Young Adult Sunday Drabble competition

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Amy Riddle- DeClerck


A vast and sprawling city lay before him. Towering skyscrapers so tall they were ringed in clouds made shadows on the streets.
“Where is this place?” he wondered. He had come here from far away, walking over deserts and through forests. This was the f
irst civilized place he’d found. His watch was ticking louder than normal, and he was stunned to see the second hand running backward. He tapped it. Broken, of course. He walked down the wide center street, looking for someone to tell him where he was. At last, he saw a woman in a bright blue dress in the corner. She smiled when she saw him and gave a curtsy.
“Excuse me, but what do you call this city?” he asked.
“Good morn, Your Majesty. Why, this is your city, of course. We did not rename it while you were away!”
“My city? I don’t know this place.”
“But, Your Majesty, this is the city of your birth. This is Oz.”
Oz, he said to himself, but it made no sense. He was from Kansas, and a weary traveller in a strange land. Surely, this was all some jest.
“To the palace for you, then?” the woman asked. She waved at the tallest building, a crystal jade monstosity with dark windows and a foreboding air.
“Yes,” he said, intrigued despite his apprehension. “To the palace.”


Kasey Mart


She opened her eyes as she felt the first drops of rain on her face she sat up slowly looking around. She wasn’t sure where she was or who she was but one thing she did know she was hungry. She stood up and started walking hoping to find help. She stopped as she seen a buck a few feet in front of her. Her fangs came out and she attacked. The buck struggled under her. She snapped his neck and fed. After she drained the buck she walked on. She stopped seeing cars drive by on the road. A car stopped in front of her. A woman got out of the car and headed towards her.
“Are you alright?”
“You sure your covered in blood”
“I tripped over a dead deer”
“What’s your name?”
The girl thought for a moment. “Kassie” she.
“Well let’s get you into the car and we can take you to the hospital”
“No hospital”
“Are you sure”
“I’m sure”
“Well get in the car and out of the rain”
Kassie looked back at the woods then got into the car


Terra James


I awoke to the sound of Dibs scratching. I’ve had enough of his shenanigans this week. I know he can’t possibly help how his panic attacks effect him, but his little fairy wings twitching a hundred times a minute scratching on the door’s wood sounded as if a giant tiger was scratching with his sharpened claws.
“Dibs, what’s the matter, now?” I ask him exasperated.
“I’m sorry princess. Can you ever forgive me?”
“Yes, you know I can, but what seems to be the problem?”
“If you find a dash at this party, you’ll have to marry according to tradition. Where will that leave me?”
I throw myself a cross my vast king size bed and sigh. The truth is I don’t have an answer, but marriage isn’t even in my plans for my future. I will have to run away from Aldagad. The question is will anyone miss me? Where will my marriage leave me? I know where, stuck with a jerk, I don’t love. This just saddens me. I pull back the covers and slide into bed. I cover up and force my eyes shut. Praying sleep will take me to dream land, where these problems don’t exist. As I drift off to sleep I murmur to Dibs. “I don’t know dear friend. Will you come with me?”


Terra James


The princess is snoring before I can ask her where I’ll be accompanying her to. I will do anything to stay with her. I’ll follow her anyway. It’s against the law of the kingdom to fall in love with a human if you’re a fairy, but my heart only knows what it feels. These things can’t be decided. They’re just mere emotions for God’s sake. Would princess Jasya marry me? Is it possible? I’d make her the happiest woman in the land. My fairy wings would look radiant on her beautiful body. This is the last thought I have before I drift off to sleep to meet her in our dream land, because even in sleep we won’t be separated. I hate you so king Delvar .


Kimberly-Reader Vanderbloom


I tried to grab on to something as I fell. It was so dark. I tried to scream but nothing but air came out. I prepared myself for the landing, if I was going to die I hope it would be quick. All of a sudden I started to fall slower almost floating. My feet touch the ground first. It was soft like walking on new plush carpet. I looked at my surroundings. The sky was purple with teal clouds. There were vivid pink trees. How could I have landed in Wonderland? Wonderland doesn’t exist or does it?


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FantasyCon Mini-Interview with Scarlett Van Dijk

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Q – Are you an Author, Blogger, Reader, or Artist?

A – I am a young adult, fantasy author. I also have a blog on the writing craft and enjoy reading.

