Day Ten of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors … Jenna Lehne & Kate Karyus Quinn
Jul14

Day Ten of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors … Jenna Lehne & Kate Karyus Quinn

Welcome to July’s First Page Workshop with some of our past and present PitchWars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected many wonderful writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a first page for one lucky writer. The writers are anonymous. Follow along all month to view the first page critiques. We welcome comments and further suggestions, but please keep them kind and respectful. Here are the next two mentors and their critiques …   Jenna Lehne Website | Twitter Jenna Lehne is a writer/reader (heavy on the reader) from a small town just outside of Calgary, Alberta. She spends her days hanging out with her new baby, Jasper, lurking on twitter, patting the dogs, and bugging her husband. In her stolen minutes, she absorbs all things horror and drinks all the tea. Jenna’s first page critique … Usually I can’t hear them fighting, but something’s different today. They’re louder, more forceful. Tension fills the air Fills the air in her room? Or where her mom is at?, forcing me to pull my headphones off, put my book down and sit up. If the fight is intense enough for her to hear it with her headphones are on, then it’s something I’d want to read more about. Is she hearing a car pulling up and her Mom already starting to freak out? Since we don’t see the fight until after this paragraph, I’m not getting a good idea of what is disrupting the MC. It’s not that I really want to listen, I have to. Living here’s like walking a tight rope, one misstep and BAM – you’re falling. That’s a great line. Things get ugly fast and I have to be ready for it. “Where the hell have you been all night?” Mom’s voice echoes through the foyer, and the front door slams. “Who the fuck do you think you are? I’m a grown man. I can do what I want, when I want.” Mom’s boyfriend yells back. The “when I want etc.” makes the boyfriend sound like a teenager. His name is Derrick, but his friends call him Derk. As for me, I call him Jerk, but not to his face. I’m not stupid. And saying Jerk has “friends” is a huge exaggeration. Most of them are on his payroll. Saying “on his payroll” makes me think mob/mafia. Are they all a bunch of mobsters or are do they just work for him at a restaurant or something? They put up with him because they want a paycheck. I put up with him because of Mom. Though, getting some cash for dealing...

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Auction to help save Pitch Wars mentor Veronica Bartles’ home … with critiques, signed books, and more!
Jul14

Auction to help save Pitch Wars mentor Veronica Bartles’ home … with critiques, signed books, and more!

When I heard the devastating news that Veronica Bartles’ family home in Maryland had been severely damaged while they were living here in New Mexico, I wanted to help. The Bartles are due to move back to Maryland this August. While on a trip back to Maryland to check on their home, Veronica discovered water damage and mold through the entire house. But the insurance company is refusing to cover any of the repairs. A Go Fund Me compaign has been set up to help raise money for the Bartles. If you can, please donate to it. Even if it’s $5. Any amount would be greatly appreciated. The writing community is filled with amazing people, so when I sent out a call for donations for this auction, many answered the called. We have some great items for the auction and I’ll list them below with a direct link to each one. The auction will close on Monday, July 20 at 11:00AM EDT. If you’re interested in an auction item, simply enter the bid in the comments of the post for the item. The starting bid is $10. Once you’ve placed your bid, make sure to check back or click the box at the bottom of the post labeled “Notify me of follow-up comments by email.” For critique items, make sure to read the donor’s bio to determine if they will be a good fit for your manuscript. Manuscripts do not have to be finished for partial critiques, only full critiques. Do not post bids to this post. Make sure to post them to the individual post for the item you wish to bid on. (See the list below for the list of posts and items offered.) Do not place bids in the comment of this post. Bids should be entered in the individual auction item post. No bids will be accepted after the auction closes. The winners will be asked to go to the Bartles’ Go Fund Me page (Don’t donate until you win the bid, unless you want to donate now as an added help for the Bartles) and donate the money the bid they placed on the item. When your name posts on the page, it will be confirmation of payment and I will post further instructions in the comments of the posts. Here are all the awesome items up for bid … Special Auction Item: Query Critique by Agent, Eric W. Ruben, Esq. Auction Item 1: Full Manuscript Critique by Lara Edits Auction Item 2: 50 Page critique & 30 Minute Phone Consultation by Mandy Schoen Auction Item 3: 50 Page Middle Grade Manuscript Critique by...

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Special Auction Item 1: Query Critique by Agent, Eric W. Ruben, Esq.
Jul14

Special Auction Item 1: Query Critique by Agent, Eric W. Ruben, Esq.

