2016 

1st Place: Chromeheads, by J. Tobias Buller

Jake Buller - 2016 Student Novel FinalistSYNOPSIS

The first time James deClope met Stelle deBlothe, she was dead. Murdered in the Society of Time Travelers, in an office which was locked from the inside, she had a bullet hole through her chest in an age of high-tech weaponry. Her library was a mess, with papers scattered all over the floor, seemingly trampled in haste. What’s weirder is the vigilante who seems to know that it was about to happen and shows up just as James realizes something is wrong.

He finds himself tangled in a complex mystery with only four real witnesses: Silver, the masked vigilante; Ponch deLour, the famous musician; Noshe boDour, the Wierthen Chromehead; and one bewildered teenage intern who throws up on the floor when he sees the scene of the murder. Oh yeah, that’s James. And if James is going to get anywhere, he’s going to have to step up to the plate and find the murderer, before they strike again.

Read on the Student Forum »

Great storytelling! This cross-genre fantasy/sci-fi/mystery has it all: interesting characters, fast-moving plot, and subtle thematic elements that tie the story together. I love the way Buller moves both his character and the reader through time. – Mr. S.


2nd Place: Ten of Hearts, by Joy Audens

Chinyere Okafor Newton- 2016 Student Novel FinalistSYNOPSIS

When Roxanne and her family lose her father to a magic toy shop, their world is torn apart. But when Roxie finds him years later, she has to choose to bring her world back together. Together with Jasper, a boy she hopes she can trust, Roxie joins the circus and the dark world of magic, and she will learn what it truly takes to become master.

Read on the Student Forum »

Fascinating world-building and a tremendous story concept built around card magic. I love the concept, and the characters and situation pulled me in. I also love the ambiance of the circus with its creepy mixture of mysterious characters and palpable undercurrent of the unknown. You can tell the author has spent a lot of time in her story universe. – Mr. S.


3rd Place: Hattie, by Elisabeth Newton

Elisabeth Newton - 2016 Student Novel FinalistSYNOPSIS

Hattie Todd has been running for two years. Now that the prodigal daughter has returned home, she struggles to reconcile her past freedoms, grudges against her family, and what she’s learned of love.

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One of the best examples of character state-of-mind I’ve read in a student’s work. Newton does a phenomenal job of placing us inside Hattie’s head and showing us a prodigal’s world through smooth, confident prose. Her characters are complex and believable. This is a terrific book. – Mr. S.


Finalist: Show Me the Way, by Meredith Lundell

Meredith Lundell - 2016 Student Novel Finalist
SYNOPSIS

The forcefields are dying. Everything in the Jar is dying. Sybil takes a dangerous job on a train going out into the wastelands—the very place she dreads–to earn enough money to get her family out in time. But even she couldn’t foresee where that track would take her.

Read on the Student Forum »

Top-notch characters and terrific world-building are on display in this dystopian novel. The prose is absolutely great, and I love how Lundell builds subtle tension through precise details. – Mr. S.


Finalist: Silhouettes – The Untelling of Peter Pan, by Jamie Dougall

Jamie Dougall - 2016 Student Novel FinalistSYNOPSIS

Peter Pan does not remember his past. Only two know who he really is. Tinkerbelle fears the truth will shatter the boy. Hook knows it will. When the strange girl, Wendy, causes Peter to ask dangerous questions, Neverland’s delicate balance shifts. Tink must fight to protect her boy and her home, but she is running out of the one thing Neverland has never needed… time.

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Excellent narration and a unique perspective make this a stand-out retelling of Peter Pan. Tinkerbelle’s fairy-eye lens offers a wonderful portal into a familiar world that is transformed—once again—into something wondrous. – Mr. S.


Finalist: Small Hands’ Flight, by Charlotte Anderson

Charlotte Anderson - 2016 Student Novel FinalistSYNOPSIS

Sometimes a cat-bird carries you away into the stars.
Sometimes an unbearably rude girl asks you for help on an impossible mission. Sometimes you find yourself falling through the clouds to a place you’ve never been.
Sometimes a strange women shows you mushrooms in the forest.
Sometimes a slave girl leads the way to a room of death.

Sometimes you have an adventure.

