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It’s Sun vs. Snow Submission Day!!!

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 23 January 2018 · 89 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:

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…

 TWITTER PARTY!!!

 

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!!

 

 



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TEAM SUN FREE PASS is HERE!

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 16 January 2018 · 107 views

 

TEAM SUN FREE PASS!!!!!

 

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



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Announcing the 2018 Sun vs. Snow Agents!

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 13 January 2018 · 62 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!



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NOTHING BUT SKY Preorder Campaign

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 09 January 2018 · 54 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

 

 

THE DETAILS:

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!)

 

 

TO ENTER:

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. 

 

ONE LAST WORD…

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.



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Welcome 2018 TEAM SUN Mentors!

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 06 January 2018 · 89 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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The “20 in 2018” Celebration

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 02 January 2018 · 76 views

 

 

Hello and Happy New Year! I hope you had a safe and happy holiday and are planning amazing things for 2018.

This is going to be a fun and undoubtedly crazy year! 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.

A quick recap on the Class of 2K18…

This is a group of 20 talented Young Adult and Middle Grade writers who all have their first books releasing in 2018! We’ve come together as a group not only to support one another but also help promote our titles.

Keeping that in mind, today I’m kicking off a new series here on the blog. The series is titled “20 in 2018”. Every Tuesday that the Class of 2K18 has a new release I’ll be sharing 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, January 5 at 5 p.m. EST. Email or Twitter handle is just fine! U.S. entries only please.

So let’s get things started by introducing the first book in the “20 in 2018″…

 

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon

 

 

Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon. 

But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.

When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive.

These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving?

 

Now available for purchase on Amazon, B&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…

Rachel Lynn Solomon is a Pacific Northwest native who loves rainy days, tap dancing, red lipstick, and new wave music. Her debut contemporary YA novel, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, will be out from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse on January 2, 2018, with a second book, Our Year of Maybe, to follow in 2019.

Rachel has written for newspapers, produced a radio show that aired in the middle of the night, and worked for NPR, and she currently works in education. Rachel lives in Seattle with her boyfriend and tiny dog. She’s represented by Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency. For more on Rachel, check out her website or follow her on Twitter (@rlynn_solomon).



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2017: Writerly Goodness

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 22 December 2017 · 94 views

 

 

 

In my final post of the year I don’t want to reflect on the “could have”, “should have”, or “I wish that would have happened” moments. 2017 has been a year of roller coaster-like events for me. Some moments were very high and others were pretty close to the depths of despair. It’s easy to get caught in those moments, but I’ve decided that 2018 is going to be all about pushing forward and NOT looking back.

Today I want to focus on all the writerly goodness I found in the world in 2017. The things that taught me something or encouraged me to have more empathy. Or maybe just a book that directed me to look at the world in a new light.  Whatever it may be, I want to focus on the light instead of the dark.

Let’s start with one of the biggest joys of my year:

Podcasts

I’m not going to lie, I HATE exercising. But after sitting at a desk for too many hours, I was determined to get up and move this year. One of the biggest motivators was the knowledge that I had a new podcast waiting for me. These thirty to forty minute writerly talks not only motivated me, but made me laugh and yes, even tear up sometimes. Here are my faves from this year:

Literaticast: Jess Keating – BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU TELL YOURSELF

Writer Writer Pants on Fire  – ELSIE CHAPMAN episode

88 Cups of Tea – Erika L. Sanchez : An Unwavering Love of Writing

First Draft with Sarah Enni – A conversation with Robin Benway

 

Books

It’s impossible to talk about this year without mentioning books. I was caught up in revisions and copyedits for a major part of the year so new books became my reward for getting a portion of an edit completed. The books that made a difference to me this year were the ones that opened my eyes to something new in the world or taught me how to develop my writing craft in a more comprehensive way. Here are some of my favorites for 2017:

Fiction:

The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

A mystery threaded in with Shakespeare – this book had my heart from page one!

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

A coming of age story about two boys in Utah who are trying to figure out who they are and what should be their life path. Eye-opening, emotionally brutal, and honestly compelling. Full disclosure: I read this book in one day.

Tie: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menoon & Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Thank you to these two beautiful writers for allowing me to step into their worlds. Both books were emotionally well-drawn and had me breathlessly turning the pages.

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

In a world that is ever-increasingly showing the dark side of man, Jennifer Mathieu’s MOXIE made me stand up and cheer. I loved the beautifully written female relationships and the way the women banded together to protect each other even under the threat of severe punishment. In my book this is a must-read!

 

Non-Fiction:

Write Naked by Jennifer Probst

An honest and thought-provoking book on how to strip down the cages writers build around themselves and ways to open up your heart and mind to writing honestly.

