#Nestpitch2016, David Bowie, Alan Rickman & other news

Hello all & welcome to 2016!images

I know it’s been a while since I posted & I apologise for that, between a memorial, anniversary, 11 immediate family birthdays, Christmas & New Year, I’ve been run off my feet.

First things first.

animated-saint-nicholas-image-0124St.  Nicholas Day Workshop for PB & MG authors.

To my complete surprise, shock actually, not a single person sent in their first 150 words for the workshop – Yup – Not kidding!

Given:

a)      feedback is crucial for improvement

b)      there were two successful authors (in those categories) willing and able to offer feedback, authors who make a living out of their craft full-time.

c)      the *pitch period* was just around the corner

d)     and… although it was not advertised given it was going to be a bonus surprise, a well established, successful, award-winning publishing house editor, with more than 30 years experience in PB & MG, was also going to offer feedback… with the potential of actually requesting full manuscripts…

I am quite disappointed that no aspiring author in the PB/MG category thought a workshop might be of some value. But there it is – or rather could have been!

Anyway, moving right along.Wonderwoman Bunny

– And on the same wavelength. #Nestpitch 2016.

Again another apology – I have success stories to post for #Nestpitch2015, however, for the reasons above, plus the authors who have been successful are currently extremely busy, there has been no time to ‘chat’ and let everyone know the good news – I promise this will come soon!

As for #Nestpitch 2016, I have made a decision and it has not been an easy one. After much consideration and deliberation I have decided to NOT run #Nestpitch2016
The main reason for this year Easter falls early, with Good Friday being March 25th.
Given 2-3 other pitching comps will be running either just before, during or just after this time period, and given the issues we had in 2015 with submission cross-over (and lost submissions), I feel that this is too much to ask from author’s, agents and from those of us behind the scenes.
I am planning to still run Post-it-Forward with Rhiann Wynn-Nolet (assuming people are interested) in early March as I feel this will help authors prepare for other pitching comps. 

uncle-fester#Nestpitch is NOT dead, but rather in hiatus & will return in 2017 !
The lack of interest in the December workshop & the availability of some of my #Nestpitch Team Members contributed to my decision; however I also have a personal reason. 
After A LOT of thinking and re-thinking, I have decided to self publish my WF. This has not been an easy decision, especially given the number of agents who requested partials or fulls. However, because of the the subject matter & the genre & category, there were only about 25-30 agents who best matched my MS. I sent out (in total) 23 submissions. From those sent I received requests for seven partials and  five fulls. Three of the fulls resulted in R&Rs, however those R&Rs did not result in offers. I knew if I did not get an agent offer by September 2015, the novel would not have a hope of being printed before the end of 2017. If you read point (iii) below you’ll understand why 2017 was the latest I wanted this story to be published.

I decided to try a handful of smaller publishers directly. I sent my MS to 7 and got an offer from a small publishing house. I was thrilled. But then something else happened. I’d seen/heard/read of several of my author friends who’d signed with smaller publishers… only to have the publishing house close. I am a supporter of small press – BIG TIME – but it concerned me nevertheless. And as it turned out, I too felt the sting of a small publisher fail – not for this MS but for another piece.giphy (2)

Just as I was in negotiations to sign, a small press contacted me – one who’d accepted a short story of mine  (for an anthology) in Nov 2014. First they said it was to be printed in early 2015, then mid 2015, then late 2015… then in October 2015 I was advised the anthology was cancelled.

I considered this and what if the same thing happened to my novel? So I decided to go it alone – even as I knew this was perhaps the toughest, bravest and likely silliest course of action – even so, it felt *right for me.

Some of you know of this novel. Some of you have been BETAs for me. Those who don’t, I have made this decision because of the above and also because:
(i) I believe in the novel, the storyline & my skills
(ii) I have had enough encouragement and positive feedback from various agents to know that I am not kidding myself
(iii) Because of the subject matter (which, while mostly set in modern-day Melbourne Australia, also deals with the Russian Revolution & the murders of the Romanov’s – and the 100 year anniversary of their executions is July 2017), I believe now and this coming year, is the time to strike with this particular novel.

tumblr_n6pu3mpAd81qzx3jto5_1280I have employed the services of Kate Foster & Lauren McKellar as editors. Kate & Lauren are authors in their own right and well established editors with a bank of authors they have worked with. Kate will edit it first in Jan-2016 and then Lauren in April 2016. I elected to have two editors because I feel the more eyes the better. In fact, I have already employed the services of two editors in the past. One with just the beginning of my MS and another to do a general read-through – I believe in professional eyes!

Between Edit#1 & #2 I will be re-reading and asking a few of my BETAs to re-read, and then again after Lauren is done, May will be spent re-reading. I have also employed the services of an awesome Melbourne Illustrator, with amazing talent and a wonderful reputation as an illustrator, for the cover – Sunshine Herbert

I have purposely chosen an all Australian team, this was important to me, not only because of spelling/grammar/colloquial terminology, but also because these ladies will better conceptualise my images and therefore either offer better suggestions or make greater improvements. Plus, I do think it’s important to support local people wherever possible -we are a large country in mass and volume but small in numbers & we need to support each other.

I am planning to have the novel ready for a launch date in 29th September 2016 and images (5)instead of #Nestpitch2016, this year I will run a series of “my path to self publishing” blogs where I will discuss everything from BETAs, to covers, to marketing, costs, to preparing for failure as well as success. I have been given permission from Kate, Lauren & Sunshine to discuss fees in generalities (every job is different after all). The figures will be very strong guides and will offer excellent potential cost markers for those of you looking to follow the same route. I will also be posting links to their sites as well as sites for other professionals I have used and/or would be happy to recommend, both in Australia and the US.
I will begin the SERIES in Feb-2016 and will be as honest as I possibly can about time frames, financial costs, marketing strategies, editing and other services and so forth.

I am doing this because I feel:

(i) many people are turning to Self Publishing with unrealistic expectations

(ii) no real idea what the process is

(iii) not enough structure/planning

(iv) have a lack of professional people at their dispossal – rather than scammers

(v) no realistic concept of time-frames/time management

For example, I met with an aspiring author in September-2015 who was finishing her first novel. She intended to self publish it; and wanted it out before Christmas. As that stage only one BETA had read it and her *close friend was going to edit it. (Close friend is not and has never been an editor of any kind)

She had no marketing strategy, had never heard of Netgalley, or Smashwords, intended to use stock-standard free-clip-art for her front cover and wasn’t even sure what an ISBN was or why she needed one.

As for a marketing campaign and professional reviewers, she had no idea she needed to create a marketing strategy, saying “Doesn’t Amazon market it for me?” or who/what professional reviewers were and why they need to be sent pre-copies of a novel at least 3 months in advance.

getoveritI listened with interest and then proceeded to burst her bubble, while offering advice, connections, links etc. to people and sites that could/would help her. This is what got me thinking about writing a regular “my path to self publishing” blog post update – all the way up to and including the launch party.

For this reason, after this blog has been posted, and as of Feb 2016, I will be changing the name of this site. #Nestpitch is NOT dead, but rather in hiatus, even so, this blog has become so much more than the sum of one pitching comp. It has become a place to workshop, to read interviews with agents, authors, editors, to read reviews… and now it will be the place where I place my soul up to the Self Publishing God’s and hope I’m not too humbled into submission 😉

The new name eludes me for now. I’m attempting to be clever (because there are few tumblr_inline_mq7vu1fLsQ1qz4rgpthings I am more vain about than my mind – truth!), but given I named my first cat Blackie (she was all black) and thought it was very clever, this new name could take a while. OK I was nine at the time, so perhaps that makes Blackie seem more witty – still if anyone has any suggestions – bring ‘em on!

