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Fictionary 2022 Book Of The Year Award Shortlist

Fictionary Book Award

Ten Talented Writers Chosen

Five Novels In Each Category

The book of the year award is for the best unpublished novel edited in Fictionary software. The shortlisted authors have demonstrated excellence in storytelling.

The Prizes

For the Winning Manuscripts

  • Full StoryCoach edit by Fictionary Certified StoryCoach editor @Lucy Cooke including 3 hours of one-on-one consulting time.
  • Full manuscript read-through by Lindsay Auld, Agent at Writers House Literary Agency for the Young Adult/Middle Grade category winner.
  • Full manuscript read-through by Andrea Morrison, Agent at Writers House Literary Agency the Adult category winner.
  • One year subscription of StoryCoach Premium account (value $259 USD) or extension if you already have an account.
  • Logo for book cover as the winner.
  • Video interview by Kristina Stanley, CEO Fictionary on Youtube.
  • Blog post on with link to winner’s website.
  • Social media post on Fictionary’s Twitter, Instagram LinkedIn, and Facebook networks.
  • Post in the Fictionary Community.
  • Listed on

For Shortlisted Manuscripts (4 books each category)

  • 25-page read-through by Lindsay Auld, Agent at Writers House Literary Agency for the Young Adult/Middle Grade category shortlisted manuscripts.
  • 25-page read-through by Andrea Morrison, Agent at Writers House Literary Agency for the   Adult category shortlisted manuscripts.
  • A one-year extension of current StoryTeller account (value $169)
  • Logo for book cover as short-listed novel.
  • Video interview with Kristina Stanley on YouTube.
  • Blog post on with link to author’s website.
  • Social media post on Fictionary’s Twitter, Instagram LinkedIn, and Facebook networks.
  • Post in the Fictionary Community.
  • Listed on


The Judges

Six judges from three countries evaluated the entries based on the blurb, the synopsis, and the first 2000 words using the Fictionary Story Elements. Like all things Fictionary, the judging process was comprehensive and objective.

All judges are Fictionary Certified StoryCoach editors.  Let me introduce them.

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Book award Judges

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The 5 shortlisted manuscripts in 2 categories are for the

  • Best unpublished Adult novel
  • Best unpublished Young Adult/Middle Grade novel

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Top 5 Adult Novels Selected For The Shortlist Are…

In alphabetical order,

  • Whitney Dobek: The Edited
  • Loraine Fergusson: The Fever Box
  • John Johnson: Fortune Cookie
  • Shannon Nesmith: The Curse of the Realm
  • Janice Shepherd: Homelands

The Top 5 Young Adult / Middle Grade Novels For The Shortlist Are…

In alphabetical order,

  • Erin Clark: Broken Moon
  • Adrienne N. Deeb: The Untouchable Gift
  • Harriet George: Benvolio & Tybalt
  • Debbie Iancu: The Goodbye Kids
  • Janice MacKenzie: Treasure in Tombstone


Winner Announcement

The winners will be announced on February 14th, 2022 at the first annual Fictionary Online Editing Conference. Join the Fictionary community for free access to the conference.

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Shortlisted Books – The Blurb

We wanted to give everyone the opportunity to not only enter their novel for the book of the year award but also to teach writers how to create the best possibly entry. The entrants were given the opportunity to learn how to write a blurb and a synopsis in the free editing events held in the Fictionary community. Many took up up on that opportunity, so let’s look at the hard work they put into the blurbs.

Adult Category Shortlist Blurbs

Whitney Dobeck: The Edited

Book AwardQuinn Avery has watched enough happen. She watched the coverage of the first attack on the news. She watched hopelessly as loved ones were snatched from her arms. She watched an unstoppable army build in number as destruction rained down on her world. Quinn has had enough watching. Yet, that is exactly what she is being commanded to do.

Quinn is certain her genetically engineered abilities can help save hundreds of other Edited from the hands of the Opposition, a depraved organization who, with a microchip and a thirst for power, has turned the blessing of abilities into a curse. And Quinn believes she has the tool to free the Edited from Opposition control.

However, to prevent the Opposition from gathering additional personnel for their mindless army, the Edited have been placed in the protection of an underground bunker until further notice. And leaving is prohibited.

If only she could test the developed application. If only she could prove that it disables the Opposition microchip. Then maybe, just maybe, she could dismantle the mind-controlled army piece by piece.

Loraine Fergusson: The Fever Box

Book awardA psychological thriller with the disturbing setting of Shutter Island, the threatening tension of Sleeping with the Enemy and the queasy twist of Sharp Objects.

When Clara Cooper’s abusive husband is lost in action during the Fall of France, she grabs the opportunity to disappear, secretly returning to nursing. With Britain on the brink of invasion, she is posted to a vast military hospital on the south coast, where more than pain and suffering lurk in the misty corridors.

