Hooray! It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for! (Okay, maybe I'm the only one who's been waiting for it...) The “Help! Bob Needs a Title” Blog Contest is here!
As many of you know, I’ve been calling my work-in-progress Bob for almost a year now, and while it’s an affectionate nickname, it’s not a very useful title. I’m thinking you can come up with a better one.
To enter, simply read Bob’s query and first page below, then leave your suggested titles in the comments section of this post. You’re welcome to include feedback in your comment, but make sure you clearly identify your entries so my trusty sidekick (read: Honey Bear, my husband) doesn’t miss them.
I plan to judge the entries blindly, meaning I won’t know who submitted what. My trusty sidekick will transfer all the entries into a separate document, no names attached, and I’ll make my picks from there.
1. Anyone may enter.
2. Everyone who enters may submit up to seven entries. (You don’t even have to do anything to get those extra entries--I just don’t want you to have to choose between several equally good titles.)
3. In the unlikely event that the same title is entered more than once, every entry but the first will be disqualified (although the disqualified entrants may submit other entries).
The Prizes Four lovely agents have agreed to offer query and/or first-page critiques to the winners:
Amy Boggs: Query plus first-page critique
Sarah LaPolla: First-page critique
Andrea Somberg: Query plus first-page critique
Marissa Walsh: Query critique
I plan to name three winners, so the first-place winner will get to pick two of these prizes, the second-place winner will get to pick one of the remaining prizes, and the third-place winner will receive the remaining prize.
And here’s the kicker: If I like the first-place winner’s title enough to actually use it AND this manuscript lands an agent, the first-place winner will also win a fifty-dollar Amazon gift card. In addition, if said agent likes the title enough AND the manuscript lands a book deal, the first-place winner will also win a Kindle (or another comparable e-reader of his or her choice).
The Query The 2046 International Biomedia Conference is the most celebrated event for high school students on the planet. But when Seth receives an invitation to attend, the last thing he wants to do is celebrate.
Seth hates biomedia, especially his Wingtooth, the tooth-shaped implant that links his brainwaves to the Stream. The too-smooth voices give him headaches, and he’s never found much use for a Camera that takes pictures with his eyes or a Music Player that blasts its sounds straight into his brain. His parents, though, are less concerned about his health than they are about his chance to meet Marvin Hermes, the industry’s reclusive founder. He has to go--and use his Wingtooth, which he hardly ever does.
Not ten minutes off the shuttle, Seth introduces himself to the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen by accidentally dumping his breakfast on her. Worse, the girl is Toothless, part of the recession-ravaged class unable to afford Wingteeth, and probably took the dumping as an insult. Little does Seth know that wearing his breakfast on her sleeve is the least of Adair’s concerns.
Ever since her mother died in an overcrowded Wingtooth factory, Adair and her father have been masterminding a Toothless takeover. Their plan is simple: Shut down the Stream, assassinate Marvin Hermes, and make the whole thing look like an accident. Then install one of the Toothless as chairman of the board. But their plan collapses when Adair doesn’t go through with the assassination--and when shutting down the Stream leaves the city’s Wingtoothers unable to think or even eat for themselves.
Now Seth and Adair are the Wingtoothers’ last hope. Seth will do anything to save his parents, but Adair isn’t so eager. Can she really abandon the cause she’s worked so hard for? But is she willing to let the Wingtoothers just die?
The First Page The principal’s office was bad, but the principal’s office waiting room was much worse. Seth shifted in his toothpaste-colored seat and tried to concentrate on his homework (Problem number eight. Find the limit as x approaches e of the natural log of x, b-Reader droned inside his head), but his own thoughts were so loud he could barely hear the words.
What could Ms. Mahoney possibly want with him?
The secretary looked up, almost like she’d read his mind. “Sorry for the wait.” She flashed him a phantom grin. “But I think you’ll find it worth your while.”
Problem number eight. Find the limit as x approaches--
Seth pushed the words aside, out of thought. “What do you mean?”
She cupped one hand around the corner of her mouth. “Don’t tell her I said anything, but … congratulations.”
“Not so loud!” The secretary leaned over her laptop, bleached blond curls bouncing stiffly, like she was going to say more. But then something on the screen caught her attention, and she forgot all about him.
Problem number eight. Find the limit as--
Seth closed the calc book with a thought and exited b-Reader with another. But that only made way for a new flood of sounds and pictures, which burrowed into his brain with almost no thought at all. In the quiet of the waiting room, without his homework to distract him, Stream Surfer’s smooth-talking voices were impossible to ignore.
Phew. I think that’s everything. The contest closes on Monday, August 23, at 11:59 p.m. PDT. The winners will be announced no later than Friday, August 27. Good luck, and happy titling!