Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pitchmas judges revealed

And now the moment you've been waiting for. Now the moment WE'VE been waiting for! GAH! ALL the excitement!  


Pitchmas's final judge count?  

8 Amazing Agents, and 8 Exceptional Editors! 

(We're all about alliteration in these parts!) 

*kermit flails* 

We're so excited about this contest, and hope you are too. But what's a contest without some EPIC judges? 

Up first, let me introduce The EDITORS!

Kate Kaynak - Spencer Hill Lead Editor at Spencer Hill Press, Editor of The Covenant Series, Cursed, The Veil Trilogy, PODs, and Amarok, Co-Editor of UnCONventional, Milayna, Elemental, and Fae) is the author of Minder, Adversary, Legacy, Accused, and Operative.We are interested in Young Adult, New Adult, and Middle Grade sci-fi, psych-fi, paranormal, or urban fantasy, particularly those with a strong and interesting voice. We only take on new projects that inspire us and make us want to read more.

Lewis Pollak - Entangled: I began working for Entangled as a publicist in 2011 but joined the editorial staff earlier this year to get involved with authors and their stories at an earlier stage. A former graduate and medical student, I'm either a Renaissance man or indecisive, depending on how you choose to look at it. Find me on Twitter @LewisPollak
   My tastes are wide-ranging, but there are certain things I tend to favor that are more important to me than genre. I really appreciate a story that offers a mix of humor and drama. I prefer heroines that are resourceful, that stand on equal footing with the hero in some way. My favorite characters also tend to solve problems with their brains more than brawn, but a mix of both works great as well.

Kate Fall - Entangled: Kate Fall is an editor with Entangled Publishing. She previously interned at Rhemalda Publishing, is a member of SCWBI, and has been writing and editing professionally for 14 years. She loves novels with humor, settings that come to life (whether historical, contemporary, or futuristic), and main characters with what the Irish call "a good person's faults." She is especially looking for sweet romance for any age group with a well-rounded cast of characters, a love interest down on his luck, unusual American town life, or a unique twist on a time-honored plot.

Kathleen Kubasiak - Curiosity Quills:As an avid reader, a former Language Arts teacher and librarian, and a current homeschooling mother of three, I have spent my life surrounded by literature. My current role as acquisitions editor for Curiosity Quills Press allows me to have a different relationship with the written word. I am very pleased to now be in a position to help authors achieve their dreams of publication.

Ben LeRoy - Tyrus Books:Ben LeRoy grew up in Madison attended college in Milwaukee, and has been running publishing companies–first Bleak House Books, now Tyrus Books–since the turn of the century. He has traveled the country extensively including stops on stage with the President and hanging out with Jesco & Mamie White in Boone County, West Virginia. He blogs regularly for Hey, There’s a Dead Guy in the Living Room and less regularly for The Huffington Post. He also discusses Tyrus Books, publishing, and a whole bunch of other nonsense on Twitter (@TyrusBooks). His personal website, featuring various thoughts about music, baseball, books, and American-ness, can be found at

Looking for crime and dark literary fiction. Not looking for thrillers, suspense, or any adaptations of tv shows. Want books that focus on people's worlds getting torn apart (sometimes subtly) and how the characters survive. More interested in the human condition than I am crazy plot twists and violence. On whether or not Ben is looking for YA or Adult: In theory, I could envision a YA that fits, but it'd be one of those books that works in both worlds.

 Rudy - Immortal Ink: Owner, Acquiring Editor, and Website Manager - Immortal Ink Publishing is open to most genres, but we're specifically interested in the following:
  • Horror (especially literary)
  • Paranormal (fantasy, romance, and mystery)
  • Literary Fiction (well-paced and accessible)
  • Women's Fiction
  • Crime/mystery/thriller
  • Young adult
We are not interested in bibles, elves, dwarves, and purple moons.

