Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Announcing Pitch Wars Agents!

Pitch Wars ... the agents!

Are you ready for this? We have 16 incredible agents vying for our Pitch Wars team manuscripts. We're so excited to see what pitches they fall in love with, and what teams will win the coveted Pitch Wars Most Requested Manuscript title. 

And, in no particular order, here are the agents...

Louise is seeking teen Sci-Fi and Young Adult horror.  She's also on the hunt for deep, dark contemporary YA and select Middle Grade fiction with a literary feel--it must be realistic and thought provoking and the characters must be authentic and original. Louise loves horror and romance, especially Regency and Victorian.

Jessica Sinsheimer
Twitter: @jsinsheim 

Jessica is seeking Literary, Women's, Middle Grade, and Young Adult Fiction.

Twitter: @Natalie_Lakosil 

Natalie is looking for commercial fiction, with an emphasis in children’s literature (from picture book-teen), romance (contemporary, paranormal and historical), and upmarket women’s fiction. Specific likes include historical, multi-cultural, paranormal, sci-fi/fantasy, gritty, thrilling and darker contemporary novels, and middle grade with heart. 

Twitter: @BookaliciousPam

Pam represents young adult and middle grade children’s book authors, and adult romance authors. 

Twitter: @bluedragonfly81 

Jordy is on the look out for Romance (contemporary, historical/Regency, and paranormal). YA contemporary/historical or dystopian, sci-fi/fantasy with romance elements. She's also open to YA GLBT within those genres. She'd love to see unique, well-developed plots featuring time travel, competitions, or travel.

Twitter: @andreasomberg 

Andrea's looking for the following categories: Fiction; literary, commercial, womens fiction, romance, thrillers, mystery, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, young adult, middle grade.

Jennifer Mishler
Twitter: @literarycounsel 

Jennifer is seeking Young Adult Fantasy, Young Adult Contemporary, Young Adult Literary, and Young Adult Historical. 

Suzie Townsend
New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
Twitter: @sztownsend81 

Suzie represents adult and children's fiction. In adult, she's specifically looking for romance (historical and paranormal), and fantasy (urban fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, epic fantasy). In Childrens' she loves YA (all subgenres) and is dying to find great Middle Grade projects (especially something akin to the recent movie SUPER 8).


Victoria Marini
Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents, Inc. 

Victoria is looking for literary fiction, commercial fiction, pop-culture non-fiction, and young adult. She is very interested in acquiring engaging Literary fiction and mysteries / suspense, commercial women's fiction (romantic suspense, sci-fi, fantasy), and Young Adult (contemporary, sci-fi/fantasy, thriller and horror ).

Kerry is looking for Young Adult and Middle-Grade fiction, both commercial and literary. She tends to shy away from werewolves, zombies, faeries, and the like, but she’ll read anything with a fresh voice and compelling characters. She is particularly keen on contemporary YA, quirky MG, books with a strong cinematic element.  

Drea is currently seeking: fiction, memoir, crime, non-fiction and YA. Her roster consists of British, American, and Canadian clients. International talent is welcome. 

Katie Shea

Katie specializes in fiction and memoir, especially women’s fiction and commercial-scale literary fiction, and realistic YA.  She is most interested in coming-of-age stories and stories of unique relationships.

 Elise Capron

Elise is interested in serious character-driven literary fiction, well-written narrative nonfiction, and short story collections. (Note: She is not interested in Fantasy, young-adult/middle-grade, picture books, romance, and sci-fi.) She aims to work with writers who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience.

Jodell is interested in YA, MG (especially funny) , fiction and nonfiction, book proposals, and picture books. She will also coach writers wanting to self publish.  She simply loves a well-paced story that moves her between joy and tears.

Brittany and Michelle are teaming up to look for Adult, YA, and MG manuscripts. 

