Nathan Bransford, Author


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

TSYTDCE Update

Holy cow, the THE SECRET YEAR Teen Diary Contest Extravaganza is going strong, and we already have enough teen angst to power a nuclear reactor. An extremely disaffected, SO OVER THIS nuclear reactor.

Honestly though, the entries so far have been awesome.

Just a few updates!

- Please enter if you haven't already in the official contest thread!

- For more THE SECRET YEAR-related fun, author Jennifer Hubbard is hosting a very cool blog party. Not only is she donating 50 cents for every comment to local libraries, every commenter will have a chance to win some awesome prizes. check it out!

- Two days until publication of THE SECRET YEAR!

- Exclamation point!

Thanks so much for everyone who has entered so far. I can't wait to read through all of the entries. I'm sure they will put me right back in my high school days, where I had a bowl haircut and wore a lot of flannel. Oh yes I did.






61 comments:

Charlee Vale said...

Hmmm....Is a picture of said flannel in order?

CV

T. Anne said...

Awesome. I'm in for a good blog party, headin' on over.

Those entries are really fun to read. Tuff choices.

Nathan Bransford said...

Charlee-

They've all been burned.

Or at least that's the story I'm sticking to.

Bane of Anubis said...

Got any of those high school pics to share (I'm expecting a Charlton Heston quote in response :)?

Thanks for running this.

Nathan Bransford said...

bofa-

Cold dead hands.

Dara said...

Ah yes, the dreaded high school pictures. I thought most of mine were burned, until I saw them in the slideshow at my wedding o_O Apparently, my mom hid them all too well...

Vanessa said...

Pics or it didn't happen!

Though the hair cut might have been a bit more unfortunate than the flannel. Who doesn't love a bit of flannel?

Josin L. McQuein said...

I was a teenage vampire. As such, I didn't show up in photos throughout my high school career.

:-P

(okay, so there's a photo with my name on it in the yearbook, but I refuse to cop to it being me. If anyone asks, I paid her to take the photo for me.)

Lydia Sharp said...

I'm not generally a YA reader, but I have to say, reading through those entries has been a blast. Some of them seem to be trying to hard to use appropriate teen jargon, though. Just saying.

I've never written YA before either, and decided to give it a go here. Why not, right? I can honestly say, it was much less painful than high school.

Gordon Pamplona said...

No diary or letter to contribute, but the libraries need the money. Count it!

lucidkim said...

Sometimes even when you've destroyed the nerdy pics from high school you discover TO YOUR HORROR that a barely remembered Facebook friend has posted pictures from high school THAT INCLUDE YOU...AND POST THEM FOR EVERYONE/ALL TO SEE. People who only know the better, current, older YOU NOW CAN SEE YOU when you were a young nerd.

I mean. I'm just saying...I think I read about this happening to someone else....

Miss Tammy said...

Please tell me that flannel was accompanied by a Nirvana t-shirt and Doc Martens.

Nathan Bransford said...

miss tammy-

Oh yes, Doc Martens were involved, though the t-shirts were Fishbone and Skankin Pickle.

Stephanie said...

That should be the next contest...everyone posts a pic from high school and whoever has the lamest outfit wins!

Mira said...

What? I like flannel. :)

So, I've been browsing the entries. They are AWESOME. I have never seen so much angst in my entire life.

Although, in seriousness, I did notice that some people tackeled some heavy topics. And the entries were overall impressive. I remember when you did that poll, Nathan, and there were a high percentage of YA writers coming to this site, and I think this contest reflects that.

I haven't decided whether to enter or not. I just returned to school, so I really can't afford to lose my will to live right now, which is my inevitable response to losing a contest. On the other hand, contest are fun up until that point, so I just don't know...

Either way, thanks for hosting the contest, Nathan.

And congrats to both you and Jennifer. Best of luck with the launch!! :)

Yat-Yee said...

Can't believe so many of the comments so far are about your flannel shirts. Nuclear plants, exclamation points, bowl haircuts, and you're talking about flannel shirts?

Caroline said...

Hmm, I just realized a question after I posted my entry. How strict is the fiction requirement? Since I'm a teen I just used an excerpt from my journal and changed a couple names. Hope it's not a problem, but I could always delete and make something up.

Nathan Bransford said...

caroline-

Strict - please delete and repost.

Anonymous said...

If it helps, Nathan, I burned all my husband's flannel shirts too.

Sissy said...

Even in Florida we thought we were cool in our flannel. And Keds. Keds were way popular back then, along with mall bangs, scrunchies, and jeans with zippers over the ankle.

Majoy flashback headrush.

I am totally enjoying reading the contest entries, but I don't envy you...all that teen angst is gonna manifest itself somehow. Your wife be warned!

Sissy said...

That word was "major." I hate typos.

Julie said...

Just out of curiosity, have you ever had anyone write a query in the form of a diary entry?

