Full Manuscript Evaluation by Erin Niumata, Folio Literary Management (+ 1-Hour Phone Consult!)

Aside from the annual #pitch comp I run here, this blog serves as a sounding board and as an avenue for information and opportunity to improve and discover more.

erin-240x300To that end, I am super pleased to let everyone know about a wonderful offer Erin Niumata from Folio Literary Management is offering: Full Manuscript Evaluation (+ 1-Hour Phone Consult!) with Erin. This is such an amazing opportunity for feedback from an agent who is a leader in her field and who also happens to be a lovely person.

To find out more go to: http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/Bidding.taf?_function=detail&Auction_uid1=3276005

for details and full guidelines – oh and two things, there’s only four (4) days left to take advantage of this offer and I checked with Erin, if you’re not in the US and your’s is the manuscript that wins, she’ll still arrange the phone consultation – so that’s a massive WooHoo!

So go on over, take a look at the guidelines and conditions and take advantage of this rare opportunity.

You can find Erin on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ecniumata

And you can find out more about Erin and Folio Literary Management here: http://www.foliolit.com/

 

Five Minutes With… Stacey Nash

Stacey Nash picFive Minute With… was created by me to be an opportunity for encouragement and enlightenment. Stacey’s journey, whether you’re an aspiring or a published author, will do just that.

So let me introduce my good friend, fellow Aussie author and Nestpitch Team Member, Stacey Nash, tell us a little about yourself.

I write adventure filled stories for Young Adults in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres. When my head isn’t stuck in a fictional world of my own making, or one of my favourite authors, I’m enjoying the history and culture of my home; the Hunter Valley of New South Wales home. I love nothing more than spending her days writing when inspiration strikes.

1. Your YA novel Forget Me Not is being published by HarperCollins, when’s the official launch-date?

I believe it will be launched August 1, and Remember Me (the sequel) will release October 1.

2. The process of getting Forget Me Not published has been somewhat unique. Would you care to share?

Forget Me Not was published in February by a small press who is no longer in business. The book was only out for about a month, before it was picked up by HarperCollins.

3. Was there a moment where you thought “Why am I doing this?”

Eeek. Yes, right before it published back in February with my old publisher and right after. There’s nothing quite like the fear of what-will-everyone-think, especially when it’s your debut book.

4. What went through your mind when you got “that call” from HarperCollins?school-pics-9-3

My husband was home at the time and it went something like this:

Me: Honey… HarperCollins just emailed me.

Him: They what?

Me: They want Forget Me Not. Harper-freaking-Collins wants MY books.

Him: *looks at me blankly*

Me: *squeals*

Honestly, after everything I was going through at the time with my old publisher, I was relieved that something so good was happening for this series. In many ways, Anamae’s is the story of my heart; it’s the one I wrote for me. So it will always hold a special place. I was surprised, shocked, elated, that they wanted a book that had been previously published and not just any book, but my book.

5. How valuable do you think a Social Media presence is?

Really valuable and I must admit mine has been pretty slack lately. If it wasn’t for twitter I never would have realized that HarperCollins had an open submission window. (It was only open for two weeks). And if it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t have the fabulous support network of fellow writer and readers that I do.

**Note from Nik: Stacey was also one of the Bloggers on #Nestpitch and was very busy helping me and the rest of the Team with that, so she’s being modist when she says she’s not been around much… not true at all 🙂

6. You’re also a contributor on AussieOwnedandRead http://aussieownedandread.com/  tell us about how this blog came about?

Ahh… now there’s a story. Grab a drink, this one may take a little while. Lauren McKellar and I (the founders) met in an online pitch comp back in 2012. We became fast friends, critique partners, partners in crime… 😛 Anyway, we actually live pretty close to each other and when we met up face-to-face for the first time we realised that we’d both been wanting to start a group blog for some time. The next few months consisted of brainstorming just how we wanted our blog to run, and what we wanted the focus to be. Once we’d decided all that we began recruiting fellow Aussie YA and NA authors who we wanted on our team. On Australia Day 2013, Aussie Owned launched with eight contributing bloggers and earlier this year we added two more. Neither Lauren nor I anticipated the success of the blog or the friendships it would form.

7. Given your very unique path thus far, what three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring author:berry-break-018

* Write because you love to write. Ignore market trends and what other writers are doing. Write the story you love.

* When it comes to critiques, edits, queries, any advice, trust your gut instinct. This is a subjective industry and only you know the story you want to tell.

* Believe in yourself. Rejection happens. Often. More often than not, it is no reflection on you as a writer. So don’t let it get you down and sure as hell don’t let it kill your writing mojo.

8. Do you have any strange writing habits, like eating TimTams when writing, (or is that just me)?

I write a chunk – maybe 200 hundred words – check twitter, check facebook, check emails. Repeat. It’s horrible for productivity.

9. Have you ever suffered from Writers Block & if so, how do you handle it?

No. Sure I’ve hit tricky parts in the story where I struggle, but I always have a story I want to tell so I push through those parts with the motto ‘Just keep writing.’ It always works out in the end.

10. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

You know, I can’t say I’d never write about anything because never is a long time and I don’t know what the future holds or what stories I will tell me I have to write them. But there certainly are many topics that I can’t see myself ever writing about.

11. Forget Me Not is a Young Adult, do you write in any other category?

I primarily write YA. It’s what calls to me and I believe it’s where my writing voice lies, but the story I’m drafting at the moment is New Adult. I’m not sure if this is a category I’ll pursue or if this story is a once off. I usually just write whatever pulls at me the strongest.

12. What are you working on currently?

Several things actually. I’m almost finished drafting the NA I mentioned above, and I’m also co-writing a YA with one of my good friends. It’s an action adventure with a similar feel to Forget Me Not that we’re hoping to publish later this year.

13. Here’s an odd one, what do you want your tombstone to say?samuel-l-jackson-cat

Here lies Stacey Nash

19?? – 2347

**Note from Nik; clearly Stacey’s planning on getting her hands on her own philosopher’s stone, and you know what? I bet she’ll still be writing!

For those of you DYING to get your hands on Forget Me Not: here’s a taster:

Anamae is drawn into a world which shatters everything she knew to be true.

Since her mother vanished nine years ago, Anamae and her father have shared a quiet life. But when Anamae discovers a brooch identical to her mother’s favorite pendant, she unknowingly invites a slew of trouble into their world. They’re not just jewellery, they’re part of a highly developed technology capable of cloaking the human form. Triggering the jewellery’s power attracts the attention of a secret society determined to confiscate the device – and silence everyone who is aware of its existence. Anamae knows too much, and now she’s Enemy Number One. She’s forced to leave her father behind when she’s taken in by a group determined to keep her safe. Here Anamae searches for answers about this hidden world. With her father kidnapped and her own life on the line, Anamae must decide if saving her dad is worth risking her new friends’ lives. No matter what she does, somebody is going to get hurt.

** Note from NIK: I read Forget Me Not several months ago & fell in love with the setting, the characters and the concept. I can highly recommend it. It’s one of those novels that’s an ideal self-indulgent weekend read.

Thanks Stacey for taking the time to answer my questions. I think everyone will agree that the path to publishing isn’t always predicable and is never the same for two people. What Stacey has shown us is, while we cannot predict the future, we can “keep-the-faith” so to speak, you simply never know what will happen tomorrow 😉

Stay in touch with Stacey via her blog: http://www.stacey-nash.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/staceynash

And don’t forget to look for Stacey on Amazon and Goodreads. In the meanwhile, mark this page on Harper Collins: http://www.harpercollins.com.au/authors/50061696/Stacey_Nash/index.aspx

Pre-order Forget Me Not: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K1Q9NA6/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_ee-Ftb0G1ZBDV

Pre-order Remember Me: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K1Q9N5G/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_-f-Ftb0T90CVF

Latest from NestPitch…

purringHello all,

Well it’s been a few weeks since the fun of NestPitch ended and I have to admit, between 4 family birthdays and Mother’s Day, I’ve been a little absent… but we’re b-a-c-k!  So, lets just recap. Nestpitch, as a pitching comp, will be back for Easter 2015. Naturally, we are keeping in close contact with all our pitch-ees and agents, which means, if there are any “offers” in the future, we’ll be celebrating along with the author and agent big-time.  047

What I can tell you is that several of the partial requests have been upgraded to FULL’S already, that’s great news and here’s hoping those fulls turn into offers very soon. In the meantime, what’s up with this blog-site… right? Well, just as promised, we’ll be updating on other pitch comps, we’ll be having interviews with agents, authors, editors and we’ll also be letting you know of any news that is too good not to share 🙂

Today, I wanted to firstly remind you that our awesome team of Slush Bilbies an Nest Bloggers are all authors too, many of whom have books published or book deals in negotiation.  Every few months I’m going to feature 1-3 of the Team and where you can buy their novels.  Nothing major, just a short blurb, and you can thank them for all their hard work and time by investing in one of their awesome books!

Sharon Bayliss picFirst up we have Sharon Bayliss & her wonderful novel DESTRUCTION (The December People Series #1), a Young Adult-Fantasy which is the first in a series of four.

A bit about Destruction: David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn’t a choice.

Eleven years ago, David’s secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without.

Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David’s wife admits a secret of her own–she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children. 20951394

Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.

If you don’t know who Sharon Bayliss is, trust me, you’re missing out. She’s not only one of the most talented writers I know, she’s also a lovely person who freely gives of her time, often unannounced, trust me, you want to get to know her 🙂

You can find  here:

http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/6259559-destruction-is-99-cents-from-5-10-5-11

(FYI its only 99c at the moment – Yup! Not kidding!) & Sharon here: www.sharonbayliss.com and here: https://twitter.com/SharonBayliss

AuthorMoss2Next we have the wonderful Tina Moss.

For those of you that don’t know, not only is Tina an awesome author and massive advocate of New Adult, she’s also a true Ninja- she has a black belt in Karate- Seriously!

Today we’re talking about Tina’s Urban Fantasy: A TOUCH OF DARKNESS (is it just me or is this cover a cracker!)

