THE STRANGE AND DEADLY PORTRAITS OF BRYONY GRAY by E. Latimer . . . Cover Reveal and ARC Giveaway!
May26

THE STRANGE AND DEADLY PORTRAITS OF BRYONY GRAY by E. Latimer . . . Cover Reveal and ARC Giveaway!

  Title: The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray Author: E. Latimer Release Date: February 13th 2018 Publisher: Tundra Books (February 13, 2018) Age Range: 10 and up Grade Level: 5 and up About The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray . . . Lemony Snicket meets Oscar Wilde meets Edgar Allan Poe in this exciting and scary middle-grade novel inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray — a family curse is unleased! Bryony Gray is becoming famous as a painter in London art circles. But life isn’t so grand. Her uncle keeps her locked in the attic, forcing her to paint for his rich clients . . . and now her paintings are taking on a life of their own, and customers are going missing under mysterious circumstances. When her newest painting escapes the canvas and rampages through the streets of London, Bryony digs into her family history, discovering some rather scandalous secrets her uncle has been keeping, including a deadly curse she’s inherited from her missing father. It turns out, Bryony has accidentally unleashed the Gray family curse, and it’s spreading fast. With a little help from the strange-but-beautiful girl next door and her paranoid brother, Bryony sets out to break the curse, dodging bloodthirsty paintings, angry mobs and her wicked uncle along the way. PRE-ORDER HERE: Indigo | Amazon | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads   ARC Giveaway . . . Winner of the advanced reader copy of The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray will be selected from people who RETWEET the post and TAG E. Latimer.   Some questions for E. Latimer . . . What was your inspiration for writing The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray? I have a very real love of all things 19th century London, and I already knew my middle grade voice is very much suited to that time period. I was grasping about for ideas of what to write next. I keep on my desk, a beautifully bound copy of the complete works of Oscar Wilde, and in that book was the story of Dorian Gray, which sparked my line of thinking: What if Dorian secretly had a daughter? What if the curse hadn’t quite been broken in the end? Soon after that, Bryony Gray was born. How did you get into writing? I’ve been writing terrible stories for as long as I can remember. Since the moment I could hold a pencil properly, I imagine. Luckily, they’ve become less terrible over the years. At least, I think they have. Were you inspired by other authors when you wrote Strange and Deadly Portraits? There’s a rather wonderful description my publishers have put on the...

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Day 12 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Niki Lenz and Emily Colin
May24

Day 12 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Niki Lenz and Emily Colin

  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 Niki Lenz . . . Twitter | Website Niki Lenz lives in Kansas City with her police officer husband and two elementary aged children. She attended Southwest Baptist University and has worked as a teacher, a wedding planner, and a stay at home mom.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, travel and renovating campers.  She writes wacky MG and is represented by Kate Testerman at KT Literary.   Niki’s Query  Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Middle Grade GENRE: Fantasy Reformed pirates, a sassy parrot, bewitched children, and a dragon come together in The Abode to reverse a spell that’s turned a valley of dragons into a house of captive children. [I think this hook is a bit long.  You want it to be short and snappy.  The part about the valley of dragons being turned into a house of captive children is the heart of it, so I’d suggest reworking that for a first line.] The Abode is a cold, unwelcoming place surrounded by mists, where Molly and other children spend their days cutting up fish. [Perfectly dreary!] As deeply as Molly wishes for a different life, this rule of the Abode stops her: Do Not Step Into the Mists Alone. You Will Die. [I’d cut ‘You Will Die’ as it is strongly implied] Molly’s friend Fel, defeated by a long punishment, plunges into the mists one day and vanishes. Molly grieves for her friend. [I’d also cut ‘Molly grieves for her friend, as it is also implied.] The first crack in Molly’s world appears when Fel walks back out of the mists, alive. The mists have not harmed Fel. Instead they’ve carried her to the wide world and helped her return to rescue Molly [Maybe combine the last two sentences so it reads “The mists have carried Fel to the wide...

