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March PBParty Submission Day

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs , 25 March 2017 · 198 views

CLOSED! 





The agent round will be April 5th - 7th. See the list of agents here

Please be a follower of this blog. You can click the "Join this Site" button in the left sidebar. Or if that is stubborn and won't work, you can subscribe to my newsletter or follow @Michelle4Laughs on twitter. I imagine I will be tweeting hints as well as partying!

You may send two entries for different manuscripts in separate emails. That's two and only two, whether you have multiple pen names or multiple email addresses. Please be honest and not send more. Only one entry will be chosen per person. If you send two, still only one will be picked. Any attempt to cheat will result in entries thrown out (and sadly it has happened in the past.) 

On March 26 at noon Eastern the submission window opens. Do not send early or your entry will be deleted. You may resend at the correct time if this happens. I'm recycling an email address as I already have too many. Please send your entry to SunversusSnow at yahoo dot com

You should receive a confirmation email. If you do not, please contact me on twitter before resending.We want to get a good count of entries and duplicates make that harder. The window will stay open until we get 250 entries. However long that takes. It could be minutes or it could be days, but I'm betting there will be plenty of time this round.

This contest is only for finished and polished manuscripts. It has to be ready to go out to agents.

The Format:

Subject Line of your Email: PBParty: Title

Example:  PBParty: Hot Tub Santa

Inside the email please bold where bolded in my example. Single space with spaces between paragraphs. Use Times New Roman or equivalent font and the size should be 12. 

(Here's a trick to keep your paragraph spacing: copy and paste your entry into your email and then put in the line spaces. They seem to get lost when you copy and paste. It may look right but sending scrambles the spacing.)

Name: Sharon Chriscoe
Twitter Handle: @extracleansanta (optional)
Title: HOT TUB SANTA
Genre: (Here please tell us what type of picture book this is) Example: Board Book, Bedtime Rhyme, Nonfiction, Biography, etc. or List Chapter Book If this is OWNVOICES, please say so here!
Word Count: xxx (round to nearest ten, hundred for chapter books)

Query:

Your entire query letter here. Include your comps, bio, greeting, closing. Please be sure to note diversity and ownvoices in the query as well. (You may use whatever you want for a greeting. Dear Agent. Dear Michelle and Sharon.) 

Here is your chance to make your entry shine and make the agent fall in love with your words. 

First 50 Words:

Include your first 50 words for a picture book, 100 words for chapter books. Do not stop in the middle of a sentence. You may go over by one or two words to finish a sentence but not more than five. Single space and put spaces in between paragraphs. You may center or tab if appropriate.

Edit: For short picture books, less than 50 words may be submitted. Any count under 50 is allowed.

Also I will delete parts of entries after the contest ends, if requested. For those writers uncomfortable with their work being out there for all to see.  


Bonus: You may attach one illustration to your email to show an example of your artwork. If you don't have artwork, don't worry. 

Messed up formatting won't hurt you, but forgetting to include some part of the entry will. Double check before sending.



Now for the twitter party fun! Visit daily under the hashtag #PBParty to meet and greet and scout out slush hints.


Sunday, March 26        Tell us what genre you write and when you entered. Then share your muse. What gives you inspiration to write?

Monday, March 27th     Do you listen to music when your write? Have word count goals? Set aside BIC time (behiney in chair)? Share your daily writing routine.

Tuesday, March 28th     How do you handle writer's block? How many drafts do you write before finished?

Wednesday, March 29th  Animal, vegetable, mineral. Tell us if your MC is human or something else.

Thursday, March 30th     What picture/chapter book gives you the warm fuzzies? And shout out some books with diversity to spread the word on them!

Friday, March 31st       What picture book character would you like for a best friend? What picture book do you remember fondly from your childhood?

Saturday, April 1st       What's your best advice to get through querying? What keeps you sane?

Sunday, April 2nd         Look for CP partners and make more friends. What are your favorite writing craft books?


Sharon and I are not sure when the picks will be announced, but it should be around Friday. We are so excited for the fun to start. As you've probably noticed we have a great group of agents and editors.

Good luck everyone!  

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March 2017 Picture Book Party Agents

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs , 13 March 2017 · 150 views





Introducing the agents for the March Picture Book Party. They are an impressive bunch! 

To see how to format your entry, check out this post. Submission is Sunday, March 26th at noon! We are only taking the first 250 entries.



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Clelia Gore of Martin Literary Management



It was when Clelia first read Charlotte’s Web in the first grade that she got hooked by the magic of books. Her love of children’s books carried through adulthood and she is delighted to dedicate her life to bringing quality books and stories to young (and whimsical adult!) readers. 

Clelia is originally from the suburbs of New York City. She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Boston College. She received her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law and practiced law as a corporate litigator in New York City. 

In 2011, she decided to dedicate her career to books and reentered graduate school at Emerson College, where she received a master’s degree in Publishing and Writing. While she was studying publishing and taking creative writing courses at Emerson, Clelia gained firsthand experience in the publishing industry working in the children’s book division at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and in academic books at Oxford University Press.  She also taught academic writing and research courses to freshman students as a graduate student faculty member at Emerson College. 

