Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Mentors for Nightmare on Query Street

I know you'll want to get to know the mentors who will be helping the finalists perfect their query letter and first 250 words. But first a few dates for Nightmare on Query Street:

Submission Window Opens: October 15th 4:00 pm EST
Final Picks are Announced: October 20th undecided time
Mentors Go to Work: October 21th - 26th
Revised Entries Due Back: October 26th at 8 pm
Agent round: October 29th - 30th

Half of the list of amazing mentors is here. To see the other half of the list, visit Mike's blog. Some of the mentors have been helping our contests for ages and some are brand new. Please give all of them a big welcome!

Colleen McCoy

I'm an Irish dancer and former military officer living in the Great White North. Though I'm B.S.'d in chemical engineering and German, I'm far happier writing stories involving Alaska and a body bag (with an awkward kiss in the mix.) While working 911 dispatch for Alaska State Troopers, I learned to speak in 10-codes, which I still do...but only to annoy my family. In the writerly world, I'm the PR Manager at Inklings Literary Agency. My debut novel, EERIE, is due out in December through Omnific Publishing/Simon and Schuster. My memoir is out on sub through Martin Literary Agency, and my fiction is represented by Michelle Johnson.

Facebook: and

Kathleen Allen

Kathleen has published two murder mysteries If It’s Monday, It Must be Murder and If It’s Tuesday, It Must be Trouble, along with a young adult contemporary, How To Be Almost Famous in Ten Days with Gypsy Shadow Publishing and two young adult fantasy novels, Lore of Fei and War of Fei with Muse It Up Publishing. She has a Master’s in Children’s Literature with an emphasis in creative writing for young adults. She has taught at universities as an adjunct English professor and is currently a literary assistant for The Seymour Agency. 

Being brought up in an urban setting means not much scares her. She prefers dark to light, carries salt, a vial of dead man's blood and one of holy water in her messenger bag, Mr. Pointy, a sonic screwdriver, a floral bonnet, a box of Twinkies, a wand made out of faerie dust and dragon's blood and a dog-eared copy of Frankenstein/ She lives on coffee and words and the occasional cuppa. She has a blank space in her Book of Shadows and she'd love to write your name. Her favorite saying is, "Welcome to the desert of the real." 

Twitter:     @kathleea

Jamie Zakian

Jamie Zakian is a YA/NA writer and acquiring editor at Evernight / Evernight Teen Publishing. When not writing, she enjoys farming, archery, and blazing new trails on her 4wd quad with her husband and rowdy family. Her debut YA sci-fi thriller EMERGENCE is forthcoming from Month9Books. Check out her website or follow her on twitter @demoness333.

Rena Olsen

Daughter of a wandering pastor, Rena Olsen never knew the answer to the question, “Where are you from?” While attending her third school by fourth grade, she found familiarity and comfort in reading, and when she figured out she could create her own stories, that was it. She hasn’t stopped writing since her first story, about an anthropomorphic tooth going on an adventure through a school, won the state of Iowa contest for her age group.

Now Rena is a writer of adult fiction who believes in healthy amounts of pizza and sarcasm. When she’s not saving the world as a therapist, she’s exploring alternate realities on the page, filling the cheering section for friends, and pretending to be an adult. Her debut novel, THE GIRL BEFORE, will be released by Putnam (Penguin/Random House) Summer 2016. Rena is represented by Sharon Pelletier of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management..

Twitter: @originallyrena

Amy Trueblood

A devotee of reading and writing from a very young age, Amy Trueblood grew up surrounded by books. Her love of words led her to the University of Arizona where she graduated with a degree in Journalism. After stints working in entertainment and advertising, she began writing her first manuscript and has never looked back. She lives in Arizona where she is currently working on several young adult projects. Her work is represented by Roseanne Wells of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Tracy Townsend

Tracy Townsend lives in Bolingbrook, Illinois and teaches English at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.  She has studied at DePauw University, the National University of Ireland (Galway), and DePaul University, where she obtained degrees in English, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric.  She is a member of the Science Fiction Research Association and other academic organizations, which allows her to write very long things and read them aloud to people who are obliged to behave politely.  Her sf/f writing draws on her experience as a lapsed Catholic, an assistant martial arts instructor, a comic book fangirl (Make Mine Marvel!), a tabletop role-player, and an obsessive hound for obscure mythology.  Inexplicably, other uses for that resume have yet to present themselves.  She is represented by the strikingly elegant and classy Bridget Smith of Dunham Lit. 