And before I go, a quick note to remember David Bowie & Alan Rickman.

images (6)I had planned on posting this blog days ago, but those two deaths images (7)have had an impact on me; as I know they have had on so many, many of us, and I needed time to let their losses sink in…& be accepted by both my brain and my heart.

Farewell boys, I never knew you yet I loved you both! Messrs Rickman and Bowie were so much more than Snape & Ziggy, yet for many, these are the images which first form of these two wondrous talents. 

Will we remember Ziggy Stardust & likely the oldest and coolest Emo ever – ALWAYS – RIP fella’s

 

Unmask The Agent results for #Nestpitch2015

stig-unmasked-oHi all,

And it’s that time – Unmask The Agent results for #Nestpitch2015!

Well, I guess I made the clues a little TOO cryptic this year because no one that entered got the entire 12-agents matched correctly.

All together there were 16 people who entered this year’s Unmask the Agent round, and, as there was no clear winner, per the rules, I generated a random selection (OK, I gave each entry a number and draw them out of a hat – yeah technical ha!) anyway… the winner of the $20 Amazon Gift Voucher was an Aussie! Congrats to DB Munro because you’re the winner of the Amazon Voucher.

I have already sent the winner an email & I’m sure the voucher will come in handy as winter sets in here in Australia – nothing better than curling up with a good book – right!

writer-moments1#Nestpitch2015

Over the next week or so I will be working out the stats (‘cos I love stats and I know many of you do also), showing, by category & genre, what was submitted, what was selected by the Mentors, and what was requested by the Agents.

As I tweeted recently, the #Nestpitch blog has rolled over the 25,000 hits mark. For me it was a big milestone, especially given the blog was started in late Jan-2014. As a thank-you, on May 31st I will be randomly selecting one person from those who submitted to #Nestpitch2015, and giving away ANOTHER $20 Amazon Voucher. And again the winner will be notified via email and announced on this blog.

I hope to see you ‘all popping in frequently of the coming weeks and months as we close off Nestpitch for 2015. We will keep you ‘all updated on the progress of those authors who had requests and of course, we will also run our semi-regular segment Five Minutes With…

Additionally, I am planning of running a workshop for PG & MG authors in early December – more details to come closer to the date.

For now, thank you for being part of Nestpitch, for supporting this blog and comp and a big thank you to all the Mentors, Slushies and Agents involved, because let’s face it, without their support, there would be no comps like #Nestpitch.

giphyAnd speaking of comps, don’t forget that Query Kombat is about to start. The fun starts on May 21st. Our very own Mentor SC is one of the hosts! For more info, go to: http://michelle4laughs.blogspot.com.au/

Best of luck with that one if you’re planning on entering, and even if you’re not, go over to Michelle’s blog and check it out. There are dozens and dozens of interviews with agents and some many helpful tips that it’s a blog you should be following.

Unmask The Agent Comp is Now Closed

tumblr_inline_ngvovj9JIC1qenr3hSorry! Too Late – see you next year 🙂

How do you place I hear you asking? Below is the list of agents participating in this year’s Nestpitch and next to them is a list of the Masks they will be wearing. Your job is to match the agent to the mask – that’s it!

All you need to do is go through the Agent post here: https://nestpitch.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/abracadabra-shim-shalala-sham-agent-reveal-now/ and the Bunny Mask post here:https://nestpitch.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/agent-mask-time-would-you-like-a-20-amazon-voucher/ (it also helps if you quickly go to the agent’s bio and/or blog for more clues) and match the agent.

The first person to correctly match all twelve agents to their masks wins! That’s it! (email timeline will be used to confirm who sent the correct entry in first)

And if there are no correct winners then those participating will go into a lucky draw and a winner will be selected at random.

When:b8377__tumblr_mlgqa0BcZ51rd1qi0o1_500

The window will only be open for TWO HOURS – that’s it, so timing is everything.

The Window will open on Wednesday May 13th at 10.30pm Australian EST. That’s 7.30am New York US time and 12.30pm UK time. I chose these times to ensure everyone, no matter where you live, can play along.

You don’t need to have participated in #Nestpitch2015 or to even follow this blog, all you need to do is get to know our agents – and I have no doubt you ‘all know these agents anyway.

Please make sure you send your selection ONLY during the open window because there are no second chances, I will not be sending any ‘too soon’ or ‘too late’ emails – it’s up to you to play along during the window only.

ONE GUESS PER PERSON! (please don’t try to hedge by using more than one email address, you may get away with it but damn if you will not carry some nasty Karma with you)

getoveritHow to submit:

Send you email, with the correct subject line (see below), to nestpitch@outlook.com. Within the body of the email match all 12 agents to the masks you believe belong to them, for example:

  1. Agents Name = Mask
  2. Agents Name = Mask (and so on)

Please send your picks to nestpitch@outlook.com

In the subject line you MUST put UNMASK THE AGENT MY PICKS

If you fail to send your selection during the window or fail to put the above in the subject line, your email will be voided.

**Please note, there will be NO auto reply.

Please pass this on, re-blog if you’d like and tweet / re-tweet to pass the word along.

And now for the agents & masks (note they have all been alpha sorted & the below in no way suggests the correct match)

Camilla Wray Bend it like Beckham Bunny
Cate Hart Disco Bunny
Christa Heschke Energizer Bunny
Dawn Michelle Frederick Hippy Chic Bunny
Jessica Schmeidler Ms. Soccer Bunny
Jordy Albert Pancake Bunny
Maria Vicente Professor Bunny
Mollie Glick Rock Star Bunny
Patricia Nelson Ski Bunny
Saba Sulaiman Snow Bunny
Uwe Stender Warrior Bunny
Valerie Noble Wonder Woman Bunny

The winner will be announced on Tuesday May 19th 2015. 

tumblr_m949z4q9Ib1r1fva4And to celebrate the Nestpitch blog rolling over the 25,000 hits mark in less than 19 months I have decided to give one lucky random person who submitted to Nestpitch2015 an additional $20 Amazon Voucher – winner to be announced on May 31st 🙂

 

Have you been paying Attention?

giphyHi all,

Yes, that’s right – Round#3 for #Nestpitch2015 is here!

Over the coming days and weeks all #Teams will be working with their authors to help them polish their submissions so, although we might seem a little quiet, we’re all busy little bees in the background.

On May 11th I will be posting each author’s entire Pitch but for now, it’s all hush-hush (‘cos we’re working on ‘em).

Each Mentor Blog will be featuring their team picks, although for now, all you’ll see is the title, category and genre. For more info on each Mentoring Team go to:

#TeamEvilBunny  http://sharonmjohnston.com/

#TeamUnbreakable  http://www.sharonbayliss.com/

#TeamPlotBunnies  http://amandafoody.blogspot.com.au/

#TeamBasketCase  http://thecakenovelist.blogspot.com.au/

#TeamEggslent  http://www.stacey-nash.com/

#TeamOneBasket  http://scwrite.blogspot.com.au/p/writeinclusively.htmltumblr_lp9tthzs0f1qz7hmlo1_400

#TeamHotCrossBooks  http://laurenkmckellar.com/

#TeamSugarRush  http://bookishblurb.com/

#Team2Beat  https://nikvukoja.wordpress.com/

So; here we go, cone of silence may need to be enforced here, but to wet appetites, in no particular order, here is a list (40 in total) with category, title & genre.