Clelia acquires picture book, middle grade and young adult books. She is particularly interested in developing her nonfiction clientele. With apologies, Clelia is no longer accepting new adult fiction queries at this time.

To find out more about Clelia, check out her blog at www.cleliagore.com. She also tweets tips, news and musings related to writing and publishing at @MadmoiselleClel.


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Lauren Spieller of TriadaUS


Literary Agent Assistant Lauren Spieller comes to TriadaUS with a background in literary scouting and editorial consulting. She has a sharp editorial eye, and is passionate about author advocacy. Lauren is seeking Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction, as well as select Adult fiction and non-fiction. Whatever the age category or genre, Lauren is passionate about finding diverse and underrepresented voices.

In MG, she’s drawn to heartfelt contemporaries, contemporary fantasy and magical realism, and exciting adventures. Some of her recent favorites are Rules for Stealing Stars, George, The Thing About Jellyfish, Wonder, Hour of the Bees, and Rooftoppers. In YA, she’d love to find authentic teen voices in any and all genres. She is especially fond of fantasy, magical realism, and space operas; contemporary stories with a hook; and anything with a feminist bent. A few favorites include Dumplin’, Scorpio Races, An Ember in the Ashes, OCD Love Story, Six of Crows, The Raven Boys, and Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda.

In Adult, Lauren is seeking commercial fiction, particularly female-driven psychological thrillers (a la Lauren Beukes and Gillian Flynn), and immersive literary fantasies, such as The Night Circus, The Miniaturist, and A Darker Shade of Magic. She is also interested in female-driven Upmarket General Fiction, especially if it's funny or has a touch of magical realism (note that she is NOT looking for Romance), and unique non-fiction with an existing platform. She's particularly hungry for counter culture books, cocktail books with a twist/theme, or narrative nonfiction with a unique hook (if you’re the next Lindsey West, Roxanne Gay, or Lauren Duca, she wants to hear from you). 



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Tracy Marchini of Bookends Literary


After four years as a Literary Agents Assistant at Curtis Brown, Tracy Marchini left to pursue her own editorial business and to earn her MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College. Her editorial clients have gone on to secure representation, sell books to traditional publishers, win awards and become bestsellers. She’s looking forward to being able to work with her BookEnds clients throughout their careers and to (hopefully!) see them grow as authors in the same way.

Growing up, Tracy made it a personal goal to read every Nancy Drew Case Files in her school’s library and still has a soft spot for a good girl detective story. As an adult, she loves the sense of possibility in children’s and young adult literature – and can still empathize with the soul-crushing feeling that is mandatory gym class.

As a children's author, her picture book debut Chicken Wants A Nap will be published in August by Creative Editions.

You can follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TracyMarchini.

Tracy is looking for picture book, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, magical realism, historical fiction, and non-fiction. She is also looking for picture book illustrators and author-illustrators.

She is not a good fit for YA horror, true crime, hard sci-fi, or high fantasy. At this time, she is not looking for board books or early chapter books.


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Jessica Sinsheimer of Sarah Jane Freymann


Jessica Sinsheimer has been reading and campaigning for her favorite queries since 2004. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she went east for Sarah Lawrence College and stayed for the opportunity to read soon-to-be books for a living.

“Now an Agent at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, she’s developed a reputation for fighting office members to see incoming manuscripts first—and for drinking far too much tea. Her most recent sale is RIPPER, a paranormal/historical YA novel, about a Victorian girl who takes down Jack the Ripper–and its sequel.

“Always on the lookout for new writers, she is most excited about finding literary, women’s, and Young Adult fiction, and—on the nonfiction side—psychology, parenting, self-help, cookbooks, memoirs, and works that speak to life in the twenty-first century.


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Laura is seeking adult fiction, young readers' books, and nonfiction.

In adult fiction, she is particularly interested in literary fiction, magical realism, fabulist/absurdist fiction, culturally thematic fiction, upmarket women's fiction, psychological thrillers/mysteries that break the genre mold, literary historical fiction, and debut authors. She is drawn to strong voices, complex narrative arcs, and dynamic and well-developed characters.

In the young readers' realm, she is seeking young adult novels, middle grade novels, and picture books. She loves YA and middle grade with a magical tinge and vivid writing, absorbing contemporary stories, unique fantasies, literary scifi, and psychological twists. She also looks for titles that incorporate high concept, dark/edgy, social, cultural, and humorous elements. She is drawn to funny, quirky picture books with heart, as well as any book that challenges the way we typically view the world.




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Natashca Morris of Bookends Literary


Natascha spent most of her childhood in a leather chair with her nose in a book. Formerly an editorial assistant at Simon & Schuster, her passion for books across genres and her desire to finding amazing talent drove her to make the transition from editorial to literary agent.

Her editorial philosophy stems from the idea that all books should be well written and entertaining.  Some of her favorite authors include Molly Idle, Sherwood Smith, Ann Rinaldi, Sabaa Tahir, and Meg Cabot. Check out her Pinterest for a quick look at her favorite books. https://www.pinterest.com/nataschamorris/

A Texas native, Natascha can often be found hunting for the best Tex-Mex in New York. Outside of reading, she is interested in urban farming and cooking.

You can follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SoCalledYALife

Natascha is primarily looking for picture book, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, historical fiction, and narrative non-fiction. She is also looking for artists that speak to her creatively.

She is not a good fit for adult literary fiction, horror, true crime, or serious nonfiction.


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Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media

Mark Gottlieb’s focus on publishing began at Emerson College, where he was a founding member of the Publishing Club, later its President, overseeing its first publication and establishing the Wilde Press.

After graduating with a degree in writing, literature and publishing, Mark began his career with the Vice  President of Berkley Books (Penguin), working with leading editors.

His first position at the Trident Media Group literary agency was in foreign rights, selling the books of clients around the world. Mark later worked as Executive Assistant to Robert Gottlieb, Chairman of Trident, with responsibility for organizing/managing diverse authors and their complex business transactions. He next assumed the position of audio rights agent. Since Mark has managed the audio rights business, the annual sales volume has more than doubled. Mark showed great initiative and insight in identifying talented writers.


In passing the Audio Department's torch, Mark is building his own client list of writers. He is excited to work directly with authors, helping to manage and grow their careers with all of the unique resources that are available to Trident. Since that time he has ranked as high as #1 in Agents on publishersmarketplace.com in Overall Deals and other individual categories.


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Uwe Stender of Triada US Literary



Literary Agent Dr. Uwe Stender is a Full Member of the AAR (Association of Authors' Representatives). He is interested in all kinds of non-fiction and fiction. In non-fiction, he is completely open to any project, from Memoir, Pop Culture, and Health to How-to, Gardening, History and everything in between, including non-fiction for children. In Children's fiction, he is looking for YA, MG and PBs. In adult fiction, his tastes trend towards Women's Fiction, Psychological Suspense, and Mysteries.  As an immigrant to the USA himself, he is always eager to bring projects from underrepresented voices into the world. So surprise him, his tastes are eclectic, and he may just love what you wrote!

His favorite five novels right now are: Six FourCaraval, Eleanor And ParkHigh Fidelity, and Wonder.







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Alyssa Jennette of Stonesong Literary
Read Full Entry →
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A Harper Voyager Author SFFChat and Giveaway!

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs , 04 March 2017 · 61 views

Family is such a comfort. There's your blood family and then there's the family you create through shared experiences. There's no better shared experience than writing, and many of the authors from Harper Voyager have become close. We love to support each other. 

And we love to do things together! Like chat about science fiction and fantasy books. 

And super lucky for readers, we like to give away books together, too! 




Please check out this collection of magnificent science fiction and fantasy books! Then use the rafflecopter below to enter to win a paperback copy. Or if a book sounds too good to miss, links are included so you can go ahead and purchase. 

We will choose three winners/each winner will receive four books. (Note: Winners must provide a US address.) The contest runs from Saturday, March 4th until March 15th. Please remember to tweet about the giveaway for extra chances to win! 

And be sure to join us for our monthly twitter #SFFChat at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm EST on Monday, March 6th. We'll be chatting about every aspect of being a writer: querying, editing, drafting, marketing, and much more. We want you to join our SFF Family.




Giveaway Books




“What on earth would I gain from that?” I asked him. “Risk my own neck by violating my banishment just to leave you? The sentence placed on me if I return is execution. If I’m entering the mountains again, I’d damn well better get something out of it.”

Exiled from the Silverwood and the people she loves, Mae has few illusions about ever returning to her home. But when she comes across three out-of-place strangers in her wanderings, she finds herself contemplating the unthinkable: risking death to help a deposed queen regain her throne.

And if anyone can help Mona Alastaire of Lumen Lake, it is a former Woodwalker—a ranger whose very being is intimately tied to the woods they are sworn to protect. Mae was once one of the best, and despite the potential of every tree limb to become the gibbet she’s hanged from, she not only feels a duty to aide Mona and her brothers, but also to walk beneath her beloved trees once more.

A grand quest in the tradition of great epic fantasies, filled with adventure and the sharp wit—and tongue—of a unique hero, Woodwalker is the perfect novel to start your own journey into the realm of magical fiction.









Following the events of Elixir, Mabily “Mab” Jones’ life has returned to normal. Or as normal as life can be for a changeling, who also happens to be a private detective working her first independent case, and dating a half-fey.

But then a summons to return to the fairy world arrives in the form of a knife on her pillow. And in the process of investigating her case, Mab discovers the fairies are stealing joy-producing chemicals directly from the minds of humans in order to manufacture their magic Elixir, the dwindling source of their powers. Worst of all, Mab’s boyfriend Obadiah vows to abstain from Elixir, believing the benefits are not worth the cost in human suffering—even though he knows fairies can’t long survive without their magic.

Mab soon realizes she has no choice but to answer the summons and return to the Vale. But the deeper she is drawn into the machinations of the realm, the more she becomes ensnared by promises she made in the past. And in trying to do the right thing, Mab will face her most devastating betrayal yet, one that threatens everything and everyone she holds most dear.






Three brilliant novellas. One fantastic story.

Collected together for the first time, T. Frohock’s three novellas—In Midnight’s SilenceWithout Light or Guide, and The Second Death—brings to life the world of Los Nefilim, Spanish Nephilim that possess the power to harness music and light in the supernatural war between the angels and daimons. In 1931, Los Nefilim’s existence is shaken by the preternatural forces commanding them … and a half-breed caught in-between.

Diago Alvarez, a singular being of daimonic and angelic descent, is pulled into the ranks of Los Nefilim in order to protect his newly-found son. As an angelic war brews in the numinous realms, and Spain marches closer to civil war, the destiny of two worlds hangs on Diago’s actions. Yet it is the combined fates of his lover, Miquel, and his young son, Rafael, that weighs most heavily on his soul.

Lyrical and magical, Los Nefilim explores whether moving towards the light is necessarily the right move, and what it means to live amongst the shadows.







A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.

The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.

On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.

The Women of the Song.

But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power. And time is running out.

A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.







After the Earth’s power is suddenly left unprotected, a young geomancer must rely on her unique magical powers to survive in in this fresh fantasy series from the author of acclaimed The Clockwork Dagger.

In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation—the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer Wardens who have no idea of the depth of her power—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills. 

When assassins kill the Wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose Earth’s powers to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming the city into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . . 

Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her powerful magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.







Winter is the most deadly season in Temperance. And it’s not just because of the fierce cold. Evil is stalking the backcountry of Yellowstone, killing wolves and leaving only their skins behind.

As the snow deepens, Geologist Petra Dee is staring her own death in the face, while former Hanged Man Gabriel struggles with his abrupt transition back to mortality. The ravens and the rest of the Hanged Men are gone, and there are no magical solutions to Petra’s illness or Gabriel’s longing for what he’s lost…and what he stands to lose now.

Meanwhile, there’s a new sheriff in town. Sheriff Owen Rutherford has inherited the Rutherford ranch and the remnants of the Alchemical Tree of Life. He’s also a dangerously haunted man, and his investigation of Sal’s death is leading him right to Gabriel.

It’s up to Petra, her coyote sidekick Sig, and Gabriel to get ahead of both Owen and the unnatural being stalking them all – before the trail turns deathly cold.








Anders Jensen is having a bad month. His roommate is a data thief, his girlfriend picks fights in bars, and his best friend is a cyborg…and a lousy tipper. When everything is spiraling out of control, though, maybe those are exactly the kind of friends you need.

In a world divided between the genetically engineered elite and the unmodified masses, Anders is an anomaly: engineered, but still broke and living next to a crack house. All he wants is to land a tenure-track faculty position, and maybe meet someone who's not technically a criminal—but when a nightmare plague rips through Hagerstown, Anders finds himself dodging kinetic energy weapons and government assassins as Baltimore slips into chaos. His friends aren't as helpless as they seem, though, and his girlfriend's street-magician brother-in-law might be a pretentious hipster—or might hold the secret to saving them all.

Frenetic and audacious, Three Days in April is a speculative thriller that raises an important question: once humanity goes down the rabbit hole, can it ever find its way back?






For four hundred years, the Church has led the remnants of humanity as they struggle for survival in the last inhabited city. Echo Hunter 367 is exactly what the Church created her to be: loyal, obedient, lethal. A clone who shouldn’t care about anything but her duty. Who shouldn’t be able to.

When rebellious citizens challenge the Church’s authority, it is Echo’s duty to hunt them down before civil war can tumble the city back into the dark. But Echo hides a deadly secret: doubt. And when Echo’s mission leads her to Lia, a rebel leader who has a secret of her own, Echo is forced to face that doubt. For Lia holds the key to the city’s survival, and Echo must choose between the woman she loves and the purpose she was born to fulfill.
 










A body is found in the Alabama wilderness. The question is: 

Is it a human corpse … or is it just a piece of discarded property? 

Agent Samantha Rose has been exiled to a backwater assignment for the Commonwealth Bureau of Investigation, a death knell for her career. But then Sam catches a break—a murder—that could give her the boost she needs to get her life back on track. There's a snag, though: the body is a clone, and technically that means it's not a homicide. And yet, something about the body raises questions, not only for her, but for coroner Linsey Mackenzie.

The more they dig, the more they realize nothing about this case is what it seems … and for Sam, nothing about Mac is what it seems, either.

This case might be the way out for her, but that way could be in a bodybag.

A thrilling new mystery from Liana Brooks, The Day Before will have you looking over your shoulder and questioning what it means to be human.






Both familiar and fantastic, Clark T. Carlton’s Prophets of the Ghost Ants explores a world in which food, weapons, clothing, art—even religious beliefs—are derived from Humankind’s profound intertwining with the insect world. 

In a savage landscape where humans have evolved to the size of insects, they cannot hope to dominate. Ceaselessly, humans are stalked by night wasps, lair spiders, and marauder fleas. And just as sinister, men are still men. Corrupt elites ruthlessly enforce a rigid caste system. Duplicitous clergymen and power-mongering royalty wage pointless wars for their own glory. Fantasies of a better life and a better world serve only to torment those who dare to dream. 

One so tormented is a half-breed slave named Anand, a dung-collector who has known nothing but squalor and abuse. Anand wants to lead his people against a genocidal army who fight atop fearsome, translucent Ghost Ants. But to his horror, Anand learns this merciless enemy is led by someone from his own family: a religious zealot bent on the conversion of all non-believers . . . or their extermination.

A mix of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shadow of the Apt, Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor, and Phillip Pullman’s Golden Compass, this is a powerful new addition to the genre. 
Goodreads|Amazon









Young Devin Roché is about to graduate as an Archivist from the prestigious Llisé’s University, and there is just one more task he wants to complete – to preserve a complete history of Llisé.

The history of Llisé and its fifteen provinces are a peaceful affair, filled with harmony, resolution and a rich oral tradition of storytelling. Nothing untoward ever happens in this peaceful land. Or does it?

Trainee archivist Devin Roché has just taken his finals at the prestigious Académie. As the sixth son of the ruler of Llisé, his future is his own, and so he embarks on an adventure to memorize stories chronicling the history of each province.

As Devin begins his journey with only his best friend Gaspard and their guardian Marcus, he hears rumors of entire communities suddenly disappearing without a trace and of Master Bards being assassinated in the night.

As the three companions get closer to unearthing the truth behind these mysteries, they can’t help but wonder whether it is their pursuit that has led to them.

But if that is the case, what do Llisé and Devin’s father have to hide?







In a domed city on a planet orbiting Barnard's Star, a recently hired maintenance man has just committed murder.

Minutes later, the airlocks on the neighbourhood block are opened and the murderer is asphyxiated along with thirty-one innocent residents.

Jax, the lowly dome operator on duty at the time, is accused of mass homicide and faced with a mound of impossible evidence against him.

His only ally is Runstom, the rogue police officer charged with transporting him to a secure off-world facility. The pair must risk everything to prove Jax didn't commit the atrocity and uncover the truth before they both wind up dead.





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Picture Book Party in March 2017

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs , 28 February 2017 · 37 views

We are doing it again! (And yes I recycled this post. This time it's because I have a terrible cold and feel like poo. Please send chicken soup.) Spunky. Adorable. Heartwarming.




Those are some of the words that describe picture/chapter books. I'm happy to join with Sharon Chriscoe to do a little something for a group that is left out of most contests. This mini-contest is for you!

Tell your friends who write PB and please post on twitter and in your writer groups. We need help spreading the word. Also the twitter party will be for everyone, so I hope to see you there under the hashtag #PBParty. There will be daily topics that apply to all writers during the submission week.

The agent round will be Wednesday, April 5th - 7th. The submission day is Sunday, March 26th at noon Eastern time. Then Sharon and I will go through the entries and pick our favorites. I'm not sure how many entries will be chosen, but the number will be around 20. Sharon is my expert on this as I know less about picture books.

The Rules:

Please be a follower of this blog. You can click the "Join this Site" button in the left sidebar. Or if that is stubborn and won't work, you can subscribe to my newsletter or follow @Michelle4Laughs on twitter. I imagine I will be tweeting hints as well as partying!

You may send two entries for different manuscripts. That's two and only two, whether you have multiple pen names or multiple email addresses. Please be honest and not send more. Only one entry will be chosen per person. If you send two, still only one will be picked. Any attempt to cheat will result in entries thrown out (and sadly it has happened in the past.) 

On March 26 at noon Eastern the submission window opens. Do not send early or your entry will be deleted. You may resend at the correct time if this happens. I'm recycling an email address as I already have too many. Please send your entry to SunversusSnow at yahoo dot com

You should receive a confirmation email. If you do not, please contact me on twitter before resending.We want to get a good count of entries and duplicates make that harder. The window will stay open until we get 250 entries. However long that takes. It could be minutes or it could be days, but I'm betting there will be plenty of time this round.

This contest is only for finished and polished manuscripts. It has to be ready to go out to agents.

The Format:

Subject Line of your Email: PBParty: Title

Example:  PBParty: Hot Tub Santa

Inside the email please bold where bolded in my example. Single space with spaces between paragraphs. Use Times New Roman or equivalent font and the size should be 12. 

(Here's a trick to keep your paragraph spacing: copy and paste your entry into your email and then put in the line spaces. They seem to get lost when you copy and paste. It may look right but sending scrambles the spacing.)

Name: Sharon Chriscoe
Twitter Handle: @extracleansanta (optional)
Title: HOT TUB SANTA
Genre: (Here please tell us what type of picture book this is) Example: Board Book, Bedtime Rhyme, Nonfiction, Biography, etc. or List Chapter Book If this is OWNVOICES, please say so here!
Word Count: xxx (round to nearest ten, hundred for chapter books)

Query:

Your entire query letter here. Include your comps, bio, greeting, closing. Please be sure to note diversity and ownvoices in the query as well. (You may use whatever you want for a greeting. Dear Agent. Dear Michelle and Sharon.) 

Here is your chance to make your entry shine and make the agent fall in love with your words. 

First 50 Words:

Include your first 50 words for a picture book, 100 words for chapter books. Do not stop in the middle of a sentence. You may go over by one or two words to finish a sentence but not more than five. Single space and put spaces in between paragraphs. You may center or tab if appropriate.

