the top 55 manuscripts. Wattpad members narrowed the field further by voting on the top 25 entries. Harlequin editors then judged those submissions and ultimately settled on the 10 most promising manuscripts. The top 10 finalists were presented for public vote on sytycw.com. Ms. Smith’s manuscript, The Emperor’s Arrow, came out on top. According to Wattpad, more than 39 million words were written for the contest. There were nearly 10 million total reads of contest entries and more than 45 million minutes spent reading the entries by the Wattpad community.
The Southern Ontario resident was elated when notified by telephone of her win by Carina Press editorial director Angela James. “I personally read over 60 of the Carina Press entries and this is the story that stuck in my head through all of my reading,” said James. “This was truly a standout entry and I’m excited to get to publish it and see what she writes next!” Use this URL (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSkv_pTfbHA&feature=youtu.be) to view “The Call.”
The Emperor’s Arrow is a captivating fantasy romance in which Evony, a warrior of her people, is sent to reluctantly compete to be the bride candidate for their emperor. She never expects to actually fall for the man she’s sworn to protect—or to have to defend him as a plot against his throne unfolds. Evony must fight for both her honor and the man she’s growing to love.
In addition to the offer of a two-book series contract with Carina Press, Ms. Smith will receive editorial, marketing and PR support. The Emperor’s Arrow will be published digitally by Carina Press in 2016 with a possible print edition to follow.
Carina Press is Harlequin’s digital-first imprint.. Carina Press releases ebooks weekly from talented authors in a wide variety of genres, including contemporary romance, steampunk, erotic romance, gay/lesbian fiction, mystery, science fiction, fantasy and other fiction categories.
Ms. Smith is the second Canadian to win the So You Think You Can Write contest. Jennifer Hayward, the 2012 SYTYCW winner, is now an award-winning author of nine Harlequin Presents titles, with two more scheduled to be published in 2016. Other previous winners hail from the United States and Ireland.
Harlequin will also be reaching out to additional authors whose contest entries showed promise. Harlequin’s editors hope to work with them to revise their manuscripts for resubmission with the publisher. Since launching So You Think You Can Write in 2010, Harlequin has published 112 titles by SYTYCW entrants.
The So You Think You Can Write contest follows Harlequin’s annual online writer’s conference, where hopeful romance novelists get to spend time with more than 50 Harlequin editors from New York, London and Toronto Aspiring authors are led through a virtual weeklong boot camp designed to teach them how to write a romance novel that will attract the attention of publishers.
So You Think You Can Write will return for its seventh conference and contest in September 2016.
For more information, please visit www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com.