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SVS 8: All The Words I Didn’t Say – Young Adult Contemporary

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 07 February 2018 · 54 views



Category/Genre: YA Contemporary

Word count: 71,000


Is your antagonist hot or cold?

We are riddles.

We work in shifty ways, enigmatic. Omnipresent yet sometimes absent, containable yet without substance to hold. We are duplicitous. We go incognito, disguising ourselves as bravery, as anger. We can make our host spit blazing hot nails of words, burning those who stand in her way. And we can freeze her clean through, her outer walls hardening to steely armor—and still, she burns, but with frostbite.

We’re the same and different—pride and fear. So much easier to name us than shake us.



Dear Agents:

United States senator’s daughter Angelica Chavez-Schuyler is hell-bent on two things: proving she’s the best high school debater in the country and protecting her empathetic-to-a-fault sister, Issy. Then Ang meets Alex, the only rival debater who’s ever been able match her wit and intellect. He muddies her focus, eats up her precious time, and argues his way right into her heart.

Making matters worse, Issy’s completely smitten with Alex, too.

When an anonymous but scandalous tweet—the kind that could damage her father’s presidential hopes—goes live, Ang is to blame. Issy, who wants to be the stronger sister for once, covers for Ang, claiming responsibility for the social media misfire. Knocked off balance by Issy’s sacrifice, Ang decides she will repay her debt by giving up the boy she might be in love with. Chin held high, Ang denies her affection for Alex, which gives Issy the space to act upon her interest.

Yet Ang isn’t able to logic away her true feelings. As she watches Issy and Alex’s ascent into cute coupledom, she finds herself living with a bruised heart. In an attempt to erase Alex from her mind, Ang studies harder and practices debate until she’s out of words. She even spite-dates Alex’s debate partner. Yet the more she runs from her emotions, the harder they chase. As the Regional Debate Tournament looms, the only thing standing between Ang and her destiny is Alex. With just one slot for Nationals available, it’s either him or her. Ang knows she must outdebate Alex and vanquish her traitorous feelings for him. If she fails, she loses her dream of Nationals—and risks breaking her fragile sister.

ALL THE WORDS I DIDN’T SAY is a loose retelling of sections of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton: The Musical” but with a re-imagined, modern-day Angelica Schuyler at the forefront. It will appeal to readers of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl with its emphasis on sisters and the dynamics of pride and vulnerability.


First 250 words:

I’m sneaking out of the house tonight. I shouldn’t. If anyone on this big dirty earth is supposed to be a Good Little Girl, it’s yours truly.

Yet even senators’ daughters get itchy for a good time. Maybe even especially senators’ daughters. Being vaulted into the role of Prominent U.S. Senator’s kid is kind of an extraordinary experience. Yet sometimes, I just want life to be ordinary.

Going to a Friday night house party with my sister strikes me as an Intensely Average thing for a seventeen-year-old to do. And I’ve never done it before.

Mom’s long asleep. Peggy—the youngest, brattiest Schuyler sister—is too. Dad isn’t even home; he’s working on a Health Care bill around the clock, sleeping at the office between meetings. As it turns out, it’s easy to get out of our house unnoticed. Put a little vegetable oil on our door hinges early in the day to prevent squeaking later on. Skip that fourth-to-the-last stair, the creaky one. Snag a Peanut Butter Power Ball out of my stash to throw to Rex, our enthusiastic mutt, which soothes his fragile doggie feelings and glues his mouth temporarily shut. Easy.

Rex is technically Issy’s dog. Yet sometimes she forgets to fill his water bowl or give him his Milk-Bone after a successful potty break. I take care of Rex almost as much as I take care of Issy.

Sometimes I forget she’s only a year younger than I am.

The party’s only a few blocks away, so we walk, despite the summer-remnant damp that hangs on long into the night.





SVS 9: The Dragon Hunter – Young Adult Fantasy

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 07 February 2018 · 34 views



Category/Genre: YA Fantasy

Word count: 80,000


Is your antagonist hot or cold? 

King Morden is as cold as liquid hydrogen. He capriciously wields his power with little regard for its effects on his subjects. He destroys families and uses people’s loved ones against them. A master at uncovering people’s weaknesses, he manipulates them to solidify his rule and eliminate threats. While he can be charming in public, he has a sociopath’s ability to slash others down without so much as a shift in his pulse. He understands that fear and control of information can be used to prevent dissent and calculatingly uses both to achieve his ends.



