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My Writing Journey



In 2017 I was chosen as one of three finalists, out of over five-thousands entries, for an opertunity to co-author a book with New York Times best-selling author James Patterson. Although I wasn't picked as the co-author winner, I wrote my book. RED PRAIRIE is currently seeking representation.

MasterClass With James Patterson


The journey of Writing RED PRAIRIE

James Patterson’s 2017 Co-Author Semifinalists


Posted on April 6, 2017 MasterClass James Patterson

Once again, we were blown away by the quality of submissions for James Patterson’s second co-author competition! As the enthusiasm within the student community grows, we are thrilled to make this opportunity possible for a second time.

After careful review and consideration of every submission, we’re excited to announce the following top 10 semifinalists. These 10 semifinalists will receive a prize valued at $1,000. Then, three will move on to the final round where they will receive a prize of $2,500 value and submit an outline for a chance to become James’ co-author.

Top 10 Semifinalists (listed in alphabetical order)

  • Blake Northcott

  • Jack Mathers

  • Javier Sanchez

  • Jessica Goeken

  • Jule P Miller III

  • MaryBeth Yates

  • Matthew J. Trafford

  • Michael Jaoui

  • Tammy Vaughter

  • Tucker Edward Axum III

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the competition and congratulations to our semifinalists! Remember to check back next week, as we will be announcing the top 3 finalists on April 13th


We are thrilled to announce the 3 finalists who are one step closer to becoming James Patterson’s co-author. The following finalists will receive a prize valued at $2,500 and will submit outlines for their book ideas. James will review their submissions and select one grand prize winner to be his co-author.


Tammy Vaughter

Tucker Axum

Mari Yates


Tammy what’s the most important thing you’ve learned from James’s class so far?

OUTLINING!! I have always been horrible at this, and for some reason Mr. Patterson’s approach just clicked with me. It has really helped me on several projects already.

What drives you to write?

There’s just this amazing feeling that comes with expressing, and creating a connection with my characters. I love creating characters in a world I can imagine, develop and control through words and scenes, and then watch a story unfold. This drives me to write. My parents shielded my siblings and I from television and influences they felt may steal our innocence and hamper our spiritual growth. And I must admit as well, acknowledgement in my writing is also a driving factor.

Who has been the most supportive in your writing? How do they help you?

My family has been the most supportive, my children, parents, my uncle Gary who is one of of the most important father figures in my life, and especially my husband of 30 years, TJ. He has never let up with encouraging me to write. He reads anything I put in front of him and he offers honest criticism. I value his support. He is the one who gifted me the awesome James Patterson MasterClass and strongly urged me to enter the contest. 

Tammy Vaughter Nebraska, USA

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