 Michelle Johnson
Twitter: @MJsRetweet 

Michelle’s published one novel, The Footloose Killer, and edited several others for publishing houses and private clients. She also is a Script/Story consultant on an independent film in Halifax, NS, Canada, and enjoys working closely with writers to help them develop their voice and craft.

Brittany Howard
Twitter: @brittanydhoward

When reading, Brittany  loves to be introduced to new and interesting people and places. She looks for strong voice, good storytelling, and fascinating relationships between characters—romantic or otherwise. More than anything, she loves when a book surprises her.

There's just one more day to get your applications in for Pitch Wars. Make sure to check out this post here to get all the details.

Monday, December 3, 2012

"And You Are...?" Blog Hoppin' Time

Drinking eggnog and opening presents are just a couple of the things I've been thinking about this Christmas season. But I never thought it would be this early and in the form of a bloghop. 

That's right. 

It's time for Emily and Tammy's, "And You Are...?" Bloghop!
Here's what it's all about in Emily's words:
Once eggnog hit the shelves, Mrs. Claus thought it'd be funny to "juice up" Santa's drink. Now the jolly elf is passed-out after one cup and Mrs. Claus can't keep up with the pre-Christmas demands. She's asked Tammy and me to help her out.
We told her, yeah, of course we'd help! But we're Hollywood, baby, so she'd have to speak with our assistant, David Spade.
After David picked up our dry cleaning, sorted out the green and red M&M's, and bought our kids' presents, he had a minute to sit down and tell us what Mrs. Claus wanted.
We need to give away three Christmas presents, so we're going to interview a group of people, some naughty and some nice, to find those most deserving of Santa's toys.
We threw some hot cocoa on David and told him to get on it by cutting his girly hair and going back to his '90s SNL character to start the interview process.

Cool, right? I'm always up for some presents so I answered the questions. If you want to take part too, sign up HERE and follow the rules. Simple as that. 

And now for the questions:

1. How many speeding tickets have you gotten? 
Oh crap. I'm gonna say four, but that was over a seventeen year period. 

2. Can you pitch a tent? 
Heck yeah! I used to live in one after all:)

3. What was your worst vacation ever? 
I have never had a bad vacation. Bad things have happened, like cars breaking down, my mom breaking her ribs on a ride, that sort of thing, but a vacay is a vacay. I enjoy them while they last.  

4. What was the last thing you bought over $100? 

5. We're handing you the keys to what? 
A fully paid off house!

6. What was the last meal you cooked that made even you sick? 
I honestly couldn't say, but I can remember the last food that made me sick. It was this crab souffle at a Chinese restaurant. I've not been able to eat it since.  

7. Fill in the blank: Oh my gosh! Becky, look at her butt! It is so big. She looks like  ____? 
ME:) (Love that song, BTW)

8. What was your first car? 
1989 Maroon Ford Mustang

9. Your best friend falls and gets hurt. Do you ask if he/she's okay or laugh first? 
Depends on the fall. A trip warrants a giggle at least. A rough fall and I'm as caring as they come.

10. What's the worst song ever? 
Barbie Girl by Aqua

That was fun! I can't wait to see what everyone else answered.

Thanks, Emily and Tammy for hosting!

As a side note, I'm curious what everyone has planned for the holidays?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pitch Wars Sub Window is Open Now! So...PICK ME!!!

Holy Crapola! It's Pitch Wars time! It's about to get all kinds of crazy these next two months! And guess what? I'm going to be right up in the mix!

I'm one of the coaches! But I'm sure you know that if you clicked on my pic from another coaches blog. No clue what I'm talking about? Keep reading and it'll all be clear.

If YA is your thing then basically, I want you! To coach you that is:) Seriously! 

This is the point where I'm supposed to tell you how fantabulous I am and in turn, you'll respond with an enthusiastic, "Wow, she really does rock! I want her!" 