Romancing The Beat by Gwen Hayes

A definitive read for any writer who wants to add a bit of romance to their manuscript.

The Negative Trait Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman

I have a hard time really digging deep into the darker side of characters. This great resource helps to illustrate great ways to write a flawed character.

 

Television

Stranger Things 2

A master class in how to create empathy for characters and build emotional arcs while still driving the plot forward. Every time I struggle with a character arc now, I’m going to think about Steve Harrington and how he went from being a privileged snot to the protector of a rogue band of kids seeking to do nothing but save their friend and find the truth.

Riverdale (Season One)

While the first episode was a little bit too much info-dumping, the following episodes quickly drew me into the mystery. Another great example of leaving enough breadcrumbs, and alluding to red herrings, to keep the viewer coming back. And I also have to admit that the slow burn between Betty and Jughead was brilliantly architectured.

 

Movies

Wonder Woman

While I know this movie brought out mixed feelings in people, for me it was one of the best movies of the year. I love a flawed heroine and Diana was EXACTLY that. She made decisions based on her heart not her head (most of the time) and that dragged her down several wrong roads. That’s what made this a compelling superhero movie for me. She was all strength and power, but there were equal parts of her that were human, too. I appreciated that she could admit when she was wrong and not glaze past it to defeat the villain.

Dunkirk

Another masterclass in letting emotion tell the story. As I sat in the theater, I was glued to my seat. The first ten minutes there was zero dialogue, yet I was riveted. I didn’t know the characters backstories, or what they were dealing with emotionally, but I was immediately on that beach and in that moment due to brilliant performances by the actors and the genius of the camera work.

 

Blog Posts

Erin Bowman: How to run a successful pre-order campaign

Many things in publishing are kept quiet. We see the big announcements about deals and advances but beyond that we don’t know what a writer goes through to get the word out about their book. A big portion of this is about promotion. Erin’s comprehensive post on how to run a pre-order campaign pulls back the current on this process. She gives step-by-step tips for the debut author on how to make this kind of promotion work. Personally, I’ve referred back to the post at least ten times in the last six months. If you’re not quite to your debut, still bookmark this one because you will need it when you get there!

How To Use Instagram Stories

All right, I’ll admit it, Instagram is my new favorite! I am honestly very tired of all the conflict and drama on Twitter so I have slowly begun to spend more time on Instagram. I’ll also admit that it’s kind of fun to just veg out and look at all the pretty pictures of books. I will admit though that Instagram does have quite a bit of a learning curve, especially when it comes to the story function.

Here is my favorite link on how to make the  “story” option work for you.

 

That’s my roundup for this year. It’s absolutely crazy to believe I’m closing in on almost six years of running this blog. I’ve had so many amazing memories from this year, and I look forward to sharing many more important and informative posts in 2018, including new installments of the FIRST FIVE FRENZY and QUITE THE QUERY. Until then, I hope you all have a safe, warm, and shiny new year!

xoxo,

Amy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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DEALING WITH A DEBUT: READY FOR LAUNCH

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 15 December 2017 · 81 views

 

 

 

As a soon to be debut author there are many things running through my head. Besides the usual worries about edits, copy edits, ARCs, and first pass pages, there are concerns about cover reveals, reviews, and, of course, publicity and promotion.

Many of these items are out of my control, but the one thing I feel like I can try to corral is publicity and promotion. That may have to do with the fact that I spent ten years working in marketing, public relations, and advertising. And while I have experience, I’m also aware that the publishing world is a completely different animal than the general retail marketplace.

With that in mind, I decided to start this new blog series called, Dealing With A Debut. The plan is to share advice and tips from past debuts in hopes that future debuts can plan a clear path for the time leading up to their own release.

As I’m new to all of this, I reached out to previously published author friends who write Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade and asked if they would mind sharing their debut experiences, in particular how they approached publicity and promotion. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of help, and I must give a HUGE shout-out to all those writers who patiently read over my long questionnaire and provided more than brilliant answers!

I’m back today to talk about book launches. Our responses were all over the board, and what I’ve discovered is that a launch depends on how the author wants to first present their book to the world. Some want to do it quietly, while others want to be loud. No matter the approach, authors were presently surprised with the turnout and response from the audience.

Here are the questions I asked:

Did you have your launch at a library, bookstore, or other facility? What was the single most impactful thing you did? Reading? Raffle? Game? Signing? 

Library or Bookstore?

The majority of respondents said they did their launch at a bookstore. Some selected indies, while others used their local Barnes and Noble. A few others mentioned working with a local librarian to do a launch at their hometown library.

In one instance with a digital release, a writer used her social network to do her launch via Facebook. In this case, she invited fellow authors in to help her promote the launch and gave away copies of the guests’ books as well as book-themed prizes.

