results of the signature contest

Now that I’ve heard back from everyone, I’m finally free to post, not just the winner of the signature contest, but all the entrants. I know a lot of people were curious to see what got sent to me, and I think everybody who contributed deserves recognition for their effort. (For the record, they are all receiving copies of Midnight Never Come; the winner also gets other goodies.)

In the end, fifteen people sent me entries; some sent more than one. You can see my favorite contribution from each contestant on my website, where I’m keeping them for posterity. As I said to several people, I’m very grateful to have gotten enough that I had the luxury of contemplating what to me looked the most like Invidiana’s handwriting; in the end, it came down to that. And it was a tough choice!

Second runner-up: Maggie Stiefvater, who sent me two entries. The other was more ornate, and I liked it a lot, too, but in the end, this was my favorite of the two:

First runner-up: John Pritchard. I liked this one a lot; the rough edges to the strokes looked very realistic, and in correspondence later he proved that (as I suspected) he knows a lot about the writing of the period:

And finally, the winner: Karen Jolley-Williams! She, too, knew what she was talking about when it came to period handwriting, but in the end she won by stepping back one degree into an older style, as she described in her e-mail to me: “I made the Faerie Queen’s letters blacker, more angular and cold, less Humanistic and certainly less approachable in personality than Elizabeth’s italic hand.” And indeed, the blackletter look ended up being the deciding factor for me. Step behind the cut to see . . . .

(It’s a small image; we used a larger scan of it for the actual document, but the clarity in that one is less good.)

So, that’s it! Thanks again to everyone who helped out, especially with the short notice. Closer to the pub date, I will post the thing for which we did all this work . . . .

0 Responses to “results of the signature contest”

  1. desperance

    Just to say, this is a very, very cool competition. With very cool entries.

  2. kitsunealyc

    Wow. All the entries are really awesome. I love the stilletto-flower on the end of Paul Forest’s entry, and the certifiable (but frighteningly contained) insanity of Lydia Laurenson’s entry. I agree with loving the rough, inky-lookin quality of John Pritchards. Ultimately, I’m glad that you included Karen Jolley-Williams’ explanation, because thinking of it that way clinched her win for me.

    Tough call, though. It would be great to get artists to do a montage of different Invidiana portraits to match the different personalities of the signatures. I’d buy that print.

    • Marie Brennan

      Karen’s also looks fabulous placed next to the version of Elizabeth’s that my publicist used; they have the perfect degree of similarity and difference, which is exactly right for this book, on a subtle level that most people will probably never think about.

  3. sora_blue

    I agree with Karen’s take on the signature. It’s beautiful, but very bold and strong without being overtly vicious. 🙂

  4. m_stiefvater

    Wow — I looked at all of them and I can’t believe how you managed to pick. I agree with your top two and I thought that I would’ve gone with John’s until I looked back at Karen’s again . . . and then back to John’s . . . and then back to Karen’s . . . I think you would’ve done well by either of them. And I’m happy to be in the top three though I can see that mine looks really modern in comparison!

    Thanks for showing these, Marie, it was really cool to see all of them!

    • Marie Brennan

      Yours is more modern-looking, but Invidiana’s a faerie; her handwriting could be very different from a mortal’s.

      I have to tell you, though — man, you put my mind at ease. Yours was the first entry I got, and I opened it, took one look, and told myself, okay. If nobody else sends in a single thing, or if everything else you get is crap, you can use this one and be happy. Whatever else happens, you’ve got something you can use. After that, the debate was just about which one looked the most like Invidiana to me.

Comments are closed.