Unmask The Agent Comp- $20 Amazon Voucher up for Grabs!

stig-unmasked-oYes it’s that time again… when anyone can play along for the annual #Nestpitch Unmask The Agent Comp!

So how does it work? Simple. 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:phantom-of-the-opera-unmaksing-o

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 participating 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.

How to submit:tumblr_mkygth1zdO1qmvy8zo1_500

  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.

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Five Minutes With… Michael Hyde

Hi All, While the #Nestpitch Teams work with their authors and prepare for the Agent Round I took some time out to interview a very special YA author and invited him to take a seat on my virtual coach for our … Continue reading

Nestpitch 2015 Submissions are Now Closed!

writer-moments1

Thank you to everyone who submitted, we have been blown away with your talent and creativity! – #Nestpitch2015 is now CLOSED

To all who submitted, keep an eye out in the next week as Teams will be requesting more material and any author may get requests from more than one Team

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE – YOU’RE ALL SMAWESOME!

So have you prepared your emails, checked them twice… ‘cos we want your pitches, both naughty and nice…

Oh wait, that’s the wrong jingle isn’t it? You know what? It’s my blog and I’ll mix jingles if I want to – 🙂

Time to hit that SEND button – because the Submission Window for #Nestpitch2015 is NOW OPEN! I have created an auto-reply (sorry it says vacation reply that was the only option), therefore everyone should get a reply confirming their submission has been received. I will be checking JUNK MAIL also (just in case). If your email ends up in junk mail, I’ll move it over & send you a quick reply. Please note, a second email from the same email address in the same day WILL NOT get a second auto reply.

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

10pm Aust. Eastern Standard Time

7am USA New York Time

12 noon London UK Time

For Complete Guidelines please refer to the post a few weeks back which you’ll find in the recent posts list along the side, however I have also included a brief overview below:

tumblr_lp9tthzs0f1qz7hmlo1_400How to submit your Pitch:

Email address: nestpitch@outlook.com

Please follow the guidelines. 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).

Manuscript Title:writer-moments13

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).

Manuscript Title:      Easter Bunny goes to Vegastumblr_m949z4q9Ib1r1fva4

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:

Easter Bunny Blah Blah…

Send your submission to: Nestpitch@outlook.com (please note the submission close above, submissions emailed after the submission window closes will not be accepted)

giphyFormatting: Either Times Roman or Arial (we are aware that there may be issues with some email accounts 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  and 72,000 not 72,221

*And remember, its one submission per Author, in any genre for the following categories MG, YA, NA, Adult. No picture books, memoirs, chap or chapter books, or short story anthologies & only NOVEL FICTION (not novella). – & please do not forget we want Category & Genre.

As with last year, your manuscript must be polished and as grammar/spelling perfect as is humanly possible. And, aside from twitter pitches, critique groups and workshops, your pitch + first page(s) cannot have been featured in another pitching to agents style contest in the last 12 months (#PitchSlam 2015 is an exception, please read guidelines and/or ask questions if in doubt).

OK, so that’s all the technical stuff out of the way. Now for the fun!aa5a4d147a12181ce8b0705fe43c0175

We are all super excited to see what lands in the email box of the next 48 hours & can’t wait to get our hands on your words! Good luck to everyone … and remember… everything is subjective and everything has a home; somewhere. #Pitch comps are but one way to find an agent and/or move forward with your writing career.

Play nice, its fun but its also a lot of work for the Team, all of whom have given of their time for free, and the impression you want to leave is a positive, professional one; so again… play nice 🙂

BottyShake_randomgoodstuff

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

Post-It-Forward 2015 – Let the Pitch Critique Begin!

96781-Anna-excited-gif-Imgur-Frozen-j9HvHello all, 

Today is day-1 for Post-It-Forward 2015, and wouldn’t you know it, the Lovely Rhiann got her posts up before me! Mind you, I think it’s my fault, I said March 10th and Well, it IS March 10th here in Australia – time zones sheesh! Anyway, here we go 🙂

I’ve posted my list of pitches here & you’ll find Rhiann’s here https://rhiannwynnnoletblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/post-it-forward-2015-has-arrived/

This year we got a wonderful cross-section of categories & genre’s & I couldn’t be happier!

So how does it work?

The pitches will not have the author’s name or the title of the MS. This is a pitch-workshop & therefore the only thing that should count is the category/genre and the pitch. Rhiann & I will be offering feedback on our own and each other’s list, that way every single pitch will get at least two sets of new eyes giving feedback.