You've probably seen it all. I know Janet Reid would say it was gimmicky.

Kristi said...

Um, is it bad that I still love flannel? Sorry but it's just so comfy:)

Kelly Bryson said...

Skankin pickle had my kids asking, "why are you crying mom?" Some of my highschool friends had a ska band- 'ska humbug'. I could never get my mom to shell out for Doc Martens, but I wanted them. I had a SPAM shirt instead.

Kayeleen said...

Reading all those entries makes for an interesting afternoon. I like that there have been several mentions of math class (mine included.) Math was the bane of my high school existence. And my college existence.

Seriously, though. Don't envy you. There's a lot of great entries.

Thermocline said...

My flannel lined jeans are the best! I wear them all winter. Oh yes I do.

Emily Cross said...

Oh, i'll head over - Love a good blog party :)

And i have to say there are some gems for this contest! Don't envy you trying to pick one Nathan

Merry Monteleone said...

Oh, I miss flannel, especially flannels stolen from boyfriends that were three or four sizes too big. We actually used to refer to fall as "flannel weather" because we wore them everyday instead of jackets until it got too cold. And converse, you know, before they got all trendy... back then they were cheap and came in black or white... now they're all designer-ee.

Nothing wrong with a bummy old flannel and jeans with holes in the knees.

Helen said...

I spent seven years waiting to stop being a teenager and have no burning desire to visit that period ever again.

Not even in fiction.

Polenth said...

I'm sure they will put me right back in my high school days, where I had a bowl haircut and wore a lot of flannel.

Reading through the entries, I suspect your high school days were nothing like most of them... unless you died or zombies invaded.

Shelli said...

awesome contest Nathan!

Nicole said...

Nathan, babe, I have the utmost respect for you, because for you to read all those teen diary entries and not explode is a feat in itself.

Cheers, mate.

Kaitlyne said...

I've read through some of the entries, too, and there is some great stuff in there! I was amazed. :) I was just thinking to myself that I have no idea how to go about something like this (never kept diaries, read diaries, certainly didn't think like a teenager lol), but one of the very important characters in my current work is 15. I've got to introduce him today and I've been having a hard time figuring out his voice. Maybe I'll write something like this as his diary entry. It'd be a good exercise and give me a good chance to get into his head.

If said experiment turns up anything worthwhile (read: not embarrassingly terrible), I'll go ahead and enter. :)

Anonymous said...

Sigh. I hate to be like this, but how do you delete a post? I tried and couldn't do it.

Thanks!

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

If you posted anonymously you can't. Email me and I'll take care of it. But please only do so if it's really important. Thanks!

Madeleine said...

The contest is awesome, but I probably stand no chance of winning, and even if I did, the prizes would be worth more to me in July. Do you think you'll ever have a similar contest again?

J.J. Bennett said...

As for fashion in my teen years, I have a great pic on Facebook of me at 15 with huge eighties hair...So funny. (So Nathan you aren't alone with those "classic" pics)

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Thanks for the contest opportunity, Nathan. I'm looking forward to seeing the finalists, I don't envy you having to pare the entries down.

And if flannel shirts are passe, what about Utilikilts? I've been trying to get my husband away from plaids for years (I don't mind some, but 85% of his wardrobe? Really?) but I like a man in a Utilikilt.

Amalia T. said...

I thought Flannel was in again?

Nathan Bransford said...

Amalia-

This is what I'm told. But I'm the last to know these things.

A Paperback Writer said...

I read through about the first one hundred entries -- and then got bored because it sounded just like the kids where I teach talking. That's probably a good thing, as it must mean people are getting the voices -- or at least the topics -- down well.
Teen angst? Geez, I live in a world where lives have been "ruined" by a single zit or hair that didn't turn out right.
Ah, junior high.

And, Nathan, be glad it was flannel and not polyester.

Ju Dimello said...

This whole contest thing is just great - It's like I get a chance to really know what "teen years" are for everyone else abroad..

Anyone not in India is abroad for me :)

Since it was fictional entry, I did get a chance to post one - my first attempt at YA :)

My bad, if the slang or the words aren't what is expected or right.. but blame it on "English being my second language" !

And thanks for the contest.

Hats off for reading so many entries in just a day !

(500 words * approx 500 entries = 250,000 words or 5 novels) !!??!!

Do share with us - how do you manage it...?

Linguista said...

Wow! I just read a few of the entries and it was painful! I've never been happier not to be a teenager!

PS I second Stephanie's comment about lamest outfit as a teenager/kid contest. It might be fun :)

Polenth said...

Linguista wrote:
PS I second Stephanie's comment about lamest outfit as a teenager/kid contest. It might be fun :)

In the UK, most schools have uniforms. So either we'll be at a disadvantage or at an advantage... depending on the school.

My school is probably at a disadvantage, because we wore plain black trousers and a black sweatshirt. A school where they wear tartan pantaloons probably has an advantage, because I don't think tartan pantaloons have ever been fashionable.

