Pitch Wars LIVE #8: Middle Grade Mentors
Jul26

Pitch Wars LIVE #8: Middle Grade Mentors

What an informative night on Pitch Wars LIVE! Our Middle Grade mentors talked writing in today’s market and how to capture that perfect middle grade voice. There was also some minor brawling among mentors via unicorn. Didn’t get to catch it live? Check out the recorded episode below. Be sure to reference the schedule for upcoming shows in your manuscript’s age category. All episodes can be found on a playlist on the Pitch Wars Youtube Page here. And join us Thursday for the next round of Young Adult mentors!...

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Pitch Wars 2017: Middle Grade Mentor Spotlights (Part 3)
Jul26

Pitch Wars 2017: Middle Grade Mentor Spotlights (Part 3)

We’re so grateful for our Pitch Wars mentors! They give so much to help other authors succeed, and we couldn’t have Pitch Wars without them. So please help me in thanking the mentors for all they do via twitter, the comments, or on the Pitchwars Proboards. Pitch Wars 2017 MIDDLE GRADE Mentors   Co-Mentors, Laura Shovan & Tricia Clasen Laura Shovan Twitter | Website Laura Shovan is a Poetry Friday blogger, former editor for Little Patuxent Review and editor of two poetry anthologies. Her chapbook, Mountain, Log, Salt and Stone, won the inaugural Harriss Poetry Prize. Laura works with children as a poet-in-the-schools and is currently serving as the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society’s Writer-in-Residence. The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, her novel-in-verse for children, will be published April 12 (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House). The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan Goodreads | Indiebound | Random House Laura Shovan’s engaging, big-hearted debut is a time capsule of one class’s poems during a transformative school year. Families change and new friendships form as these terrific kids grow up and move on in this whimsical novel-in-verse about finding your voice and making sure others hear it. 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. Tricia Clasen Twitter | Website Tricia is a college professor of communication at University of Wisconsin-Rock County. She is co-editor of Gendered Identities: Critical Readings of Gender in Children’s and Young Adult Literature, forthcoming Fall of 2016 by Routledge. She grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. Always a lover of a good story, she spent her days reading and dreaming of being a writer, though she never wrote any fiction until much later. After many years off exploring, she returned to her much-too-frigid home state where she lives with her husband and two girls, her parents, and what seems like small zoo. Most of her time goes to shuttling her kids to dance and trying to get the glitter off the kitchen floor as well as planning trips to much warmer destinations. Her debut novel, THE HAUNTED HOUSE PROJECT, will be published in October by Sky Pony Press. The Haunted House Project by Tricia Clasen Goodreads | Indiebound | Sky Pony Since her mom died, Andie’s family has crumbled. Instead of working, her dad gambles away insurance money, while her sister, Paige, has put her future on hold in order to pick up extra waitressing shifts. Andie’s afraid of what will...

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Pitch Wars 2017: Middle Grade Mentor Spotlights (Part 2)
Jul26

Pitch Wars 2017: Middle Grade Mentor Spotlights (Part 2)