About this item: A query critique. Donated by … Eric W. Ruben, Esq. Website | Twitter A graduate of New York’s Cardozo School of Law and a veteran entertainment professional, Eric has over twenty-five years experience as a counselor, litigator, literary agent, talent manager, and professional performer. His unique perspective is valuable to business owners, entertainers, writers, and people like you. Working in partnership, he assists his clients in determining how best to achieve their personal and professional goals.         STARTING BID: $10 TURNAROUND TIME allow two weeks for query critiques + 1st chapters, four weeks for partials, and six weeks for full critiques. Donors will discuss turnaround times with winners. All winning bids are guaranteed. Should some unforeseen event happen, money will be returned to winner or the winner may choose to have Brenda Drake provide the critique....

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Bonus Auction Item 1: First 5 Pages Critique by Lara Edits
Jul14

Bonus Auction Item 1: First 5 Pages Critique by Lara Edits

About this item: A first five pages critique “Voice Enhancer” substantive edits. Donated by … Lara Edits Website | Twitter Hailing from the arid highlands of Colorado, Lara Willard graduated with highest honors in Interdisciplinary Studies (Literature, Writing, Editing, and Design) from the University of Northwestern. She writes poetry, contemporary short fiction, and fantasy novels. Lara lives in Minnesota with her husband, sons, and dog-show dropout Havanese. See her editor bio here. Will not edit certain scenes or genres. No erotica or horror novels. Please no erotic or rape scenes* in any genre. No explicit descriptions of crimes against children. Please no racist, sexist, or sociopathic protagonists—She really doesn’t want to live in their heads. Lewd humor is not for her. For graphic novels, please note if any content is NSFW. STARTING BID: $10 TURNAROUND TIME allow two weeks for query critiques + 1st chapters, four weeks for partials, and six weeks for full critiques. Donors will discuss turnaround times with winners. All winning bids are guaranteed. Should some unforeseen event happen, money will be returned to winner or the winner may choose to have Brenda Drake provide the...

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Bonus Auction Item 2: Three Chapter MG Manuscript Critique by Laura Shovan
Jul14

Bonus Auction Item 2: Three Chapter MG Manuscript Critique by Laura Shovan

About this item: A first three chapter critique of your middle grade manuscript. Donated by … Laura Shovan Website | Twitter Laura Shovan was first published in second grade, when her short story “Snow Flurry” appeared in the PTA newsletter. After graduating from NYU’s Dramatic Writing Program, she taught high school, worked as a freelance journalist, and is now an educational consultant for teens with learning differences. Laura is poetry editor for the literary journal Little Patuxent Review. Her chapbook, Mountain, Log, Salt and Stone, won the inaugural Harriss Poetry Prize. She edited the Maryland Writers’ Association anthology Life in Me Like Grass on Fire: Love Poems and co-edited Voices Fly: An Anthology of Exercises and Poems from the Maryland State Arts Council Artists-in-Residence Program, for which she teaches. Laura is a Rita Dove Poetry Award finalist and won a Gettysburg Review Conference for Writers scholarship. The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, her novel-in-verse for children, will be published by Wendy Lamb Books/Random House in 2016. STARTING BID: $10 TURNAROUND TIME allow two weeks for query critiques + 1st chapters, four weeks for partials, and six weeks for full critiques. Donors will discuss turnaround times with winners. All winning bids are guaranteed. Should some unforeseen event happen, money will be returned to winner or the winner may choose to have Brenda Drake provide the...

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Bonus Auction Item 3: Signed Copy of THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY by Laura Shovan
Jul14

Bonus Auction Item 3: Signed Copy of THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY by Laura Shovan

About this item: A signed copy of THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY by Laura Shovan when available. This book releases in April, 2016 and the author will send the sign copy when she receives copies of the book. About the book … Add to Goodreads! Releases April, 2016 Eighteen kids, one year of poems, one school set to close. Two yellow bulldozers crouched outside, ready to eat the building in one greedy gulp. But look out, bulldozers. Ms. Hill’s fifth-grade class has plans for you. They’re going to speak up and work together to save their school. Laura Shovan’s engaging novel is a time capsule of one class’s poems during a transformative school year. The students grow up and move on in this big-hearted debut about finding your voice and making sure others hear it. Donated by … Laura Shovan Website | Twitter Laura Shovan was first published in second grade, when her short story “Snow Flurry” appeared in the PTA newsletter. After graduating from NYU’s Dramatic Writing Program, she taught high school, worked as a freelance journalist, and is now an educational consultant for teens with learning differences. Laura is poetry editor for the literary journal Little Patuxent Review. Her chapbook, Mountain, Log, Salt and Stone, won the inaugural Harriss Poetry Prize. She edited the Maryland Writers’ Association anthology Life in Me Like Grass on Fire: Love Poems and co-edited Voices Fly: An Anthology of Exercises and Poems from the Maryland State Arts Council Artists-in-Residence Program, for which she teaches. Laura is a Rita Dove Poetry Award finalist and won a Gettysburg Review Conference for Writers scholarship. The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, her novel-in-verse for children, will be published by Wendy Lamb Books/Random House in 2016. STARTING BID: $10 TURNAROUND TIME allow two weeks for query critiques + 1st chapters, four weeks for partials, and six weeks for full critiques. Donors will discuss turnaround times with winners. All winning bids are guaranteed. Should some unforeseen event happen, money will be returned to winner or the winner may choose to have Brenda Drake provide the...