ImageProxyIf you sent your pitch in to us within the time scheduled window & followed the (very basic) rules, you’ll find your pitch on either Rhiann’s or the Nestpitch blog. As the author you are welcome to volunteer your ownership of the pitch – that is entirely up to you. However, as part of the terms of entering, you are obligated to participate with feedback for other pitches. As stated: everyone who has a pitch selected & featured, must, within a week, comment on at least 2 other pitches – at least one on each blog – you have ONE WEEK to post at least one helpful comment on each blog. You can of course offer feedback on more than one pitch per blog, but that is the minimum.

Please note: the comments are moderated so play nice folks!

Fell free to tweet about your pitch and encourage others to participate, the more feedback the better for you and for everyone 🙂

The idea here is not only will the pitches below and on Rhiann’s blog get direct feedback, they will offer insight into that mystical and totally subjective creature known by the common name “the prefect pitch.”

Sometimes, seeing or reading something makes magic happen for the reader, a light-bulb or Eureka moment.  If anyone gets such a moment, please feel free to share.

tumblr_lhjnfsdULm1qzp85mo1_500Nothing is more contagious than enthusiastic joy; it’s one of the few things where, the more you spread, the more you have.

The pitches will be distinguished by a number only, e.g. N-1 for mine and R-1 for Rhiann’s.

To comment you will read the pitches & comment something like:

R-7: “Loved the voice but I wasn’t sure who was the MC, I would suggest removing at least one of the character’s in the pitch and leaving it for the query”

Get it? Great – go forth and post-it-forward folks! 

So here are my 10, now it’s your turn, submit your comment & I’ll feed it through – you’ll find my comments VERY SOON I promise! – & if you’re the author of any of the below or the ones on Rhiann’s blog, remember to drop by often over the next two weeks & to also comment on at least two pitches, one on each blog 🙂

 N-1. Category/ Genre: Fantasy

35-word Pitch: Thalia’s writer will lock her forever in a compilation of forgotten rough drafts unless she changes story lines and travels inside the manuscript to steal an artifact for him. Her muse powers are in danger.

N-2. Category/ Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Romance

35-word Pitch: Honor and Courage are twins hiding their station-born abilities until Honor spills their secrets, then Courage disappears. To find him, rules-following Honor must join an Earth-born rebel who thinks rules are made to be broken.

N-3. Category/ Genre: Urban Fantasy (with erotic elements)

35-word Pitch: All Declan wants is to never kill again, which seems reasonable, except he’s the god of death. In a kingdom fueled by slavery and murder, the Hollywood rent boy must choose: conscience or holy war.

N-4. Category/ Genre: YA Contemporary

35-word Pitch: Karen Bleeker has a secret: She doesn’t think the world is ending. Her tin-capped, SPAM hoarding, Doomsday prophet father does. Karen must fight to protect him from being locked up while preserving their fragile relationship.

N-5. Category/ Genre: NA Multicultural Contemporary

35-word Pitch: Chinese-American, germophobic Mei must become a doctor and marry a Chinese Ivy Leaguer OR be shunned by her parents for dishonoring them. AMERICAN PANDA: MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING meets Amy Tan set at MIT.

N-6.  Category/ Genre: Adult-Fantasy/Romance

Marin faces the unknown world of the Fae: traitorous aunt, new and out of control powers, and Danshue – evil fae – calling for her death. And one gorgeous bodyguard professing his love. Life needs more coffee.

N-7. Category/ Genre: YA Techno-thriller

35-word Pitch: The moment Fiona looked into Amirah’s spellbinding eyes, a sisterly bond formed. So of course she’d risk her life when the government comes to claim Amirah, who’s really a botched attempt at creating a super-soldier.

N-8. Category/ Genre: Commercial Fiction (New Adult Sci-fi Adventure)

35-word Pitch: When Allison finds herself forty years in the future, pursued by both sides of a twisted war, the last thing she expects is to meet her soul-mate and find a new family worth fighting for.

N-9. Category/ Genre: NA Fantasy

35-word Pitch: Being a ParaScience freshman is a nightmare come true when Hailey confronts tunneling earworms, carnivorous trees, a roommate from hell, a deadly love triangle and the dream creature that killed her family.

N-10. Category/ Genre: YA Contemporary

35-word Pitch: Seventeen-year-old Allison can barely walk after a violent gang rape. She must fight PTSD, her injured body, and pregnancy or risk losing what she has left of herself that the attackers didn’t destroy.

Diversity; Life Imitating Art – Hopefully

Diversity-BeautyHi all,

Today I want to talk about the subject of diversity. It’s become a bit of a catch-phrase; which, frankly, always makes me nervous. It’s a bit like Political Correctness. Now, don’t me wrong, I am totally for BOTH diversity & political correctness. What I don’t like it people hiding behind these terms. Or using them as ‘band-aids’ as something to say (or write) to get out of actually dealing with the core issues of diversity (& political correctness, because seriously, can one be without the other?)