Amanda Acton said...

Lol, I only finished high school three years ago, and in South Africa, its uniforms uniforms uniforms. Yay for grey skirts and horribly thin, see-through white shirts. "Bra colour checking" was my most exciting past time... no... really...

Anita3 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry said...

Lots of great entries. I'm beginning to think I was angst- deprived in my teens.

Maybe I could write about some poor little girl who had no angst. Nah.

Shelley said...

May 24, 2004

Today, American Soldiers enter our school. I was so scared. We were all scared even our teacher. I didn't know why they were there. They were dressed in their uniforms and carrying guns. They looked scarier in our little school room than when you've seen them patrolling the streets. My family told me that they are supposed to be the good guys but to always be careful. They lined up around our school room while one, speaking in our language, talked to our teacher. I couldn't hear what they were saying. I was worried they were coming to take us away. I was worried I wouldn't see my family again. Then our teacher smiled and headed out the door with the soldiers. They returned carrying boxes. Our teacher informed us that they brought school supplies that were donated from America. We felt so special. We stood in line for our gifts. I sat down at my desk and excitedly touched each item. I didn't even know what a couple of them were but I was very happy.

A Soldier walked over to me. She kneeled down and asked me how old I was. I told her I was sixteen. She smiled and told me she had a thirteen-year-old daughter back home. I could see tears in her eyes. As she wiped her tears, she said that she missed her very much. She took her helmet off and showed me a picture of her daughter. Her daughter was sitting on a swing with a big smile. She put her helmet back on and reached for a book in my stack of gifts. She tells me it's a place to write my thoughts and when I'm older I can read about what I've been through and how far I've come. I can write about my hopes and dreams. She told me that her daughter has one just like this journal and she is writing about her life too. So this is my first entry. One day I hope to know what it's like to live without fear. To know that my family and I are safe. One day I wish to have that more than anything.

Mira said...

Shelley, you may want to repost in the contest section.

I have to admit to a growing curiosity about the bowl haircut.

So, okay, I can't not enter a Nathan contest. Unless it was a poetry contest, and that has more to do with the court injunctions. I wrote up something that's just for fun, so I'm not attached.

Although....there is something to be said for having great angst at losing a teen diary contest. Oddly appropriate.

I am abit intimidated though. There are some fantastic entries so far!! You have some really good writers on this site, Nathan.

One more day until launch. Exciting. :)

Shelley said...

Mira,

Thank you.

Tchann said...

Oh, how I wish I had pictures...but there were two outfits that probably both contended for worst-ever.

The first was a denim skirt (to my knees, I'm a short girl) with a purple button-down short sleeve silk shirt underneath a blindingly bright yellow knit sweater-vest.

The second (and actually my favorite) was a long dark gree t-shirt with a 'cool' picture of Mickey and Minnie on it, a blue/green plaid wool pleated skirt (think Catholic school uniform), with dark blue opaque stockings and brown leather moccasins.

Fashion sense? What fashion sense?

Writer and Cat said...

Mullet perm and parachute pants. Photo absolutely NOT available. Except in the yearbooks. Which I lost.

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

Forcing the fingers to type the words:
My 3/4 length trousers ended with tartan ;s but it co-ordinated well with the scarf on my wrist!

anne vinsel said...

about the outfit, sorry no pics: it's a tie between the garish loud large hot pink and some other colors one piece top and culottes with the fishbone (like a fish skeleton) silver earings (they dangled about 3") and the brown and powder blue hot pants with the powder blue leotard. i think there were white hose involved in the culotte outfit, but i may be making that up.

Laura Martone said...

What a wonderful contest, Nathan!

Congrats again for your and Jennifer's success!

Lisa Melts Her Penn said...

OMG, it was without doubt my Dorothy Hammel hair cut. Paired with full metal braces and headgear, plus I was a late bloomer. My dad called me Prince Valiant all year.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

I have a long list of embarrassing accoutrements, but the garment that sticks out is the pair of navy bloomers my mother made me wear beneath my kilt in Catholic primary school. It was too big for me and hung below the hem of the skirt.

I used to covet my friend's pea coat with toggle buttons. All I had was an imitation leather jacket with no lining to wear for the winter. That's another story, along with the vinyl bedroom slippers that served as shoes.

What was my mother thinking????

Dahle Pinata said...

I'm wondering about the contest deadline because I posted something around 12 in the afternoon today and the time at the bottom of the post reads around 9-ish. How did that happen?

Nathan Bransford said...

dahle-

I assume you're on the East Coast?

Dahle Pinata said...

Yes Nathan. East coast.

Dahle Pinata said...

Since I posted it shortly after 12 in afternoon shouldn't the actual post time (your time) have been earlier around 10 something. Is my thinking backwards here? I just want to make sure I get it right for next time in case it didn't work this time.

Related Posts with Thumbnails