Dear Agent:

When the ship arrives to take bounty hunters to the Luceran Isles, Erina is ready. At sixteen, she’s not a particularly great fighter, nor is she gifted with magical abilities like some of the others. What she does have is a knack for strategy, an affinity for plants, and boundless resolve.

Following her parents’ imprisonment, Erina has spent years preparing to pursue the Dragon with the other hunters. The shape-shifting mage has not proven easy to catch despite the lure of the king’s promise to grant any request from the successful hunter. For ten years, seasoned huntsmen have traveled to the Dragon’s island, and few have returned. Those that have say the evil magic of the island itself surpasses that of its master. They speak of ghosts, demonic creatures, shifting landscapes, and nightmares brought to life.

Erina’s friends warn her that she’s more likely to meet her death on the Isles than slay the Dragon and free her parents. But she believes that finding the Dragon is worth risking her life battling the Island’s horrors and the other hunters. For just as the island isn’t always what it seems, Erina’s endgame is about more than winning her parents’ release. If she succeeds, she could topple an entire monarchy.

The Dragon Hunter will appeal to fans of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall novels and Naomi Novik’s Uprooted.


First 250 words:

I almost missed the most important journey of my life because of a broken lock.

On the morning the Ibis sailed into Davenport, I was stacking books in the depository when a draft blew the door shut. Despair rose within me as I jiggled the handle. It wouldn’t budge. I watched, helplessly, as the sails came into view from the room’s small window.

I surveyed the room. The old wooden stools were too flimsy to use as battering rams. The iron fire poker was too thick to fit between the door and the frame. I envied the mages’ abilities to work up spells to overcome predicaments like this.

After banging the door for half an hour, Mistress Terrell managed to get the lock open from the other side. I ran past the elderly librarian to the wharfs as quickly as I could in my skirts, stopping only as I approached the large crowd assembled on the docks. I took a deep breath before pushing my way through the masses to join the line of men.

At the front of the line, a surly man sat behind a table, barking instructions to the men booking passage. One trunk and one satchel per man. Weapons must be stowed at all times. No refunds if you missed the dawn departure tomorrow.

As he shouted, I prayed that I wasn’t too late to get a spot on the ship. If I missed the cutoff, it’d be a full year before I could try again.

I could not wait another year.




“20 in 2018” Celebrates The Release of YOUR ONE AND ONLY and AMERICAN PANDA

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 06 February 2018 · 66 views


One of the things I’m incredibly happy about is being a part of the Class of 2K18 and supporting my good friends as their book babies make it out into the world.

The Class of 2K18 is a group of 20 talented Young Adult and Middle Grade writers who have their first books releasing in 2018! We’ve come together not only to support one another but also help promote each other’s titles.

My new series, titled “20 in 2018” features a new release from the Class of 2K18 and will include the cover, blurb, and buy links for that debut. At the end of the week, I’ll be giving away that book (or books) as we do have some writers who share a book birthday!

To enter, all you have to do is leave a name and contact info in the comments below by Friday, February 9 at 11 p.m. EST. Email or Twitter handle is just fine! U.S. entries only please. Winner will be announced on Monday, February 12.

Today there are TWO books in the “20 in 2018″ giveaway…


YOUR ONE & ONLY by Adrianne Finlay


Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack?

While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

Now available via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound.


American Panda by Gloria Chao



At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

Now available via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound.

Want to win a copy of one of these beautiful books? Remember to leave your name and contact info in the comments. Please specify which book you would like. If open to either, please let me know.




“20 in 2018” Celebrates The Release of THE UNICORN QUEST!

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 31 January 2018 · 103 views

One of the things I’m incredibly happy about is being able to be a part of the Class of 2K18 and support my good friends as their book babies make it out into the world.

The Class of 2K18 is a group of 20 talented Young Adult and Middle Grade writers who have their first books releasing in 2018! We’ve come together as a group not only to support one another but also help promote each other’s titles.

My new series, titled “20 in 2018” features a new release from the Class of 2K18 and will include the cover, blurb, and buy links for that debut. At the end of the week, I’ll be giving away that book (or books) as we do have some writers who share a book birthday!

To enter, all you have to do is leave a name and contact info in the comments below by Friday, February 2 at 11 p.m. EST. Email or Twitter handle is just fine! U.S. entries only please. Winner will be announced on Monday, February 5.

So without further ado, here is the next book in the “20 in 2018″ series…


THE UNICORN QUEST by Kamilla Benko



Claire Martinson still worries about her older sister Sophie, who battled a mysterious illness last year. But things are back to normal as they move into Windermere Manor… until the sisters climb a strange ladder in a fireplace and enter the magical land of Arden. 

