Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Team Snow 2018



It's that time! 

I hope everyone had a good time and learned something. Contests are for fun and meeting new friends after all!

As I said on twitter this might have been the best group of slush ever, but I only had room for sixteen. With 200+ entries that means a lot left behind. I went back and forth a dozen times before deciding. Be sure to check the Team Sun picks over at Amy's blog, and remember that contests aren't the only means to get in front of agents. 

I never made it in to any large contests, so I know exactly how you feel. I got my agent from a query. And everyone's journey is different. Keep on keeping on!





The following entries will be on Team Snow:

Middle Grade:

Hazelwood- Fantasy

The Artist Quest- Science Fiction
The Fashion Mages- Fantasy


Young Adult:

Feral Prime- Science fiction (ownvoices)

The Late Princess Gwendolyn- Fantasy
The Handbook of Fairy Godmothers- Contemporary
One Kind of Folks- Contemporary (ownvoices)
Glimpses of Me- Contemporary (ownvoices)
Stepsisters- Mystery
Throwaway Girl- Thriller
The Last Mesmerist- Gaslight Fantasy
The Cosplayer- Contemporary (ownvoices)


Adult:

Dead and Buried- Historical Mystery (ownvoices)

Detention- Women's Fiction
Viridescence- Science Fiction
Stone Man- Contemporary


Mentors should be contacting you soon, but give them until Tuesday night.  

Get your revised entry back to me no later than Monday, February 5th 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 8th. Mail your revised entry to the contest email Sunversussnow (at) yahoo (dot) com. Please use the exact same format and don't forget the Sun versus Snow question.

And do find me on twitter (@Michelle4Laughs) so I can add you to my team list before the agent round! I hope everyone sticks around to party and see if Sun or Snow gets the most requests. 



Team Snow will be ready to kick it to the sun!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Sun versus Snow 2018 Submission Day and Twitter Party

No government shut down here. 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. 

dog sledding GIF


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 Amy's blog here. If following our blogs doesn't work, follow us on twitter or sign up for our newsletters instead. 

china snow GIF



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!

And now that the rules are out of the way, how about the fun stuff!

bascom hill snowball GIF by uwmadison






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

Jan 24th- 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 25th- Do you get more writing done when there’s sun (summer) or snow (winter)? When are you most productive?

Jan 26th- 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 27th- Pantser or plotter or somewhere in between?

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

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

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

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


Have fun! Mix and mingle! Make friends! Be active!

in your face snowball GIF

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Sun versus Snow Agents 2018



Contests just wouldn't be the same without the agents! Sure we could mentor and polish entries, but immediate results from the true experts and the success stories that result is what it is all about.

So a huge thanks to the 21 agents who agreed to help us out!

Remember that submission is on January 23rd at 4:00 pm EST. Go here to see the rules and how to format and here to see the mentors. And check out my Free Pass to Team Snow here

Part of the list of agents is on my blog. But listing all of them would be a huge post. So go to my co-host Amy's blog to see the rest



Lynnette Novak
Seymour Agency


Prior to joining The Seymour Agency, Lynnette spent seventeen years freelance editing. She worked with new writers, advanced writers, as well as New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Lynnette earned a bachelor of education degree from the University of Manitoba, where she specialized in English and French. She excelled in Advanced Creative Writing in university and studied writing for children and teens through the Institute of Children’s Literature. She was a Pitch Wars mentor in 2015 and 2016. Both her mentees acquired an agent.


Although Lynnette was born and raised in Manitoba, Canada, she now lives in Minnesota with her husband, twin girls, and many pets. Her personal interests include reading, writing, exercising at the gym (okay, that’s a love/hate relationship), working on an assortment of crafts, all things having to do with animals (if she could own a farm, zoo, and animal shelter, she would), and enjoying time with family and friends.