Edit: For short picture books, less than 50 words may be submitted. Any count under 50 is allowed.

Also I will delete parts of entries after the contest ends, if requested. For those writers uncomfortable with their work being out there for all to see.  


Bonus: You may attach one illustration to your email to show an example of your artwork. If you don't have artwork, don't worry. 




I would like to thank Mel Stephenson for creating our logo artwork! Be sure to follow her at@paintandwords

That should cover about everything, but you may leave questions in the comments or on twitter. Don't forget the #PBParty hashtag.

We can't wait to see all the cuteness on March 26th! 


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Query Questions with John Bowers

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs , 23 February 2017 · 41 views




Writers have copious amounts of imagination. It's what makes their stories so fantastic. But there's a darker side to so much out of the box thinking. When a writer is in the query trenches, their worries go into overdrive. They start pulling out their hair and imagine every possible disaster.

Here to relieve some of that endless worrying is a series called Query Questions. I'll ask the questions which prey on every writer's mind, and hopefully take some of the pain out of querying. These are questions that I've seen tossed around on twitter and writing sites like Agent Query Connect. They are the type of questions that you need answers for the real expert--agents!

If you have your own specific query question, please leave it in the comments and it might show up in future editions of Query Questions as I plan to rotate the questions.

No, I haven't forgotten about interviews with agents, and finally, here is a new one. Thanks to John Bowers of the Bent Agency for getting back to me and sharing his thoughts about being an agent. 



Do you look at sample pages without fail or only if the query is strong?

I always look at the pages someone shares with me. Even on those occasions when I can't make heads or tails of the concept presented in the query letter, I feel that it's important to see what the writing is really like. Some writers have a hard time putting together a strong, compelling pitch, but that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't a great writer.



How open are you to writers who have never been published?

I'm totally open to unpublished writers. I have a lot of respect for someone who has toiled away on their own writing and then finally feels they have something to share that they really believe in.


How important are comp titles? Is it something you want to see in a query? Are movie/tv reference okay as comp titles?

While not necessarily essential, I appreciate a writer sharing comp titles in a query. They can be really helpful for a few reasons. A writer offering their own comp titles immediately alerts me to the sort of fiction they read and admire as well as the titles they think their work most belongs next to on a shelf. That sort of sign post is really helpful for providing context for when I dig into the pages shared.



Do you prefer a little personalized chit-chat in a query letter or would you rather hear about the manuscript?

Personalized chit-chat can be nice, but the most important thing is really the meat of the pitch. Is the concept strong? Do the comp titles given resonate with me? Is the voice in the pages shared compelling?



When a writer nudges with an offer, what length of time is helpful to give you enough time to consider? A week? Two weeks?

I appreciate when a writer checks in with me about an offer. I don't expect any more than one week's time to then get back to them with a decision.



Many agents say they don't care if writers are active online. Could a twitter account or blog presence by a writer tip the scales in getting a request or offer? And do you require writers you sign to start one?

This is not necessarily something that I look for from fiction writers. It is good for a nonfiction writer to have some sort of platform though.




If a writer makes changes to their manuscript due to feedback should they resend the query or only if material was requested? Does it make a difference if the changes are from an R&R with another agent?

If a writer has revised their work, I appreciate the chance to have a second look. It doesn't make a difference for me if their revision notes came from another agent.



Do you consider yourself a hands-on, editorial type of agent? Does a manuscript have to be sub-ready or will you sign stories that need work?

I am fairly hands on editorially, but I also like to be very clear with writers about how much editorial feedback they are looking for in the first place. I don't want to offer a bunch of editorial suggestions if the writer isn't so open to them!



What is your biggest query pet peeve? Is there anything that automatically sinks a query for you?

I think it's important for a query letter to be well put together just at first glance. It's like the first 30 seconds of an interview. The first glance/first impression displays how serious a writer really is about their work and the relationship they hope to establish. This would mean: there aren't any typos, the font is consistent throughout (size and type), and they addressed me directly (not for whom it may concern, etc).



What are some of your favorite movies or books to give us an idea of your tastes?

I love gritty Southern stories. Anything from the movie Mud to the first season of True Detective really captures my imagination. I also love tense, thought provoking stories that play with futurism and dystopia like Ex-Machina and Black Mirror. Nonfiction works that seek to pull back the veil of how the world works - think Adam Curtis' recent documentary Hypernormalisation - just really excite me. 



John Bowers represents adult literary fiction and nonfiction in the areas of history, finance, media theory, politics, and science.

