If you don't want to get addicted to an author, look away now. Melina Marchetta's books are some of the most captivating I have ever read; from page one you will be absorbed by characters and worlds that will feel both incredibly familiar as well as wonderfully mysterious. But don't just take my word for it—Melina won the Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association for On the Jellicoe Road in 2009, Looking for Alibrandi was turned into a movie in 2000 in her native Australia, and her books have been translated into eighteen languages.
Now that wintery weather is starting to kick in (at least here in the Northeast), it's time to hibernate and start entering all those writing contests you've been putting off over the summer. If you would like a professional edit before you enter, please contact me for a 10% discount by referencing this blog post in your initial email.