Who is the mysterious girl Clara nurses through a barbaric night of treatment in the ‘fever box’? And is the shadowy figure haunting the opium dreams of badly burned pilot Dougie Douglas real? As frightening and malevolent events accelerate, Clara becomes convinced that her husband has returned and is forced to face a terror greater than anything the nightly bombing raids can bring.

John Johnson: Fortune Cookie

Book AwardThe security alarm jolted Amy Chen, a thirty-something Asian-American, but it wasn’t until she heard the scream that she jumped into action and witnessed her husband, Ma Wei, murdered in a knife fight.

When Valerie Richard, 35, a Cajun from south Louisiana, gets the call to go to the crime scene, she’s at a bar in a Houston, Texas, suburb on the day of her divorce. Her husband cheated on her with a girl young enough to be his daughter, and she’s been hitting the bottle hard for weeks. Now, she’s turned up drunk to a crime scene.

She can’t believe her luck when her boss gives her a new partner and puts her in charge of the case instead of reprimanding her. At first, the case seems straightforward.

Why was Amy’s husband killed?

Who was behind the murder?

Valerie discovers through a series of tense interviews that intellectual property theft and naked greed may be the motive. Everyone is a suspect, and there’s a political component to the case that could be career-ending.

Can Valerie solve the murder…or will she die trying?

Shannon Nesmith: The Curse of the Realm

In a land under strict magical regulations and dictated by clan status, wild and rebellious Mirjinx “Jinx” Teergorn is an outcast, preferring the weight of a dagger in her hand to a teacup. Despite societal rules, Jinx secretly studies for knighthood, but her plans are foiled when two mernymphs wash ashore on her family’s land slaughtered. When a sinister silhouette reeking of a spicy miasma appears demanding retribution for its butchered kin, it sends shockwaves through the town of Arden, and the warden zeroes in on a surprising suspect: Jinx’s papa. With her clan on the brink of ruin, Jinx sets off to prove his innocence.

At the palace, the king invites a once feared enemy through their borders, and the alliance forces Zuukansin “Sin”, the distrustful leader of the magical creatures to emerge. Sin collides with the reckless path of Jinx, the one who will help save his kind from annihilation-if he’s to believe the ramblings of an old mystic. Ensnared between pleasing society and saving her papa, Jinx is soon faced with an even greater task: fulfilling an ancient prophecy that pushes her further into the world of barriers, soul-slicing magic, and an ancient realm-splitting feud. Can Jinx find the true culprit and protect her papa from the dungeons, or worse?

Janice Sheppard: Homelands

Book AwardFifteen year old Mary Anna has left her home in Louisiana to attend a Ladies’ Seminary in Pennsylvania. She is to become an educated young lady, ready for life as a wife, mother, and gracious hostess. But even as she makes friends and falls in love with a handsome young man from nearby Bethany College, unrest is looming around her.

Her dreams become a reality as she marries and begins a family. She lives an idyllic life in two beautiful homes; one in Bethany and one in Louisiana. Then the Civil War erupts. She is cut off from her family in the North. The war moves ever closer, threatening her home and family in Louisiana. Everything she holds dear- her family, her home, and her way of life- is in danger.

Will she be able to save her home and family from the terrible events which swirl around her? Will she have the resilience to face the changes that are tearing apart her world?

Based on a true story, Mary Anna’s journals shared much about her life. But this story tells about the one thing she would never speak of; her battle with her greatest enemy- the Civil War.

Young Adult / Middle Grade Shortlist Blurbs

Erin Clark: Broken Moon

Book AwardThe passage of time has not been kind to Earth. An asteroid mining accident has shattered the moon, raining lunar fragments on the planet below, realigning the Earth’s axis, and leaving the planet unrecognizable and riven with deep inequality.

Orphaned and then abandoned by her sister, if anyone has reason to give up hope, it’s Trina. Instead, she divides her time between dodging the Watcher drones on the hunt for unregistered minors and keeping her found family of homeless kids in one piece — until one of the Watchers kills her best friend right in front of her.

Falsely accused of her friend’s death, and with agents of the ruthless Authority now hot on her heels, healer-turned-fugitive Trina teams up with inconveniently charming smuggler Dingo to reach the fabled lower hemisphere — rumored to be the last place truly safe place left on Earth. But Dingo is no mere smuggler, and fleeing the brutal heat of the Pacific Northwest to cross the icy plains of Mexico could mean certain death for them both.

As Trina and Dingo grow closer to freedom and to each other, it’s hard to tell which poses the bigger threat: Surviving the ruined planet of the future, or dealing with the secret traumas of their pasts.