Q – What is your earliest memory of fantasy or sci-fi having an impact on you?

A – When I was young I actually hated reading. I hated what we were forced to read at school. When I was 13 however, I was walking through my school library when I noticed a book cover with a really interesting design. This was Tamara Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series, and the first fantasy novels that I had ever decided to read. These are the books that both made me interested in reading for pleasure and inspired me to start writing my own fantasy stories.

Q – What inspires you?

A – I find music to be a large inspiration and if I am ever having difficulty coming up with ideas I will just sit (in the bath) listening to music. This works every time for me.
My first book was actually based on a daydream that I had when listening to Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway.

Q – Have you written any stories? If so, please tell us about them.

A – I currently have two YA fantasy novels published, both from my Sky Stone series. The first is titled Sky Stone, and the sequel is titled Guardian Core. The stories follow a young woman called Skyla who is stripped from her home and sent to a land where magic is part of daily life and torn by war. She finds herself Gifted with special abilities and a destiny handed to her by a god. It’s a story of war, love, and growth.
I am currently working on the third and final book in this series, and a stand alone novel titled Nexus.

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FantasyCon Mini-Interview with Nina Falkestav

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Q – Are you a Reader, Author, Artist, or Blogger?

A- I’m first and foremost an author at the moment. I love reading, but sadly, I find I often have to choose between reading and writing, since it seems there are no more than 24 hours in a day.

Q – What fantasy stories and Authors have influenced you most?

A- I think Neil Gaiman, with his book ”The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter books, Oscar Wilde- who write gothic stories (which, in a way I see as the fantasy of the 19 and early 20th century) and to some extent Sir Terry Pratchett. I’m also very influence by folk- and fairy tales and old myths and legends; almost more so than by other writers and stories. And I LOVE books on storytelling techniques of different kinds.

Q – If you could be the heroine in any fantasy or sci-fi story, which would you choose?

A- Probably the Harry Potter or the Narnia worlds

Q – What inspires you?

A- Life , the universe and the number 42 (see, there’s a Terry Pratchett reference for you) But to be serious, all sorts of things depending on what kind of inspiration I need. Since I’m currently writing about a group of cats, my own cats influence me quite a bit (I have seven cats, and a foolishly brave parrot. I also used to breed guinea pigs and I have a diploma in animal husbandry.)

I’m also inspired a lot by nature and the people around me and I’m a sucker for documentaries, both on nature/animals and other subjects.

Q – Have you written any stories? If so, please tell us about them.

A- Yes, I have written many, since I have been writing since I learned to write, more or less.
The ones that are written for publication and are finished, are two picture books (though they both currently lack pictures.) I am now working on a story that may best be classified as either Midde Grade or Young Adult fantasy.

They are all written in Swedish, since that is my native tongue, but I’m hoping to either translate them myself, or have them translated to English once the MG/YA is finished.
They all feature cats in major roles, obviously

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Keynote Speaker Video | Steve DeWinter

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Guest Post: Cheryl S. Mackey on Young Adult Fantasy

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An Insight into Young Adult Fantasy


Young adult fantasy is a genre readily enjoyed by readers of all ages despite its name. Just look at recent books that have shot to stardom like the Harry Potter series, or The Hunger Games, or The Mortal Instruments. Books for teens have exploded into the limelight, turning adults into rabid fans as well. However, at the heart of the genre the themes relating to the lives of young adults, even in a fantasy setting, is key.

Like any genre there are pros and cons to it and those may differ depending on if you are a reader or an author, or both. A big pro would be the amount of material out there. There are a lot of YA fantasy books. Also, lot of variety if you add in the sub or side genres and then you have reading gold.  A big con… this also gives authors and readers a lot to wade in and through to either find the right book or have your book found.

Readers can expect a lot of variety and there are two different takes on what angle YA fantasy (or even other genres… mystery, horror, supernatural, you name it) can approach the reader. Both approaches work well on their own merits. Either you can make the characters teens, like Harry Potter, and have their coming of age antics spur character and plot growth, or you can make the book readable by teens (think age appropriate themes, pg13), but have the characters more mature…act, react, and behave in far more adult scenarios (Think The Hunger Games). Of course, there is no 100% black and white on this, but most if not all books I’ve read fall into either of these angles. The commonality between them, especially in a fantasy setting, appears to be the slower march along the plot and a lighter introduction of details. You won’t find ten pages describing a chair in a house in YA anything. Teens, and even adults, just might not have the patience/attention span. Even The Hobbit may be too wordy for some of today’s teens.

