PREPARING FOR PITCH WARS: What Should You Be Doing In June by mentor Michael Mammay
Jun06

PREPARING FOR PITCH WARS: What Should You Be Doing In June by mentor Michael Mammay

PREPARING FOR PITCH WARS What Should You Be Doing In June You may have heard, Pitch Wars is coming up. Sure, it’s still a couple months away, but obsession season starts in like four weeks. What’s obsession season? That’s where we spend all kinds of time talking about it on the #pitchwars hashtag and dreaming of success instead of actually writing. Or maybe that was just me. I was thinking about what I could write this year leading up to the contest, and I was originally going to start the series in July. But then I remembered I don’t have a job right now, and my manuscript is off with readers, so I don’t have anything to do. So hey, what if there are people who are already thinking about it? What can we do for people who want to start preparing NOW. So, here’s what I did for you. I polled people who successfully got into Pitch Wars over the last three years, and asked them a series of questions. The majority of the answers came from the class of 2016, because they’re still kind of new and probably think it’s a good idea to do what I say. They’ll learn. But I digress. Here’s what our successful entrants had to say about what they’d being doing in June:   1. Prepare your materials and trade pages with Critique Partners. This is by far the number one answer. I got 70 responses to the poll, and this came up in some form in about 60 of them. Trade your query, trade your first chapter, trade whatever you can get somebody else to read. More eyes on your manuscript can only help. With that said, I’m going to include some of the different takes on that answer: Ashley D. MacKenzie said: [Get] critique from trusted critique partners — even if you haven’t actually finished the MS by June. I was about 3/4 finished in June both years I got in, but waited until I was this close to done (in July) before sending it out for last-call feedback. Do it earlier, even if you aren’t finished. Laura Creedle, the author of THE LOVE LETTERS of ABELARD and LILY (Coming December 26th) said: Having multiple beta readers before I did pitch wars helped immensely. I still had a lot of work do do with my mentor, but not an insurmountable pile of revisions. There’s only so much you can do in a month. Rachel Griffin said: I’d get involved early. Swap queries and first chapters with other hopefuls, follow the hashtag, and ask questions when you have them. The community...

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Day 20 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with Mentors Stacey Trombley, Rebecca Sky, Kristen Ciccarelli & Joanna Hathaway
Jun06

Day 20 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with Mentors Stacey Trombley, Rebecca Sky, Kristen Ciccarelli & Joanna Hathaway

Welcome to our Query and 1st Page Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected writers to participate in our query and first page workshops. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or 500 word opening from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting four critiques per day (except weekends) through July 7. Our hope is that these samples will help shine up your query and first page and that you’ll get to know some of our wonderful Pitch Wars mentors. We appreciate our mentors for giving up their time to do the critiques. If you have something encouraging to add, feel free to comment below. Please keep all comments tasteful. We will delete any inappropriate or hurtful ones. First up we have … Pitch Wars Mentors Stacey Trombley and Rebecca Sky . . . www.StaceyTrombley.com Connect with Stacey here- Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads www.RebeccaSky.com Connect with Rebecca here- Twitter | Wattpad | Facebook | The Punkettes   Naked by Stacey Trombley The best place to hide is in a lie… I could never fit in to the life my parents demanded. By the time I was thirteen, it was too much so I ran away to New York City and found a nightmare that lasted three years. A nightmare that began and ended with a pimp named Luis. Now I am Dirty Anna. Broken, like everything inside me has gone bad. Except that for the first time, I have a chance to start over. Not just with my parents but at school. Still, the rumors follow me everywhere. Down the hall. In classes. And the only hope I can see is in the wide, brightly lit smile of Jackson, the boy next door. So I lie to him. I lie to protect him from my past. I lie so that I don’t have to be The Girl Who Went Bad. The only problem is that someone in my school knows about New York. Someone knows who I really am. And it’s just a matter of time before the real Anna is exposed… On Goodreads | On Amazon Stacey and Rebecca’s Query  Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Science Fiction/Fantasy Dear Agent, Fifteen-year old Corey is an Other who can heal any physical injury. The downside? Every bruise and fracture his father inflicts disappears so fast, nobody on the outside believes he’s been beaten. He’s stuck. [Good hooky opening; got me curious about Other’s and feeling sympathy for Corey’s situation. The first sentence felt a little clunky to me. Maybe an em-dash might help break it up, eg, “Fifteen-year old Corey is an...

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RULES FOR THIEVES by Pitch Wars mentor, Alexandra Ott … release day!
Jun06

RULES FOR THIEVES by Pitch Wars mentor, Alexandra Ott … release day!