Category Title Genre
Adult Dead Wrestlers Speculative
Adult Poor Boy Road Mystery/Thriller
Adult Frame of Mind Thriller
Adult RAINBIRDS Literary Fiction, Coming-of-Age
Adult We Eat This Gold Upmarket
MG MOONGARDEN SciFi Re-Tell (Secret Garden)
MG The Comic Adventures of Ruby Bella Brown Contemporary
MG Pond Scum Contemporary Humor
MG Mikey Goes to Maine Humor
MG THE ADVERSITY TREE Magical Realism
MG Fairy God-Mother Boy Fantasy
MG THIS SCARY MANOR BLOWS LIGHT HORROR
NA  Like Stitching Coffee Cups Romance
NA FROST Urban Fantasy
NA The Trouble With Tennyson Urban Fantasy
NA Breaking Up with Bedford Contemp Romance
NA SILENCE Contemporary
NA Unspeakable Romance
YA WOUNDS HEAL, SCARS REMAIN Contemporary (Christian)
YA THE STAINED GLASS SUN AND MOON Contemporary
YA Cessation Speculative
YA The Clearing Paranormal
YA Little Black Box contemporary
YA  RIPPLE IN THE SEA historical
YA SUN AND BONE Psychological Thriller
YA My Secret Life as a Teenage Assassin Thriller
YA A Parcel of Rogues Fantasy
YA The Caterpillar Girl Soft Science Fiction
YA THE UTOPIANS Thriller
YA Straw Salt Gold Fantasy
YA The Mortician’s Boy Horror
YA The Curse of Jenny Greenteeth Thriller
YA Trebled Times of CeCe Santos Contemporary
YA Killer Potential Literary Thriller
YA The New Girl psychological thriller/horror
YA The Koshers Contemporary
YA Rom Our Reasons Contemporary Romance
YA Rom IT HAPPENED ON THUNDER ROAD Romance w/ Magical Realistic elements
YA Rom Every Broken Piece of Me Contemporary Romance
YA Rom Between Sound and Silence Sci-Fi Romance

Oh wait! Before I go, don’t forget; “Unmask the Agent” is running again – more info soon!

*there’s a $20 Amazon Voucher up for grabs and you don’t need have submitted to Nestpitch, all you need is a bit of a detective spirit and to know your (our) agents!

Abracadabra, Shim-Shalala-Sham: Agent Reveal – Now!

snoopyeasterHi all, 

have you been waiting for this? Yeah, I know you have… and truly, it will have been worth the wait 🙂 A MASSIVE thank you to all the agents participating, to those who couldn’t join us this year but wished us well and to my Nestpitch team for all their support and hard work. So here they are, in no particular order, an even dozen of them!

Val Noble1.         Valerie Noble

Associate Agent, Donaghy Literary Group

While studying chemistry at California State University, Long Beach, Valerie mastered the art of doing proper research, particularly for technical writing. Her love of science and reading merged when she began penning her first novel in the midst of her studies. In true scientific fashion, Valerie researched all there was to know about publishing. Valerie loves science fiction and fantasy (think Kristin Cashore and Suzanne Collins) but reads everything under the sun.

Valerie is particularly interested in Young Adult and New Adult in the following genres; Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fantasy & Historical Fiction

You can find Valerie here: http://www.donaghyliterary.com/ or on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/NobleValerie

Saba2.         Saba Sulaiman

Junior Agent, Talcott Notch Literary Services

Saba is the newest member of Talcott Notch Literary Services. She joined the team as an Assistant after working as an editorial intern at Sourcebooks, where she worked primarily on their romance line. She holds a BA from Wellesley College and an MA from the University of Chicago.

Saba’s looking for up-market literary and commercial fiction, romance (all subgenres except paranormal), character-driven psychological thrillers, cozy mysteries, and memoir, in both adult and YA. She’s also actively seeking Middle Grade, particularly contemporary realistic stories.

You’ll find Saba here: http://www.talcottnotch.net/ Here: http://sabasulaiman.com/

and on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/agentsaba

uwe stb3.         Dr. Uwe Stender

President, TriadaUS Literary Agency

A Full Member of the AAR (Association of Authors’ Representatives), and active on social media as well as a guest speaker at several major conferences, Dr. Uwe Stender has an impressive list of clients, both fiction & non-fiction. Uwe joins us again, having been a Nestpitch Agent in 2014.

On Uwe’s current wish-list is YA, MG, adult mysteries/thrillers, literary fiction, any non-fiction.

As well as many conferences and several online competitions you’ll find Uwe here: http://www.triadaus.com/ and on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/uwestender

Jordy4.         Jordy Albert 

Literary Agent, The Booker Albert Literary Agency

Co-founder of The Booker Albert Literary Agency, Jordy holds a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University, and a M.A. from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She has worked with Marisa Corvisiero during her time at the L. Perkins Agency and the Corvisiero Literary Agency. She enjoys studying languages (French/Japanese), spends time teaching herself how to knit, is a HUGE fan of Doctor WhoSherlock and Supernatural, and loves dogs.
She is interested in Middle Grade contemporary or action/adventure, while in YA and New Adult, she is looking for sci-fi/fantasy (romance), contemporary romance. Jordy loves an awesome kick butt hero/heroine, especially when they have to work their way out of a tight spot. While it isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, she tends to shy away from novels with trigger topics, such as suicide and any type of abuse.

For adult works Jordy is looking for smart, sexy contemporary romances that leave her breathless. She is also looking for Historical Romances (she definitely has a soft spot for Regency).

For Jordy too this is her second year with Nestpitch You can find Jordy here: http://www.thebookeralbertagency.com/ and on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/bluedragonfly81

Patricia-Nelson-296x3005.         Patricia Nelson

Agent, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Patricia joined Marsal Lyon Literary Agency in 2014. Previously, she interned at The Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency and in the children’s division at Running Press.

Patricia received her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary in 2008, and also holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

Patricia represents adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction.

Patricia’s Wish-list: Adult: women’s fiction, historical fiction, and accessible literary fiction, as well as contemporary and historical romance. YA: she’s open to a wide range of genres, including contemporary/realistic, magical realism, mystery, horror, science fiction and fantasy. MG: she’s seeking stories both realistic and fantastical that are full of heart, humour and/or adventure.

You can find Patricia here: http://www.marsallyonliteraryagency.com/ and on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/patricianels

PictureCate6.         Cate Hart

Junior Literary Agent, Corvisiero Literary Agency

Cate is a Junior Agent with Corvisiero Literary Agency. This is Cate’s second time with #Nestpitch, with lasts year resulting in Cate signing a new client.

Cate mainly focuses Young Adult and Middle Grade novel length commercial fiction although she is happy to consider select New Adult, Historical Romance, and Mysteries. In YA, NA, and Adult she prefer’s stories with strong romantic elements, or even better, a heart-pounding romance.

You can find Cate here: http://catehart.com/ on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/CateHart

and the Agency here: http://www.corvisieroagency.com/

Dawn-13137.         Dawn Michelle Frederick

Literary Agent & Owner, Red Sofa Literary

After having worked in the publishing industry for many years, including being a published non-fiction author and associate agent with Sebastian Literary Agency, Dawn branched out on her own and established Red Sofa Literary.