There, they find a world in turmoil. The four guilds of magic no longer trust each other. The beloved unicorns have gone, and terrible wraiths roam freely. Scared, the girls return home. But when Sophie vanishes, it will take all of Claire’s courage to climb back up the ladder, find her sister, and uncover the unicorns’ greatest secret.


Now available for purchase on AmazonB&N, and IndieBound.

Want to win a copy of this beautiful book? Remember to leave your name and contact info in the comments!


More on the author…


Kamilla Benko spent most of her childhood climbing into wardrobes, trying to step through mirrors, and plotting to run away to an art museum. Now, she visits other worlds as a children’s book editor. Originally from Indiana, she currently lives in New York with her bookshelves, teapot, and hiking boots. For more on Kamilla, follow her on Twitter – @kkbenko.



Hello 2018 TEAM SUN Members!!

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 30 January 2018 · 86 views




I’m very excited to share this post today and welcome a fabulous group of writers to TEAM SUN!

My choices are listed below by category in no particular order. If your entry was not selected, please remember we only had 32 spots for over 200 entries. The talent pool this year was stunning and it was VERY DIFFICULT to make a decision. If you weren’t selected, it is NOT a reflection on the quality of your work.  Please go out and query. Many successful authors were plucked from the slush pile!

After you check out my picks, hop over to Michelle’s blog to see the list for TEAM SNOW!


And now what you’ve been waiting for…Team Sun!!



Bloodstone- Urban Fantasy

The Broken Road – Women’s Fiction

Everything Comes Back To You – Women’s Fiction



The Symptoms of Dying – Magical Realism

Warriors Rising: The Hunt – Urban Fantasy (Ownvoices)

The Bees of Egypt – Magical Realism

Derek Hyde Knows Spooky When He Sees It – Paranormal



Hood – Historical

Dying For Love – Mystery

Only The Brave – Contemporary (Ownvoices)

Dance, Dance, Die – Fantasy (Fairytale Retelling – Ownvoices)

As Much As I Ever Could – Contemporary

Riverborn – Urban Fantasy

A Darker Need – Thriller

All The Words I Didn’t Say – Contemporary

The Dragon Hunter – Fantasy


If you’re part of TEAM SUN, CONGRATS!! Expect an email from your mentor soon. Your mentor will help you fine tune your entry privately. Also, I want to stay in touch with each of my picks, so if we don’t already follow each other on Twitter, let’s fix that. My handle: @atrueblood5

Now for the important part:

Your final revised entry must be back to me no later than Monday, February 5 at 11:00 pm EST. That’s so I have time to format the entries and have them ready to post for the agent round on Thursday, February 8 (please don’t make me hunt you down!) Mail your revised entry to the contest email Sunversussnow (at) yahoo (dot) com. Please use the exact same format.

After that, it will be up to the agents to decide! Congrats and good luck to everyone!

Gooooooo Team Sun!!!



It’s Sun vs. Snow Submission Day!!!

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 23 January 2018 · 125 views




The submission window for Sun versus Snow opens today at 4:00 pm EST!  The instructions and rules for entry are repeated below.

Act fast. We will only be taking the first 200 ENTRIES! Please do not enter early or your entry will be deleted. You can resend at the proper time if this happens accidentally. Confirmation emails will be sent. If you don’t receive one, don’t resend. We don’t want duplicate entries. Please check with us on Twitter first to confirm your entry did or did not arrive, then you may resend.

There is only ONE, yes that’s right, ONE entry per person allowed. Any attempt to cheat will result in entries being thrown out. This contest is only for finished and polished stories. That means do not send us your NaNoWriMo from November 2017 if they aren’t ready.

Important note: The story can’t have been in the agent round of any other contest in the last three months. This doesn’t mean twitter pitch events with hashtags, but multiple agent blog contests. 



Also, Michelle and I have decided not to accept picture books for this contest. Though we love picture books, Michelle holds special contests just for them. We do accept all MG, YA, NA and Adult genres, excluding erotica. To enter you must be followers of our blogs. Click the “follow” button on my blog. You can find Michelle’s blog here. If following our blogs doesn’t work, follow us on Twitter.


The Format:

Send submission to Sunversussnow (at) yahoo (dot) com. Only one submission per person is allowed. It doesn’t matter if you write under different names or are submitting different manuscripts. You are still one person and get one entry.

Here’s how it should be formatted (yes, include the bolded!) Please use Times New Roman (or equivalent), 12 pt font, single-spaced, and put spaces between paragraphs. No indents or tabs are needed. No worries if your gmail doesn’t have Times New Roman. No worries if the email messes up your format. Yes, we will still read it! 🙂

(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.)