Publisher: Aladdin/S&S Release Date: June 6, 2017 Genre: Fantasy Ages: 8-12 Pages: 320 ISBN-13: 9781481472746 ISBN-10:  1481472747 Rules for Thieves Now Available! After twelve-year-old orphan Alli Rosco is cursed with a deadly spell, she must join the legendary Thieves Guild in order to try and save herself in this high-stakes debut. Twelve-year-old Alli Rosco is smart, resourceful, and totally incapable of keeping her mouth shut. Some of these traits have served her well during her nine years in Azeland’s orphanage, and others have proved more troublesome…but now that she’s escaped to try her luck on the streets, she has bigger problems than extra chores to contend with. Surviving would be hard enough, but after a run-in with one of the city’s Protectors, she’s marked by a curse that’s slowly working its way to her heart. There is a cure, but the cost is astronomical—and seems well out of her reach. Enter Beck, a boy with a gift for theft and a touch of magic, who seems almost too good to be true. He tells Alli that the legendary Thieves Guild, long thought to be a myth, is real. Even better, Beck is a member and thinks she could be, too. All she has to do is pass the trial that the King of Thieves will assign to her. Join the Guild, collect her yearly reward and buy a cure. Plus, Alli hopes the Guild will be the home—the family—that Alli has always wanted. But when their trial goes wrong, innocent lives are put in danger, and Alli has to decide how much she can sacrifice in order to survive. Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | Simon and Schuster Target.com | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play Praise for Rules for Thieves … “Alli’s southern European–inflected fantasy world is built carefully and tightly, complete with class structures, customs, and a patron saint–centered culture. The ending isn’t squeaky clean but provides a sense of closure as Alli makes a meaningful discovery about her heritage. A smooth debut.” —Kirkus Reviews (See full review here: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/alexandra-ott/rules-for-thieves/) “This debut novel introduces readers to a fantastic world of orphans, thieves, magic, and adventure. Characters are well developed and balanced… The plot is fast-paced and addresses ethical dilemmas… This compelling debut fantasy novel with complex themes, lots of action, and a good cast of characters will appeal to fantasy readers across the spectrum.” —School Library Journal About the author … Alexandra Ott writes middle grade and young adult fiction. Her debut middle grade fantasy novel Rules for Thieves was published by Aladdin/Simon and Schuster in June 2017. A sequel will follow in 2018. Alex graduated from the University of Tulsa, where she studied English. She is...

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Welcome to the Slipstream by Natalka Burian . . . Release Day!
Jun06

Welcome to the Slipstream by Natalka Burian . . . Release Day!

    TITLE: Welcome to the Slipstream AUTHOR: Natalka Burian PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse (June 6, 2017) Amazon   About the book . . . Seventeen-year-old Van and her peripatetic lifestyle-loving mom move to Las Vegas. Van’s mother, Sofia, has been hired to helm the Silver Saddle, a crumbling casino off the strip. In Vegas, Van makes new friends, and is even invited to join an all girl, Sleater-Kinney-style band. Van–and the Silver Saddle–are left in the lurch when the brilliant but unstable Sofia disappears on a vision quest. Van buys a bus ticket, setting off into the desert to track Sofia down and bring her home.   About Natalka Burian . . . Twitter | Website Natalka Burian received an MA from Columbia University where she studied Eastern European literature with an emphasis on the work of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. She is the co-owner of two bars, Elsa and Ramona, and City of Daughters, a line of specialty cocktail goods. She is the co-founder of the Freya Project, a feminist fundraising reading series that supports small, non-profit organizations doing crucial work in communities that do not support that work. Welcome to the Slipstream is her first...

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Secrets of Southern Girls by Haley Harrigan . . . Release Day and Giveaway!
Jun06

Secrets of Southern Girls by Haley Harrigan . . . Release Day and Giveaway!

  TITLE: Secrets of Southern Girls AUTHOR: Haley Harrigan PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Landmark (June 6, 2017) Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Avid Bookshop   About the book . . . In Secrets of Southern Girls, the powerful, affecting debut from Haley Harrigan, a young woman uncovers devastating secrets about the friend she thinks she killed… Ten years ago, Julie Portland accidentally killed her best friend, Reba. What’s worse is she got away with it. Consumed by guilt, she left the small town of Lawrence Mill, Mississippi, and swore nothing would ever drag her back. Now, raising her daughter and struggling to make ends meet in Manhattan, Julie still can’t forget the ghost of a girl with golden hair and a dangerous secret. When August, Reba’s first love, begs Julie to come home to find the diary that Reba kept all those years ago, Julie’s past comes creeping back to haunt her. That diary could expose the shameful memories Julie has been running from, but it could also unearth the hidden truths that Reba left buried…and reveal that Julie isn’t the only one who feels responsible for Reba’s death. In fact, she may not be responsible at all.   About Haley Harrigan . . . Twitter | Website Haley Harrigan graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in creative writing and public relations. She lives in Athens, Georgia, with her husband. Secrets of Southern Girls is her debut.  Visit her website at www.haleyharrigan.com or on Twitter @HCHarrigan.   The Giveaway . . . a Rafflecopter...

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