But alas, I'm a self-deprecating writer. Meaning, I'm not the best at throwing around my awesomeness. What I will do, however, is promise that if I fall for your idea and writing, I'll work my t-total tail off for you, because at the end of the day, I'm just a writer following a dream. I've been lucky enough to land Sarah LaPolla as my workhorse agent, making a part of my dream, a reality. That accomplishment is one I want as many writers with like-minded goals to experience. It's why I ran the month-long GUTGAA blogfest. It's why I'm doing Pitch Wars now. So I may not have a writing degree or professional editing experience, but I have passion and drive and the want for all writers to succeed. If you pick me we'll blow in as the underdog and finish Kung Fu Panda style.

If you haven't rolled your eyes and clicked on to another coach by now, here's what I'm looking for. 

I write sci-fi, so of course I always love a good one. I'm also a fan of magical realism, fantasy (though epic fantasy isn't really my thing), and thrillers or mysteries with a twist of the abnormal. I have a huge crush on mashup novels. If you can throw me for a loop as I'm reading, I'm yours! Lastly, angsty love that leaves my head all abuzz is right up my alley. If any of that sounds like your book, I BEG YOU, PICK ME!!! Please know, though, that more than anything, I love being in love. So if your book grabs me and it isn't any of the above I mentioned, I won't turn you away. 
I hope that helps you make your choice:) 

Now for the details...

Submissions start today (11/26) ! The cut off time to get your applications (query & first five pages of manuscript) in is 8PM EST on December 5
Send your applications to brendadrakecontests@gmail.com. Writers can apply for up to 3 coaches. The coaches' categories are set. Coaches can only consider the categories they've signed up for. Writers cannot apply for a coach that is not in their category. 
For additional information about this contest go HERE
·        This is open to finished manuscripts only.
·         You may only enter one manuscript.
·         Only the genres requested by each coach will be considered for the contest.

Subject line: Pitch Wars Application: Coach Name you want to apply for: Title (Example: Pitch Wars Application:Brenda Drake: GONE WITH THE WIND)
Name: Your Name
Genre: The genre of your manuscript
Word Count: The word count of your manuscript
Query letter here  (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.
First five pages of the manuscript here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.
REMINDER: You can send an application for up to 3 coaches.  
Check back soon for a complete list of the amazing agents participating in the contest. There's over a dozen!
Today all the coaches are posting bios/wish lists on their blogs. So before choosing your top 3 picks, check all the coaches' posts in your category before deciding which coach to submit. To jump from blog to blog, just click on our pictures below. 
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I am interrupting my fun-filled Florida vacay to announce an agent pitch contest you DO NOT WANT TO MISS! Check it out...

We're extremely excited to announce an upcoming event where  agented authors, industry interns, and editors team up with aspiring writers to shine up their manuscripts and pitches to present to some awesome agents.

Here's the deets...
  • The teams will consist of 1 agented author or industry intern or editor (coaches) and 1 aspiring author.
  • November 26: The coaches (listed on the linky below) will post on their blogs what genre/category they want to coach. They'll be very specific genres. Aspiring writers will hop around and decide which coaches best fit their manuscripts.
  • December 5: Aspiring writers will submit 3 "applications" to their top choices for coaches to the contest email (brendadrakecontests@gmail.com) during the allotted times (8AM to 8PM EST). That means, participants will send three separate emails to the contest email addressing each with one of their three top choices for coach.
  • December 5 through December 10: Coaches will read the applications and pick teammates.The coaches don't have to pick from their applications. If a coach passes on an application, it is then up for grabs and another coach, if they haven't connected to their applicants, can snatch it after notifying the applicant and if the applicant chooses the coach.
  • December 12: Teams will be announced. On the announcement post there will be instructions on how the winners must send their work.
  • December 12 through January 16: Each coach will read their teammate's manuscript and give general notes on any issues they find. The coach will help their teammate get his or her pitches ready for the agent round.
  • Note: The material for the agent round will be a 3 sentence pitch and the first 250 words of your manuscript. Coaches will read manuscripts and query letters only once and give notes. It is up to the writer to use the notes from their coaches to get the manuscript and query letter in as best shape as they can to send to requesting agents. The coaches will critique the three sentence pitch and first 250 words. The coaches will read them as many times as they deem necessary. In no way will writers expect the coaches to read the manuscript and query letter more than once or the pitches more than twice.
  • January 20: Coaches will submit shined pitches to the contest email.
  • January 23 and 24: Agents will read and make requests on the pitches they like (it is likely that not all participants will get requests).
  • January 25: We'll announce the team with the most requests and who will take home the winning prizes (an amazon gift card for each).
  • This is open to finished manuscripts only.
  • You may only enter one manuscript.
  • Only the genres requested by each coach will be considered for the contest.