  We’re so grateful for our Pitch Wars mentors! They give so much to help other authors succeed, and we couldn’t have Pitch Wars without them. So please help me in thanking the mentors for all they do via twitter, the comments, or on the Pitchwars Proboards.   Pitch Wars 2017 MIDDLE GRADE Mentors Co-Mentors, Jenna Lehne & Tara Creel Jenna Lehne Website | Twitter Jenna Lehne writes spooky MG/YA words and blogs for @Mdnight_Society She is represented by Gina Panettieri with Talcott Notch Literary. Tara Creel Website | Twitter Tara Creel write books for children. Particularly picture books and middle grade.  She also offers editorial services for writers.   She reviews books for The Deseret News. She is also an editor for Month9Books, Tantrum Division. All of that means that she gets to read and write for work and for fun. Jenny Lundquist  Website | Twitter Jenny Lundquist is a MG & YA Author. Some of her titles include Seeing Cinderella, The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby (9/17) and The Carnival of Wishes and Dreams (Spring 2019). Jenny painted an orphanage in Mexico, taught English at a university in Russia, and hopes one day to kiss her husband at a café in Paris. She lives in northern California with her wonderful husband Ryan, our two sons and Rambo, the world’s whiniest cat. Jenny is represented by Kerry Sparks of Levine Greenberg Agency.   Jessica Bayliss Twitter | Website | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads Jessica Bayliss is a fiction author who loves all things reading and writing. A clinical psychologist by day and a writer all the time, her genre-bending fiction holds a little something for everyone. She has been a lover ghost tales and horror since her days scanning VHS rental shelves—admittedly with eyes half-averted from the gory covers—so a touch of the mysterious always finds a home in Jessica’s work. Romance with a dash of supernatural. Horror with a bit of humor. You get the gist. Jessica also writes across age groups, whether young or not-so-young. Because one cannot live on writing alone, Jessica also spends a great deal of time with friends and family. She is a lover of all animals especially one very special Havanese. She also loves to eat, cook, and exercise—in that order—and is a firm believer that coffee makes the world a better place.   Co-Mentors Jessica Vitalis & Julie Artz Jessica Vitalis  Website | Twitter Jessica Vitalis is a middle grade novelist represented by Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch. An active member of the literary community, she volunteers as a Pitch Wars mentor, with the We Need Diverse Books campaign, and writes for The Winged Pen. When she’s not pursuing her literary interests, Jessica can be found preparing for her upcoming move to Canada (or eating copious amounts of chocolate). Julie Artz  Website | Twitter Julie Artz spent her childhood sneaking into wardrobes hoping to find Narnia. Now that...

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LOVE OVER LATTES by Diana A. Hicks . . . Cover Reveal!
Jul26

LOVE OVER LATTES by Diana A. Hicks . . . Cover Reveal!

Title: Love Over Lattes Author: Diana A. Hicks Publisher: The Wild Rose Press Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press . . . In this contemporary, #ownvoices debut set in the Southwest, single mom and recent graduate gets more than she bargained for when she accepts the help of a sexy as hell businessman fighting to keep his company. Single mom Valentina wants to provide a good life for her son, starting with the perfect home. When the deal on her dream house falls through, rather than move back in with her parents and disappoint them and her son once again, she accepts the help of the intimidating-as-hell stranger she’s admired from her coffee shop seat for the last six months. She’s afraid to fall for the wrong guy again, so she makes Cole promise to keep their relationship strictly professional. Following his failed marriage, Cole can’t find a reason to care about anything or anyone. Saving his company from his ex-wife is the only thing that has kept him afloat for the past six months. As loneliness sets in and he begins to lose the fight over his company, Valentina becomes his lifeline. Cole wants to be more than her landlord, and he has a plan to get her to release him from his promise. Find out more at www.DianaHicksBooks.com   About the Author . . . Diana A. Hicks Website Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest Diana became an avid reader when she found her first romance novel tucked away in a corner of her high school library. The more books she read, the more she wanted to be a writer. Diana has a Master’s degree in information systems and accountancy, and for many years worked for a major Fortune 100 telecommunications company as an IT project manager (As one does when pursuing a career as a romance author.). These days, when she’s not writing, Diana enjoys running half marathons, traveling, and indulging in the simple joys of life like wine and chocolate. She lives in Atlanta, and loves spending time with her two children and husband. Visit her online at www.DianaHicksBooks.com, or on Twitter at...

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Pitch Wars 2017: Middle Grade Mentor Spotlights (Part 1)
Jul26

Pitch Wars 2017: Middle Grade Mentor Spotlights (Part 1)

  We’re so grateful for our Pitch Wars mentors! They give so much to help other authors succeed, and we couldn’t have Pitch Wars without them. So please help me in thanking the mentors for all they do via twitter, the comments, or on the Pitchwars Proboards.   Pitch Wars 2017 MIDDLE GRADE Mentors Alexandra Ott  Website | Twitter 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 currently an editorial intern at Entangled Publishing. In her spare time, she plays the flute, eats a lot of chocolate, and reads just about everything. She lives in Oklahoma with her tiny canine overlord. Rules for Thieves by Alexandra Ott Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | Simon and Schuster | Target.com | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play 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.   Amanda Conran Website | Facebook | Twitter When A. E. Conran (Amanda) is not writing her own children’s books or working as a freelance editor, she is a children’s book specialist, school book fair book talker and children’s book club facilitator at the renowned Bay Area independent bookstore, Book Passage, Corte...

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