Subject Line: SVS: TITLE, Age Category + Genre

(example: SVS: GRUDGING, Adult Epic Fantasy)


In The Email:

Title: MY FANTASTIC BOOK (yes, caps!)

Genre: YA dystopian Ownvoices (Age category and genre. Add “Ownvoices” here if it applies)

Word Count: XX,XXX (round to the nearest thousand)

Twitter Handle: (Optional so we can contact you. Will not be public.)

Is Your Antagonist Hot or Cold?: 

Describe whether your antagonist is hot or cold. Personalities differ. Does your villain snap easily or are they calm and calculating? (Don’t have an antagonist who is a person–then describe the weather of your setting.)

(Can be in your character’s POV, but doesn’t have to be. 100 words or less.)



Query goes here! Include greeting and main paragraphs. Please leave out bio, closing, and word count + genre sentence. You may include comps if you’d like. There is no word count limit on the query but please aim for 250 – 300 words.

You may include if your story is OwnVoices up in the genre line. We really want diverse and talented writers and striping out the bios sometimes leaves us in the dark.

Remember a query has several paragraphs. Don’t send us a pitch.


First 250 words:

Here are the first 250 words of my manuscript, and I will not end in the middle of a sentence. But I will not go over 257 words. Be reasonable and don’t make us count. Don’t forget to space between paragraphs! No indents!


So that’s it. See you at 4:00 pm Eastern time. Good luck!


Oh, one more thing…



Here are the suggested daily topics. But if you want to make up your own fun games on the hashtag #SunvsSnow then go right ahead! Just keep it clean and inclusive for all.


Jan 23– Submission day! What genre and age category will you/did you enter? Show us a sun or snow picture from your neighborhood.


Jan 24– It’s very important to read new books in your genre to get a sense of pacing and timing as well as style. What book in your genre have you read recently?


Jan 25– Do you get more writing done when there’s sun (summer) or snow (winter)? When are you most productive?


Jan 26– Do you have a word count writing goal for each day or use some other measurement? How do you carve out time to write?


Jan 27– Pantser or plotter or somewhere in between?


Jan 28– Shout out a favorite line from the ms you entered.


Jan 29– If you had to choose one goal for your writing career this year, what would it be?


Jan 30– Beta readers and Critique Partners are important in the writing world. Where did you meet yours so others can check out those places?


Jan 31– Final advice as before picks are announced on how you manage nerves during contests/querying?


Have fun! Mix and mingle! Make friends! Who knows among this group could be a future critique partner!!






  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 16 January 2018 · 132 views




A free pass allows you to skip the slush and become an instant pick. You’ll get to work with a mentor to improve your query and first page (first 250 words). Your entry will be seen by our 21 agents and maybe some ninja agents!

You must do two things to enter:

  • Leave a blog comment on this post and use the rafflecopter to record that you commented. If you aren’t in the rafflecopter, it can’t pick you as the winner. This ensures the winner is random and no bias slips in.
  • Answer this question:

How would your main character handle a day with a 100+degree temperature? Would they wilt in the shade or revel in the heat?

Please be as fun or creative as you can with your reply and try and stay under 200 words.

Use the rafflecopter for additional optional entries and to help spread the word via Twitter.

The free pass will stay open until January 22. 

Thanks and good luck! I hope to see one of you on TEAM SUN!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Announcing the 2018 Sun vs. Snow Agents!

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 13 January 2018 · 85 views



Literary agents lead very busy lives, so when Michelle and I reach out to see if they’ll participate in Sun versus Snow we’re never sure how many we will get to participate. But every year, without fail, agents step up to the plate and agree to join us for this very fun contest.

HUGE thanks to the 21 AGENTS who found time in their busy schedules to make this contest happen. You are all AWESOME! On this blog I have 11 out of the 21. To discover who else will be perusing the entries this year, head over to Michelle’s blog.

Please tweet your thanks to this great group by using the hashtag #sunvssnow and let them know how much you appreciate them!


Whitley Abell – Inklings

Whitley Abell is an editorial agent, supporting her authors through all stages of the writing and publication process. Her publishing career began as an intern with Carol Mann Agency and P.S. Literary Agency, and she also interned at Inklings Literary Agency before working her way up to agent. She holds a BA in English Literature, and a MAT in Secondary English Education, which means she can tell you everything there is to know about feminist literary theory and the Common Core Standards. When she’s not agenting or daylighting as a content manager, she can typically be found slipping down rabbit holes of the literary and fandom varieties.