Subject line: Pitch Wars Application: Coach Name you want to apply for: Title (Example: Pitch Wars Application: Brenda Drake: GONE WITH THE WIND)

Name: Your Name

Genre: The genre of your manuscript

Word Count: The word count of your manuscript

Query letter here  (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.

First five pages of the manuscript here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.


REMINDER: You can send an application for up to 3 coaches.

Our mentors ...

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Friday, November 9, 2012

And You Are..?

I know my slacker status, as far as blogging goes, has been at an all time high. I have a million excuses, none of which really matter. But I miss my blogging buddies in a big way. Seriously! And I'm so ready to get back into the swing of things! 


Due to a quick little excursion to DISNEY WORLD next week--yep that's right, I'm hangin' with the mouse for seven days--I won't go into full fledged blogging mode until after the trip.

Before I head out, though, I wanted to let you all in on a blog hop beginning next month that is sure to get you in the holiday mood! 

You'll thank me later:)
Ms. Claus is giving away presents to three lucky people, but they must answer interview questions with David Spade first. Click here to sign up for the "And You Are..?" Blog Hop. Hurry, before all the good seats are taken!

Who doesn't want to be interviewed by David Spade and showered with presents by the one and only, Ms. Claus?! I'm so in:) What about you?

Monday, October 29, 2012

GUTGAA Critique Groups and Final Prizes!

Now that GUTGAA has come to an end I've been able to relax, spend time with my family and begin plotting a new novel. Life is good! I hope everyone enjoyed all the festivities over the past month. I know I did! There were so many requests made! I really couldn't be happier...unless you all land agents and grab book deals from it:)

I apologize for not being at my best toward the end of the blogfest. I wasn't able to get to the last prizes so I'm doing that now. Check HERE to see if you won:)

Also, to those that helped out with GUTGAA, I can't thank you enough. I SERIOUSLY wouldn't have been able to do it without you guys! I wish I could list everyone, but there were just sooooo many. Please know how very grateful I am to you!

Now, for critique groups. I've finally been able to out them together and I did so based on the info you all gave me. Thanks for your patience with this.

I will list the groups below. Please go find the names on the initial sign up list HERE. There you can read their interests as well as contact info. If an email address was left I'll put it beside the name as well. It is my sincere hope that these groups work out, but if not, I'm very sorry:( You are welcome to try to contact anyone on the list yourself and look for yourself to find your perfect match.

Group 1
Connie Dowell - cgbdowell (at) gmail (dot) com
Heather B (Heather Brady)

Group 2
Fel Wetzig - fwetzig@scotzig.com
Diana Riggins - sjledge2@aol.com
Bobbi Romans - vitch36@embarqmail.com

Group 3
Kathryn Blake - krbfeedback@kathrynrblake.com
Misa Buckley - misa.buckley@gmail.com

Group 4
L. Dean Pace French - deanfrech@aol.com
Carrie-Anne - CarrieAnne79@yahoo.com
Katie J.H. Teller - katiejteller@hotmail.com
Robbie Macniven - r.d.macniven@live.co.uk