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Pitch Wars Webinars: Rejection Correction–Why am I getting rejected? with Mentor CM McCoy
May24

Pitch Wars Webinars: Rejection Correction–Why am I getting rejected? with Mentor CM McCoy

WEBINARS Pitch Wars Webinars Presents… The second of two special small group educational series…. Rejection Correction: Why am I getting rejected? Rejection Correction is a week-long, online workshop held inside a secret Facebook group and led by author and Literary Agency PR Manager/Associate Agent, Colleen Oefelein (author CM McCoy). Participants will focus on the first page and the routine pitfalls that make an agent stop reading. Colleen will discuss the common reasons agents and editors reject, and then examine the way forward after rejection, whether it’s tweaking the project or seeking alternate agents to query. She will discuss how rejection language translates into real-life, optional manuscript tweaks to address the rejection feedback. This workshop will help you to identify feedback you can use to improve your MS as opposed to feedback that is too vague to be of use, or rejection language that simply suggests the author should seek an alternate champion for their project. Colleen may also cover cliches, telling vs showing, deep point of view, naming emotions, filtering, engine-cranking, cart-before-the-horse, logic, and the basic elements of a “magnetic” first page. Participants have an opportunity to share their query plus first page and receive personal feedback from Colleen and the other participants.   **Note — This workshop is a critique, not an evaluation of the author’s work, and the author’s work will not be considered for representation through this workshop.**   The Details . . . When: The program will be self-paced during the week of June 10-17 and is expected to take about five hours. What: Participants should bring their query, first page, and their rejections (if they have any), both the vague and the concrete. Cost: $50 Please note: Registration is limited to the first FIFTEEN (15) participants. This webinar is now putting names on a wait-list until all the current registrants have paid. Please, fill out the form to be put on the waiting list but DO NOT PAY until you are contacted via email. About Colleen Oefelein.. . . Colleen Oefelein (author CM McCoy) has one pointed ear, a 70-pound puppy from Hell, and a very active imagination. She’s well aware nobody can say or spell her real last name, hence the pen name. You can call her Colleen. She’s a retired Air Force officer, an author, a blogger, and the PR manager for Inklings Literary Agency, where she’s also an agent assistant. When she’s not chatting with her imaginary friends, she’s either stuck in a book or interviewing with PEOPLE Magazine, ABC’s 20/20, the local morning news show, or INSIDE EDITION, where she promotes writing for mental and emotional health. She also mentors...

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Day 12 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Kit Grant and Laura Brown
May24

Day 12 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Kit Grant and Laura Brown

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 Kit Grant … Kester Grant is a British-Mauritian writer of color, and debut author of A Court of Miracles (Fall 2018, Knopf, Random House), a Young Adult fantasy reimagining of the Jungle Book and Les Miserables, and the first of a trilogy. She was born in London, grew up between the UK, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the tropical island paradise of Mauritius.  As a wanton nomad she and her husband are unsure which country they currently reside in but they can generally be found surrounded by their fiendish pack of cats and dogs. Kes lurks with intent on Twitter, Goodreads, Tumblr, Instagram and her blog. Kit’s Query  Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Contemporary Dear ______, I’m _MyName_, an American living in the UK, [your bio information ; your name/country of residence/nationality and previous interactions with this agent would be better reserved for a paragraph after your book ‘pitch’.] and seeking representation for my novel, THE TALENT, a contemporary YA book of about 50,000 words [The wordcount can come later, use your first paragraph to grab interest,] . I’ve written to you and two other agents in my early attempts to find representation. [unless this agent specifically asked you to revise and resubmit, or asked to see any of your future work, I’d advise against saying this, also its not important that you queried two other agents, the main focus of a query letter should be your book and what it is about, everything else is fluff. Remember agents are reading a TON of queries daily.] You were __insert specifics to this agent__ [I am assuming this paragraph is personalisation? I’ve talked about that a bit below]. I’m aiming at just my first choices because I know the agent-writer relationship is one that is unique and requires mutual affinity (read that as “I like you already and I hope you...

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Day 8 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors Kip Wilson, Amanda Rawson Hill, and Cindy Baldwin
May18

Day 8 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors Kip Wilson, Amanda Rawson Hill, and Cindy Baldwin

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 Kip Wilson … Twitter  |  Website Kip is a YA writer represented by Roseanne Wells at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. She has a Ph.D. in German Literature and is the Poetry Editor at YARN. Her work has been published in the TIMELESS and SPAIN FROM A BACKPACK anthologies as well as BLACK FOX LITERARY, COBBLESTONE, and FACES magazines. Her work has won several awards, including the 2017 PEN New England Discovery Award. You can find her on twitter and on her website.   Kip’s Query  Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Fantasy A millennium ago, Meridian Island, sank underground. Everyone blames its last ruler, the nefarious [This is a tricky word for a POV character because it seems like a judgment from others. However! If she is in fact proudly nefarious, that is unexpected and super-interesting, so you could definitely quantify it by adding ‘proudly’ to show that aspect of her personality.] Prime Princess [It would be helpful for us to know both her name and age as a POV character in a YA novel] – after all, she did commit parricide. Little do they know, the princess was avenging her husband’s brutal murder. Everyone suspects she was associated with the Void (an entity who seeks the five elements to destroy humanity). [There is a lot going on here—parricide, husband’s murder, the Void—and I’m struggling to see how they’re all related. You might want to consider dropping one of these elements from the query to focus it more.] Little do they know how much she sacrificed to protect humanity from the Void. With her kingdom, her true story’s lost, and her fate unknown. [I like how this query is structured into the two millennia and what happens in each. Another option that could work with a dual POV novel is a brief...