About A Touch of Darkness (The Key Series):
Cassie’s working for a tightwad boss at a pretentious NYC diner, dealing with paralyzing pain that doctors can’t diagnose, and trying to hide her hands that glow purple whenever she …well, whenever. So, when a mysterious stranger walks out of her dreams and into her life to spout some nonsense about her being a mythical creature, she chalks it up to one more crazy thing to add to her it’s-a-crappy-life list. Yet, when the stranger’s predictions start to come true, she discovers a world that could shake up her humdrum existence. Final-Cover

You can get yourself a copy of A Touch of Darkness here:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18392580-a-touch-of-darkness

And you can stay in touch with Tina here: www.tinamoss.com or here: https://twitter.com/Tina_Moss

When Tina’s not kicking butt- literally, she’s fighting for the covers with her hubby and her corgi.  You’ll find Tina pop up a lot as she gives so freely of her time to so many competitions.

I highly recommend you follow both authors, and read their wonderful novels.

Creating good fiction is like making dreams come to life and these authors do just that!

And finally, a quick reminder Query Kombat is on again.

Go to: http://michelle4laughs.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/query-kombat-free-pass.html The wonderful Michelle, Mike, (http://writersoutworld.blogspot.com.au/) and SC (http://scwrite.blogspot.com.au/) are once again running Query Kombat… go take a look folks (and remember to play nice)

ScoreCards – Results


funny bunny 3Hello all,

And here we are, first day of May… I swear it was Christmas just last week?

I hope everyone liked my graphs and charts 🙂 And now, for the every last stage of #Nestpitch 2014 –– the results of the Scorecards. But before I move on to them, let me quickly remind you that this blog will continue to post updates on other #pitching  comps, hold interviews with authors, writers, editors, agents and publishers and generally keep everyone up-to-date on the comings and goings of the fun and funny world of writing, so don’t abandon us!

OK, on to the Scorecard results.

The ten reserve pitches were all re-read by the slushies and myself & scored out of 50, with a max. score of 20 for the pitch and 30 for the first 300* words.  Those scores were then added up and divided by 8 to give an average.  The top three average scores are listed below, in no specific order. with the title, the category / genre and their pitch… pssst! Agents! — look below, there might be something you like 🙂

The three top pitches are not in any particular order and in fact, two of the pitches got the exact same score and the third was only one point difference.

Title: The Mark of the Wielder

Genre: YA Fantasy

Word-Count: 68,000

Pitch: Spurred on to avenge her friend’s death, eighteen year old Journey Stanton seeks to massacre the Wielders. Her only problem- she just became one.

Title: Dandelion Wishes

Genre: Picture Book

Word Count: 599

Pitch: 4 year-old Gia and her mother marvel in the changing seasons from their hilltop, until dandelion wishes disappear, and with them Gia’s sense of magic. She finds it again in her first experience of snow.

Title: ZANNA AND THE ELEPHANT

Genre: Picture Book

Word count: 555 words

Pitch: Clashing parents aren’t fun. But Zanna has more pressing problems: How to dispose of the growing elephant in her house? Will Zanna’s tricks be enough, or will everything collapse with a big Crash-Bang?

Can I say I’m thrilled two PB’s got through to be featured! And I have to admit, they were two of my favourites — Congrats to all three Authors; here’s hoping an agent sees your pitches and asked for more 🙂

And now for the other seven (7) pitches — in no particular order, will be listed as I believe it’s important to acknowledge good work.

Title: MAGE OF CLIFFPORT ; Cat/Genre: Adult Fantasy ; Word-Count: 93,000 words

Title: KNEE BITERS ; Cat/Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy ; Word-Count: 81,000 words

Title: THE POINT ; Cat/Genre: (A) Women’s Fiction; Word-Count: 89,000

Title: THUNDER BORN ; Cat/Genre: Young Adult Fantasy ; Word Count: 92,000

Title: THE UNBELIEVABLE MISADVENTURES OF AVERY MANN ; Cat/Genre: MG Contemporary Fantasy; Word-Count: 69,000

Title: BUTTERFLY GIRL ; Cat/Genre: Upper MG / Magical Realism ; Word-Count: 44,000

Title: XO ; Cat/Genre:  Adult Contemporary ; Word-Count: 89,000

Yes it’s a short post, but the last one was on the longish side so  it all balances out in the end. Now show your love and make a comment on the featureddancingSuper natural pitches; and if you’re one of the pitch-ee’s — do this >>>>

Seriously, congrats on a great job and honestly, you’ll see from the scorecards/comments that a lot of the final decisions came down to subjectiveness 🙂

Best of luck guys! I hope the scorecards and feedback will help you identify which areas are working well and which could do with a little sharpening.

And now, please excuse my indulgence in some shameless self-promotion:
19991The Nestpitch blog up for BEST BLOG Site 2014 (Australia) & there’s also a Peoples Choice Award.   Voting is open to everyone worldwide & is anonymousso I’ll never know if you voted or not (but if you do, thank you, I know some of you have already voted, & this is greatly appreciated).  If you can spare a  minute and would like to vote, here’s the link:

http://www.writerscentre.com.au/community/best-australian-blogs-comp/peoples-choice/