Pitch Wars Success Story with Heidi Stallman and Her Mentor Jessica Vitalis!
May30

Pitch Wars Success Story with Heidi Stallman and Her Mentor Jessica Vitalis!

  Our favorite part of hosting pitch contests around here is when we hear about successes. Today we celebrate Heidi Stallman and her Pitch Wars mentor Jessica Vitalis! Heidi recently signed with Lisa Rogers of JABerwocky Literary Agency, and we’re so over-the-moon excited for yer. So please join me in congratulating Heidi and Jessica as they share with us their awesome Pitch Wars success story.   Heidi, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Jessica? A number of things jumped out at me as I read Jessica’s blog post describing her critiquing style and manuscript wish list. Her critique partners had glowing things to say about her. She also said that she was going to make her mentee work very hard but she would be there to cheer him or her on the whole way. Most of all, everything about her post was genuine, sincere and confident. She was one of the few mentees who didn’t use a ton of gifs in her posts — nothing gimmicky, nothing that tried too hard. Just a straight, honest post about what she had to offer and what she wanted in return. That really resonated with me. I wanted someone with strong editorial skills. I wanted to work hard. I wanted encouragement from someone who loved my story. But most of all I wanted someone who would understand the heart of my story and the way I work because she’s a genuine, sincere person with a big heart, and I found that in Jessica. Jessica, what about Heidi’s application made you choose her? I was drawn to the magical premise and when I read the first chapter, I thought the writing was solid. But it wasn’t until I got to the journal entry at the end of the first chapter that I fell in love. The manuscript had structural issues, but since the voice was there and the writing was strong, I knew we could whip it into shape before the agent round. I also appreciated her thorough and professional response to my follow-up inquiry about her writing history (which I sent before making my final decision); it was clear to me that we’d work well together and she wasn’t a raving lunatic. J Heidi, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars? It was intense, stressful and exciting. I chose to treat this experience like I would treat being chosen by an agent and then having to do an extensive round of revisions before going on submission. I trusted that my mentor truly loved my story and chose it because she had strong ideas of how to make it better. I also trusted myself enough...

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ARIEL, THE FIRST GUARDIAN by Sydney Scrogham . . . Cover Reveal and Path to Publishing
May30

ARIEL, THE FIRST GUARDIAN by Sydney Scrogham . . . Cover Reveal and Path to Publishing

TITLE: Ariel, The First Guardian AUTHOR: Sydney Scrogham PUBLISHER: Agalrae Creative RELEASE DATE: June 17, 2016 AMAZON  |  GOODREADS   About the Book . . . Abuse survivor Ariel Harte doesn’t need anyone. Ever. But her companion animal is infected with a dark, magical force. Only an ancient purification ritual, the mind link, performed with another human can cure this infection. Ariel must ask her ex-boyfriend, Ryan Tracey, for help. But she’s racing time. She’s infected, too. All the walls will have to come down so Ariel can heal or she will lose herself to the darkness forever. Ariel: The First Guardian is a story of true love that wins over time, the power of second chances, and redemption from abuse. This is a prequel to Chase in the Guardians of Agalrae series but can be enjoyed as a standalone novel. Sydney speaks about her path to self-publishing . . . My decision to self-publish wasn’t an easy one. In a world where publishing is becoming as diverse as the people behind it, I knew I needed a vision for my next book. If not, someone else would end up turning it into their vision, and that’s not something I wanted to compromise. Ariel: The First Guardian began as a way to cleanse my emotions from a bad break-up. But it escalated into so much more as I wrote. Ariel Harte, the strongest character I’ve ever written, comes from a background of sexual abuse. Her story packs a powerful message of redemption and finding life after trauma. I knew I couldn’t surrender Ariel’s story to just any publisher. And so, for the first time in my writing career, I rejected not one but two traditional publishing offers. I don’t say this to gloat, but rather to emphasize that when I say I chose self-publishing, I really chose self-publishing. As a writer wanting to publish for the long-haul, I think it’s important to have a vision for my work. Writing the story is only 2/3 of the battle. After weighing the pros and cons of traditional and self-publishing, I decided self-publishing was for me because of the control.     Sydney Scrogham Website  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest Sydney Scrogham loves creating happy endings. She started writing when she was 12. Her first book, Chase, was published by Koehler Books in August 2015. When she’s not writing, she’s at the barn with Snowdy or catching up on reruns of the best TV show ever – Castle. She lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia with an adorable dachshund named...

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