Group 5
Abby Cavenaugh - abscavenaugh@yahoo.com
Karma Brown

Group 6
T.J. - t.j.loveless@gmail.com
Todd R. Moody - kardaen@gmail.com
Cregg Stuart Hardwick - cStuartHardwick@earthlink.net

Group 7
Kim - marianmlibrarian@gmail.com
Aldrea - aldreaalien(at)yahoo.co.nz
Kay Kauffman - kaysielynn@suddenlytheyalldied.com

Group 8
Amy Cavenaugh - amycavenaugh@gmail.com
Melissa Sugar - sugarlaw67@yahoo.com
Hunter Emkay - hunteremkay@gmail.com
Daniel - daniel.lawrence.baker@gmail.com

Group 9
Jeri Walker-Bickett - jeriwb@gmail.com
Jenny - jenny.c.herrera@gmail.com
Mia Siegert - siegert.mia@gmail.com

Group 10
Selim Yeniceri - gorre_7@hotmail.com
Amanda Salisbury - salisburyfreelance@gmail.com
Dr. Margaret Aranda - drmargaretaranda@yahoo.com

Group 11
Cheryl Hettick - koevoetfamily@hotmail.com
Heather Riffle - heather.sizemore1@gmail.com

Group 12
Jen Haight - jenn.haight1602@gmail.com
Ellen Rozek - ellenmrozek@gmail.com
Jess Schira - naggingdilemma@yahoo.com
Meagan - meagan@happyowlbooks.com
Jodie Andrefski - paradoxgrl@gmail.com

Group 13
Kissed by Ink - kissedbyink@gmail.com
Emily Mead - emily.mead3@live.com.au

Group 14
Beth Pond - bethpond90@aol.com
Diana Gallagher - diana.m.gallagher@gmail.com

Group 15
Jodie Andrefski - paradoxgrl@gmail.com
Jenna - fansoffiction@hotmail.com

Group 16
Quixcy - ashleyposton90@gmail.com
Jenfromtheblock - kreftci@att.net
Connie - connieannmichael@gmail.com
Lyla - lima_bean_13@yahoo.com

Group 17
Jadzia Brandli - jadzia.brandli@Visucomm.net
Rebecca Ethington - contact@rebeccaethington.com

Group 18
priyakanaparti - pkanaparti@gmail.com
Lindsey Frydman - LindseyMFrydman@gmail.com

Group 19
Amanda Foody - akfoody@gmail.com
Anime - thatgirlani@gmail.com

Group 20
Meghan Kirkland - kirkyland@gmail.com 
Brinda Berry - brinda@brindaberry.com

Group 21
Ruth Anne Frost - ruthann.frost@gmail.com
Heather M Bryant - heather_b@live.com.au
Sarah J. - sjc@sarahjclift.com

Group 22
Jessica Becker - jessicabeckerbooks@gmail.com
Jessica Foster - jessica.foster45@yahoo.com
Johana Vera - johana.vera.garcia@hotmail.com
Meghan Drummond - medrummond@gmail.com

Group 23
Stacey Nash - contact@staceynash.com
Kathleen - gaelicfairie@gmail.com
Paula Sangare - psangare51@gmail.com
Virginia Boecker - virginia@virginiaboecker.com
Lauren Spieller - lauren.spieller@gmail.com

Group 24
Rebecca Fyfe - Rebecca@Fyfe.net
Donna L Martin - donasdays@gmail.com

Group 25
Brandon Stenger - b.stenger@gmail.com
Craig Schmidt - craigschmidt@msn.com

Group 26
Rachel - racheljipso@gmail.com
VikLit - viklitblog@gmail.com
Sara - riouch.sara@gmail.com
Alex Brown - alex.brown815@gmail.com

Monday, October 8, 2012

Final Round of the Small Press Contest. Right Here. Right Now

This is it folks. The final round of the final contest. By Friday, GUTGAA will be over until next year.


It's not over yet.

This week we're closing out the Small Press Pitch Contest!!

Here are the rules...

-Editors will have until Friday to leave feedback and/or make requests.

-ONLY editors can comment on the entries through Friday. After that anyone is welcome to comment.

-The editors will leave their query directions in the comments section.

It's pretty simple. Good luck to you all!!!

Small Press Finalist #1 - Race to Butch Cassidy's Gold

MG Mystery


Twelve-year-old Maggie McCoy wants to be brave and spontaneous. But she's not. Especially when it comes to school bullies and flying by the seat of her pants. So when she and her fearless cousin Jake stumble upon century-old clues leading to gold coins hidden by Butch Cassidy—farm boy turned infamous bank robber of the Wild West—she crumples her "to-do" list to prove she really can be daring and impulsive.

And at first, searching for gold with Jake and their quirky Grandpa Jim in his beat-up Winnebago is the grand adventure she's always wanted. But Maggie's newfound courage falters when she learns they must outsmart and outrun a dangerous thief who is also after the treasure.

The race is on. But just as Maggie and Jake think they've solved the mystery, Jake is captured and all the "to-do" lists in the world won't save him. Only Maggie can, if she can find the courage.  

RACE TO BUTCH CASSIDY'S GOLD is a middle grade mystery in which Maggie's present-day adventures parallel Butch Cassidy's past until mystery and history collide. This book stands alone, but can open the door for a series that exposes readers to fast-paced adventures across the fifty states.

First 150 Words:

Twelve seconds until summer vacation. Maggie’s eyes locked on the jerking hand of the classroom clock that counted down the last seconds of sixth grade. Someone in the back of the room began chanting, “Ten, nine, eight—”

Everyone else joined in, “Seven, six—”

Almost time! Maggie thought, sitting at the edge of her seat.

“Five, four—”

Just a few more seconds.




RRRRINGGGG!! The class erupted into cheers.

Maggie jumped out of her seat, slung her pink backpack over her shoulder, and slipped out the classroom door. As she ran down the school’s rickety old steps, she pulled the “to-do” list she had carefully prepared the night before out of her back pocket.

Five minutes. That’s how long she’d given herself to make it to Slotz Convenience Store. She studied the large crowd in front of her and took a deep breath. She examined her bright green digital watch, pushed the start button, and took off running.

Small Press Finalist #2 - Speck Hawkins

70,000 WORDS

Speck Hawkins, the quiet kid labeled worthless nerd by everyone who matters, is more than ready for a fresh start. He gets exactly that when he transfers to Lorincaut Academy, a prestigious boarding school with unusual teaching methods. Armed with a plan—speak up, ditch the nerdwear, and never eat alone—he expects to remake himself within the first month.

What he doesn't expect?

The creepy lake, where his good luck rock dissolves to ash before his eyes.

His sudden, inexplicable development of 20/20 vision.

The blood-red note with his name erratically scrawled on it, sent by someone who claims she can make his every wish come true.

That the life he's always wanted comes with a deadly price.

SPECK HAWKINS is an upper middle-grade fantasy novel with series potential.


Speck Hawkins fumbled in the weeds for his thick, black-rimmed glasses. He slid the heavy frames up his nose, as he'd done every day for years, only to discover he no longer needed them: blurred through the lenses, sunny yellow splotches appeared all over the lake, bright spots against dark water. He yanked the glasses from his face.

Without them, he saw with perfect clarity: marigolds. Ten flowers floated on the water; ten more bobbed up from below the silver-gray surface. They lingered there, like dead fish in a stagnant pond, until suddenly they began to deteriorate. The petals, the stems—one by one, they shriveled to ash and faded into the lake, until every last flower was gone. A chill turned his arm hairs to frayed wires. No birds chirped, no leaves rustled, no wind howled under the heavy gray clouds; there was only silence, thick and deafening.