NEW YORK - Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children's Books announced today that Notes On a Near-Life Experience by Olivia Birdsall, has been selected as the winner of the 2005 Delacorte Press Contest for a First Young Adult Novel. Birdsall's heartwarming novel was selected from more than 600 entries, a record number of submissions for the annual contest. It is scheduled for publication in spring 2007 and will be edited by Stephanie Lane, Editor for the Knopf Delacorte Dell Young Readers Group.
Notes On a Near-Life Experience gives readers the story of 15-year-old Mia, whose life these days is anything but perfect. Between her parents getting divorced, and the crush she has on her brother's "off-limits" best friend, Mia finds that her teenage existence is definitely not what she imagined it to be. Written in short anecdotes, Notes On a Near-Life Experience is a fresh, poignant, and captivating novel that is sure to appeal to teenage readers.
"Olivia Birdsall's manuscript stood out from the crowd with its authentic, funny, and terribly honest voice," says Lane. "Fifteen-year-old Mia remains utterly convincing as she suffers through her parents' messy divorce, falls in love for the first time, and recognizes (with the help of a very understanding shrink) that she can't make her problems go away by ignoring them. I'm thrilled to be working with Olivia and to be introducing her quirky, believable voice to YA readers."
Notes on a Near-Life Experience is Olivia Birdsall's first novel, and was part of her Masters of Fine Arts program at New York University. A native of California, Birdsall currently resides in New York City, where she is finishing up schooling to receive her MFA degree.
The Delacorte Press Contest for a First Young Adult Novel is awarded annually to encourage the writing of young adult fiction and is open to U.S. and Canadian writers who have not previously published a young adult novel. The judges are the editors of the Knopf Delacorte Dell Young Readers Group. For complete contest rules and eligibility information contact the Delacorte Press Contest for A First Young Adult Novel in care of Random House Children's Books at 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019 or visit the website.
Previous winners include: Breaking Boxes by A.M. Jenkins (1996); A Door Near Here by Heather G. Quarles (1997); Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa and (honor book) Bringing Up The Bones by Lara M. Zeises (2001).
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The deadline for submissions to the Delacorte Dell Yearling Contest (formerly the Marguerite de Angeli prize) is June 30. Guidelines suggest 96-160 pages fiction targeted to readers aged 7-10. The contest is open to U.S. and Canadian writers who have not previously published a middle-grade novel. The award is for $1500 cash, plus a $7,500 advance against royalties. Send an SASE for contest rules and entry form to: Delacorte Dell Yearling Contest, Press, Random House, Inc., 1745 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10019. See also contest guidelines online.
Congratulations to my very cute husband, author Greg Leitich Smith, who will be the Austin area Barnes & Noble author of the month for August 2005! As part of the festivities, stores will be featuring signed posters and copies of Greg's upcoming middle grade comedy, Tofu and T.rex (Little Brown, 2005).
Random Observation: Random House is particularly good at online marketing.