Tuesday, July 19, 2016

It's Pitch Wars time again! =D

Hellooooo!! *waves enthusiastically* I’m so super excited to be doing Pitch Wars again. This will be my 5th time. Whoa! Time flies. Anyway. I seriously love pitch wars. Thanks to this contest, I’ve met two of my CPs. And met so many lovely people. Like in the pic below you can see Susan Gray Foster (my current CP and mentee from 2014, who now is repped by Caitlin Blasdell).

I really wanted to do the contest again, even though I’ve been getting busier. When I do this contest, I like to pour my heart into it. I read every submission carefully and then make enough time to work with my mentee so their MS is polished and shiny for the agents’ round.

So. I realized that the only way of doing this was to 1) co-mentor with someone awesome, and 2) narrow down my list considerably, and get less applications than other years. That’s why I’m only taking YA fantasy this year. Unlike last year, I’m not taking any NA. Sorry, guys!

Anyway! This year, I'm co-mentoring with the FABULOUS Kerbie Addis-Owens!
I'm super excited about that. I met her via Pitch Wars, too. I think she's so smart and talented, and her writing reflects that. 
Here's her bio in her own words: 

"I’m an intern at a NYC literary agency, where I go through slush and provide manuscript feedback. I have a bachelor’s in English and a minor in Latin (dead languages make me feel alive) and am currently in the master’s program at Texas Woman’s University to become a librarian. I’ve been in Pitch Wars (twice!) so I know all about revising on a deadline and the emotional rollercoaster it can be. I’ve helped many writers on their publishing journey through numerous edits, revisions, and crying sessions filled with hot cocoa and cartoons."

Back to the wish list: Like I said, we're not taking contemporary YA, or paranormal YA, or dystopian YA, or YA thrillers, etc, etc. Just YA fantasy (not over 110k words, though).

Let me specify:
We don’t care if it’s historical fantasy YA, or high fantasy YA, or any kind of YA fantasy, but we want some romance. :) It doesn’t have to be the main plot, but there has to be some romantic tension for me to get hooked.

There’s only one kind of YA fantasy we don’t want: boy YA fantasy, like ERAGON.


If you are not sure whether to submit to us, then I think it would be a good idea if you could check out the PW pages of my previous mentees. There are a couple published books from my previous Pitch Wars teams, too. :) Like this one, and this one. Here are a few other entries: this onethis one, and this oneAnd if you still want to take a look at more mss that I’ve picked to see my tastes, you can poke around on my blog and see The Writer’s Voice entries. Some of them, like STITCHING SNOW and RESURRECTING SUNSHINE are published, too. Pay attention to the voice of all those entries. If you like them, then we probably have a similar taste.

I think this step in choosing a mentor is REALLY important. Years ago, when I was querying, I read all the Baker’s Dozen entries (remember that contest on Authoress’ blog?). And I wrote down which entries I liked, and the ones I didn’t like so much. Then I paid attention to the agents who requested those entries. And then I queried them all. Most of the agents who had requested the entries at The Baker’s Dozen that I had liked, requested my ms, too. And ALL of the agents who had requested the entries that I didn’t like so much? You guessed it. They rejected my ms. Really. I think this is, like, the most important step deciding who you should submit to.

About me: I’ve been a freelance editor for over five years, and I love to edit (not copy edit, though—for some reason, I’m not so good with typos!). I got my first agent in 2010 for a YA fantasy that didn’t sell. Then, after regrouping, I auditioned at Paper Lantern Lit (the imprint founded by NYT best-selling author Lauren Oliver and editor Lexa Hiller), and got a NA deal for a packaged book (the Frosh trilogy). It was a three-book deal, so I’ve been at that for a while now. Now, I’m writing a YA fantasy in my free time. I’ve betaed or edited a lot of books (already published and upcoming), like MEMORY OF LIGHT by Francisco Stork, CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber, UNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacey Lee, and many others—if you want to learn more, you might want to take a look at the editorial services page of this blog. You’ll find testimonials there, too. I'm repped by Lauren MacLeod.

My editing style is like this: I’ll point out the things that aren’t working for me and tell you why. For example, I might comment that I think the pace is slow, or the characters seem two-dimensional, or there’s a plot hole, etc. I’ll put my finger on what exactly isn’t working for me and tell you why. Then, I’ll give you a few suggestions, examples of how you might want to fix it. Then, I'll leave it up to you. If you want to fix something differently, be my guest. The key to it all is communication. Then, the second round of edits (the line-edits) will be made by Kerbie, who has a lot of experience since she works for a very awesome agent. :) 

Okay, something else you should know: last year Susan and I got like 120+ entries. (I forget the exact number, though.) About half of those were YA—the rest NA. And I’d say we got like 10 YA fantasies. So, if this year is like 2015, then we’ll get just a few entries, and in that case, I’ll try and give feedback to all the submissions. But if we get more entries than the 10-20 entries we're expecting, then I think we won’t have time to give feedback. BUT! The good news is... Kerbie says she'll have time to give overall feedback on every entry, no matter how many we get. Isn't she amazing?? 

Oh, before I forget! The letter for that BLOG HOP SCAVENGER HUNT that Brenda is doing? It's on Kerbie's blog

Let me know if you have general questions on the comments section of this post. You can tweet to us too. I won’t have much access to internet from 7/19 to 7/23, though.  