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Day 7 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query Workshop with Mentors Akemi Dawn Bowman and N.K. Traver
May17

Day 7 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query Workshop with Mentors Akemi Dawn Bowman and N.K. Traver

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 Akemi Dawn Bowman . . . Website | Twitter Akemi Dawn Bowman is a writer of young adult fiction. She’s a proud Ravenclaw and Star Wars enthusiast, who served in the US Navy for five years and has a BA in social sciences from UNLV. Originally from Las Vegas, she currently lives in England with her husband, two children, and their Pekingese mix. Her novel Starfish will be published in Fall 2017 with Simon Pulse, with a second untitled project to follow in Fall 2018. She is represented by Penny Moore of Empire Literary.       STARFISH – YA contemporary. A gorgeous and emotionally true debut novel about a half-Japanese teen who grapples with social anxiety and her narcissist mother in the wake of a crushing rejection from art school. (September 26th, 2017, Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster) You can add it on Goodreads here, and read an exclusive excerpt from the book over on Riveted! Pre-Order Links: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble   Akemi’s Query  Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: YA GENRE: Fantasy AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER meets THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH when two teens must stop a weapon that could end their people’s cycle of reincarnations. HOUSE OF ASHES is a YA Fantasy complete at 81,000 words that will appeal to the younger range of YA readers who enjoyed Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan Series. [This should be the final paragraph of your query letter rather than the opening one. You only get a few paragraphs to hook an agent, and ideally you want to do that in the very first sentence. Think of it as valuable real estate—you don’t want to waste it on comp titles and word counts when you could be introducing your MC and hook! I also want to mention one quick thing about comp titles. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I’m not sure how helpful comp titles...

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Day 7 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Michella Domenici and Tomi Adeyemi & Kit Grant
May17

Day 7 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Michella Domenici and Tomi Adeyemi & Kit Grant

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.   Next up we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Michella Domenici Website | Twitter Michella Domenici was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She studies English and History at Fordham University. When she’s not reading, she’s drinking tea and searching for mermaids. She works at the Brooklyn Public Library, and is represented by Heather Flaherty of The Bent Agency. Michella’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Contemporary Dear Ms./Mr. Agent, [I recommend adding the MC’s age and even an adjective that relates to the plot if you want, like ‘Sixteen-year-old troubled Carson’] Carson Thompson has a passion for protecting people. This passion is [Passive voice. You can rephrase to make it snappier, like, ‘Carson dreams of being like his father, a…’] fueled by the legacy of his father, a war hero who sacrificed his life to save his comrades [When? How old was Carson when this happened? What’s the emotional tie?]. A year after witnessing the murder of his fiancé [Fiancé? In a YA contemporary?], Carson still wrestles with guilt and a sense of incapability that prevents him from moving forward in his life [Vague. Add something specific, like is Carson staying in bed all day instead of going to school, isolating himself and not hanging out with his friends, etc]. That is, until a world-class singer known as Vocemi is attacked by terrorists at the arena where Carson works [A teenage boy works at an arena? It’s starting to seem like your manuscript might not be YA. Additionally, the voice is passive again. You can fix it easily (‘Until world-class singer Vocemi…’), but this query is lacking in voice, in general. It’s very flat. Would Carson say ‘world-class singer,’ or ‘his favorite singer?’ Voice is also sentence variation, a rhythm to the words. Right now, you have three long sentences in a row. Switch it up a bit.]. Carson’s intervention with the...