In addition to her literary agent duties she also volunteers with her local library system. As well as many years experience in the industry, Dawn also carries a B.S. in Human Ecology, and a M.S. in Information Sciences from an ALA accredited institution.

You might find Dawn drooling over a exceptionally written MG or YA while surrounded by friends of the fluffy and fury kind. 

You can find Dawn here: http://redsofaliterary.com/ and on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/redsofaliterary

mollieL8.                 Mollie Glick 

Agent, Foundry Literary & Media

After graduating from Brown University, Mollie began her career as a literary scout, advising foreign publishers regarding the acquisition of rights to American books. She then worked as an editor at the Crown imprint of Random House, before becoming an agent in 2003. Mollie represents New York Times bestsellers and International Bestsellers but she also takes great pride in breaking out a number of debut novelists each year. Her list includes literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, popular science, memoir and YA projects.

You can find Mollie here: http://www.foundrymedia.com/ and on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/mollieglick

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset9.         Maria Vicente

Associate Agent, P.S. Literary Agency.

Maria is a creative and editorial agent, providing support to her clients through all stages of the writing and publication process. Maria is dedicated to managing authors’ literary brands for the duration of their careers. Her reading preferences vary across categories and genres, which is reflected in her client list. She is actively looking for literary fiction, young adult, middle grade, illustrated picture books, and nonfiction projects in the pop culture, design, and lifestyle categories.

She has affinities for literary prose, strong character development, original storytelling formats, and anything geeky. Maria’s website includes articles about publishing and writing for current and potential clients, which she shares daily on Twitter

You’ll also find Maria here: http://www.psliterary.com/ and on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/msmariavicente

Camilla10.       Camilla Wray

Agent, The Darley Anderson Literary

Camilla joined the Darley Anderson Agency in July 2007 and was named as a publishing Rising Star by The Bookseller in 2013. At the Agency she represents debut, bestselling and award nominated authors in the UK and the US. She specialises in commercial fiction and represents crime, thrillers, suspense, high-concept accessible fiction, women’s fiction, love stories, YA and children’s fiction. She is always looking for characters to fall in love with, plots that keep her guessing and tales that teach the reader and leave them buzzing, crying and dying for more.

Camilla studied English Literature and Psychology at Cardiff University, specialising in Novel Writing. After gaining a distinction from the University of the Arts, Camilla went on to work for a national newspaper before joining the Darley Anderson Agency.

Camillia is another who has joined us again, having been involved in 2014. You can find Camilla here: http://www.darleyanderson.com/ And on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/camillawray

Christa11.       Christina Heschke

Agent, McIntoch & Otis, Inc.

Christa graduated from Binghamton University with a major in English and a minor in Anthropology. She started in publishing as an intern at both Writers House and Sterling Lord Literistic, where she fell in love with the agency side of publishing. Christa has been at McIntosh and Otis, Inc. in the Children’s Literature Department since 2009 where she is actively looking for picture books, middle grade, and young adult projects. She is a fan of young adult novels with a romantic angle, and strong, quirky protagonists.

Within YA, Christa is especially interested in contemporary fiction, horror and thrillers/mysteries. As for middle grade, Christa enjoys contemporary, humour, adventure, mystery and magical realism for boys and girls.

You can find Christa here: http://mcintoshandotis.com/ and on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/christaheschke

Agent bio picture12.       Jessica Schmeidler

Agent/Founder, Golden Wheat Literary

Jessica is currently mainly interested in speculative fiction however she dos encourage writers to submit Christian romance, thrillers, and suspense novels. Works of faith-based* speculative fiction, including dystopian, sci-fi, and paranormal encourage. Christian thrillers and suspense are always welcome. In other words, if your novels tend toward Christian themes, Jessica is the agent for you.

You can find Jessica here: http://www.goldenwheatliterary.net/ and on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/goldenwheatlit 

I think you’ll agree that this is quite the WOW list of agents; completely SMAWESOME wouldn’t you say?

Now, aside form checking out their bios and profiles and (of course) following them on Twitter if you haven’t done so already, there’s another reason to ‘get-to-know’ your agents – yep that’s right! We will be running Match-the-Mask-to-the-Agent again this year. The Secret Agent Bunny Masks will be revealed after Easter, and yes there will be an Amazon Voucher up for grabs for the first correct answer. More details to come after Easter.

thHoppingBunnyBut for now, all you need to concentrate on is your pitch + first 300 –words & remember, we are looking for POLISHED manuscripts.

Submission date is April 1st to 3rd 2015. Email for Submissions is nestpitch@outlook.com & for all the details & guidelines go to:https://nestpitch.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/nestpitch2015-is-your-manuscript-pitch-ready-then-april-1-2-3-go/ For a list of your Mentors & Slushies go to: https://nestpitch.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/nestpitch-2015-teams-simply-smawesome/

And one final thing. There have been some comments/questions regarding violence (etc.) in manuscripts. While it is true we do not accept the promotion of violence, hate-crimes, racism, bigotry, misogyny, etc. is a good thing, there seems to have been a little confusion by some authors. Of course there will be violence (etc.) in some genres, in fact it’s expected. I had a very long explanation planned but (after discussing with my fellow Nestpitch Team Mates) have decided to sum it up like this (words borrowed from one of our Mentors):

“…We want stories that make us laugh and cry. Stories that make us weep and scream. Stories that transport us to strange planets and different times. Stories that make you think and feel. Stories that are sexy and scandalous, that are quirky, creepy or noir,  stories that fill the imagination with mystical, mythical creatures and exotic cultures and locales, ones that change us or make us ask questions… in other words we want it all…”

I hope this goes some way toward clarifying that it’s not so much the journey as it is the mode of transport and the destination. And if that’s still unclear, please refer to the below flow-chart created and designed by another of our Mentors – it pretty much says it all (& yes a bit tongue-in-cheek):

Screenshot 2015-03-26 09.47.57

Now, spend the weekend sharpening & polishing & reading out loud and then re-writing where needed because the countdown to author submissions is ONLY DAYS away!

HappyEaster4

#NestPitch2015 – is your manuscript pitch ready? Then… April 1-2-3 Go!

BunnyBlowsEggBubblesFor those who don’t know what Nestpitch is, here’s a quick run-through.

There’s a special Easter tradition throughout central and northern Croatia – making Easter Nests for the Easter Bunny.  On the afternoon or eve of Easter Saturday children go out into the garden and collect leaves, grass, twigs, flowers and then make a “nest” for the Easter Bunny – that’s where he places hisEaster-Egg-Presents. The children go to bed that eve wondering if the Easter Bunny will like or love their nest, because the best nest gets the best and biggest eggs! 

And that’s the basis of Nestpitch, but the ‘nests’ are the author’s pitches and the ‘Easter Bunnies’ are the agents

– get it? Great!

BunnyEatsCarrotHoleHow does Nestpitch work?

This year we have changed things a bit, therefore even if you participated in Nestpitch 2014 you will still need to read the below.

This year we are NOT accepting Picture Books. We are accepting MG, YA, NA and Adult FICTION ONLY. I had someone ask if we are accepting memoirs or similar- the short answer is NO. This is a FICTION ONLY pitch + 1st 300 for manuscript length fiction only. We are accepting all genres within these categories. If your novel is either Erotica or Christian, please state this. For example: Adult Romance (Erotica) or YA Historical Romance (Christian).