Andrew Buckley - Curiosity Quills: Andrew Buckley is an author, podcaster, and professional unicorn wrangler.In his past life he was a slightly awkward ninja with no sense of balance. He’s also the Adult Acquisitions Editor for the innovative publishing house of Curiosity Quills Press. He’s currently looking for strong sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, and anything quirky. He has a strong sense of literary ethics and, as such, is totally open to bribes.Oatmeal raisin cookies and/or jammie dodgers are his favorite.

Andrew’s debut novel Death, the Devil, and the Goldfish, hits digital shelves December 5

Katie Henson - Sapphire Star:Co-owner and acquisitions editor at Sapphire Star Publishing, a full-service small press with a focus on ebooks. We opened our doors at Sapphire Star in January of 2012, and we’ve had the privilege of bringing many talented authors into the Sapphire family over the past year. We look forward to what 2013 will bring—we’re always on the hunt for “a good story well told.” We accept all genres of fiction, but we have our eye out for New Adult Romance in particular at this time.

And now -  The AGENTS!

Brooks Sherman! FinePrint Literary Management: On the adult side, Brooks is looking for literary and upmarket fiction, speculative (particularly urban/contemporary fantasy rooted in realistic settings and horror/dark fantasy), as well as historical fiction and crime fiction.

On the children’s side, he is seeking middle grade novels of all genres (but particularly fantasy adventure and contemporary), and is open to YA fiction of all types except paranormal romance.

He would especially love to get his hands on a dark and/or funny contemporary YA project.

Kim Lionetti! Bookends LLC:Kim Lionetti is an agent with BookEnds LLC representing a variety of bestselling YA, romance, women's fiction and cozy mystery authors.  Kim spent over eight years as an editor at Berkley Publishing before joining BookEnds in 2004, therefore she bring a hands-on approach to her clients and enjoys helping them bring their work to its fullest potential. She's currently seeking fresh voices in new adult, young adult, women's fiction, romance (excluding inspirational) and cozy mystery.

Bree Ogden! D4EO Bree Ogden joined D4EO in November 2011, after having been an associate literary agent at Martin Literary Management for nearly 2 years representing children’s, YA, and graphic novels.
Bree graduated with her BA in Philosophy from Southern Virginia University where she served as editor-in-chief of the University’s newsmagazine. She received her MA in Journalism with an emphasis in editing and expository writing at Northeastern University where she worked on both the New England Press Association Bulletin, and also served as the features editor of the premier campus music magazine, Tastemakers Magazine.

Here's what she's seeking:
~Highly artistic picture books (high brow art, think Varmints)
~Middle grade, Young Adult, Adult
~Graphic Novels
~Nonfiction, Humor, Pop Culture, Art books
Genre-specific (Both in Adult and YA):Transgressive fiction, Genre horror, Genre noir, Genre romance, Dark (not angst-ridden), Realistic, Psychological horror (with no paranormal elements), Hard sci fi. Meaning no fantasy, or magical realism at all
~A Dexter-ish type YA black comedy (COMEDY being the operative word)
~A Roaring Twenties historical for YA
~A manuscript written in the era of Mad Men with panache and style
~A unique and theme-driven art book
~Any book dealing with Anne Boleyn
~Historical fiction (love crime-driven historical fiction, i.e. Black Dahlia)

Marisa Cleveland! The Seymour Agency: Her Intern to Agent journey

A high school English teacher for seven years, I spent the past seventeen years teaching various forms of artistic movement, including dance, gymnastics, and cheerleading. I am a member of SCBWI, RWA, and YA-RWA. My super fabulous agent sold my category romance to Entangled Publishing, and now I'm shifting positions at the agency from intern to agent, hoping to make someone else's dreams come true.

Here's what I need: A middle school novel I can’t put down until the last page and can’t stop discussing. Voice is definitely key for me. If I’m going to sign (and sell) someone or recommend someone, then the writer’s voice has to speak to me. I have to be able to listen (vocally and on the page) to that writer through revisions and edits and book after book. I want to find characters I’d want as my best friends and partners in crime long after the story ends, whether it’s in this world or an alternate universe… and middle grade means the content where issues are age-appropriate and not based solely on lexile levels.