Whitley is currently building her client list and is actively seeking young adult, middle grade, and select commercial fiction. Strong female voices are near and dear to her heart, and she is particularly drawn to fresh retellings, diverse voices, flawed but (usually) well-meaning characters, and parts of the world she’ll likely never see.

In commercial fiction, she is drawn to female-centric stories, whether contemporary or historical. She’s looking for psychological thrillers à la Megan Abbott; upmarket women fiction à la Maria Semple and Emma Straub; lyrical historicals à la Kate Morton and Hannah Kent; and commercial chick-lit à la Sophie Kinsella, Rainbow Rowell, and Taylor Jenkins Reid. She is also looking for immersive magical fantasies on par with The Magicians and A Darker Shade of Magic.

In young adult and middle grade, her interests are quite broad. She welcomes queries for speculative/sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, romance, historical, thrillers, and horror, and is particularly interested in light-hearted and high-concept contemporary, magical realism that borders on psychological thriller, and dark historical fantasies set at the dawn of the modern age. Number one on her wish list is a best friend break-up story—specifically, a contemporary YA told in the style of The Last 5 Years, or a humorous, heart-filled MG spin on Forgetting Sarah Marshall. She has a soft spot for trips abroad, mischief, boy humor, and the goofy guys and devout fangirls of the world.



Amy Elizabeth Bishop – Dystel, Goderich & Bourret

Amy Elizabeth Bishop joined Dystel, Goderich & Bourret in 2015, after completing an internship with them in 2014. Before diving into the world of publishing, she graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Creative Writing. She grew up in upstate New York and has now made the traitorous switch to downstate living. Reading-wise, she is interested in upmarket women’s fiction, fiction from diverse authors, historical fiction (focusing on untold stories or well-known stories from a different perspective; think, minority voices), stories with a Victorian Gothic flair, and YA with a darker twist. In terms of nonfiction, she’s eagerly on the hunt for a killer feminist voice discussing contemporary issues and loves historical narrative non-fiction that dives into untold stories. Pop science & journalism also welcome!


Lauren Galit – LKG

Lauren started her agenting career in 2002 at John Boswell Associates, a literary agency and book packager that’s most noted for creating 365 Ways To Cook Chicken, as well as countless other best sellers. Because Boswell was a packager as well as an agent, he taught Lauren how to do more than just craft a proposal and sell it; he showed her how to create a book from scratch, working with designers and production people along the way. It is that attention to detail that she brings to her current projects, even if she isn’t packaging them. She helps her authors envision what their books could be.

Before becoming an agent, Lauren was a magazine editor for 10 years, starting at GQ (Gentleman’s Quarterly) and ending at GH (Good Housekeeping). That’s where she learned to edit and copy edit, to read and reread until an article or caption or pull quote was just so. It is a skill she brings to every proposal she works on with a writer. It won’t go out until it is just so, because the proposal should beautifully and accurately represent the idea an author is dying to bring to the world.


Clelia Gore – Martin Literary

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 attends writing and publishing conferences. She also sits on the board of directors for Poetry Northwestmagazine. In 2017, she was named one of Publisher’s Weekly Star Watch honorees.

Please note: While her website states she is taking a leave of absence, Clelia is making an exception for Sun vs. Snow entries.



Shannon Hassan – Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Shannon Hassan brings a depth of business and editorial experience to her role as agent, having worked in publishing and law for more than a decade.  She represents authors of literary and commercial fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction, and select nonfiction.  With respect to fiction, she is drawn to fresh voices, compelling characters, and crisp prose, and enjoys both contemporary and historical settings.  For nonfiction, she is interested in exceptional narratives from authors with strong platforms. Based in Boulder, Colorado, she is also eager to hear from authors with a unique perspective on the West.

A few of Shannon’s recent or soon to be published books include DIE YOUNG WITH ME, a memoir by Rob Rufus of the Blacklist Royals (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster), THE WORLD’S GREATEST ADVENTURE MACHINE, a middle-grade adventure by Frank L. Cole (Delacorte/Penguin Random House), FRÄULEIN M., a debut novel by Caroline Woods (Gallery/Simon & Schuster), LET THE GOOD PREVAIL, a thriller by Logan Miller and Noah Miller being adapted as a feature film (Rare Bird Books), THE MOON IN THE PALACE, a historical series by Weina Dai Randel (Sourcebooks), GIRLS ON THE LINE, a multicultural young adult novel by Jennie Liu (Lerner), INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF A CACTUS, a middle-grade contemporary by Dusti Bowling (Sterling), and THE SILENCE BETWEEN US, a young adult contemporary by Alison Gervais (Blink/HarperCollins).