RabbitBrownCatchingSnowflakesWe support diversity and strongly encourage authors with GLBT, geographic, cultural and/or social diversity within their manuscripts to submit. Having said this, we DO NOT support sexual violence, violence against children, bigotry and racism, paedophilia and/or animal cruelty. While it is true that violence and cruelty features within some genres, horror for example, or racism in a historical fiction set in the time of slavery, we will not accept manuscripts that support or promote, directly or indirectly, racism, misogyny, rape, sexual, physical or emotional violence.

One submission per author only please.

Teams: This year there are nine Teams made up of one Mentor & two Slushies. The Teams are listed here:https://nestpitch.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/nestpitch-2015-teams-simply-smawesome/

Guidelines: easter-rabbit-eating-vegetables-beautiful-gif-photography-great-atmosphere-funny-pics-233-1

The Pitch window will be open for 48 hours, thereby allowing everyone, regardless of where you live in the world, to prepare and submit a pitch.

The Pitch will be made up of three parts.

(i)                 a 35-word pitch

(ii)               answer to a question (in your main character’s voice)*

(iii)             the first 300-words of their manuscript

*QUESTION: If your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavour would s/he be?  Keep your answer to NO MORE than 15-words.

happy easter animated gif funny Easter Bunny photo graphics Happy Easter ecards animations eaggs Easter fun hot cross bunny  animations gif e-cardsHow to submit your Pitch:

On April 1st the submission window will open. Please follow the guidelines as set out below. Last year some people put their first 300 words at the top or mixed up the order. Please do not do this. There is a reason for the order and failure to follow the below will likely mean your submission will not pass Round#1 (refer below).

Send the following in your email:

In the Subject line: Nestpitch2015 Sub and your name/author name

In the body of the email type these words: 

By submitting this pitch + first 300 words I agree to allow the Nestpitch blog and/or any other affiliated blogs to post my submission on an open forum for the purposes of critique and feedback.  I understand this can be for the life of the blog(s).

PoohBearBunnyBasketManuscript Title:

Category/ Genre:

Word Count:

35-word Pitch:

QU (in your MC’s voice), if your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavour would s/he be?:

*First 300-words of your MS:

*1st 300 = if your MS has a prologue, then your 1st 300 starts from your prologue. Also, finish at the end of a sentence. This is 300-word MAX, so your last word is 300-words. If your sentence finishes on 292-words, submit that. If your sentences run into 30 or more words, then you might want to rethink the length of your sentence(s). Broken sentences do no one favours.

Example of a Submission:

Subject line: Nestpitch2015 Sub – Nikola Vukoja

By submitting this pitch + first 300 words I agree to allow the Nestpitch blog and/or any other affiliated blogs to post my submission on an open forum for the purposes of critique and feedback.  I understand this can be for the life of the blog(s).

zg8w-19L-1

Manuscript Title:      Easter Bunny goes to Vegas

Category/ Genre:      MG/ Fantasy

Word Count:             26,000

35-word Pitch:        After losing all his eggs in a card game to March Hare, the Easter Bunny heads for Las Vegas where he plans to win enough money to buy back the world’s Easter Eggs. 

If your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavour would s/he be?  I’d be every flavour, colour, shape and size imaginable; I’m the Easter Bunny… geez!

First 300-words of your MS:

Easer Bunny Blah Blah…

Send your submission to: Nestpitch@outlook.com (please note the submission window below, submissions sent prior or post those times/dates will not be accepted)

funny-animal-gifs-just-some-bunniesFormatting: Either Times Roman or Arial (we are aware that there may be issues with some email account regarding font, please do your best to use either Times Roman or Arial, or something as close as possible to these two)

No indentions. Single spacing. One space between each Paragraph.

Prologues: Your prologue is where your first 300 words begin.

Word Count: Rounded to nearest 1000. For example, 86,000 not 85,798

BunnyPaintsEggsTreeSelection Process: Last year we contacted all submissions that had made a mistake or left something out (listing only category or genre for example). This year we will not be so lenient. Aside from formatting issues, authors will be expected to follow the above. All submissions will be read by me (Nikola) first to ensure each submission has followed the above rules/guidelines.

There will be three rounds before final selection.

a.       Round #1: To get past #1 the authors must be able to follow guidelines.

b.      Round #2: This year each Team will select an initial 5-8 submissions and then request more pages/material. Based on the additional pages/material, each Team will drill their selection down to between 4-5 to go to the next round. Note: authors may receive more than one request from more than one Team.

c.       Round #3: On having picked their final 4-5, each Team will then critique the first 2,500-words and ‘get to know’ the author(s). This is a 3-fold process. Being selected does not necessarily mean being featured. Teams will want to know the author(s) are willing to accept feedback etc.  The Teams will work with their authors for 3 weeks, offering feedback, sharpening pitches, & suggesting improvements. After this, the authors have a full week to re-read their MS in full & make any final changes; before the agent round.

snoopyeasterFrom the Slush-pile Picks. My Team #Team2Beat, will be hunting through the slush-pile and the reserves, looking for gems that have been missed. We will have the option of selecting between 1-5 pitches (at our discretion) to feature. This is basically a bonus-pick so, you may just get an email after the date, but if you do, you’ll be expected to work twice as hard as the other author’s as you’ll have less time – so be ready!

Additional Rules: 

a.       Only manuscripts which HAVE NOT been featured in another online competition are eligible to enter. This DOES NOT include workshops, critique groups or similar. It also DOES NOT include twitter or any other tag-line style pitches either. Please feel free to ask if you’re in any doubt.

                                                              (i)      If you have submitted the same manuscript to #Pitchslam, due to the time-line cross-over, we are accepting these submissions. However, if your submission goes to the final stage of either or both competitions, please advice us and the host of #Pitchslam.

b.      Submissions MUST follow the submission format. We accept that sometimes emails de-format fonts and tabs, what we don’t want is people forgetting to put CATEGORY & GENRE (for example) or not answering the question; that sort of thing.

All pitches that have followed the rules (round#1) will then be forwarded to each Team. After the internal cat-fight, erh discussions will take place and each Team will select their top 4-5 author submissions (round#3). Expect to also see teasers and cryptic clues via Twitter & Facebook (*don’t forget to follow the Mentors and Slushies, lots of fun to be had!)

My Team #Team2Beat will be the Bandit Team. I bet all of you have a brother or sister who always stole your favourite Easter Eggs – well that’s what we’ll be doing – sort of. We will be looking for hidden or missed gems. They could be from the slush-pile or from #round2 & we’ll feature them. #Team2Beatmay have as few as one submission featured or as many as five – it all depends on how many diamonds in the rough we believe have been missed.

This year there will again be an Amazon Gift voucher Prize for the submission with the highest number of requests and another for matching the Agents with their Masks (more on that at agent reveal).

