Wednesday, June 8, 2016

2016 RYS "Awesome Openers" Contest Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Rate Your Story contest this year. 
We are excited to announce this year's winners below. 
Congratulations to all! 

Category -Young Adult

Jerrianne Hayslett
First Place: END OF THE ROPE by Jerrianne Hayslett
The lives of 16-year-old Jimmie Cameron and a privileged contemporary are changed forever after a late-night joyride through the Indiana countryside lands Jimmie in jail and facing a lynch mob for shooting a white man.

Julie Andrews
Second Place: FINE LINES by Julie Andrews
In FINE LINES, seventeen-year-old Kate Conner is a trained ballerina who knows life is filled with fine lines: the line between trusting and turning her back; the line between friends and lovers; the line between living on the edge and falling off of it. Kate is a recovering addict from another kind of fine line—cocaine. She knows that dance can save her, but it’s hard to stay strong when her circle of friends—her only real family—keeps pulling her toward the life she is trying to leave. 

Ariadne Lukas
Third Place: FIELD OF VIOLETS by Ariadne Lukas
When Gabby, the voice inside her head, puts seventeen-year-old Violet in the hospital, she trusts classmate Neil to help her. His shaman grandfather performs an Ojibwe ritual to help Violet discover who Gabby is and how she can save her before she causes more harm. 

Jodi Cardillo
Honorable Mention: MOVE ON UP by Jodi Cardillo
When star cross-country runner Violet Smith trips at the championships, she can't get up. After following physiotherapists, doctors and surgeons' advice to have her spine fused, her back pain persists. Faced with living life at sixteen bed-ridden, Violet must determine what's truly causing her pain and find her own path to recovery.

Category - Middle Grade

Kristine Olson
First Place: FLOWER, RIGHT HERE by Kristine Olson
When 12-year-old Louisa trusts a talking beetle to help her paint an art contest entry, she (a Korean adoptee) must learn Korean folklore to paint her way out of trouble, solve a mystery about a girl who died and save her own dream of being an artist.

Leia Johnson
Second Place: TO GO TO TOGO by Leia M. Johnson
Two Ghanaian sisters and two American brothers find friendship and adventure while they travel across West Africa. Whether they are eating Nilla wafers, riding motorcycles through the bush, or fighting fires with well water, these four young heroes find that life is better when they work together.

Jane Resides
Third Place: THE ONE-EYED RABBIT by L. Jane Resides
Twelve-year-old Maggie has nightmares they’re being bombed. On top of that, she wants to tell her father, working away in a defense plant, she’s being bullied at school. In the end, she decides to best the bullies and gain her classmates’ respect by winning first prize in the art contest. But someone’s contest entry disappears, and Maggie discovers that she's the prime suspect.

Tracey Brown
Honorable Mention: HAPPILY EVER​ by Tracey Brown
Afraid to disappoint her father, again, Hali agrees to go on a camping trip with her friend's family. Fireside sing-along's and sappy family togetherness are things to avoid at all costs, so she crosses her fingers and hopes she'll survive. She didn't mean it literally.

Category - Picture Book Fiction

Monica Lauscher
First Place: MOANA LISA, MONSTER FASHIONISTA by Monica Lauscher
Moana Lisa is a little monster. She is not, however, like other little monsters. Moana Lisa doesn’t want to be scary or creepy and frighten little girls in pretty dresses. She wants to wear pretty dresses. But can a little monster “fashionista” make her spooky, slimy, monster parents proud? Or will it be back to Scare School for her.

Midge Smith
Second Place: THE SNOW HORSE by Midge Smith
Eight-year-old Ella is teased by older brothers who think she is too little to see the mysterious snow horse. But when he appears at her window taking her for an unforgettable midnight ride, she discovers that one is never really too small for a magical adventure.

Vivian Kirkfield
Third Place: THE BOOTS OF DYLAN MCGEE by Vivian Kirkfield
Whether he is lassoing his sister, riding his dog, Rover, or sleeping in bed, cowboy-in-training Dylan McGee refuses to take off his boots. When an hour in the shower creates a boot-calaboose, Dylan must find a way to remove the toe-pinching boots that won't budge.

Katelyn Aronson
Honorable Mention: MOOSE A SNOOZIN by Katelyn Aronson
Deep in the bayou, a lonely boy's wanderings along the River Oozing lead him to a marvelous discovery. One false move, though, and he's soon the object of a wild MOOSE chase! A story of finding friendship where one least expects it...(not to mention the power of a little pecan pie).

Maria Marshall
Honorable Mention: THE ANIMALS SNOWBEAR by Maria Marshall
Grudgingly, after promised a gift, five unlikely animals join Mouse's cumulative attempt to free a mysterious present snagged in a tree and discover that combining their wishes creates the first Snowbear.

Category - Picture Boon Nonfiction

Nicole Popel
First Place: THE CANDY DESK by Nicole Popel
A Congressman keeps a red-hot secret under wraps, until it burns like a fireball, turning persnickety politicians into sweet, sugar-snacking Senators.

Sara Matson
Scientist Fred Urquhart spent 40 years studying monarch butterflies in order to answer one question: where do they go during the winter? His tireless efforts led to the 1975 discovery of the monarch migration sites in the mountains of central Mexico.

Nancy Churnin
Third Place: MANJHI MOVES A MOUNTAIN by Nancy Churnin
Deep in the heart of India, a 300-foot mountain separated a poor village from one that had a hospital, school and fields rich with crops. This is the true story of Dashrath Manjhi, a man from the poor village, who was determined to cut through that mountain. Everyone said he was crazy when he began his task using only a chisel and a hammer. Twenty-two years later, when he knocked down the last thin wall of stone, they called him a hero.

Sue Frye
Honorable mention: BIRDS OF A FEATHER by Sue Frye
Orville and Wilbur Wright shared the same lofty dream, they wanted to fly. Working together, they faced many years of trial and error in which their dream grew stronger. Then one day, their experiments finally paid off and they took to the sky.


  1. Congrats to all the winners! Awesome contest!

  2. Congratulations to all the winners! These stories sound wonderful. I want to read them all right now!

  3. Look forward to reading all these stories!! Congratulations!

  4. Sounds like some great books to watch for!

  5. Congratulations! The stories sound great!

  6. So much fun...and so many thanks to Sophia and Jen and all the RYS judges! Congratulations to all...lovely to see so many familiar faces...and meet new ones!!!!

  7. Congratulations to all, I can't wait to read the stories! Thank you, RYS for this wonderful opportunity!!

  8. Congratulations everyone! I hope to be able to read your stories! thanks RYS for this opportunity?

  9. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you RYS for this opportunity.

  10. Thrilled to see so many friends here, especially in the nonfiction category. Congrats to all the winners!

  11. Congratulations, ladies. . .well done!


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