I’m from Richmond, Virginia and studied English literature at Virginia Commonwealth University. After graduating with a master’s degree in teaching, I spent a few years teaching English and Drama at American International schools in Colombia and Costa Rica. There I engaged in community outreach initiatives, picked up surfing, and after one too many eye-rolls trying to get kids to fall in love with Shakespeare, I packed my bags for Brooklyn.
Before joining the Bent Agency, I worked in literary scouting, where I read fiction and non-fiction and recommended titles for foreign publishing and film/TV adaptation. I now help handle the Bent Agency’s foreign rights and am also building a list of literary fiction and serious non-fiction for adults.
For fiction, I’m looking for Southern Gothic and Southern-influenced literary fiction along the lines of Ron Rash, Cormac McCarthy and anything in the tradition of titans like Flannery O’Connor. I would also love to see idea-driven science fiction such as Ursula K. Le Guin's THE DISPOSSESSED, dystopian fiction such as Nick Harkaway's THE GONE-AWAY WORLD and stories that make the world feel dystopian, like Kurt Vonnegut's classic, SLAUGHTERHOUSE-5.
For non-fiction, I’m interested in narrative non-fiction in the vein of Beth Macy’s FACTORY MAN and sweeping historical non-fiction like RIVER OF DOUBT and KING LEOPOLD’S GHOST. I’m open to projects that engagingly distill topics regarding culture, media theory, finance, and popular science much in the way of Michael Lewis and Malcolm Gladwell’s acclaimed works. I’m deeply intrigued by stories that help us better understand our world and anything that sets forth strong characters, edgy and expansive themes, and new perspectives.


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#SFFChat

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs , 21 February 2017 · 38 views




Join the fun! 

Come chat with a group of science fiction and fantasy authors from Harper Voyager. The chat will be on twitter at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm EST this Thursday, February 23rd. Find the chat at #SFFChat.

Whether you write science fiction and fantasy or not, there's bound to be useful writer information shared. We plan to talk about querying, world building, character creation, writing a page turner and even book promo and marketing! 

See you there!  

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Sun versus Snow Thoughts

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs , 15 February 2017 · 24 views

Once again Sun versus Snow was a fantastic success with over a hundred requests and a success story already, and maybe some more in the works! Wink, wink! 

I think some of the new aspects to the contest worked out extremely well. Adding a place for optional twitter handles certainly made less work for the hosts. For example, we are able to easily notify authors when requests arrived a few days after the official end of the agent round. Anything that makes less work for Amy and I is a bonus!

I also think that allowing authors to include ownvoices with their genres helped make up for excluding the biographies. Now the authors can help us know if their stories are ownvoices so Amy and I no longer have to be unsure.

I was delighted that we received nearly 20 of these entries and seven out of thirty-two finalists were ownvoices! I hope to see those numbers grow with every contest!

The mentors and agents were delightful and enthusiastic as always! And I can't wait for next year!



That said I want to announce that I'm taking a few weeks away from blogging to focus on my WIP and get some rest. I'll be back when I have more contest news to share! Thanks everyone!  





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Sun versus Snow Agent Round 2017!

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs , 08 February 2017 · 51 views




Today is the day our 21 amazing agents can begin reading the entries and making requests. Not only will they see the amazing entries here, but they can also make requests for Team Sun over at Amy Trueblood's blog!

As the agents move through the entries, please remember that contests are subjective. Our agents have a definitive idea of what they would like for their list. If they do not request, it DOES NOT mean the entry was not worthy. No matter what happens, you’ve got to keep querying and NEVER GIVE UP!
  
Before Team Snow freezes out Team Sun, here are some guidelines to remember:
  
There is no commenting in this round except for agents. Sorry, but no cheerleading as this may lead to an unconscious bias.
  
We are happy to see and retweet your thoughts and cheers over on Twitter under the #sunvssnow tag! That’s the place to hang out and have fun! I hope to see my Team Snow members present with their snow hats and mittens! We have a blizzard of amazing entries that are going to completely obscure Team Sun!


  
Watch both my and Amy’s Twitter feed as we will be tweeting when an agent makes an appearance!
  
Agents will consider entries at both the blogs regardless of whether they are Sun or Snow fans. Amy and I are hoping the agents go crazy with the requests! There is amazing talent on both our teams!
  
Good luck to all! And get out your snowballs and thermals because Team Snow is taking no prisoners!




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SVS Agent Round 1: NOTORIOUS, Adult Historical Mystery

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs , 08 February 2017 · 14 views

Title: NOTORIOUS
Genre: Adult Historical Mystery
Word Count: 75,000

Is Your Main Character hot or cold?

Even in summer, the wind off San Francisco Bay drives the mist through your clothes until the damp lies frigid under your skin. Some nights, Vespertine dreams of life in the sun atop one of the seven hills of the city, but not tonight.

She draws her heavy shawl tight and prays the westerly clears the confusion from her mind. No hot act of passion will solve Mr. Founar's murder, only a determined application of logic will organize the facts of the case into a solution like a winter freeze crystallizes mist into snowflakes.  


Query: 

Team Snow,

In gold-rush San Francisco, desperate people come to the Women's Benevolent Society for help. The ones with legal troubles come to see Vespertine Clement. She never expected Mrs. Adler, a wealthy director of the Society, to summon her to solve a crisis: the Society had arranged lodgings for a fallen woman, who was discovered kneeling over the corpse of a man, blood smeared on her mouth and hands.

Accompanied by the amiably corrupt Sergeant Cuinn, Vespertine accepts Mrs. Adler's challenge to solve the murder. Not every one approves: the coroner refuses to cooperate with a woman investigator, the accused cannot speak, and Vespertine's uncle just wants her to settle down and blend in.