Good luck!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Frosh #2 Cover Reveal and Netgalley News!

Hey guys! I'm so excited to tell you that Frosh: Second Chances's cover is HERE! And you can pre-order it now. :)

And the ARC is available on Netgalley too! (Okay, honestly? I have to admit that last part makes me nervous, because it means people are starting to read it. And I just saw that even if it was uploaded there yesterday, it's already getting requests. Meep! Hope you guys like it as much as I loved writing it.)

Anyway, here are the links!

And the copy:

In FROSH: First Blush, Ellie, Grant, Devon, and Charlie spent their welcome week falling head over heels for each other--before totally falling apart. Now, in FROSH: Second Chances, they'll have to pick up the pieces.

After ruining Grant's football career (and her own reputation), Ellie has been trying to lie low--which means not making more enemies. But some students still want her to pay for what she did, and now, Ellie's determined to fight back--and fight for Grant.

Grant is adjusting to his new reality: no more football means no more free passes in class, and definitely no more distractions; especially from Ellie, whom he misses even after she destroyed his world. Can he find a way to move on without her--and without football?

Devon finally has it all: her brother's sober and her boyfriend is an adorkable genius. But when her parents threaten to tear her and Charlie apart because he doesn't 'fit' into their high society, she will go to dangerous lengths to prove that nothing--nothing--can defeat Devon Connors.

Charlie's never questioned who he is: pre-med science geek, and now, Devon Connors' boyfriend. But when he discovers a secret about his past, Charlie isn't sure of anything--especially whether he can trust Devon with the truth.


P.S.: I'm doing Pitch Wars again this year! Yay! I'll be mentoring YA. More news soon. *hugs*

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

YA hardcover giveaway!! THE CROWN'S GAME by Evelyn Skye and OUTRUN THE MOON by Stacey Lee!

UPDATE: Winners announced below (inside the Rafflecopter thingies!)...
Congrats!! =D

Hi, guys! This week is a VERY special week for me. Two of my best friends, Stacey and Evelyn, are releasing their YA books (today and in a week from now). I'm insanely proud of both of them--my friends are so smart and talented.

Evelyn Skye's book, THE CROWN'S GAME releases today. Hey, look what I found when I was searching for "Evelyn pictures"--haha! A silly photo of Evelyn and me when she came to visit me to Chile. :) We had so much fun that day!

Anyway! Her book is a historical fantasy set in imperial Russia about two teens who have to compete for the right to become the Imperial Enchanter--or die in the process. There's romance and magic and the historical deets about Russia are amazing.  I'm so excited about her book! It was an Amazon AND iBooks best book of May, A B&N "most anticipated YA Fantasy of 2016." And wow, on and on and on.

Stacey Lee's book, OUTRUN THE MOON, releases on Tuesday next week. I had a very silly picture with Stacey too, but I can't find it!! Meep! Anyway! Here's a nice pic of us when we met in NY.

The picture was supposed to be just the two of us, but my son REALLY wanted to be in it too. So there you go.
Anyway! Her book is an unforgettable story of determination set against the backdrop of a devastating tragedy. (The San Francisco earthquake in Chinatown, 1906.)

One of the many things I loved about her book is how it shows that tragedies sometimes happen for a reason. It shows how characters change and grow, and it made me think about that in my real life.
Goodreads has it on the highly anticipated books of May and it's been nominated to awards and all. It has a literary feel that I adore. Check it out! :)

So! Now the giveaway! I'm giving away a hardcover copy of each of these two books. It's international! (Because, you know, I live in Chile and I'm always like, boohoo, why almost all giveaways aren't int'l??). Bear in mind that if I ship the books outside the US, though, I'll use Book Depository--which can be a little slow with the deliveries.

I'll choose a winner for each book by the end of May!

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Writer's Voice Success Story!

Hey, guys! I'm excited to share Jennifer Honeybourn's success story today!! In her own words. =) Have I mentioned how excited I am? I loved how her words showed me how sometimes it's all right to wait, and have patience. What do you think? Anyway, here's her story:

"In 2013, I entered my YA contemporary novel, SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW, in The Writer’s Voice

I made it through the raffle and into the contest.  Monica chose me for her team (yay!), and helped me rework my query letter and the first 250 words of my manuscript. It was a great experience, a supportive environment, and ultimately resulted in a few agents expressing their interest.

After sending it out to a handful of agents, and having those agents pass on it, I knew I’d need to do some revisions. I also knew that I needed to take a break from the book in order to gain some clarity.  I was sure I’d get back to it at some point, I just needed a bit of space.

That space turned into three years.

All through that time, I kept writing. I worked on several other novels. I wrote a short story that I published on Young Adult Review Network (YARN). SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW never left me, I still loved the characters and the story. So when I came across Swoon Reads, a young adult and new adult romance publisher, in December 2015, I felt like I might have found the perfect place for it.

Swoon Reads gives readers the opportunity to rate and comment on manuscripts, helping to select the books that will be published. I uploaded my novel and I started to get great feedback from the community of writers and readers on the site. At the very least, I figured I’d get some advice on how to revise.  And I did. But, in the end, I also got more than that. Because SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW was recently selected for publication!

The encouragement I received through The Writers Voice contest definitely helped strengthen my belief that I could do this, that if I kept at it I would eventually get there. So thank you to Monica and all the coaches who organize this contest!"

Find Jennifer on Twitter and Facebook: