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#YASummerShowdown 2014: Final Challenge and WINNERS

Homemade pastries, classic arcade games, mittens knit with CNV tears, and a billion photo hunt submissions later: #YASummerShowdown 2014 is DONE.

#YASummerShowdown 2014: Final Challenge and WINNERS

Previously: Week 9 (Everybody In Da Club Gettin’ Tipsy)

Friends, YAngelists, countrymen (and Canadians): we have come to the end of the 2014 YA Summer Showdown.

You have all done an AMAZING job, from puzzle-solving to photo-hunting to jumping in freezing oceans and GETTING FOREVER YOUNG ADULT TATTOOS. Not to mention all the fantastic Emergency Kanye Dance Parties. Hearts in our eyes, for all of you.

FYAON, FYAPGHFYANYC, and SFFYA join in the summer's best photo hunt item!

The big winners--and prizes--are listed at the end of this recap, but first we need to talk about…


That challenge? A real-object artifact hunt, with MAJOR points to be earned. How major? Well, if any team got all the items AND all the bonuses, it would have netted them a whopping 720 points--double the total points earned by most teams in the middle of the pack pre-week 8, and enough to offer the possibility of some scoreboard upsets. No coasting on laurels here!

Now, we made the list challenging enough that we didn't think any team would manage to get everything crossed off. SILLY US. It's like we haven't been paying attention to our own game this summer. Both Austin AND San Francisco (our giant teams) earned themselves 715 points, and New York and DC hit 680 and 630, respectively.

Nicely. Done.

So what was this "list", you ask? Well, if you want to play Showdnowner, it exists as a secret page on the tumblr hub that teams had to find by solving the code embedded in this post: we invite you observers to try your hand solving it to get to the page on your own!

However, for those who just want to SEE the list:

5 point items

A chocolate frog
A movie poster of a YA adaptation (in the wild)
A can of Unstoppable Corn (GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE)
An “I <3 Yo Yo Ma” Sticker (IF I STAY)
Order Levi’s pumpkin mocha breve, under Cath’s name

10 point items

Pig sighting (RAVEN CYCLE)
Dirigible plums
A YA manicure
Mogget’s collar (SABRIEL)
Lilac LaRoux’s little pressed flower (THESE BROKEN STARS)
A tarot reading for Blue Sargent (RAVEN CYCLE)
A mixtape from ELEANOR&PARK (+5 if it’s on an actual tape!)

15 point items

Tris’ bird tattoo on a member’s skin (temporary, unless you already made the informed decision to make it permanent without any Showdown encouragement we will not be held liable for permanent YA tattoo decisions, ya crazies [SF]); +5 if you spot someone in the wild with one who is willing to be photographed!
A little blue envelope with adventure instructions for your hometown, left in a copy of either 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES or THE LAST LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPE at your local library
A google-mapped road trip from your current location to a Paper Town, including where you’d stop for lightning-fast gas/food/bathroom breaks (PAPER TOWNS)

25 point items

Kiri Byrd & Skunk’s demo CD (WILD AWAKE)
A pair of workers’ gloves (CURSE WORKERS trilogy)
Bar each of of Balanchine Special Dark/Balanchine Bittersweet/Dark Room Organic White (Zevin’s Birthright series)
Original Simon Snow micro-fan-fic (<500 words)
Marcus Flutie’s ”You Yes You” t-shirt (JESSICA DARLING SERIES)

30 point items

Any one of Sophie’s hats described in detail, found in the real world (HOWL’S)
Ice cream taste test results from at least three ice cream shops (not every flavor from each, but a couple) (PAST PERFECT)
September’s magical green coat from Fairyland #2
A necklace of teeth and jewels for making your chimera body (DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE)
Win a game of Joust (equivalent 80s arcade game may be substituted here) and take a picture (READY PLAYER ONE)

40 point items

November cakes (SCORPIO RACES)
A loaf of homemade bread (THE HUNGER GAMES)
Crow-fletched arrows (TRICKSTER’S QUEEN…Alexis’s most recent favorite book, and an indulgence for this final challenge)

50 point items

A full Quidditch gear set
Homemade printed fabric A-line skirt (a la INTO THE WILD NERD YONDER)

60 point item

Knit Maddie’s fingerless gloves (pattern is at the back of CODE NAME VERITY) (half points for unfinished or modern patterns)




Just a TASTE of our teams' incredible contributions. If you can't wait to wade through the other (equally impressive) Simon Snow fics, NYC's entry can be finished here.

ALL Final Challenge posts can be seen here at the hub tumblr; we have many of them queued up to post in the next week or so, too, so keep checking back to see everything!

Photo Hunt Update

The update is, it's all done! Pretty much every single team made an enormous push in the final days of that challenge, and we would be hard pressed to offer even a fraction of a representative sample here. Go follow the hub to see the queue spit everything out over the next couple of weeks! And teams, don't forget to send us your feedback!

Now, the moment you've all been waiting for


First of all, we want to point out that, while we did promise prizes to the team leaders at the beginning of the summer, that promise was vague and probably not all that convincing. AND STILL everyone played hard and clever and blew our socks off. For all y'all knew, we were planning on sending you a flat of Puking Pastilles, or just photoshopping your faces on the ugly dance.

Such faith you have in us! Or rather, more likely, such faith you have in the value of having fun for fun's sake. Which, truly, was meant to be the biggest prize of all (said with complete sincerity and zero zero zero snark).