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Pitch Wars Webinar: The Perfect Pitch with Mentor C.M. McCoy
May17

Pitch Wars Webinar: The Perfect Pitch with Mentor C.M. McCoy

WEBINARS Pitch Wars Webinars Presents… The first of two special small group educational series…. Pitch Perfect: Craft the perfect hook to sell your book to agents, editors, reviewers, and readers with Colleen Oefelein Craft the perfect hook to sell your book to agents, editors, reviewers, and readers. Pitch Perfect is a week-long, online workshop held inside a secret Facebook group and led by author and Literary Agency PR Manager/Associate Agent, Colleen Oefelein (author CM McCoy). In this workshop, authors cook their manuscript down to its juiciest bits and craft a 20-35 word pitch. We cover the anatomy of a pitch, see successful pitch examples (from queries, in-person pitches, and TV interviews), and craft an effective query letter inside a fun, friendly, interactive workshop. Those who wish to shine up their #PitchWars Pitch submission get an opportunity to do so and receive personal feedback/critique from me and the other participants. **Note — This workshop is a critique, not an evaluation of the author’s work, and the author’s work will not be considered for representation through this workshop.**   The Details . . . When: The program will be self-paced during the week of June 3-10 and is expected to take about five hours. Cost: $50 Please note: Registration is limited to the first FIVE (5) participants   Check back next week to register for Colleen’s second small group program: Why am I Getting Rejected? Which will take place June 10-17 in a similar environment.   About Colleen Oefelein.. . . Colleen Oefelein (author CM McCoy) has one pointed ear, a 70-pound puppy from Hell, and a very active imagination. She’s well aware nobody can say or spell her real last name, hence the pen name. You can call her Colleen. She’s a retired Air Force officer, an author, a blogger, and the PR manager for Inklings Literary Agency, where she’s also an agent assistant. When she’s not chatting with her imaginary friends, she’s either stuck in a book or interviewing with PEOPLE Magazine, ABC’s 20/20, the local morning news show, or INSIDE EDITION, where she promotes writing for mental and emotional health. She also mentors pre-published authors through workshops and contests and runs Totem Head’s Annual Free Writing Contest for Kids, now in its eighth year. Though she holds a BS in both Chemical Engineering and German, she’s far happier writing near misses and awkward kisses. Some of her off-the-wall talents include speaking in 10-codes (which she learned working 911-dispatch for Alaska State Troopers), flying helicopters, and Irish dance. Website | Twitter | Instagram| Facebook | Goodreads | YouTube | Pinterest   THIS WEBINAR IS NOW FULL   About Pitch Wars Webinars . . . The Pitch...

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Day 6 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors, Sarah Hawthorne and J.C. Davis
May16

Day 6 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors, Sarah Hawthorne and J.C. Davis

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 Sarah Hawthorne … Sarah Hawthorne lives in the Pacific Northwest where she drinks too much coffee, plans a lot of vacations and writes romance novels. Her native habitats include her garden and the local library. Sarah received a Bachelor’s Degree from California State Polytechnic University of Pomona, Los Angeles with a major in history and a minor in English. She is the author of the Demon Horde Motorcycle Club Series. The series is a sweeter take on motorcycle club/biker romance genre, published by Carina Press/Harlequin. She is represented by Jessica Alvarez at BookEnds Literary. Sarah was a 2016 Golden Heart Finalist (contemporary short) and the winner of the 2015 Heart to Heart Award (erotica).  You can visit her online at www.sarahhawthorne.com and on Twitter at: @SarahRHawthorne     Rebel Custody by Sarah Hawthorne . . . Released: May 1st 2017 | Available on Amazon A son in danger  The Demon Horde MC are no strangers to breaking the rules, but making a man pay to get his son back crosses one too many lines for Skeeter. He’ll do anything, including play by the book, if it means bringing his son home. Hiring straitlaced attorney Miriam Englestein is meant to solve his problems, not create new ones. One look at her and his good-guy facade goes out the window. He wants to throw his buttoned-up lawyer onto the back of his bike and make her his. A woman at risk  Miri wants nothing to do with the club. Her father may be in their pocket, but she’s on the right side of the law and she intends to stay there. But there’s something about Skeeter’s plea—something about him—she can’t walk away from. While she’s tempted to let him do unspeakably wicked and delicious things to her, she can’t risk her law practice, or her heart. A dangerous deception   When Miriam agrees...

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Day 6 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors, Susan Gray Foster and Melissa Marino
May16

Day 6 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors, Susan Gray Foster and Melissa Marino