Before becoming an agent, she was the Acquisitions Editor at Fulcrum Publishing, and prior to that, a corporate attorney at Arnold & Porter in New York. She received her JD from Harvard and her BA from George Washington University.


Hilary Jacobson – ICM Partners

Hilary is actively building a list consisting of commercial and literary fiction, YA, some middle grade, as well as narrative non-fiction and memoir. She is particularly interested in high-concept YA, upmarket fiction and psychological thrillers. She loves being immersed in other cultures and is always looking for diverse perspectives and settings.


Kelly Peterson – Corvisiero Literary Agency

Kelly has spent her whole life with a book in her hands. Whether it’s from reading, writing, or day dreaming, her mind has always been up in the clouds wishing her fantasy stories would come true. Down on earth, somewhere between reading during science class, writing while she should be sleeping, and spending her social hours pretending she wasn’t actually a closet nerd, she finally realized that her life would be a lot happier if she just accepted her love of books.

A recent graduate of West Chester University, she earned her B.S.Ed. in English and went to pursue a career in teaching. Little did she know that despite all of her hard work, the environment she ended up in would be one she disliked. After taking a step back and reassessing her life, she realized that maybe she should have focused on the world of literary agents and publishing a long time ago.

When not working as a book nerd, Kelly can be found dancing, hiking, riding horses, perfecting her yoga technique, blogging, and writing her own manuscript. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to catch her flying around the world, saving lives. She is superwoman after all!

Though she reads various genres of Middle Grade, Young Adult, and New Adult novels, her true weakness is for YA Fantasy. More recently, Steampunk has quickly crept up the charts in her heart as well.

With books, there’s just something about strong female main characters holding their own against the world, in an environment that Kelly could never, in her wildest dreams, find herself living within. It tears at her heart and pulls at her soul, especially when the main character finds that she never needed another to complete her in the first place.


Caitlen Rubino-Bradway – LKG

Caitlen joined the LKG Agency in 2008, thereby disproving the theory that no English major ever does anything with their degree.  Before that she worked at another literary agency, Don Congdon Associates, where she had the behind-the-scenes thrill of seeing Kathryn Stockett’s The Help first come in (and getting one of the first reads). And before that she was getting her Masters in English and Publishing from Rosemont College. She’s enjoyed her apprenticeship under Lauren Galit very much, and is now actively looking to build her own list, which includes (after a surprisingly minimal amount of begging and pleading on my part), securing Lauren’s agreement to open the agency to considering middle grade and young adult fiction.

In her spare time, she is an author in her own right (or is that write?).  Her first book, Lady Vernon and Her Daughter, which she co-wrote with her mother, was released by Crown in 2009. She also contributed to Jane Austen Made Me Do It, published by Ballantine in 2011. Her first middle grade novel, Ordinary Magic, was published by Bloomsbury Children’s in 2012.


Steven Salpeter – Curtis Brown, LTD.

Steven Salpeter is a literary agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd. A graduate of the University of Florida, Steven edited Tea and founded the Palmetto Prize for Fiction. He began his publishing career at Writers House and Brandt & Hochman before moving to Curtis Brown to assist Mitchell Waters and help Timothy Knowlton manage many of the agency’s venerable estate clients, including W. H. Auden, Stanley Ellin, John Knowles, Alfred Lansing, and Ayn Rand, among other bestsellers and literary award winners. He is now actively building his list, seeking literary fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, historical fiction, mysteries, thrillers, young adult, and authors who can blend elements of these genres. Steven is also interested in narrative nonfiction, gift books, history, humor, and popular science. He lives in New York City.


Jennifer March Soloway – Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Inc.

Jennifer represents authors and illustrators of picture book, middle grade, and YA stories, and is actively building her list. Although she specializes in children’s literature, she also represents adult fiction, both literary and commercial, particularly crime, suspense and horror projects.

For picture books, she is drawn to a wide range of stories from silly to sweet, but she always appreciates a strong dose of humor and some kind of surprise at the end. When it comes to middle grade, she likes all kinds of genres, including adventures, mysteries, spooky-but-not-too-scary ghost stories, humor, realistic contemporary and fantasy.

