Day 41 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Gail Villanueva, Isabelle Adrid, & Heather Cashman
Jul06

Day 41 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Gail Villanueva, Isabelle Adrid, & Heather Cashman

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 Gail Villanueva and Isabelle Adrid … Gail Villanueva is a Filipina author based in the Philippines. She runs a design studio with her husband in the outskirts of Manila, but also does freelance copywriting on the side. When not in front of her computer coding a website or writing a story, you’ll find her in the backyard, playing with four dogs, five ducks, a chicken, a turtle, and a cat. Gail writes upmarket MG, both historical and contemporary, and with elements of magic. Her fiction is represented by Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media Group. Find Gail: Twitter | Website Isabelle Adrid is a YA author who writes contemporary fiction with speculative elements. She is also an avid reader of MG books. She was born and raised in San Diego, and she currently resides in the Philippines. When she’s not writing or reading books, you’ll find her binge-watching TV shows, movies, and Korean dramas. Her work is represented by Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary and Management. Find Isabelle: Twitter | Website Gail and Isabelle’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Dark Epic Fantasy Dear _____: I am seeking representation for my YA dark epic fantasy with a Middle Eastern-inspired setting. Seventeen-year-old resistance fighter Sidara has a wit as sharp as her sword [Sidara sounds like a cool heroine, one who isn’t your stereotypical damsel in distress. But who is Sidara apart from her sharp wit? Is she a princess? A soldier? A magic user? A commoner? A blacksmith? An assassin? Specifying what makes Sidara special will also help set the tone of your query. We will have no doubt it’s a fantasy, because right now, “resistance fighter” and “sword” alone gives us historical vibes instead of fantasy.]  and nothing left to lose [While “nothing to lose” can give the impression that Sidara has something going on that brought her into such state, it would...

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Day 41 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors Naomi Hughes and Kellye Garrett
Jul06

Day 41 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors Naomi Hughes and Kellye Garrett

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 Mentor Naomi Hughes  …   Website | Editing Website | Twitter Naomi Hughes has been a freelance editor for a little over three years, as well as occasionally serving as an Assistant Editor over at Entangled Publishing. She’s also a YA/MG writer herself and loves to hide sneaky fandom references (Doctor Who! Pacific Rim! Sherlock!) in her quirky speculative fiction stories. She lives in the rural South with her husband, daughter, and a border collie named after a character from Avatar: The Last Airbender. You can follow her on Twitter at @NaomiLHughes.   Naomi’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: Adult GENRE: SCI-FI Dear Pitch Wars Query Mentor, Izzy Rodriguez’s life is unraveling fast. [This isn’t the strongest opening sentence; it feels similar to the very common “Xyz character was normal until” opening in that it could describe pretty much any main character from any story. Try getting us immediately into the specifics of her conflict instead by starting out with something like “When x happens, Izzy Rodriguez must do y.”] She will soon lose her job and her mentor, and may be forced into servitude. To save her freedom, Izzy must campaign to become the next leader of the moon base. [This feels like a potentially super cool premise! However, it’s not clear why exactly campaigning is her only alternative to forced servitude, so I’m left a little confused as a reader. To make this feel like a snappier logline type of opening, try shortening it into one streamlined sentence that gives us a succinct overview of the conflict before you go into more depth below–otherwise, it feels like this is simply the beginning of your story rather than its logline, which is where the confusion results. A good logline might be something along the lines of “Locked in a heated political race on a desolate moon...

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Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett . . . signed ARC Giveaway!
Jul06

Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett . . . signed ARC Giveaway!

TITLE: Hollywood Homicide AUTHOR: Kellye Garrett PUBLISHER: Midnight Ink (August 8, 2017)   Pre-order links . . . Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads   About the book . . . Dayna Anderson doesn’t set out to solve a murder. All the semi-famous, mega-broke black actress wants is to help her parents keep their house. After witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she figures pursuing the fifteen-grand reward isn’t the craziest thing a Hollywood actress has done for some cash. But what starts as simply trying to remember a speeding car soon blossoms into a full-on investigation. As Dayna digs deeper into the victim’s life, she wants more than just reward money. She’s determined to find the poor woman’s killer too. When she connects the accident to a notorious Hollywood crime spree, Dayna chases down leads at paparazzi hot spots, celeb homes and movie premieres. She loves every second—until someone tries to kill her. And there are no second takes in real life. Praise for Hollywood Homicide . . . “Veteran TV writer Garrett uses her Cold Case experience to inform her debut, which sets up more than one charming character and isn’t afraid to go cynical on all things LA.”—Kirkus Reviews “Fun, smart, endearingly flawed and impressively determined, Dayna Anderson is a heroine readers will fall in love with immediately. I relished every unexpected twist and turn of this highly entertaining mystery!”—Kyra Davis, New York Times bestselling author “Hollywood Homicide is a non-stop fun read with humor sharp as a stiletto heel. Heroine Dayna Anderson . . . is smart, self-deprecating and flat-out hilarious.”—Ellen Byron, Agatha-nominated and USA Today bestselling author of The Cajun Country Mysteries “Hollywood Homicide has a heart as big as Los Angeles, a plot as twisty as the 110 Freeway and a heroine just as complex as the burger battle between In N Out and Fatburger. Kellye Garrett makes you laugh and then, hits you in the gut—like a great novelist should. Can’t wait for the next adventure with Garrett and Dayna Anderson!”—Rachel Howzell Hall, author of critically-acclaimed LAPD Detective Elouise Norton series “There’s a spunky new sleuth in town: Dayna Anderson takes readers on a madcap ride through the underbelly of La La Land, laced with high fashion, Twitter feeds, celebrities—and murder!”—Lucy Burdette, author of the bestselling Key West Food Critic Mysteries “Buckle up for a fun, fast-paced joyride through the streets of Los Angeles. Hollywood Homicide is packed with action and suspense, but it’s Garrett’s fresh voice and sharp dialogue that really sets this book apart. A delight from start to finish!”—Marla Cooper, author of the Destination Wedding Mystery series “Funny, twisty, compelling. Hollywood Homicide is the whole...

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