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 Susan Gray Foster … Website | Twitter Susan Gray Foster was born into a family of avid readers and has been hoping to impress them with her writing ever since. When she’s not struggling in her quest to spin words into magic, she helps her high school students find the magic in classic literature, and helps other writers discover the magic in their own writing, both as a freelance editor and as a book coach at Author Accelerator. Susan believes in creativity and empathy, and enjoys tea, songwriting, reading, and hanging out with her dogs. She lives with her ever-patient Aussie husband in Arizona’s beautiful Sonoran Desert, and she’s her kids’ number one fan. Her YA fiction is represented by Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates. Susan’s Query Critique . . . Dear Agent, Owls eat gnomes, so it’s no wonder the whole colony wants to banish Poppy Thistlebit when the first time a magic coat is wrapped around her shoulders, she spreads a pair of feathery wings and hoots at the assembly. [I love that a conflict is introduced in this opening sentence, and I love the image of her sprouting wings, but the sentence is a little convoluted, which results in losing much of its impact.] The middle grade fantasy novel Poppy Thistlebit and the Magic Coat introduces an enchanting world of gnomes within the realistic world of men and is about 64,800 words. [You’ve already said there are gnomes, so I don’t think it adds much to repeat it here. Maybe just state the genre. Also, it’s customary to round the word count to the nearest thousand.] Poppy was expected to die young because of a deformed hand, [Is this significant enough to the story to include in the query?] but now after twelve years of hiding in the family burrow, her Coat Day has arrived.  [You’re jumping back and forth...

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Day 3 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors Gail Villanueva, Isabelle Adris, and Leigh Mar
May11

Day 3 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors Gail Villanueva, Isabelle Adris, and Leigh Mar

    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 Leigh Mar … Leigh Mar is a marketing and communications professional and a young adult author represented by Elana Roth Parker at Laura Dail Literary Agency. She’s a former Pitch Wars mentee (class ’15) turned mentor. Leigh loves to travel (both in reality and through fiction), has an excellent sense of direction, and only ever gets lost on the internet. Twitter: Twitter | tumblr Leigh’s Query Critique . . . [Leigh’s comments] Leigh’s suggestions for content. Dear Pitch Wars Query Mentor, Maggie Morris spent every night in her childhood by her bedroom window, waiting for a flying boy who never came. [This initial phrasing tripped me up a bit, I kept wanting to read it in present tense, consider rearranging so we know Maggie is now 18 and thinking back to her childhood. Suggested rework to try to pull all those need-to-know details upfront]: Eighteen-year-old Maggie Morris spent every night in of her childhood by her bedroom window, waiting for Peter–the flying boy from grandmother Wendy’s stories. Now eighteen and at the cusp of her society debut, Maggie is disappointed that Peter never came and dismayed to learn becoming an adult isn’t the adventure she hoped for [preach!]. Corsets pinch and afternoon teas bore [I love this line! Concise, brings great voice to the query which is tough to do]. Far worse, her mother is determined to marry her off to a chauvinistic marquess who sees her only as a pretty prize to be won. But just Aas Maggie wonders is questioning if real love [true love? I think the phrase gives more of a fairy tale vibe] is as much a myth as her beloved fairy-tales, Peter arrives. [The only other thing I’d like to work into this intro paragraph is what era the story takes place in. It sound like it could...

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Day 3 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors Helene Dunbar, Beth Hull, and Stephanie Scott
May11

Day 3 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors Helene Dunbar, Beth Hull, and Stephanie Scott

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 Co-Mentors Helene Dunbar and Beth Hull … Helene Dunbar is the author of THESE GENTLE WOUNDS (Flux, 2014), WHAT REMAINS (Flux, 2015) and BOOMERANG (coming from Sky Pony in 2018). Over the years, she’s worked as a drama critic, journalist, and marketing manager, and has written on topics as diverse as Irish music, court cases, theater, and Native American Indian tribes. She lives in Nashville with her husband and daughter and exists on a steady diet of readers’ tears. Represented by Lauren MacLeod at The Strothman Agency. Twitter | Website | Amazon Author Page In less than a second… … two of the things Cal Ryan cares most about–a promising baseball career and Lizzie, one of his best friends–are gone forever. In the hours that follow… …Cal’s damaged heart is replaced. But his life will never be the same. Everyone expects him to pick up the pieces and move on. But Lizzie is gone, and all that remains for Cal is an overwhelming sense that her death was his fault. And a voice in his head that just…won’t…stop. Cal thought he and his friends could overcome any obstacle. But grief might be the one exception. And that might take a lifetime to accept… GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND   Beth hull lives in northern California with her husband, two kids, and cat. She overuses parentheses and ampersands. She writes short stories and young adult novels. Twitter | Website         Helene and Beth’s Query Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Fantasy Dear [Agent]: [How I found agent and why I thought they would be interested in my project]. At 99,000 words THE EXILES combines contemporary and fantasy settings in the vein of a modern day CHRONICLES OF NARNIA meets THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS.  [I would move this 2nd sentence to the end. Most agents want to dive into the story...

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