Nicole Rescinti! Seymour Agency: Nicole has been listed by Publisher's Marketplace as a top dealmaker in the country, and named ACFW's 2012 Agent of the Year.
      She loves discovering new talent and helping established authors to take their career to the next level. Do you have the next project to feed her book addiction? A smart, tight read she won’t be able to put down? A signature voice she’ll fight to represent?
HEA’s are a must for romance. Mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, YA and inspirational novels are welcome. A consummate science geek and card-carrying Mensa member, Nicole would love to find the next great science fiction/fantasy novel or action/adventure masterpiece.  
       Nicole is a member of AAR, ACFW, RWA, and Mensa. She holds degrees in biology, psychology, and behavioral neuroscience. Nicole taught in the public school system and has worn many hats before heeding her calling to become a literary agent.

Pooja Menon! Kimberley Cameron Agency: As a new agent, Pooja is looking to build her client list and is eager for submissions by debut novelists and veteran writers. She's looking for writing that has an easy flow and a timely pacing, along with a unique perspective and a strong voice. 
 In fiction, she is interested in literary, historical, commercial, and high-end women's fiction. However, she's most drawn to stories with an international flavor, vibrant characters, multi-cultural themes, and lush settings.

In fantasy, she's looking for original, layered plots with worlds as real and alive as the ones that were created by J.K Rowling and Tolkien.

In non-fiction, she's looking for adventure & travel memoirs, journalism & human-interest stories, and self-help books addressing relationships and the human psychology from a fresh perspective.

In YA, she's looking for stories that deal with the prevalent issues that face teenagers today. She is also interested in fantasy, magical-realism, and historical fiction. I'm looking for unputdownable fiction in the following genres: Contemporary, Historical, Adventure, Mystery/Thriller, Steampunk, as well as non-fiction. 

 Adult fiction: she's looking for multicultural fiction in both contemporary and historical genres, with strong voices and lush settings.

Julia Weber! J. A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH: Having set up her own literary agency in January 2012, Julia is specializing in representing international authors of unique and captivating commercial fiction, namely thrillers and romance as well as Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult and Women's Fiction. Julia's not too keen on sci-fi and futuristic stories and Fantasy should be set in the real world. Other than that, she's open to all sub-genres. A hooking plot, engaging characters, and a fresh voice are a must.

Jordy Albert! The Booker Albert Literary Agency:Formerly with the Corvisiero Agency, Jordy Albert recently teamed up with fellow agent, Brittany Booker to form The Booker Albert Literary Agency. She mentored under Marisa Corvisiero for the past two years, and is looking to grow her client list.

She is interested in women's fiction and romance, especially historical and Regency romance.
She is also looking for YA contemporary/historical or dystopian, sci-fi/fantasy with romance weaved throughout. She is also open to YA GLBT within those genres. Jordy would love to see unique, well-developed plots featuring time travel, competitions, or travel.

Jordy enjoys intelligent, quirky, complex characters, and characters who have a self-deprecating sense of humor.

So there you have it! We'll see you on Tuesday December the 4th for the Pitch Polishing Workshop over at Jessa's Blog!

And if we don't see you there, we'll see you when the Pitching goes LIVE, right here on this blog, that evening. If you missed the official details post, it's Right Here

Will our judges be Naughty or Nice to you? Only one way to tell... 

Pitchmas 2012

See you soon.

Jessa and Feaky

Monday, November 19, 2012

Official Pitchmas Rules!

Official #PitchMAS Details

Welcome to our amazing Holiday Pitch Fest … PitchMAS! Like Christmas only better, because instead of a fat man getting stuck in your chimney, you get Jessa and Feaky! Woot woot! 