Tracy devotes time she doesn’t have to cooking, gardening, writing, and seriously pondering the treadmill in her basement.  She is married to her high school sweetheart, with whom she shares two remarkable children.  They are – naturally – named after characters from books.

You can find Tracy on Twitter (@TheStorymatic) more often than she really ought to be.

Wade Albert White

Wade Albert White is the author of the middle grade novel, The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes, and its sequel,The Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons (and Why They Keep Biting Me), forthcoming from Little Brown Books for Young Readers in 2016 and 2017 respectively. In addition to writing, he teaches part time (mostly to do with ancient languages), draws with his kids (usually robots fighting other robots), and tries to improve his time for running a 10K (sadly he seems to be getting slower rather than faster). Also, he owns one pretend cat and one real one, and they get along fabulously. He is represented by Elizabeth Kaplan of the Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency.

Twitter: @wadealbertwhite

Ashley Hearn

Ashley is YA author of all things magical and creep-tastic. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (On Wisconsin!) and currently works as a producer for The Badger Sports Report. She is an addictive coffee drinker, Gilmore Girls fanatic, conqueror of the Water Temple, and a proud Gryffindor. When she ferrets away enough gas money, she can be found scouring the Georgia and South Carolina Sea Islands for ruined plantations, folk magic, and a fresh story.

She is an intern for Kate Brauning at Entangled Teen and a member of SCBWI and RWA. She is represented by Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis Literary. You can check out her website and follow her on Twitter @AshleyHearn.

Jessica Kapp

Jessica Kapp is obsessed with the “What ifs” of life and writes Young Adult novels to create twisted answers to her own questions. Her SpecFic stories are grounded in the real world and are represented by Whitley Abell with Inklings Literary. Jessica lives on the side of Washington that sees little rain (truly, it exists). She spends her time alternating between the library and the soccer field.

Connect with her on Twitter @JessKapp or her blog:

Melissa Caruso

Melissa Caruso was born on the summer solstice and went to school in an old mansion with a secret door, but despite this auspicious beginning has yet to develop any superpowers. She wrote her first books in crayon at age four and hasn’t stopped telling stories since.

Melissa lives in Massachusetts with her video game designer husband, two superlative daughters, a Labrador, and a pair of cats. She graduated with honors in Creative Writing from Brown University and has an MFA in Fiction from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. She writes YA fantasy, and is represented by Naomi Davis of Inklings Literary.

Judi Lauren

Judi was born in the Midwest and misses those winters. She now resides in an area where there are way too many bugs and green leaves during December.

She’s a survivor and fighter of many things and, most importantly, is a Gryffindor. Despite dark themes present in her books, and at one point in her life, she still believes in magic.

Even though Judi became an official “adult” five years ago, she’s still drawn to writing realistic books for teens that explore a darker side to the teenage years.

Her book, STILL BREATHING, explores suicide, self-harm, and the consequences of a long-kept secret.

Even though STILL BREATHING isn’t the first book she ever wrote, it was the one she wasn’t okay with putting in a digital drawer to collect dust.

She works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and loves to read any YA, NA, and adult books in her spare time.
She has an unnatural obsession with Chicago, Dean Winchester, and Friends (the TV show). She's represented by wonderful Tina Schwartz of The Purcell Agency.

You can connect with her on Twitter at

Amanda Heger
Amanda Heger is a writer, attorney, and bookworm. She lives in the Midwest with three unruly rescue dogs and a husband who encourages her delusions of grandeur.
Her debut romance, Without Borders, will be released in April of 2016 from Diversion Books. The story was inspired by the summer Amanda spent in rural Nicaragua, eating gallo pinto, speaking mangled Spanish, and showing high school students how to slide condoms onto over-sized plantains. 
Her stories are represented by Jessica Watterson of the Dijkstra Literary Agency.

No comments:

Post a Comment