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Bonus Auction Item 4: Signed ARC of MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS by Brooks Benjamin
Jul14

Bonus Auction Item 4: Signed ARC of MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS by Brooks Benjamin

About this item: a signed ARC of MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS by Brooks Benjamin. About the book … Releasing Spring, 2016 from Delacorte/Random House Add it to Goodread! LIVE IT. All Dillon wants is to be a real dancer. And if he wins a summer scholarship at Dance-Splosion, he’s on his way. The problem? His dad wants him to play football. And Dillon’s freestyle crew, the Dizzee Freekz, says that dance studios are for sellouts. His friends want Dillon to kill it at the audition—so he can turn around and tell the studio just how wrong their rules and creativity-strangling ways are. WORK IT. At first, Dillon’s willing to go along with his crew’s plan, even convincing one of the snobbiest girls at school to work with him on his technique. But as Dillon’s dancing improves, he wonders: what if studios aren’t the enemy? And what if he actually has a shot at winning the scholarship? BRING IT. Dillon’s life is about to get crazy . . . on and off the dance floor. Donated by … Brooks Benjamin Website | Twitter In sixth grade, Brooks Benjamin formed a New Kids on the Block tribute dance crew called the New Kidz. He wasn’t that good at dancing back then. But now he’s got a new crew—his wife and their dog. They live in Tennessee, where he teaches reading and writing and occasionally busts out a few dance moves. He’s still not that good at it. His first novel, MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS will be released by Delacorte/Random House in Spring 2016. STARTING BID: $10 TURNAROUND TIME allow two weeks for query critiques + 1st chapters, four weeks for partials, and six weeks for full critiques. Donors will discuss turnaround times with winners. All winning bids are guaranteed. Should some unforeseen event happen, money will be returned to winner or the winner may choose to have Brenda Drake provide the...

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Bonus Auction Item 5: Query + 1st Chapter Critique by Brooks Benjamin
Jul14

Bonus Auction Item 5: Query + 1st Chapter Critique by Brooks Benjamin

About this item: A query and first chapter critique of manuscript. Donated by … Brooks Benjamin Website | Twitter In sixth grade, Brooks Benjamin formed a New Kids on the Block tribute dance crew called the New Kidz. He wasn’t that good at dancing back then. But now he’s got a new crew—his wife and their dog. They live in Tennessee, where he teaches reading and writing and occasionally busts out a few dance moves. He’s still not that good at it. His first novel, MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS will be released by Delacorte/Random House in Spring 2016. STARTING BID: $10 TURNAROUND TIME allow two weeks for query critiques + 1st chapters, four weeks for partials, and six weeks for full critiques. Donors will discuss turnaround times with winners. All winning bids are guaranteed. Should some unforeseen event happen, money will be returned to winner or the winner may choose to have Brenda Drake provide the...

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Bonus Auction Item 6: Query Critique by Agent Rachel Brooks
Jul14

Bonus Auction Item 6: Query Critique by Agent Rachel Brooks

About this item: A query critique. Donated by … Rachel Brooks, agent L. Perkins Agency Website | Twitter Rachel Brooks joined the L. Perkins Agency as a literary agent in summer 2014. She is thrilled to be a part of such an exciting industry. She’s been devouring the written word since childhood, so it makes sense that she’d gravitate towards a career which revolves around books. Prior to joining the L. Perkins Agency, Rachel worked alongside Louise Fury for a year as an agent apprentice. Rachel has a business degree and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English from Texas A&M University- CC. Publishing is thriving, and Rachel is happy to create business partnerships with writers on their journey to publication. If you are a writer seeking representation, please feel free to check out the submission guidelines and genres she’s seeking in the tabs above. STARTING BID: $10 TURNAROUND TIME allow two weeks for query critiques + 1st chapters, four weeks for partials, and six weeks for full critiques. Donors will discuss turnaround times with winners. All winning bids are guaranteed. Should some unforeseen event happen, money will be returned to winner or the winner may choose to have Brenda Drake provide the...