I’m a massive supporter of diversity in art. I want to see more social, cultural, sexual, age, religious, political, geographic diversity in all forms; in art, in business, in science… in other words, in life. But as Artists, we are in a privileged position. I believe that through art (visual, dance, music, writing, you name it) we open understanding and dialogue. I want to see more gay characters and non-Christian characters is books and in movies. I want to see more paintings and sculptures by and about indigenous people across the world. I want people with various religious beliefs depicted beyond stereotypical cliché’s. I want people of all ages represented in media and fiction. I want to discover new traditions and legends and myths. I want physical & metal health issues portrayed in movies and see people valued for their skills and talent and not just their cup size or height. I want to see plays and music and dance written and performed by groups I’ve never even heard of; so that I can hear of them and learn from them and understand them.

OK, so, have I made it clear I’m Pro-Diversity? Great. Now let’s talk about what I DON’T want to see, hear, read, touch, smell, taste.

confused2A few days ago there was a link on Facebook to an article where Oxford University was recommending people not refer to pork products/references in novels because it might offend Jewish and/or Muslim readers. I will openly say I think this is taking political correctness too far. I also have to wonder why the same ‘study’ did not also recommend not mentioning beef products in case Hindu readers should be offended, or all meat products for fear of offending vegetarians, or all meat and dairy products, should that offend vegan’s. Sometimes things are so ‘politically correct’ that (in my opinion) they are simply wrong.

Personally, I think articles and studies like this are both divisional and unfair to the same people the studies are proclaiming to support/protect. I know a lot of Jewish and Muslim people; a lot. I would NEVER serve any of them pork, just as I never serve a vegan a piece of cheese. Having said that, my Muslim and Jewish friends don’t expect me to change everything about myself because their lifestyles vary from mine, after all, isn’t the point of diversity to acknowledge our differences and embrace what we can and accept openly even that which we ourselves do not adhere to.

Diversity. I want to see it in all its incarnations. Even so, there are things I do not want to be exposed to. I don’t wish to be exposed to bad writing or bad art. I don’t want to taste the bitter taste in my mouth with someone randomly picks a character with a political view or cultural background they know nothing about.

Jane-Eyre-Fan-Art-jane-eyre-2011-34576353-500-200I don’t want to see ‘token’ characters. The token gay guy, the token Muslim, the token Marxist, the token blue-haired, pseudo-hippy-chick.

I don’t want to be made aware of just how poor an artist’s research is into a social group, or culture, or religion, has been.

I don’t want to be insulted, as a reader or a viewer, or an audience member (etc.) with any of these.

What I’m saying is this. Don’t write a Koori single mother into your novel and that’s it. Don’t create a gay or transsexual character and not do your research. Don’t make your character one dimensional, simply for the sake of being able to ‘label’ it GLBT or Ethnically Diverse (or similar).

Yes give me an Orthodox Jewish character but don’t end it at that. I want to know who this person is. Do they work in their own community or the larger community? Show me their struggles with meeting their religious obligations (religious holiday’s for example) while also being effective in the greater community. Give them dimension. Are they also mad-crazy about a sports team? If so, how do they manage their personal passions with their family commitments? Are they loud, are they introverted, are they studious, or do they like to go for a jog every morning? Have they struggled with inter turmoil or demons? Have they questioned their faith, or their place in the world? Have they been exposed to violence, a health issue, financial struggles?

THIS IS WHAT I WANT. I want a detailed, evolved, creative tapestry of character traits and experiences. I want interaction and intrigue and love and lust and danger and symbolism and manic behaviour and sadness and joy and hope and loss and opportunity… I want WHOLE genuine characters I can relate to, learn from and support. I want to be shown their world not simply told they are an Orthodox Jew or a lapsed Christian.

Think about it. Do you have gay friends? Conservative friends? Muslim or Hindu friends? Communist friends? How do you introduce them? Do you say, “This is Sue. Sue just move in next door.”

(because that’s what I’d say)

I bet you don’t say, “This is Sue. She used to be Peter, before the operation, oh and by the way, Sue is a Communist.”

There is nothing natural about the second version. Everything after “This is Sue” will (or should) be part of the development of the character. I want to be drawn in, shown who Sue is, what struggles Sue has faced, why she is who she is. I want to learn about the relationships Sue has. This is what I mean by TOKEN. If ‘Sue’ being a Communist is part of her character arc, fantastic, lead me on the discovery. If it’s simply a line you throw in here or there, as a way of saying “look at me, I’ve got a Communist in my book” that’s a diversity fail for me.

If you’re going to create a character like ‘Sue’ DO YOUR RESEARCH.

I’m not gay, nor a man.