Meshing the young adult themes with fantasy themes is richly rewarding for both the author and the reader. Fantasy by definition, has no boundaries. If you can imagine it, you can write or read it. Zombies, aliens, angels, witches, dystopian society, you name it, are all accessible to YA readers in a fantasy setting (for clarity, fantasy can also be linked to science fiction! Think Star Wars). However, when I study the YA fantasy books popular today I’ve noticed another binding element, realism.

Realistic fantasy has nothing to do with the idea that everything in the book must be real. There are loads of people who’d love to pet a unicorn, but not seen that yet. Realism in fantasy has everything to do with taking that fantasy world, whatever it is, and making it plausible, a seamless integration of the reader into the unreal world. This means fleshing out a world/universe to great detail, yet getting it across to the reader in ten pages or less (remember the chair?). Culture, religions, environment, races, music, writing, architecture, science, history, you name it. This is a difficult job for a YA fantasy author. The good ones do it very well and the great ones make rabid fans out of everyone.

Realism must also apply to characters and sliding into stereotypes and clichés is a pit of no return. Is it out there? Yes. Is it avoidable? Yes. Is it always realistic to avoid it? Nope. It’s up to the YA fantasy author to walk that line and walk it well so that the stereotypes and clichés do not overpower the plot and characters to the point of eye rolling and mic dropping. A great example of a stereotype that worked well is Hermione in Harry Potter as the nerdy-fact-bookish geek. Her role in Harry Potter was obvious. Give Harry (and the other ‘good guys’) the means to an end. Rowling kept Hermione from being eye roll worthy by giving her other roles to fill and other needs as a character. She evolved into a strong, independent, woman that could kick serious butt as well as memorize all the spells Ron needed for class.

Another side of realism is just how real to portray teens when they are the main characters/focus of the story. Drugs. Sex. Alcohol. Abuse. Gangs. Lies. Foul language. Cheating, etc. No one, even teens, denies those exist in our world. Some read fantasy to escape those realities and some read those realities because that is what can and does happen with teens in our world. There is a subtle divide on just how far to portray reality, especially in other genres and it is up to the reader and author to decide where the line is to be drawn. Should realistic portrayals of cultural and societal behaviors exist. Yes. Should it be forced onto a reader or author who doesn’t want it? No. Know that including such realisms is a personal choice as an author, and depending on what type of fantasy you are writing, it might not even be an issue.

In the end, YA fantasy is a thriving, vital part of the bookish world. The genre fills a need of teens (and adults) for age, character, and plot appropriate stories in a fantastical, but believable setting.



Cheryl MackeyBiography:   Cheryl S. Mackey


Cheryl lives in Southern California with her husband and 2 sons. Her books The Unknown Sun and The Immortals parts 1 and 2 are both young adult fantasy and available at Amazon.

She has a MFA in Creative Writing and enjoys games, reading and, of course, writing.  She currently has a flash fiction story published online at The Prompt Magazine.

Her favorite genres to write and read is YA Fantasy closely followed by YA Paranormal and she would love to dabble in Sci Fi, Steam Punk, and Dystopian.

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FantasyCon Mini-Interview with Jeffrey Cook, Author and Reader

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Q – Are you a Reader, Author, Blogger, or Artist?

A – I’m primarily an author, but also a reader. I think the majority of authors start out as readers, and the authors I read certainly helped inspire me to want to tell my own stories. I do wish I had more time to read—in part because, in becoming an author these past couple years, I interact with so many other authors, and want to read all of their books. (And because me editor and co-author is also an avid reader, who is regularly telling me great things I need to read.).

Q – What inspires you?

A – Stories have always inspired me, in multiple forms.
My very first memory in life—opening night of Star Wars, Episode IV—the Star Destroyer coming on screen.
I used to take a /lot/ of long road trips with my father. We’d pass the time by having him tell me ‘choose your own adventure’ type stories. He’d set scenarios, and how the story progressed depended on what my character did.
I started reading really early. I devoured comic books. I finished my pre-school’s 3 boxes of early readers in the first two days. And after going to see a children’s theater production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, my parents bought me the boxed set, intending to read it to me, and I finished Voyage of the Dawn Treader by the weekend.
I became a table-top gamer at 8 years old and have stuck with the hobby.
Living on a Blackfoot reservation for a while, I fell in love with some of the storytelling tradition.

