SLOPPY FIRSTS is a word-of-mouth success story. Since it was first published in 2001, I’ve been so flattered to hear from readers who have found out about my book from a friend who gushed, “You have to read this!” Even better is when that reader says she’s compelled to spread the gospel of Jessica Darling to her friends until it seems like everyone has fallen madly in love with Marcus Flutie. Girls (and even a few guys) from all over the popularity spectrum see themselves in Jessica Darling because she’s both an insider and an outsider, a wry critic of (and reluctant participant in) high school traumas and dramas. It’s a great compliment that even now, ten years later, new readers are just discovering Pineville High. Y2K may be a distant memory, but young (and not so young) readers still relate to Jessica’s struggle to become the person she was always meant to be.
So thank you. Thank you all.
To commemorate the 10th Anniversary, I’d like you, the biggest supporters of my series, to share with me (and the world) what SLOPPY FIRSTS has meant to you. What form should your tribute take? That’s up to you. Write a heartfelt blog post about discovering SLOPPY FIRSTS in the bookstore. Make a video re-enacting the infamous “lip nip” with finger puppets. Compose a song incorporating one of Jessica’s many graphs, charts and lists. Create a line of SLOPPY FIRSTS inspired t-shirts. EXPRESS YOUR LOVE ANY WAY YOU WANT TO. Send me the link(s) to your awesome tributes via Twitter or my Facebook Page, tagged #sloppyfirsts10th. (If you are a nonparticipant in these social networks, you can always email me at email@example.com.)
It’s my hope that your creative lovefest will inspire a whole new generation of readers to laugh, cry and cringe along with Jessica Darling. In return for your efforts, I’ll provide you with the opportunity to get special (even one-of-a-kind) SLOPPY FIRSTS swag. I’ll reward the THREE entries that best say to me, “WOW. These readers really, really love SLOPPY FIRSTS…Maybe even more than I do.”
Two Runners-Up will win autographed UNCORRECTED PROOFS of SLOPPY FIRSTS. These are the original Advanced Reader Copies that went out to reviewers in the Spring of 2001, months before the finished book was published. They are very rare indeed. Have fun playing SPOT THE ERROR as these UNCORRECTED PROOFS are filled with typos and other boo-boos that were fixed (um, mostly) in the final book.
One GRAND PRIZE WINNER will get…A SPECIAL 10th ANNIVERSARY EDITION of SLOPPY FIRSTS. A one-of-a-kind copy randomly annotated in my very own, very sloppy handwriting . (See that blank space at the top? It’s just waiting to be inscribed. ) This prize will be filled with my extemporaneous scribbles covering such subjects as “Come on, seriously. IS MARCUS FLUTIE BASED ON SOMEONE IN REAL LIFE?” Which, as I know all too well, is the number one question about this book.
Send me links to your entries no later than Monday, August 22nd. (As the entries come in, I’ll share them here, and on Twitter and Facebook.) I’ll announce the Grand Prize winner and Runners-Up on the 10th Anniversary Day: August 28th, 2011. (Why so long? In 2007, I had a 3-Books in 3 Minutes Mini Film Contest to and I got like, 25 entries at midnight on the last day. Likewise, the PERFECT FIFTHS Book Trailer Contest I hosted 2 years later. I want to make sure I have enough time to see everything.)
BE CREATIVE AND HAVE FUN. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.
As always, thanks for reading.