Vespertine believes the victim was poisoned before his throat was slit. With a chemistry text from her uncle’s book shop, and some glass tubing borrowed from the dye makers, she arranges a test of her theory, with an audience, in the police station. When the test fails, she only has four days to discover what happened that night to save the Society from ruin and a woman from the gallows.

Readers who liked The Agency mysteries by Y.S. Lee or the Sally Lockhart books by Philip Pullman should enjoy this book.

First 250 Words:

Fortunate people didn't end up at the San Francisco Women's Benevolent Society, desperate people did. The gold strike at Sutter's Mill five years ago created a few of the former and a multitude of the later. The hungry came for a hot meal, the abandoned came for employment, and those mired in the legal system came to see Vespertine Clement.

Catherine, and her witness Mrs. Schoop, came to have a status petition drafted. The two reeked of lye soap and physical labor.

"Mr. Daniel Jackson, of Albemarle County Virginia, emancipated you last March?" Vespertine asked.

Catherine opened her mouth, but no sound emerged. She was the same age as Vespertine, but years of sun and wind had creased her skin until she appeared decades older than her twenty-three years.

"Mr. Jackson freed you last March?" Vespertine tried again.

"Yes, Miss," Catherine answered. Mrs. Schoop patted Catherine's arm like a mother reassures a child.

The three women sat close around a salvaged table wedged into an alcove. Fruit crates, stacked three high and brimming with papers, filled the space behind Vespertine. Cards tacked to the ends cataloged the contents. A curtain blocked the view from the hallway and riffled each time one of her visitors brushed it with the back of her cap.

"Did he free others at the same time?"

Catherine nodded. "Mr. Johnson—"

"Jackson," Vespertine corrected.

Mrs. Schoop clutched her bag tight to her abdomen.


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SVS Agent Round 2: LOVE INTERRUPTED, Adult Romance OwnVoices

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs , 08 February 2017 · 13 views

Title: LOVE INTERRUPTED
Genre: Adult Romance #OwnVoices
Word Count: 75,000

Is Your Main Character hot or cold:

LOVE INTERRUPTED is a romance. There are two MCs.

Christine is hot. She's a woman working in a STEM field. She's had to fight to get where she is. She has no patience for stupidity or bullying.

Paul is cool under pressure. He needs steady nerves to take the kill shot when surrounded by smoke and gunfire. But, wow, he is also very HOT!


Query:

Dear Sun vs. Snow Agents,

Born with only three left fingers, Christine doubts any man will buy a diamond ring for her disfigured hand. She’s okay with that. She’s planning on finding a new job using her chemistry degree, buying a house, and adopting some kids. Then she meets Paul. Intelligent and gorgeous, he sees beyond her hand. She’s interested, but Paul comes across as a player, and she doesn't want to be just one of his many conquests.

Paul’s job in national security puts him in danger; he’s used to taking chances and succeeding when the odds are stacked against him. He’s intrigued when he meets Christine. She’s funny, smart, and has the most beautiful eyes. She’s also stubborn and self-protective. Paul puts his negotiation skills to work and persuades her to go out with him on five dates before she gives up on love. He’s psyched when she agrees.

As they take turns picking what they’ll do on their dates, they find themselves challenged to face their fears and learn to trust each other more with each encounter. When a beautiful woman attempts to seduce Paul, an incident Paul tries to hide from Christine. She walks out on him. She accepts a job out of state and renews her plans for buying a house and adopting children on her own. When Paul learns Christine’s new job fell through, he takes a chance and buys her a ring.

Paul seeks to regain Christine’s trust, but she refuses all his efforts until a drug cartel endangers Paul’s life. Christine realizes that without trust, she risks losing him forever.

Diversity is part of life and is part of this story. Christine is white; Paul is Blasian, black-Asian. Christine’s feelings about her disfigurement are based on my own experience with a disfiguring disease.

First 250:

The ambrosia of warming fragrances wafting from the Comfy Couch Coffee Shop and Bakery revitalized me. It had been another demoralizing night working at the lab. I needed chocolate and caffeine. Stat.

Looking up, I saw Captain America holding the door for me. My mood brightened at seeing his brilliant smile against his dark complexion. Scarlet, my best friend, and I gave all the regulars at the coffee shop nicknames. Captain America was so named because he always entered the coffee shop as if he considered everyone there under his protection. Scanning the room with what appeared to be practiced vigilance, his soulful eyes lingered on anyone who wasn't a regular.

He let me ahead of him in line to order my coffee. Crisply dressed, his tailored gray suit accentuated his lean athletic build. His self-assurance was daunting. Heat rose to my face as I mumbled my thanks. I sounded like I’d just come from the dentist with my lips and tongue numbed.

At the front of the line, not finding my credit card in its usual slot, heart-stopping panic gripped me. Then, I remembered dropping it in my car as I pulled away from the gas station. Rummaging through my purse, I hoped that under the receipt and gum wrapper debris, several dollars’ worth of change would appear. I shot an apologetic smile at the cashier and a "sorry" over my shoulder to the scowling eye-rollers behind me.

Cap handed his credit card to the cashier. “Here, put hers on this with mine.”


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