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Bonus Auction Item 7: Full Manuscript Critique by Ashley Turcotte
Jul14

Bonus Auction Item 7: Full Manuscript Critique by Ashley Turcotte

About this item: A full manuscript critique. For MG and YA (all genres) & NA and Adult Romance (all subgenres). Donated by … Ashley Turcotte Website | Twitter For as long as she can remember, Ashley’s been a fan of all subgenres of fantasy. Ever since she found a copy of A Wrinkle in Time in a closet at her grandparents’ house, she’s loved the idea that there can be something more than just the normal world in which she lives, and reveled in the escape that such a book can provide. Even though people tried to talk her out of it, she majored in English in college, with a concentration in creative writing. They said she’d never get a high paying job. She said there was literally nothing else she wanted to do in this world. And that’s a choice she’s never regretted. She’s worked for three years as a copy editor, and she’s represented by Lisa Jane Weller with Broadland Literary. STARTING BID: $10 TURNAROUND TIME allow two weeks for query critiques + 1st chapters, four weeks for partials, and six weeks for full critiques. Donors will discuss turnaround times with winners. All winning bids are guaranteed. Should some unforeseen event happen, money will be returned to winner or the winner may choose to have Brenda Drake provide the...

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Bonus Auction Item 8: Query + 1st 25 Pages Critique by Agent Intern, Kyra Nelson
Jul14

Bonus Auction Item 8: Query + 1st 25 Pages Critique by Agent Intern, Kyra Nelson

About this item: A query and first 25 pages of your manuscript critique. Donated by … Kyra M. Nelson Website | Twitter Kyra (pronounced with a long i, as in ice) Nelson. She’s been interning with A+B Works Literary Agency for about two years, and she’s read a ton of query letters. She’s learned a lot in her time at the agency, and she wants to pass some of her knowledge on. Kyra’s currently pursuing her MA in linguistics. She has a BA in English language from Brigham Young University with minors in editing and English. She’s a compulsive thing-doer. She likes to be busy, whether it’s reading, writing, watching sports, playing violin, baking cookies, traveling, decorating cakes, or just goofing off with friends. She loves adventure, even if it’s a small adventure like roasting Starbursts over the open flame of her stove top. Feel free to submit questions to thoughtsfromtheagentdesk @ gmail.com She also does query critiques, which can be submitted at the email address above. If you’re interested in any of her other editorial services, email her for more information. STARTING BID: $10 TURNAROUND TIME allow two weeks for query critiques + 1st chapters, four weeks for partials, and six weeks for full critiques. Donors will discuss turnaround times with winners. All winning bids are guaranteed. Should some unforeseen event happen, money will be returned to winner or the winner may choose to have Brenda Drake provide the...

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Bonus Auction Item 9: Marketing Consultation by Dea Poirier
Jul14

Bonus Auction Item 9: Marketing Consultation by Dea Poirier

About this item: A couple hour marketing consultation, which can include advice on building audience for website, SEO, website usability, and email marketing.  Donated by … Poirier Pages Dee Poirier Website | Twitter I’m an internet and email marketing professional located in the Orlando, Florida area. Above all else, I have a passion for email marketing — Weird right? Second to that, ecommerce. Improving conversions, following trends, forecasting, these are the things that make me tick. I’m turning my thirteen years of experience with usability, conversion rate optimization, email marketing, and ecommerce into tips that can help you improve your business. Why? Because I want to see more marketing that works. I love nothing more than seeing a great campaign that moves me. Whether it moves me to buy, click, or just interact. I’ve also spent years in the development and design trenches. This gives me an intense focus on usability and conversion rate optimization through design.  Most importantly, I make websites that work for customers. Clicks are worth nothing if they don’t become dollars. Some of my previous clients include fortune 100 companies, as seen on TV products, entertainment icons, and giants in the travel, healthcare, and ecommerce industries. If you’re looking for an email marketing consultant – I’m not currently seeking clients. If you want to reach out anyway, feel free. However, if you are in the travel industry, I’m sorry but my current commitments will prevent me from doing any consulting for you. To contact me, please email me here. STARTING BID: $10 TURNAROUND TIME allow two weeks for query critiques + 1st chapters, four weeks for partials, and six weeks for full critiques. Donors will discuss turnaround times with winners. All winning bids are guaranteed. Should some unforeseen event happen, money will be returned to winner or the winner may choose to have Brenda Drake provide the...

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