I love stories — and I particularly love getting to not just read or listen, but engage with fantastic worlds.

Q – You mentioned charity work, can you tell us about that?

A – I’m a writer for, and head organizer of The Writerpunk Project. It started out as a discussion community, and has turned in to a charity project that also helps promote indie authors in the ‘punk’ genres of science fiction.
Our first charity anthology, Sound & Fury: Shakespeare Goes Punk, went live in March. We have a second volume, more Shakespeare adaptions, coming in December, and an Edgar-Allen-Poe-based anthology coming next year. Each volume involves multiple authors doing adaptions of famous works in ‘punk’ genres. All profits go to benefit PAWS animal rescue and shelter in Lynwood, WA.
As ‘dad’ to 3 rescue dogs, it’s a cause near and dear to me, so I was very glad the members allowed me to choose the charity. We just took them their first check—fully funding a big dog kennel for a year.
We’re hoping to double that next year.

Q – Have you written any stories? If so, please tells us about them.

A – I have 6 books out now, plus the charity anthology, along with numerous short stories published in different anthologies.
My first books were my Dawn of Steam trilogy. Those are Steampunk, or 1800’s science fiction, in this case written in the form of letters and journal entries from the characters, in proper Regency voice. Because they’re very early-era for Steampunk, relatively light on the sci-fi, and very heavy on the history, they’ve been described as good introductions to steampunk—as long as one is a heavy reader, since the format means they’re immersive, but not light reads.

I also have a YA science fiction story, Mina Cortez: From Bouquets to Bullets, published through Fire & Ice YA—my first venture into YA literature.

I have one non-YA urban fantasy out, a co-writing project with (usually) romance author AJ Downey, Airs & Graces, the first book of the planned Angel’s Grace trilogy.

My current primary project is another YA project, working with my usual editor, Katherine Perkins. We have Foul is Fair, the first book in the Fair Folk Chronicles, out now and and are putting finishing touches in the beta-reader version of book 2, Street Fair. The plan for that is ultimately 4 books, covering the 4 lost cities of the fae, the 4 treasures of Ireland, and the 4 most important dates of the Celtic calendar.

Writerpunk Press is also hoping to release 2 charity anthologies a year.


Steampunk Saturday

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FantasyCon Mini-Interview with Justine Manzano

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Do not confuse Justine with Megan who you all met yesterday. Justine is a Reader, Blogger and Author, and I think these ladies might be sisters. If so, they are a talented family.

Q: Are you a Reader, Author, Blogger, or Artist?

A: Reader, Author, and Blogger. As for art, I’m strictly a stick figure gal.

Q: What first drew you to fantasy?

A: I love to escape. The real world can be difficult. The challenges can wear you down. But in fantasy, the challenges can be overcome with a little bit of magic, a little twist in the way the world is perceived, a little bit of strength you wouldn’t normally have. I love fantasy because with it we have the opportunity to explore things we never would have the chance to in our regular lives. Things we couldn’t even dream of. I was a fantasy fan before I even understood what it was. I just loved making things up that could never possibly happen.

Q: If you were trapped in a fantasy realm with no escape, where would you want to be and who would you want to be your best friend?

A: Does it have to be an existing realm, or can it be one I’ve made up? Something with unicorns and phoenixes and elves, where nobody is strange and everybody is accepted. Katniss would be a helpful hunter, I suppose.

Q: Have you written any stories? If so, please tell us about them.

A: The Order of the Key, my YA Contemporary Fantasy is due for release in 2016. It follows a girl, Jacklyn Madison, as she joins an organization designed to defend people from inter-dimensional creatures and close rifts between dimensions. However, that organization is not what it seems, and Jacklyn finds herself becoming a weapon in a battle for leadership between the group’s leader and her idealistic son.

The Order of the Key is Book 1 of the Keys & Guardians series. I am currently outlining Book 2 and have plans for the story to span 6 books.

For more information on Keys & Guardians, as well as my other various projects, like my facebook page:

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