My current WIP has a male main character, (actually its duel POV so it also has a lead female character, but you get my point). When I write in a male voice I work hard to channel my inner guy, but I also make sure I have male reader’s giving me their opinion. My male MC has a best friend who is mixed race and openly gay, and has a crush on my straight male MC. In this particular WIP there is a lot of out right sex, drugs, violence, lust and magic (it’s a re-tell BTW). There is also a lot of suggestive stuff. Some of the sex scenes (outright and suggested) are gay and to do justice to my character’s as well as my gay friends, I have various people read scenes not long after I’ve written them. I want the scenes to sound and feel authentic. I want them to be true to the people I am representing and I DON’T want them to come off as cliché.

Because of this (and other reasons), the current WIP is taking me a very long time to finish even draft one. But I know it’s worth the struggle because, frankly I don’t want to insult the cultures or the friends I’m representing. I don’t want them to be cardboard cut-outs. I don’t want them to be stereotypes or cliché. I don’t them to be single dimensional. Being labelled diverse IS NOT ENOUGH, they must be real and true and thought out and developed and multi-faceted.

e04And this brings me to an issue I have come across.

A few years ago I finished the first novel in a series. It was (is) a historical dark fantasy which begins in 10th century Europe and finishes (Vol#3) in 2038. The history is based on Croatian, Bulgarian & Austro-Hungarian (royal) history and the mythology is Pagan Slavic mythology. I had one agent tell me they liked the writing but STRONGLY suggested I pick a better known history and mythology. I didn’t take this advice. I didn’t take it because this is what I know and this is what I wish to share. That trilogy has been set aside, but not shelved forever, as I work on other pieces. Personally, I believe that piece of advice was wrong Wrong WRONG. I know that I can make the trilogy stronger, when I do eventually return to it; and I will. I also know that my culture and history has a market. I write what I know and what I’ve studied. I write (and paint) what comes to me, naturally, infused within my core. I write this because I know the voice will be real and genuine.

tumblr_n0lnym6RlI1qj4315o1_500Recently I had someone (via email) comment on the “lack of African-American’s & all these white people” in my writing.

I did explain that I happen to live in Melbourne Australia and African-American’s are very few and far between. In fact, I have only ever met two African-Americans. One while living in France (and trust me USA friends, she was not the kind of person I’d want to base a cultural representation on) and the second, less than two months ago. The second woman is ½ African-American & ½ Turkish. She also happens to be Muslim. Her father and mother split up when she was a toddler with her (African-American) father returning to the US and having practically nothing to do with her until she was in her late teens. In other words, she knew (and still knows) virtually nothing about being African-American. She considers herself a mixed-race Muslim Australian.

What’s my point?

Do not write about people you have little or no knowledge of, without GAINING knowledge. If I happen to write about a group I‘m not so knowledgeable about, I make sure I have REAL people I can talk to, study and ask to read pages, in order to ensure I am doing them justice.

images (1)But wait I hear someone screaming, do I write about Koori’s (given I’m in Australia). My current WIP refers to Koori culture; however, as there are so many Australian Aboriginal languages, I tend to refer to more generic aspects of Koori life. For example, in my current WIP I use the myth of The Rainbow Serpent, (which I mix with Slavic, Druid and Celtic beliefs). I’ve known several people from various aboriginal groups. And because I have known several, I also know that each group has their own uniqueness. As I cannot do justice to any one group, I use my overall knowledge to represent Koori people but I don’t go into specifics, the same way I would for say a Croatian or French character.

Why? If a Koori were to read my novel(s) I don’t want them feeling insulted or misrepresented.

So I write (& paint) what I know and if I need to study a culture, or belief, or tradition, or geographic environment or era, I REALLY study it. And that is what I expect when I interact with another artist’s work.

tumblr_my29zuMUQZ1s04h2ho1_500I titled this post, Diversity; Life Imitating Art – Hopefully, as I believe that through art we open discussion and acceptance. But as artists we have an obligation to represent uniqueness and diversity with integrity and honestly. We have a duty beyond not falling into clichés; we have a duty to break them. We have a responsibility to push boundaries rather than perpetuating (often wrong) stereotypes. We have a calling to show humans for what they are, one race, and to help other’s not push people and groups into pre-conceived boxes.

tumblr_n2ec03zfU01r1v49to1_500We must encourage diversity but we must also acknowledge each of us comes from our own unique place. We should draw on the relationships we have and then expand our knowledge, our circle. We should be reading non-fiction as well as fiction. We should be the leaders in expanding our horizon’s, before expanding our art.

But most of all, (I believe), we should have a need, a hunger to present diversity with respect and with conscious endeavour to embrace all, not simply want to follow a catch-phrase or trend. We have the power to effect change, both as a consumer and as a creator. Or we can perpetuate indifference and lack of tolerance either by not embracing diversity or by not respecting the responsibility of creating diverse art. OK, jumping off my soapbox now. I would very much like to hear what others think about this post.