Adrienne N. Deeb: The Untouchable Gift

Book AwardMagical beings exist on all the planets of our universe, but those on Earth sacrificed their powers to be free from the race of monstrous creatures known as the Nefarian. After thousands of years, the Nefarian found a way to breach Earth’s barrier. The only hope is a prophecy claiming a child will be born with the gifts to stop them. But the child hasn’t come or has chosen not to show herself.

Cyrah hides her emerging magical powers, fearing witch-hunters on Earth will burn her at the stake. While Lliam wants a unique gift that’ll set his magic apart from everyone else on the Moon. They’re twelve years old, living planets apart until their worlds collide when Lliam’s gift transports him into Cyrah’s dreams. Cyrah must push down her fears and accept the responsibility of being the child from the prophecy. While Lliam must put aside his hopes of showing off his gift and secretly teach Cyrah magic before the Nefarian learn she exists.

The Nefarian are searching for the sacrificed magic on Earth which they’ll use to destroy both Cyrah and Lliam’s worlds. The unlikely pair must work together to stop the Nefarian. If they fail, there will be war and destruction. Cyrah and Lliam’s relationship will defy their grasp on reality, but they must believe in their unexpected connection, for the fate of all life rests in their bond.

Harriet George: Benvolio & Tybalt

Book AwardKneeling by his sword, his arm bleeding, Benvolio Montague contemplates his part in this fight. The dusty streets of Verona hide the blood spilled by the members of the houses of Capulet and Montague, who are fighting in their Lord’s honor. Benvolio’s desire to show his allegiance to his family, forces him to act in violence against the man he loves, Tybalt Capulet, their enemy’s nephew.

When Benvolio overhears Lord Montague’s only son, Romeo, confessing his love for Lord Capulet’s only daughter, Juliet, it becomes clear to Benvolio that Romeo and Juliet’s love is powerful enough to end this fight.  Benvolio secretly begins to help them marry.  But, when the marriage is seen as an act of cowardice by Tybalt, Benvolio must learn that it is his love for Tybalt that is powerful enough to end this fight, and find the courage to tell his family, or he will lose Tybalt forever.

Debbie Iancu: The Goodbye Kids

Book AwardA million stars but no friends.

Plus size teen Haley grew up friendless on a space station thinking she’d never fall in love. She spends her time with her robot dog Nano, dreaming of the day she can leave the remote station and become an intergalactic pilot. Haley’s calm existence shatters when Jorden, a boy on a suicide mission, drags her into his lethal scheme.

Jorden Lund isn’t the chosen one, he’s the guy who volunteered.

Raised by his controlling father in an eco-terrorist cell called Earthers, Jorden volunteers for a mission to save the planet. The Earthers believe severing access to the off-world colony will bring focus back to saving the polluted Earth. Jorden’s mission is to travel to the space station, build a bomb and blow up a spaceship.

Falling in love was definitely not part of the plan.

When Jorden arrives on the space station, disguised as a colonist, he tries to get close to Haley in order to use her access to the station’s restricted areas. But Haley has a strict rule, ‘No new friends’. Especially not good-looking boys. She knows the travelers always leave.

Despite her attempts to push him away, Jorden gradually earns her trust. The fake relationship turns real, but Haley must stop him before he breaks her heart and destroys her home.

Janice MacKenzie: Treasure in Tombstone

Book AwardJoshua Ellerslie is a twelve-year-old boy who is moving to a new home with his father. He won’t miss his school friends because he doesn’t have any. The school kids think he is weird because he often talks to himself. The kids don’t know that Joshua has a ghost, Edgar, that tags along with him, playing tricks and getting him into trouble. Edgar is Joshua’s only friend, and only he can see Edgar.

Now that they are moving, Joshua thinks he will be lonelier than ever, since Edgar won’t be with him anymore. When Joshua unpacks at the new house, he is surprised when Edgar pops up. Joshua is thrilled to see him, but he decides he wants a real friend.

At school he meets a girl, Mae, and he falls for her. He wants to be her friend, but she laughs at his attempts. He needs a new plan. When they travel to the haunted town of Tombstone, Arizona, he knows she will think it’s cool when he proves to her that ghosts are real. In Tombstone that plan fails, and Mae is sure it is just his imagination.

Joshua’s next plan is thrust upon on him when he overhears the plot of two thieves in town, and he thinks if he catches them, he will be a hero, or else Mae will consider him a loser. The chase to catch the thieves becomes a dangerous roller-coaster ride that brings out Joshua’s bravery and brings him toward his desire.

Join the Fictionary community and meet the judges and the shortlisted authors. Who knows, maybe you’ll be on this list next year.

Find out more about the 2022 Book of the Year Award