Wow! For us, the shiniest silveriest silver lining of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders has been reading all of the incredible manuscripts that were submitted to our second annual book contest—it is clear that everyone who submitted was able to channel all that time at home into powerful creative work. Although we are only able to give official recognition to some of those writers, all of us were amazed at the attention and skill evident in every one of these manuscripts. Writing a book is HARD. If you submitted, regardless of the outcome for you personally, I hope you will take the time to celebrate your achievement.
Our winning novel is Kansas by Tristan Hui opens when Azalea Morroe falls . . . into another realm—the realm her father claimed he needed to explore to keep his job at the astronomy lab. Though disoriented, Azalea is intent on completing her father's quest in order to save his livelihood—and his sanity. To reach the perfect vantage point to view the night sky, she must cross an empty, haunted desert in a broken-down truck with a runaway 15-year-old as her guide. Their adventure ultimately forces us to consider what makes a home, or a family.
In the end, we found we weren't able to pick just one, so we will also be publishing another novel as an "Editor's Choice": Anya Geist's Born on the First of Two. Maya has lived with her aunt in the Land of the Clouds for as long as she can remember, but she was born on Earth—and can't stop dreaming about traveling back down to it. Earth was where her parents lived, and where they died . . . One day, desperate to understand the mysterious message on a necklace that belonged to her mother, Maya runs away—to Earth—determined to figure out her destiny, and her past.
Both books will be forthcoming in 2021. We can’t wait for you to read them!