Thank you to everyone who entered the Ultimate Title Challenge. I was really impressed by the quality of the submissions, and the mere idea of choosing a winner sent my stress levels skyrocketing. So I enlisted my fiancee, and together we pored over the THOUSANDS (ok, hundreds) of submissions, compiled our own independent list of favorites, and then compared notes at the end. A consensus was reached. And yes, there is a winner.
BUT FIRST, the runners up, in arbitrarily chosen genres. These people win infinite bragging rights, my undying respect and admiration and… well, that’s pretty good, right? Round of applause for the runners up!
Best historical fiction: LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR – Kaytie M. Lee
Best nonsensical: A SMOKED CHEESE PIG AND A WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING – brian_ohio
Best science fiction: ALIEN HOOKERS OF 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE – Scott
Best self-help (or literary fiction? we couldn’t decide): THE PERFECT BOOK FOR PEOPLE WHO AREN’T: (NO… YOU AREN’T) – astairesteps
Best home and gardening: NOT IN MY BACKYARD: A SELF-HELP GUIDE TO KEEPING YOUR YARD SQUIRREL-FREE – Have an agent; just entering for fun
Best humor: HOW TO FINISH A THOUGHT: FOR PEOPLE WHO – Stephen Parrish
Best chick lit: THE LYIN’ BITCH AND HER WARDROBE – Dwight’s Writing Manifesto
Best Nathan Bransford blog parody – WORD MATH FOR DUMMIES – Jamie
Best YA – HELP! MY MOM’S DATING A MILLIONAIRE! – Apryl
Best mystery – SHE NEVER HAS TO KNOW – Fred
And now, for the grand prize winner. I would have to agree with Michelle Moran on this one (Michelle’s novel NEFERTITI comes out on Tuesday!!!)
The GRAND PRIZE WINNER, which entitles the author to a personalized query critique, even more infiniter bragging rights, and based on a unanimous decision (between me and my fiancee) is…………..
THE BOOK OF USEFUL LIES – Laurel
Congratulations, Laurel!! And thanks again for entering everyone.
Have a great weekend!
Kaytie M. Lee says
(A repost of my MySpace comment.)
Woo hoo! Maybe I will write that book, after all!
Cheers, Nathan, for bragging rights, your undying respect and admiration, and for the opportunity to spend 10 minutes on something other than what I’m supposed to be doing.
And cheers to your fiancee, too.
And congratulations to Laurel. I hope she is writing that book so I can read it someday.
“The Devil Wears Nada” was robbed.
Thank you (and your betrothed) for your time reading and deciding on our titles.
I have to tell you that I’m over the moon with your selections. Granted, I was a little sad at first that I didn’t win the query prize, but all in all I’m happy as can be. You actually chose TWO of my titles (that’s gotta count for something, right?) and I just CAN’T stop smiling.
To avoid sounding more arrogant than I already have, I’m signing anonymously. But thanks again for making my day!
Nonsensical? Nonsensical! That’s the working title for my memoir.
Thanks, Nathan. And to your future-better-half as well.
sour grapes says
I must have been confused by the rules. I didn’t know it was supposed to be just a clever, brilliant title, but one that was going to (as you said), “send people scurrying to the bookstores.” So while Stephen Parrish’s title was awesome, his book won’t fly off the shelves. It’s only going to sell to people who
What? You’re engaged? Oh, Nathan, I’m crying in my cappucino.
How did I miss this?
You’re such a cutie pie and so smart!
original bran fan says
I would totally buy a book called THE BOOK OF USEFUL LIES.
Michelle Moran says
Thanks for the link! And an excellent choice for winner ;]
I’ll be waiting for USEFUL LIES to hit stores so I can look up the chapter on Editors. Maybe there’ll be a useful lie in there somewhere for why I didn’t finish my next book because I spent my time reading Nathan’s blog!
Congrats to all the winners.
I liked Stephens the best. That was pretty funny.
Jamie, thanks for the vote!! Would YOU critique my query? (grin)
Congrats Laurel, and the winners in other categories.
Stephen Parrish says
Thanks, Nathan, for
Oh man, Stephen. Once with the joke is fine. But twice is just
Now that Nathan has picked this as a winner, can you imagine the queries he’s going to get??
Dear Wonderful Agent,
I saw your blog, and thought you might be interested in
It’s based on the week I spent as Sharon Stone’s personal
You can read an excerpt on my website at
I am looking forward to
(Or something like that)
Makes things much easier!
Stephen Parrish says
Takoda, you make a good point. However
Loved all of these!
Can someone explain the “word math for dummies” parody? I must have missed something. Thanks.
Crystal Jordan says
Yay! Congrats to the winners!
Congratulations to Laurel!
Nathan, you and your fiancee must have had a tough job picking just one winner!
Even though I didn’t win, I had fun!
Nathan Bransford says
Anon @ 10:58:
My fiancee says she agrees with you, but doesn’t know how you reached that conclusion with the picture that was on my profile. She urged me to change it, which I did.
She also wanted me to say that she’s trained in the arts of jujitsu, Chinese throwing stars, and sword fighting (but between you and me she made that up).
That is a better picture, Nathan. Your fiancee is right.
Is it just me, or are you aging in reverse?
I don’t fence, and I’m scared of jujitsu, but I could probably avoid those Chinese stars (“Serpentine, Shel, serpentine!”).
The cutie pie quotient of Formal Nathan in the Library? Quite high. I loved it! But I am not fickle–I love your new picture, too!
Now that I look closely, it kind of looks like . . . are you at a . . . is that . . . is that a rehearsal dinner?
Not crying in her glass of Crystal Light. I’m not! (I just–there’s something in my eye.)
Liked the other photie better
Are you wearing an Izod?
They still make those?
Crystal Jordan says
I’m with Anon @10:58…that’s for sure a wedding/rehearsal dinner pic. Whether it’s yours or not is the new question. When’s the big day? Don’t keep us in suspense!
Not that I’m crying or too interested or anything like that. You know…just mildly curious. *back away slowly from fiancee’s mad ninja skillz*
…Seriously…and this is not meant to be non-serious…where do you find the time for all this? I thought literary agents never had the time to even go through partials!
I just saw my buddy Dwight made the list. That’ll teach me to skim. Yay, Dwight!