Read on the Student Forum »

Excellent prose, excellent voice, excellent use of detail and understatement. I found Anderson’s characters engaging and the world of Flight at first weirdly disconcerting, then unexpectedly creative, like walking out of the fog into sunlight. – Mr. S.


2015 

1st Place: Factory Rats – Catsi Eceer – Read on the Student Forum »
2nd Place: The Monster Upstairs – Elisabeth Newton – Read on the Student Forum »
3rd Place: The Reverse Road – Sam Cooper – Read on the Student Forum »

Finalists (not ranked)

Of Lavron – Ellie Gardiner – Read on the Student Forum »
Somnia – Amy Nickelsen – Read on the Student Forum »
Wings of Dust – Charlotte Anderson – Read on the Student Forum »


2014 

1st Place: The Witch’s Cat – Miguel Flores – Read on the Student Forum »
2nd Place: Under the Weather – Sam Cooper – Read on the Student Forum »
3rd Place: Children of Ashes – Justin Ferguson – Read on the Student Forum »

Finalists (not ranked)

Pitch Black Stars – Catsi Eceer – Read on the Student Forum »
When the Stars Are Singing – Meredith West – Read on the Student Forum »


2013

1st Place: Blue Sky Burnt – Erynn Besse – Read on the Student Forum »
2nd Place: Redemption – Annika Lee – Read on the Student Forum »
3rd Place: Broken Glass King – Abby Walsh – Read on the Student Forum »

Finalist (not ranked)

Dangerous Games – Emily Haan – Read on the Student Forum »
Flightless – Bethany Ingham – Read on the Student Forum »
Indumentum Oris – Verity Rising – Read on the Student Forum »


2012

1st Place: Bitter Magic – Collin Anne Suttle – Read on the Student Forum »
2nd Place: Hosanna House – Hannah Mills – Read on the Student Forum »
3rd Place: Quintessence – Rachel Garner – Read on the Student Forum »

Finalists (not ranked)

Heirborne – Braden Russell – Read on the Student Forum »
Survivor One – Richard LaRue – Read on the Student Forum »
Shining Stars – Wynter Croix – Read on the Student Forum »
Chatoyant – Sarah Seifert – Not available for reading.


2011

1st Place: Snapshots – Matthew Lauser – Read on the Student Forum »
2nd Place: Project Theta – Kyle de Waal – Read on the Student Forum »
3rd Place: Deep Six – Collin Anne Suttle – Read on the Student Forum »

Finalists (not ranked)

Archipelago – Sophia Debusschere – Read on the Student Forum »
Forewarned – Rebekah Swank – Read on the Student Forum »
My Lady – Grace Debusschere – Read on the Student Forum »
Sightless – Miguel Flores – Read on the Student Forum »
Speak Aloud, Scream Alone – Read on the Student Forum »


2010

1st Place: Recollections – Janae Leeke – Read on Student Forum »
2nd Place: Becoming Human – Jared Schmitz – Read on the Student Forum »
3rd Place: My Father’s Dream – Sarah Wacker – Read on the Student Forum »

Finalists (not ranked)

Sacrifice – Collin Anne Suttle – Read on the Student Forum »
The Fly by Night – Kyle de Waal – Read on the Student Forum »
Out of Darkness – Sarah Noé – Read on the Student Forum »
Of Princesses and Dragons – Grace Garner – Read on the Student Forum »
Offset – Matthew Lauser – Read on the Student Forum »


2009

1st Place: Kytt’s Tale – Carlie Gernhart – Read on the Student Forum »
2nd Place: Of Self and Sacrifice – Elizabeth Lobach – Read on the Student Forum »
3rd Place: Allemande – Lydia DeWolf – Read on the Student Forum »

Finalists (not ranked)

Forest of Lies – Rachel Garner – Read on the Student Forum »
Knights in Red Coats – Jane Johnson – Read on the Student Forum »
Child of Darkness, Child of Light – Rachel Werner – Read on the Student Forum »
Prince of Thertine – Grace Garner – Read on the Student Forum »


2008

1st Place: Averill – Lydia DeWolf – Read on the Student Forum »
2nd Place: Fable Weaver – Carlie Gernhart – Read on the Student Forum »
3rd Place: Betsy Flowain – Rachel Garner – Read on the Student Forum »