15Dates:

Agent Reveal: 27th March

Submission Window Opens April Fools Day (Wednesday 1st April 2015)

10pm Aust. Eastern Standard Time

7am USA New York Time

12 noon London UK Time

Submission Window Closes Good Friday (Friday 3rd April 2015)

10pm Aust. Eastern Standard Time

7am USA New York Time

12 noon London UK Time

Secret Agent Bunny Mask Reveal: April 9th

Teams send out requests for 1st 2,500 words Sunday 12th April

Authors reply by Tuesday 14th April

Final Selection Sunday 10th May (Mother’s Day)

Agent Request open Monday 11th May to Tuesday 12th May 2015

Unmask the Agent: Wednesday 13th May 2015 (Amazon Voucher)

Agent Request(s) sent out to authors Wednesday 13th May 2015

Authors to send requested pages to Agents by Friday 15th May 2015

Winner of Most Requests: 20th or 21st May

Stats: 28th or 29st May

Nestpitch2015 Close: 31st May (follow up blog with success stories as they come)

One last thing. Please remember to be respectful and considerate when communicating with out Mentors, Slushies and Agents. Rude, vulgar or insulting comments, tweets or emails will not be tolerated, in other words, please nice folks!

BunnyChocolateTailHelpful Guides: Novel Word Count:

Although we are not going to eliminate anyone who does not match the below, we recommend you try to follow as closely as possible the suggested word-count.  The to – from word-count is a guide only and takes into consideration genre variations (for example fantasy genre novels tend to be on the longer side)

ADULT:                     70,000 – 115,000

NEW ADULT :          60, 000 – 90,000

YOUNG ADULT:       50,000 – 80,000

MIDDLE GRADE:     25,000 – 45,000

Useful Tools/ Things to Avoid:BunnyThumperLooks

Common Punctuation Errors: (selected examples taken from Maeve Maddox’s post, March 20, 2015)

Incorrect: To become fluent readers students must read outside school hours.
Correct: To become fluent readers, students must read outside school hours.

“To become fluent readers” is an introductory infinitive phrase and should be followed by a comma.

Incorrect: If you want to write well you must be prepared to practice the craft.
Correct: If you want to write well, you must be prepared to practice the craft.

“If you want to write well” is an introductory clause and should be followed by a comma.

Incorrect: The boys, who vandalized the public gardens, are in police custody.
Correct: The boys who vandalized the public gardens are in police custody.

“Who vandalized the public gardens” is essential information because it identifies which boys are meant. It should not be set off by commas.

Incorrect: Circumstances required the children to live in a homeless shelter, nevertheless they kept up with their studies.
Correct: Circumstances required the children to live in a homeless shelter; nevertheless, they kept up with their studies.

Also correct: Circumstances required the children to live in a homeless shelter. Nevertheless, they kept up with their studies.

A comma splice results when two independent clauses are joined by a comma. The main clauses here are “Circumstances required the children to live in a homeless shelter” and “nevertheless, they kept up with their studies.”

The word nevertheless is a conjunctive adverb. Its function is to provide a transition between two thoughts, but it is not a joining word like and or but. A comma splice can be avoided by placing a semicolon after the first clause or by ending the first clause with a period or other end stop and starting a new sentence with a capital letter.

Incorrect: The spelunkers found, that the caves were closed to protect the bats.
Correct: The spelunkers found that the caves were closed to protect the bats.

The noun clause is “the caves were closed to protect the bats.” The clause functions as the direct object of the verb in the main clause, found.

thHoppingBunnyClauses: Main clauses that are not part of a compound or complex sentence require an end stop. When a period or other end stop is omitted, the result is a “run-on sentence.”

Incorrect: The rushing waves capsized the boat indifferent gulls wheeled overhead.

Correct: The rushing waves capsized the boat. Indifferent gulls wheeled overhead.

The simplest way to correct a run-on sentence is to put a period at the end of the first clause and capitalize the first word of the next one.

Multiple Exclamation Points!!!56

Incorrect: Before my astonished eyes, the house sank into the tarn!!!!
Correct: Before my astonished eyes, the house sank into the tarn!

On the rare occasions that an exclamation mark is needed, one is sufficient. Remember this rule, more than one Kitten… always. More than one exclamation mark… never.

Quotation Marks.

Incorrect: Our staff is required to take three “safety” courses every year.
Correct: Our staff is required to take three safety courses every year.

In most contexts, placing quotation marks around a word suggests that the word is being used with a meaning other than the obvious one. Writers who enclose words in quotation marks merely for emphasis risk annoying their readers. No one likes to waste time trying to discern a hidden meaning where there is none.

There are more examples on Maeve Maddox’s post found here: http://www.prdaily.eu/PRDailyEU/Articles/10_punctuation_essentials_for_every_writer_18319.aspx

Below is a list of words I have selected which are often incorrectly used:

1303815445_bunny-noseAffect vs. effect

Affect is usually a verb, and effect is usually a noun. When you affect something, it produces and effect. To affect something is to change or influence it. An effect is something that happens due to cause.

Affluent vs. effluent

Affluent describes something or someone has having a lot of money. It can also mean something is fluid or flowing in a large quantity, either literally or figuratively. A person who is wealthy is an affluentEffluent is the liquid sewage that is released as waste.

Farther vs. further

Father and Further both mean at a greater distance, and they are used interchangeably in this sense. In the US farther is more often used to refer to physical distances, and further more often refers to figurative and non-physical distances.

Imply vs. infer 

To imply is to express something indirectly. For example, you might imply that it’s time for a guest to leave by saying that you are getting tired. To infer is to surmise or deduce. For example, if you were to tell a guest that you’re getting tired, the guest might infer that it’s time to leave. More broadly, infer means to deduce. For example, when the sky grows dark in the middle of the day, you might infer that it’s probably going to storm. Infer has been used in place of imply so often and for so long that some dictionaries now list it as a synonym of imply in a secondary sense. In edited writing, however, the traditional distinction is usually kept intact.

easter-bunny-cute-gifLightening vs. lightning

Lightening (from the verb – lighten), where to lighten is to make light or lighter. Lightning is the flash of light associated with thunder.

Literally vs. figuratively

Literally means exactly, in a strict sense, or to the letter. For example, “I am literally foaming at the mouth,” this literally means real foam is coming out of his or her mouth. 

Figuratively means in a metaphorical sense—so when someone says, “I am figuratively foaming at the mouth,” we can infer that he or she is using the idiom foaming at the mouth, which means very angry, and that no mouth foam is actually present.

Misinformed vs. uninformed

Something that is misinformed is based on bad information. Something that is uninformed is based on no information or inadequate information.

Oppress, repress, suppress

To oppress is to keep someone down by unjust force or authority. To repress is (1) to hold back, or (2) to put down by force. Suppress, means (1) to put an end to, (2) to inhibit, and (3) to keep from being revealed, such as suppressing evidence.

BunnyBrownBasketSparklePeek, peak & pique

A peek is a glance or a quick look. It can also mean to glance or to peer at. Peak is a topmost point, such as a mountain peak. Finally, pique is to upset or excite someone, such as, to pique interest, you are exciting their interest not taking a quick look at it.

Re-create vs. recreate

Recreate means to amuse oneself with an activity, and is a word in its own right. The verb re-create, meaning to create again, benefits from the hyphen. But because recreate is an exceedingly rare verb, there’s actually little chance of the two being confused, so many publications omit the hyphen and use recreate to mean to create again.

Whiny, whiney, whinny

Whiny is an adjective meaning habitually complaining or like a whine.

Whiney is the same as whiny.

Whinny is the sound horses make & is synonymous with neigh.

Wreath vs. wreathe

The difference between wreath and wreathe is similar to that between breath and breathe. Wreath is a noun and wreathe is its corresponding verb.