YA is Jennifer’s sweet spot. She is a suspense junkie. She adores action-packed thrillers full of unexpected twists. Throw in a dash of romance, and she’s hooked! She’s a sucker for conspiracy plots where anyone might be a double agent, even the kid next door. She is a huge fan of psychological horror that blurs the lines between the real and the imagined. But as much as she loves a good thriller, she finds her favorite novels are literary stories about ordinary teens, especially those focused on family, relationships, sexuality, mental illness, or addiction. In such stories, she is particularly drawn to a close, confiding first-person narrative. Regardless of genre, she is actively seeking fresh new voices and perspectives underrepresented in literature.

That’s her wish list, but the truth is an author might have something she has never considered before, and it might be absolutely perfect for her. She is open to any good story that is well written with a strong, authentic voice. Surprise her!

Prior to joining ABLA, Jennifer worked in marketing and public relations in a variety of industries, including financial services, health care, and toys. She has an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College, and was a fellow at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto in 2012. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, their two sons, and an English bulldog.


Leslie Zampetti – Dunham Litearary

Leslie joined Dunham Literary in June 2016. With experience in special, public, and school libraries, Leslie has cataloged rocket launch videos and Lego rocket ship models, presented SEC documents and story times, and negotiated with organizations from Lexis-Nexis to the PTA.

A writer herself, Leslie is an editorial agent who has broad tastes in her reading. Middle grade fiction, picture book biographies, and unusual true stories are priorities for children’s books. Diversity of all types is a particular priority, as Leslie seeks manuscripts to mirror under-represented readers and open windows to others.

For YA and adult fiction, Leslie loves mysteries, historical fiction, and literary romances that offer unique settings and characters she wishes she knew in real life. Regency novels that break tropes, Southern Gothics, and fresh takes on the country house mystery all have special appeal. For nonfiction, Leslie prefers memoirs and histories, especially in the fields of medicine, architecture, and non-Western regions.

While Leslie is open to most manuscripts, please no baby boomer bildungsromans, no gory horror, and no literary fiction that is more experiment than story.


There you have it. Eleven amazing agents!!! Be sure to head over to Michelle’s blog for the rest of the list. And don’t forget that the submission window opens on JANUARY 23! Click here for submission details!



NOTHING BUT SKY Preorder Campaign

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 09 January 2018 · 80 views





It’s really hard to believe that there are only 12 short weeks until NOTHING BUT SKY is released on March 27. After the long journey with this book, I’m glad to finally be able to share Grace’s story with readers!

With the release of a debut there is so much to celebrate, but to me the most important part is to recognize the readers. Those who take time out of their busy lives to sit down and read my words. For this I can never say thank you enough, but I’ll try to show my gratitude by giving away a little something to every person who buys NOTHING BUT SKY before its release date.


Preorder Nothing But Sky on:

Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Indiebound/Books-A-Million/Book Depository




If you preorder NOTHING BUT SKY by March 26, I will send you a swag pack that includes the following:

One (1) Nothing But Sky signed bookmark

One (1) signed Nothing But Sky bookplate

Two (2) Nothing But Sky character stickers (Grace and Henry)




Please note: I’ve printed a limited amount of these so they will only be available while supplies last!


In addition to the swag pack, each person will be entered to win one of two (2) runner-up prize packs which includes:

All the items in the swag pack plus…

One (1) candle (printed with the Bee’s Knees or Dream Big)

One (1) unique journal (Both of which I think Grace would approve of!)

  • Entrant first selected for runner-up prize pack will get first choice of candle and journal. Second selected entry will get remaining journal and candle. 




And FINALLY – ONE (1) grand prize winner will receive:

One (1) swag pack

One (1) Nothing But Sky printed tote bag

One (1) Kindle Fire HD 8

One (1) $50 Amazon gift card that the winner will hopefully use to load some great Young Adult historical fiction (I’m more than happy to make recommendations!)




Preorder Nothing But Sky by 11:59 p.m. EST on March 26 and fill out the Google Form link here. Proof of purchase will be required for runner-up and grand prize winners only! International entries are welcome. 



Many thanks again to everyone who has followed me on this publishing journey. It’s been a long five-year haul, but I’m very thankful for every word of encouragement and support. Those words have honestly not only filled up my heart, but my soul, too! <3


THE DETAILS (Once Again):

  • A preorder of the paperback edition of Nothing But Sky (ISBN: 9781635830163) or e-book of Nothing But Sky purchased by 11:59 pm EST on March 26, 2018 qualifies as one (1) entry.
  • Contest is open internationally to contestants 13 years of age or older.
  • By entering, you are stating that you are 13+ and gives me (Amy Trueblood) permission to contact you via email to confirm address for prize pack.
  • For each book preordered, entrant will be mailed a single swag pack including: (1) bookmark, (1) bookplate, and (2) character stickers – while supplies last.
  • (2) runner-up entries will receive (1) swag pack as well as (1) candle and (1) journal.
  • (1) grand prize winner will receive (1) swag pack + (1) tote bag, (1) Kindle Fire HD 8 and (1) $50 Amazon gift card

The runner-up and grand prize winners MUST provide proof of purchase (email a scan or photo of receipt) before prize is mailed.



