Friday, August 14, 2015

MEGA GIVEAWAY! Many Pitch Wars mentors will give away first-chapter critiques!

Some of the Pitch Wars mentors, including me, are hosting a chapter-critique Rafflecopter Giveaway! Anyone can enter. It starts at midnight tonight and will run until September 4, 2015! 

Here’s the list of mentors that will participate giving a chapter critique:

Brenda Drake, author of TOUCHING FATE and THIEF OF LIES.
Mónica B. Wagner, author of FROSH: FIRST BLUSH.
Kate Brauning, author of HOW WE FALL.
Emily Martin, author of THE YEAR WE FELL APART.
N.K. Traver, author of DUPLICITY.
Helene Dunbar, author of WHAT REMAINS.
Joy McCullough-Carranza, who’s supporting Laura’s Shovan book, THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY.
J.A. Souders, author of RENEGADE~REVELATIONS~REBELLION         
Kelly Siskind, author of CHASING CRAZY.
Trisha Leaver, author of THE SECRETS WE KEEP.
Michelle Hauck, author of GRUDGING: BIRTH OF SAINTS and KINDAR'S CURE.
K.T. Hannah, author of CHAMELEON.
Lee Gjertsen Malone, author of THE LAST BOY AT ST. EDITH'S.
Sarah Nicolas, author of DRAGONS ARE PEOPLE, TOO.
Stacey Trombley, author or NAKED

Here’s how this giveaway will work: you’ll get a free entry just for stopping by and signing in, and if you want to increase your chances, you can support the mentors by buying their books or pre-ordering them. If you want to increase your odds to get a critique from a particular mentor, you can go and buy/preorder said mentor’s book by following the links above. You can buy more than one book, and up your chances in more than one giveaway, too! You might even win a chapter critique by more than one mentor.

UPDATE!! The giveaway ended and here are the winners! WOOHOO!! 

Kate Brauning
winner: Nicole Hoeffs. 

Michelle Hauck
winner: Heather.

Sarah Nicolas
winner: Meredith Kreisa. 

Lee Gjersten Malone
winner: Kirk Kraft.

Elizabeth Briggs
Marc M.

Kate Brauning
Tracy Davies.

Lisa Maxwell
Jone MacCulloch.

K.T. Hanna
Jake Trauberman.

Tamara Mataya
Gemma Krambousanos.

Kate Karyus Quinn
Sandra S. Rice.

Jaye Robin Brown
Alyssa. C.

J.A. Souders
Nicole Alana. 

Mónica Bustamante Wagner
Samantha Lim. 

Brenda Drake
Jason Robbins.

Brighton Walsh
Shyanne T. 

Trisha Leaver
Sussu Leclerc.

Kelly Siskind
Katherine Pisana. 

Emily Martin
Jason Temple. 

Helene Dumbar
Sofia Embid.

Stacey Graham
Natasha Kassam.

Stacey Trombley
Elena Tabachnick.

Joy McCullough-Carranza/ Laura Shovan
Brian Montano.
Kelly Barina. 

Jami Nord
Nicole Hoeffs.

Mindy McGinnis picked her winner on her own rafflecoper.
The mentors have your email addresses from the Rafflecopter and they will contact the winners! If you won and don't hear from your mentor in the next 3 days, please let me know in the comment section of this post. Let me know if you have questions!

Thank you all for participating!


Monday, August 10, 2015

TWV Ninja Agent Success Story!

 GUYS! I love when this happens--when one of my The Writer's Voice team members emails me to let me know they've got an agent! Today I bring you another success story, now from Aly Brown--a The Writer's Voice 2015 member.

Here's her story in her own words:

I began my querying journey by reading countless lightning-fast success stories and becoming disillusioned. I figured if So-and-So McGhee was able to land an agent with her first book after two months of submitting query letters, then what made me any different? What I didn’t realize at the time was that So-and-So was the exception, not the rule. And that querying was a process that can take years. Reading success stories kept me pumped and eager to achieve, but over time, it also made me suspect I was failing somehow. Why don’t I have an agent yet? I thought this would be a breeze! (Insert confession to starting out a tad cocky here.) And after about ten years of pouring my heart into novels that were barely garnering responses--or, worse, close calls--I thought maybe I wasn’t cut out for my dream job.

Then one day my crit partner tells me about a contest on Brenda Drake’s site, The Writer’s Voice. I was a little hesitant at first. My former-dream agent was on the list of competing agents and she’d already rejected a partial from me--a rejection that had reduced me to tears and opened the will-you-ever-be-good-enough can of worms. And the other agents didn’t seem like the best fit, either. But I’d been told contests can be a great opportunity to get your work in front of agents who typically don’t rep your genre, but discover they love your premise.

The first step was to enter the rafflecopter, and leave it up to chance. Turns out, the rafflecopter liked me, and I received an email that night with instructions on how to upload my query and first few paragraphs. 

Then there was more waiting. More silence. 

When it was finally time for the coaches to select their teams, I was pleasantly surprised to find an email from author Monica Bustamante Wagner the first thing Monday morning: “We want you!” 

And the editorial fun began! My coaches, Monica and Stephanie Garber,  put us through the wringer (in a good way) to make our queries and introductory paragraphs pop. Everyone was working hard. We were going to present our hand-picked work to an audience of willing literary agents!

When the big day arrived--the day the agents would vote, which was equal to requests for material--Team for the Win was abuzz with excitement. The votes came pouring in for my teammates’ amazing submissions. But by the end of the agent round, my little entry, HEARTBREAKER FOR HIRE, had received nothing. 

Not. One. Single. Vote.

Even after the bonus round with secret agent participants, I didn’t get a request. I tried to tell myself that I’d been prepared for this result--my work didn’t quite fall into the right category--but it still stung. 

I went back to my usual business of life and querying. Regardless, I’d received amazing feedback from two talented writers even if I didn’t receive a request for materials.

What I didn’t know was that an agent had already voted for me. Rewind to the week before the Writer’s Voice agent round. One of my teammates made an announcement on our private Facebook group page: New agent, Moe Ferrara, was hosting a free query crit. Several of us decided to hop over to the Reddit page for yet another critique (because, let’s face it, writers are insatiable when it comes to query advice). Monica couldn’t tell us to stop. It would have given away the surprise that Moe was going to be one of the secret agents. Instead, she emailed Moe and explained. And Moe said she would wait until the contest to request anything from Team for the Win members. But she made a “mistake.” She forgot I was one of the Writer’s Voice team members and requested my material early. Had I not participated in the Reddit critique, I would have received her vote through the Writer’s Voice contest. Oddly enough, this made me feel better. 

While Moe was reading my partial, I received the most unexpected offer of representation from an agent I hadn’t heard from in months! She was absolutely lovely over the phone and I was THISCLOSE to accepting her offer when Moe stepped in and counter-offered. While the first offering agent seemed wonderful, she just wasn’t the same fit for me. Moe was great on paper, and she also answered all of my questions exactly as I’d hoped she would! In a roundabout way, I feel I found my agent through The Writer’s Voice contest, even though she didn’t vote for me.

It’s still surreal to say things like ‘my agent’ or receive paperwork from BookEnds, LLC in the mail. After ten years of writing, reading, querying, and waiting, I’m perpetually grateful that I never gave up, even on those darker days. With a new agent at my side, I’m looking forward to beginning my submission journey!

Thanks so much, Aly, for sharing your story with us. I think it was very inspirational! To read more about Aly, visit her website