Tuesday 12/4: 4am-9pm PST
Tuesday morning at 4:00am Pacific Standard Time, a post will go live on Jessa’s blog announcing the Pitch-Honing workshop. All day Tuesday, you will be able to comment on the blog post with your pitches (both 35 word blog pitches and 140 character Twitter pitches). Your peers will comment and help you hone your pitches into something that will grab the attention of our esteemed editors and agents during the live pitch fest.

An example of a comment during the pitch-honing workshop could look something like this:

Jessa Russo
EVER, YA ParanormalRomance

35 word blog pitch:
Seventeen-year-old Ever Van Ruysdael knew her heart was on the line when she met Toby James. What she didn’t know was that her soul and the souls of those she loved were also in danger.

Twitter pitch:
17yo Ever knew her heart was on the line when she met Toby James. What she didn’t know was that her soul was in danger as well. #PitchMAS

Once your comment has posted, people can respond telling you what would work better for your pitch, and we can all help each other with honing our pitches and making them contest ready.

Tuesday 12/4: 11pm-2am EST
Tamara’s contest post will go live at 11pm, and will remain open until 2am. At this time, please comment with your pitch. She will only take the first 50 blog pitches. Please only post ONCE, and do not comment on other contestant’s comments. If you do not get in during this window, have no fear – there will be a short window first thing Wednesday morning. 

Submissions should look like this:

Your name: Tamara Mataya
Your email address: tamara (at) wherever (dot) com
Genre: Upper YA Urban Fantasy

Pitch: After I got off the bus to avoid those two creepy guys sniffing the air, I learned how to fly, met a leprechaun, and slept with an incubus. Best. Bus Stop. Ever.

Wednesday 12/5: 10AM EST-11AM EST
Comments on Tamara’s contest post will be open again, and she will take an additional 25 pitches only.

Wednesday 12/5: 11:30am-9:30pm EST
This is when agents and editors will be able to scroll through the comments with the 75 pitches, and make requests, or ask questions. Please do not comment on any of the comments at this time, UNLESS an agent or editor has asked you a question specifically.

Thursday 12/6: All day!
{140 Characters or Less - obviously}
Everyone can join in on the Twitter party, regardless of your participation in the pitch-honing workshop, or the blog pitch contest. Also, EVEN If you’ve received requests, you may still pitch during the Twitter party because you never know when a ninja agent may be lurking.

Your Twitter pitch MUST CONTAIN the hash tag or the agents will not see it.

You may not pitch more than twice per hour. Please respect your fellow pitch fest contestants buy obeying this rule. It is unfair to clog the feed with your manuscript every two seconds.

We will notify you throughout the day if we see an agent or editor is lurking, so make sure you follow both Tamara and Jessa on Twitter.

***Follow along with the hashtag: #PitchMas***

*You may only pitch completed and polished manuscripts.
*You may pitch more than one manuscript, but each pitch must be its own comment, or its own tweet. (Read: Do NOT pitch multiple manuscripts in ONE comment or ONE tweet).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

OBAMA WINS - Let's hide on Twitter.

I've heard way too many friends express disgust over hatred/ intolerance being spewed all over their facebooks, mostly from ROmney supporters. But instead of saying anything, they are choosing to 'be the bigger person.'

You know what? The bigger person DEFENDS the minority. The bigger person stands up for what they believe in - for what they know to be right.

The bigger person says, 'It's FUCKED UP that human beings are having their rights VOTED on, and aren't being granted the same rights that others have.'

Do not EVER let a bigot silence your voice. Your voice is the only one you've got.

Why aren't you using yours?

No hate for them - their intolerance blocks logic and compassion from their hearts and minds. But I'm sorely disappointed in you - because I hold you to higher standards than them.

I expect better from you - from me, from us.

USE your fucking voice. You used it to vote. Now use it to spread love, to stamp out bigotry.

To show support for those who desperately need to hear it.

An older vid but it still applies