Welcome 2018 TEAM SUN Mentors!

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 06 January 2018 · 121 views



This is one of my most favorite times of the year! Sun vs Snow is really a labor of love, and Michelle and I could NOT pull it off without the help of our incredible mentors.

This year we have some familiar faces returning as well as new writers jumping in to help the selected entries. Please give them a warm welcome in the comments and let them know how happy you are to have them participating this year. This is a group that will most certainly BRING THE HEAT!



Ryan Dalton

Ryan Dalton is author of the young adult Time Shift Trilogy. Book 3, THE GENESIS FLAME, will be released on April 24, 2018. Ryan splits his time between writing books and designing tabletop games during the day, fighting crime at night, and hanging out in his awesome underground lair. Please do not tell anyone he’s Batman. It’s a secret. For more on Ryan, follow him on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Favorite Summertime Activity: Since I just moved to a new area, I like using the sunny days for exploring the region and seeing what cool hidden gems I can find.

Ryan’s latest novel, THE BLACK TEMPEST is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound. The next book in the series, THE GENESIS FLAME releases April 24, 2018.




Stephanie Elliot

Stephanie Elliot is a writer, editor, and mental health advocate. Her young adult novel, SAD PERFECT is based on her daughter’s journey through ARFID/Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. She lives in Scottsdale with her husband and three children. For more on Stephanie, check out her website or follow her Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Favorite Summertime Activity: Staying inside (when it’s 118 degrees in Arizona!)

Stephanie’s latest release, SAD PERFECT is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound.





Jody Holdford

Jody Holford is both a contemporary romance and cozy mystery author. She lives in British Columbia with her family. She’s a huge fan of Rainbow Rowell, Nora Roberts, Carly Phillips, Lori Foster, Sarah Fox, & Agatha Frost. She’s unintentionally funny and rarely on time for anything. She has an equal amount of love for writing and reading the sigh worthy moments in a book. For more on Jody, check out her website or follow her on Twitter, Facebook , or see all her titles over on Bookbub.

Favorite Summertime Activity: My favorite sun-related activity if I’m close to home is going paddle boarding and swimming with my family. If I’m lucky enough to be in California, it’s visiting some of the amazing beaches, like Huntington or Newport.

Jody’s latest novel,  LET IT BE ME releases January 29 and can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple iBooks.






Jessica Lawson

Jessica Lawson is the author of The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher, a book that Publishers Weekly called “a delightfully clever debut” in a starred review, and Nooks & Crannies, a Junior Library Guild Selection and recipient of three starred reviews. She is also the author of Waiting for Augustaa Junior Library Guild Selection and the winner of the 2016 Colorado Book Award. Her latest novel is Under the Bottle Bridge. You can visit her at JessicaLawsonBooks.com. For more on Jessica, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.


Favorite Summertime Activity: Soaking up sun, food, music, family, and friends at a backyard barbecue!


Jessica’s latest release, UNDER THE BOTTLE BRIDGE is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound.





Katy Upperman


Katy Upperman is a graduate of Washington State University, a former elementary school teacher, and an insatiable reader. When not writing for young adults, Katy can be found whipping up batches of chocolate chip cookies or exploring the country with her husband and daughter. KISSING MAX HOLDEN is her debut novel; her sophomore novel, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US, will be available July, 2018. For more on Katy, check out her website,or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or Instagram.

Favorite Summertime Activity: My favorite sun-related activity is oceanside reading. There’s nothing better than laying out in the warm sand with a good book.

Katy’s latest release, KISSING MAX HOLDEN is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound. Her next book, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US releases July 31, 2018.



Want to check out who TEAM SNOW has recruited to mentor this year? Stop by Michelle’s blog to see her list of amazing writers!

Again, many thanks to all these writers for agreeing to mentor this year. Want to ask them questions or have a general contest or writing question? Drop into our annual Sun vs. Snow Twitter chat on Thursday, January 18. We will have two sessions. The first will begin at 4pm EST and the second will start at 8pm EST. We hope you’ll stop by and chat with us using the #SvSChat hashtag.

Keep a lookout next week for details about the TEAM SUN FREE PASS as well as our agent reveal. We’ve got a list of incredible agents to share!



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