MyButtHurts1Variations in British English and US English

As a general rule, the use of the letter ‘u’ in certain words differentiates the two types of English, for example Favorite / Favourite. The first being US English. Another example would be Color / Colour. Also the replacement of the letter ‘S’ with the letter ‘Z’ is a common difference between the two versions. For example Realize / Realise, with the first being US English.

Then there are words where US English has only one ‘L’ when – ed is added, for example Traveled is US English and Travelled is British English.

I found a good source of reference here: http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/words/british_american_english.htm

This site also highlights changes in ‘re’ and ‘er’ for example Centre/Center and other variations.

Sometimes words have a very different spelling as is the case with Jewelry  / Jewellery. The first being US English.

I hope some of these will help you with your grammar and word selection  and of course, if you have any questions about #Nestpitch please feel free to leave a comment or contact me on Twitter using either @nestpitch or @Nik_Vukoja

Come back in a few days to see our truly smawesome list of Agents!

ImageProxy

Nestpitch 2015 Teams – Simply Smawesome!

91aab551Hello all,

I guess it would be no big revelation if I said I make stuff up, given my chosen profession. The thing is I also make words up, usually by accident. That’s what happened yesterday morning. I was working on the Nestpitch Team bio’s and as I got further along, it hit me at how amazing this years Mentors & Slushies are.

I also talk to myself. Well that and the cats, which is kind of the same thing. So there I was, working on the Team bio’s talking to myself when my brain, which often works way faster than my mouth (& that’s saying something!), was thinking “these teams are Super, Magical, Awesome– and what came out of my mouth (literally) was smawesome – & that’s what these Team’s are – SMAWESOME! So I’m coining the word as my own & who knows? It might just catch on 🙂thebestdayyet

Below are the Teams and when you read them you’ll agree, they are smawesome, but before you look through the Teams, I wanted to run through the selection process. Now, don’t freak out too much as a full list of dates, rules and conditions will be posted on the 23rd / 24th of March. For now just mark March 23rd /24th and April 1st (submission date).

The submission consists of:

(i)                 35-word pitch

(ii)               Answer to this question: If your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavour would s/he be? (no more than 15 words please)

(iii)             1st 300-words of your manuscript*

*1st 300 = if you have a prologue, then your 1st 300 starts from your prologue. If you don’t think your prologue is strong enough then perhaps you need to rethink your prologue.

Finish at the end of a sentence. This is 300-word MAX, so your last word is 300-words. If your sentence finishes on 292-words, submit that. If your sentences run into 30 or more words, then rethink the length of your sentence(s). Broken sentences do no one favours.

This year we will not be accepting PB’s – I have something special planned for PB’s (and perhaps MG’s) for December 2015 assuming I can get all my ducks in a row 😉

defeatistTwo things to add/note:

(1)               A condition of entry is any MS #pitch submitted to previous #pitches, which resulted in being selected, in the twelve months prior to April 2015, is ineligible.   The only sub-clause to this is #PitchSlam. Please let us know if  you have the same MS in #PitchSlam & #Nestpitch, and again if you’ve been selected. I have spoken to the Host of PitchSlam & we’ve agreed to work closely on this one.

(2)               This year there will be less final selection featured pitches. (Expecting final the number to be around 40). With each Team concentrating on fewer submissions, we can be more hands-on with feedback and mentoring. By doing this, not only will the pitch + 300-words be stronger, but so will the entire MS. This year there will be rounds.

Harry potter styl image 1a.      Round #1: Last year I gave everyone the benefit of the doubt when errors were made in following guidelines. That will not be the case this year, aside from formatting issues (which happen). To get past #1 author’s must be able to follow guidelines.

b.      Round #2: This year each Team will select and initial 5-8 submissions and then request more pages/material. Based on the additional pages/material, each Team will drill their selection down to between 4-5 to go to the next round.

March-06-2012-17-18-53-tumblrltqwvxV4261qlcw7co1500c.      Round #3: On having picked their final 4-5, each Team will then critique the first 2,500-words and ‘get to know’ the author(s). This is a 3-fold process. Being selected does not necessarily mean being featured. Teams will want to know the author(s) are willing to accept feedback etc.  The Teams will work with their author’s for 3 weeks, offering feedback, sharpening pitches, & suggesting improvements. After this, the author’s have a full week to re-read their MS in full & make any final changes; before the agent round.

 From the Slush-pile Picks.

My Team, #Team2Beat, will be hunting through the slush-pile and the reserves, looking for gems that have been missed. We will have the option of selecting between 1-5 pitches (at our discretion) to feature. This is basically a bonus-pick so, you may just get an email after the date, but if you do, expect to work twice as hard as the other author’s as you’ll have less time – so be ready!

All of the above, together with dates and other conditions will be posted on March 23rd / 24th in an information post  – so keep a look out for that post.

And now, (in no particular order), bathe in the smawesmeness of our Teams! 

SCSC_Author – Mentor 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SC_Author  & blog: http://www.scwrite.blogspot.com.au/

Co-host of “Query Kombat” and “Nightmare on Query Street” and the host of “The Writer’s Tank” and “Become an Agent,” SC founded the#WriteInclusively pact in efforts to promote creative writing that has diversity as a focus. SC also wrote: “There’s a story behind my icon pic, a story that used to be funny a few years ago. I’m on the quest to find a new icon, though. Stay tuned!  Slushies: 

Laura HeffernanLaura Heffernan – Slushie – Laura is a California-born women’s fiction writer, represented by Michelle Richter at Fuse Literary.. One Saturday morning when she was four or five, Laura sat down at the family’s Commodore 64 and typed out her first short story. She’s written both fiction and non-fiction ever since.

In her spare time, Laura likes travel baking, board games, and new experiences. She lives in the northeast, freezing like the true California girl she is, with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts. Her fuzzy sock collection is becoming impressive. You’ll find Laura on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/LH_Writes 

Heather MurphyHeather Murphy Capps – Slushie – Heather is an MG/YA author of adventures and thrillers with light sci-fi, magical, or ghostly twists. When not writing, she’s wrangling her most important beta readers — her children. She also teaches and design courses (for adults) in writing and public speaking. Heather often features as a guest blogger on several popular blogs and recently wrote a guest blog on SC’s blog about her experiences as a writer & person of mixed cultural background.

You’ll find Heather on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/HeatherMC66 

LouiseLouise GornallMentor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rock_andor_roll  Blog: http://bookishblurb.com

YA author of urban fantasy and horror stories, Louise like her art on the dark-side. She describes herself as “Identical twin, junk food aficionado, book bird,film nerd, Jedi” & is represented by Mandy Hubbard at D4EO. Also, she’s from the UK so you know her voice will be as hot as her photo!

Lou’s Slushies:             

Sarah CarlsonSarah Carlson – Slushie Sarah loves writing (and reading) Young Adult Contemporary fiction that touches on social issues. She recently relocated from Singapore back to Wisconsin with her husband and two dogs to return to working in schools. Sarah is represented by fabulous Claire Anderson-Wheeler of Regal Literary Management. You’ll find Sarah on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/sarahjoydrop 

Kate FosterKate Foster – Slushie -Kate is a freelance editor and proofreader, writer of middle grade fiction and reader of all things dark and disturbing. Her first novel, Winell Road, is set for release later this year with Jet Black Publishing. Originally from the UK, she now lives on the gold Coast in Australia with her husband, three sons and pet spoodle.  (we’ll claim her as an Aussie!)