Reading or Q&A?

Many respondents said they did a combination of a reading and a Q&A. The most common response here was that an author should pick an excerpt that is both short, but meaningful. A few people mentioned it was okay to add context if your reading was not from the first chapter.

Games or Raffle?

Another common response was playing a game with the audience. Some played “Two truths and a lie,” while others organized a quiz based on their book’s characters and/or themes. I was at a launch where the author played a version of “Kiss, Marry, Kill” with historical characters and the audience loved it!

Raffles were also very popular. Some put together gift baskets based on elements in the book, while others gave away books by local author friends who were in the audience. Those friends went on to autograph the books for the winners.

Food or Crafts?

Food was another common response. Some authors provided themed cookies or candy. Others offered a book-themed cake or cupcakes.

For younger attendees, a few writers mentioned having a simple craft station where kids could make something based on an element from the book.

After the launch

Sign in-store stock. One author mentioned that weeks after her launch she was still seeing sales based on the fact that she’d signed stock the day of her event. Another writer mentioned working with the local store to cross promote launch after the fact. She posted pictures on her personal social media pages and asked store if they would share as well.

Other unique and interesting things authors added to their launches:

  • Passing around a copy of their book and asking everyone in audience to sign as a keepsake
  • Asking attendees to sign a special “guestbook” that author now takes to every event.
  • Inviting an established author to be part of launch so writer could draw off their following

What I learned from these responses is a launch is what you make it. It’s your decision as to whether you want it to be a giant affair or something low-key. No matter what you choose, some of the ideas shared above are useful and can be incorporated in any way an author sees fit!

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Cover Reveal: Valia Lind’s Remembering Majyk

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 14 December 2017 · 79 views

 

I am beyond thrilled to be sharing my friend, Valia Lind’s cover reveal for her Young Adult Fantasy, REMEMBERING MAJYK. A story filled with mystery, intrigue, and well, of course, magic!

Here is a brief description:

Calista Faulkner never believed in fairy tales…until she is thrust into one.

While attending a college party, she’s attacked by terrifying creatures straight out of a modern day Dr. Frankenstein’s handbook. Fleeing for her life, she discovers that her human memories are a lie and nothing is what it seems.

Calista becomes a target and her only chance of survival is to trust the mysterious Brendan Parnell. He seems to know all of her secrets, even those she doesn’t remember herself.

Together they must fight to protect the most important part of their inheritance, the Relic of Knowledge. Unfortunately, Calista has no memory of her magical life and no idea where she hid the relic. As her memories begin to resurface with bone crushing agony, Calista must face the facts: she is a Volshebnitsya of the High Realm of Skazka and it is her duty to stop the Glava, the masters of Shadowlands.

The world around them begins to falls apart. Plagued by storms that are destroying cities and torn by the sinister monsters of Russian lore. The secrets locked deep inside her mind are her destiny and her undoing. If both worlds are to survive, Calista and Brendan must face the darkness around them—and the darkness threatening from within.

 

And here is the gorgeous cover…

 

 

 

 

 

This amazing book is now available for pre-order here.

 

Author. Photographer. Artist. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valia Lind always had a love for the written word. She wrote her first full book on the bathroom floor of her dormitory, while procrastinating to study for college classes. Upon graduation, she moved her writing to more respectable places, and has found her voice in Young Adult fiction.

You can visit her online at Valialind.com or follow her on Twitter, where she spends way too much time, @ValiaLind.

 

 

 



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Here we go!!! 2018 Sun vs. Snow Announcement!

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 13 December 2017 · 89 views

 

 

 

It’s that time again for THE BIG BATTLE between the heat and the cold! Yes, it’s time for the FIFTH YEAR (!!!) of Sun vs. Snow hosted by me and the AMAZING, Michelle Hauck! We had several amazing success stories from last year and we’re hoping for many more to come!

Please read this post THOROUGHLY as we have a fun new question and some important details about the entry process.

The submission window for Sun versus Snow will open January 23rd at 4:00 pm EST. 

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.

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 you can’t subscribe to our blogs, follow us on twitter (@atrueblood5 or @michelle4laughs) or check out Michelle’s newsletter.

 

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, 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:

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!

 

That’s it for now. Get those entries ready for January 23rd and leave any questions in the comments or ask on Twitter.

Mentors and agents will be posted in January. As of now, we have eleven agents signed up!! We are also drafting some crazy cool mentors who are itching to work with the selected entries. Keep checking our blogs, or sign up for Michelle’s newsletter, for advance warning of the FREE PASS to be on Team Snow or Team Sun!

So get those entries ready! We can’t wait for the epic battle to begin!



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