All the same, we set out with one fantastic prize when the summer started, and lucked into success with our efforts to add to the (small) pile as the summer progressed. So, without further ado, 2014 Showdowners--your prizes:


- A virtual author chat with Jessica Spotswood

Jessica was the first to offer her services for the winners of this year's challenge, and as such deserves all our eternal gratitude. Not only is she the charming and talented author of the very. good. Cahill Witch Chronicles (BORN WICKED, STAR CURSED, and this past week's finale release, SISTERS' FATE--be on the lookout for FYA's gushing coverage later this month!), but she was also a competitor for the DCMafYA writers' team in DC's inaugural 2013 Summer Showdown. She knows your hearts, Showdowners! And once you read her Finn Belastra, she will be IN your hearts, too…

- 10 ARCs of SALT & STORM, courtesy of Little, Brown

One of the prizes we hadn't anticipated getting--THANK YOU, Little, Brown!

- Creation of one of the 2015 weekly challenges

Pull a Plutarch Heavensbee and make the game ART next year!

- Creation of ten 2015 photo hunt items



- A virtual chat with debut contemporary author Robin Talley

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept “separate but equal.”

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

Robin's debut novel, LIES WE TELL OURSELVES, hits shelves at the end of September, and, you guys--what we've heard from anyone who's managed to get their paws on an ARC of this book has just been GLOWING. The team who gets a chance to have first crack at such an awesome debut writer? WE'RE jealous.

10 ARCs of SINCE LAST SUMMER, courtesy of Little, Brown

- Creation of ten 2015 photo hunt items


Creation of one 2015 50-point final artifact hunt item


- Creation of five 2015 photo hunt items

We'd like to point out that all of these "creation of" prizes are as much prizes for everyone else as they are prizes for the teams that win them: the team creating each 2015 item will NOT be eligible to earn the related points. You guys get to play gamemaker--which is INCREDIBLY fun, watching everyone come up with creative ways to interpret challenges--but are handicapped in the process, giving this year's runner-up teams a chance to overtake the big winners

Basically, we want 2015 to be an EVEN GREATER CHALLENGE.

BUT WAIT! There is more.

Penguin, Harper Collins, and SoHo Teen have also donated ARCs, enough for us to send some to each participating 2014 team to say, basically, we love you, awesome nerds

Penguin is donating copies of the spooky and awesome-sounding Forget Meby K.A. Harrington. The other titles are TBA; check back on the hub tumblr in the next several weeks for final word, if you are curious.

Also, Jessica Spotswood has been generous enough to donate a second virtual author chat to commend our two tiny but SO HARDWORKING teams, the Free Agents and Orlando North, who both spent the summer holding their own as pairs against the massive, established clubs in major metro areas.


via prettylittleliars-bitches

You bet you ASSES I found a way to bring PLL into all of this.

#FYAFREEAGENTS and #FYAON, we will get in touch with you in the next couple of weeks to discuss how we can accomplish this feat of technology. And thank you, again, Jessica!

And now, for real, the TRUE moment you have all been waiting for…your 2014 #YASummerShowdown winners!

- With 1752 points, the third runner-up is the photo hunt cover redux juggernauts of #FYAPGH, who almost lost their edge to the crafty juggernauts of #FYADC in the final artifact hunt list. 

E'reybody in PGH bein' winners.

- With 2003 points, the second runner-up is #ATXFYA, one of our two final artifact hunt completionists.

ATX victory dance. 

- With 2099 points, the first runner-up is #FYANYC, who came into the game a week late but rallied hard to shoot to the top of the leaderboard. 

I'm pretty sure this is Manhattanese for "we love you." Aw! NYC! Right back at ya!

(from team #FYANYC's STAR CURSED submission)

And finally, with an enormous 2322 points, your 2014 #YASummerShowdown GRAND PRIZE WINNER is, of course and obviously, the tattoo-getting, full-moon-bearing, deviled-egg-eating Google doc masters of #SFFYA.

Yes, San Francisco. Yes you are. :-DDD

CONGRATULATIONS, winners! We will be in touch with details about the author chats and the ARC shipments, and to discuss 2015 challenge item creation!

Finally, I need to express my enormous gratitude to and awe with Mandy W., who had NO IDEA coming into this summer what she was in for, and without whom I would have been utterly incapable of pulling off such a fun and complete showdown. She is so on top of spreadsheets and organizing and making shit work, she's nearly an evil genius. We are LUCKY to have her heading up FYA Book Club organization year round. Mandy: you are incredible.

Also, my PLL co-capper and writing collaborator for always, Catie, was responsible for raising the awesomeness bar on many of the best puzzles and challenges this summer (emoji codes, mashup titles, final artifact items)--come on over to our PLL caps and show her some love sometime! Catie, heart you.

via korranation

As for the rest of us, congratulations are also in order: this summer was massive and wonderful and more than I could ever have expected. We were GREAT. 

See you all next year!

Alexis.'s photo About the Author: Alexis grew up in Wyoming, where she did NOT ride horses to school, but did write her IB extended essay on the youth of heroism in Peter Pan and Stargirl. In spite of this, she was shocked years later to realize how seriously she loved YA lit (blame the snobbery of academia for the blindness). She now lives in Washington DC, where she reads so much YA and MG she built a whole scavenger hunt around it.