You’ll find Kate on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/winellroad

Sharon Bayliss picSharon Bayliss – Mentor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharonBayliss & Blog http://www.sharonbayliss.com/

Author extraordinaire with Curiosity Quills, (yes I’m a super-fan of her December People Series), Sharon lives in Texas with her hubby & gorgeous children where, between chasing after her boys, she  tweets, writes & helps other authors too.

Sharon B’s Slushies: 

Katy Katy Upperman – Slushie Writer of YA & represented by Victoria Marini of Gelfman Schneider Literary Agency, Katy describes herself as a wife, mama,avid reader and country music fanatic who likes baking, cheap beer, long runs, Jelly Bellies, sunshine, social media, and yoga. You’ll find Katy on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/KatyUpperman 

Jessika FleckJessika Fleck – Slushie – represented by Jamie Bodnar Drowley at Inklings Literary, Jessika is a lover of art and booksbut it wasn’t until she put the two together that Jessika discovered the magic of storytelling. Jessika lives in quaint, small town Vermont with her sweet family, growing collection of vintage typewriters, and bevy of characters who often keep her up at night. You’ll find Jessika on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/jessikafleck 

Stacey Nash picStacey Nash – Mentor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/staceynash Blog: http://www.stacey-nash.com/

Author of YA & NA (HarperCollins), and fellow Aussie, Stacey is also part of the blogging team at AussieOwnedAndRead. When not writing, Tweeting or Facebook- ing, she can be found spending time with her family.

Stacey’s Slushies: 

Kathy PalmKathy Palm – Slushie – Magic-wielding, TARDIS-traveling, stay-at-home mom, and YA fantasy/horror writer Kathy recently signed with REUTS Publications, her debut DOORS to be released in winter of 2016. She loves chocolate and all the weird, creepy, and fantastical words. You’ll find Kathy on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/KathleenPalm 

LivLiv Rancourt – Slushie – Liv writes romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire…or sometimes demon. She writes funny, not angst. When not writing Liv takes care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. She describes her husband is a soul of patience and her dog as the cutest thing evah(!) You’ll find Liv on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/LivRancourt 

sharon jSharon Johnston – Mentor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/S_M_Johnston & Blog: http://downunderwonderings.blogspot.com.au/

Another fellow Aussie, and talented writer, like Stacey, Sharon is also part of the AussieOwnedAndRead blogging team. She is also involved with several other #PitchComps, hence why wenicknamed her #ThePitchWhisperer

Sharon J’s Slushies: 

E.L WickerE.L Wicker – Slushie  – E.L is, in her own words “mildly (massively) obsessed with new Adult” (another reason I like her!). If she’s not reading it, she’s writing it. Among her favourite pastimes is hunting out new books by sparkly new authors. Author of the Bearwood series and blog assistant to Sharon Johnston (& now Slushie too), Emma is a lover of the contraction, a hater of the ‘off of’ & like the rest of us, a writer doing her thing. You’ll find E.L on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ELWicker  

JC NelsonJC Nelson – Slushie –  J.C is a born Texan living in the Pacific Northwest. Software developer by day and by night, an author and herder of Children and chickens. J.C.  writes Urban Fantasy blended with fairy tales, such as the Grimm Agency series. You can find J.C. on twitter here: https://twitter.com/AuthorJCNelson

Amanda Foody pic Amanda Foody – Mentor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmandaFoody & Blog: http://www.amandafoody.blogspot.com.au/

Repped by Molly Jaffa at Folio Literary. When not writing YA, or reading a book, you’ll likely find Amanda sprinting across her campus to another accounting class – yes there are author’s who are also accountants!

Amanda’s Slushies: 

photoNiki Cluff – Slushie – Niki was one of our success stories from last year and has joined us this year as one of Amanda’s Slushies. Niki is represented by Cate Hart at Corvisiero Literary Agency.

You’ll find Niki on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/nikimcluff

JenaJena DuBois – Slushie – Jena is a English Major (in other words, grammar, syntax and spell WILL COUNT) as well as an aspiring author. As a BETA to her fabulous Mentor for the past two years, Jena knows how to edit and how to spot those plot holes 😉 You’ll find Jena here: https://twitter.com/SlushieJena  

brooke PBrooke PowellMentor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheCakeNovelist Blog: http://www.thecakenovelist.blogspot.com.au/

Also signed with Folio Literary, Brooke like her subjects and her characters to stretch the readers perception of normal, she calls it “contemporary fiction that tends to twist and turn toward the more taboo side of things” When not writing, editing or social media-ing, Brooke can be found making cakes looks like works of art.

Brooke’s Slushies:

Heather BHeather Bryant – Slushie – Another Aussie, Heather lives in a little city in Australia with far too many voices in her head. When not reading, writing or sharing tweets online, Heather is another contributor on the AussieOwnedAndRead blog. If you have a purple unicorn, let Heather know! You’ll find Heather on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/heather_b88  

Kristy Shen PicKristy Shen – Slushie – Computer Engineer by day and one half of a writing duo by night. In her spare time, she likes traveling to exotic places, eating strange foods, and scaring the locals with her unintelligible hyper-babble and insane ramblings. Her debut MG novel LITTLE MISS EVIL has just been released through Spencer Hill Press. Kristy is represented by Jamie Bodnar Drowley at Inklings Literary. You’ll find Kristy on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/KristyShen

LaurenLauren McKellar – Mentor 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaurenKMcKellar & Blog: http://laurenkmckellar.com/

uthor, editor, AussieOwnedAndRead blog contributor and yes, another Aussie, Lauren’s debut novel, Finding Home, was released through Escape Publishing Harlequin Australia, on October 1, 2013. You can find out more about her Contemporary Crazy in Love series via her blog.

Lauren’s Slushies: 

Tracy JoyceTracy Joyce – Slushie – Tracy is an Australian Author of speculative fiction  who grew up in rural Victoria.  Her debut novel, Altaica: Book I in The Chronicles of Altaica, has been published by Odyssey Books. Tracy has long been a fan of the Fantasy genre, but particularly likes novels that deal with deep characterisations and that don’t flinch from the gritty realities of life. You’ll find Tracy on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TracyMJoyce

Karen McCoyKaren McCoy – Slushie –   As a writer who also works as a librarian; Karen must have the second most wanted profession for writers, the first being one-after-the-other best sellers! Author if MG & YA, Karen also an MFA student. When not reading, or writing or studying, you’ll likely find Karen on her blog or blogging on the Operation Awesome blog. You’ll find Karen on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/WriterLibrarian

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Nikola Vukoja – Mentor Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nik_Vukoja Blog: http://nikvukoja.wordpress.com/

Host & creator of #Nestpitch & co-host of Post-it-Forward, Nik’s tastes tend toward NA & Adult in both reading and writing, Nik likes her stuff to either be on the dark side or historical or have a social message, ideally all three! When not writing, you’ll find Nik working on her visual art, cooking, gardening & following orders from her Feline Overlords.

Nikola’s Slushie: 

JadahJadah McCoy – Slushie – Jadah lives in Nashville, TN and works as a legal coordinator. When not babysitting attorneys she can be found desperately juicing her brain for creative ideas or fantasizing about her next trip out of the country (or about Tom Hiddleston as Loki – it’s always a toss up when she’s fantasizing). Her debut NA sci-fi is forthcoming from Curiosity Quills Press. You’ll find Jadah on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/theQueryFaerie  

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And now – let the Easter Festivities begin!