Lauren Spieller
TriadaUS


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

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

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






Lindsay Mealing
Emerald City Literary

Lindsay has been writing stories since she could first hold a pencil. It wasn’t until she sat down to edit a manuscript for the first time she realized her true love was not on the writing side of the publishing industry, but the business side. She began interning for Mandy in early 2015 and quickly realized agenting was what she wanted to do forever more.
Lindsay is a self-proclaimed  nerd, loving everything science fiction and fantasy – from epic tomes to gaming. She fell head over heels with the SFF genre when she read KUSHIEL’S DART by Jacqueline Carey (she even has Phedre’s marque tattooed on her back).







Andrea Somberg
Harvey Klinger Literary

A literary agent for over fifteen years, Andrea represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, including projects for adult, young adult and middle grade audiences. Her clients’ books have been NYTimes and USABestsellers, as well as nominated for The Governor General’s Award, the Lambda Award, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and have been chosen for ABA’s Indies Introduce Program. Andrea is a guest instructor for MediaBistro and Writers Digest.

Her client list is quite full, however she is always actively looking to take on new authors who write in the following categories: Fiction: literary, commercial, book club fiction, romance, thrillers, mystery, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, young adult, new adult, middle grade. Nonfiction: memoir, narrative, popular science, pop-culture, humor, how-to, parenting, self-help, lifestyle, travel, interior design, crafts, cookbooks, business, sports, diet, health & fitness.








Uwe Stender
TriadaUS


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








Amanda Jain
Inklings Literary


Amanda Jain has loved books for as long as she can remember. When she was a kid, Amanda always had her head in a book. In her room, in the car, in the bathtub, wherever. She probably would have brought a book to the dinner table every evening if that was allowed. 

After earning a BA in English, she worked in the trade department at W. W. Norton for seven years before leaving to pursue graduate studies. She graduated in 2011 with a MA in the history of decorative arts. Amanda then joined Inklings in 2014, first as an intern and then as Michelle’s assistant.

Amanda is primarily interested in adult fiction in the following categories: historical fiction (in all genres), women’s / book club / upmarket fiction, romance (particularly historical, suspenseful, or with a comedic bent), mysteries (particularly historical or cozy, or historical cozies), and narrative nonfiction in the areas of social history, archaeology, art history, material culture, etc. She is also interested in select YA and MG projects with unique hooks and a strong voice. 

In all cases, what Amanda is most looking for is a story that completely immerses the reader in the world of the book. She wants to feel the sun on her shoulders, smell the smoke of the battlefield, and hear the horses galloping in the distance.

Amanda is NOT the agent to query with picture books, memoirs, self-help, poetry, erotica, science fiction and fantasy, horror, or inspirational fiction.





Jocquelle Caiby
Serendipity Literary


Jocquelle started at Serendipity Literary Agency as an intern, and has since transitioned into a dual role as a Junior Agent and Literary Assistant. With degrees in both English literature and sociology, her specialties are project management and editorial development.
As Literary Assistant to President and Lead Agent Regina Brooks, she reviews and evaluates potential projects—constantly on alert for that one book in a thousand that is capable of flourishing in a highly competitive marketplace.  She works closely with the talented clients of our agency, providing developmental editorial reports and proofreading manuscripts and proposals, which has aided in the sale of multiple projects to members of the Big Five publishing houses.
She is currently looking to acquire her own projects with the goal of championing creativity and diversity, and building fresh, new voices into commercial and literary powerhouses. 
Jocquelle is primarily interested in young adult fiction, gravitating mostly towards the sub-genres of fantasy, sci-fi, magical realism, and horror, as well as young adult works of any genre that explore diverse experiences. Her favorite stories are those that take her on an adventure with vividly imagined and well-developed characters, and she is particularly struck by those that surprise her with shocking plot twists and gasp-inducing revelations.

 For adult fiction, she is primarily interested in literary and historical fiction, as well as novels with an anthropological bent. Her interests in nonfiction include mind/body/spirit titles, professional wrestling, and mental health projects.





Danielle Burby
Nelson Literary

I was always the class bookworm, but, for some reason, I spent most of high school convinced that my future was in Broadway. In fact, I felt really bad for the English teacher who told me she thought I was destined for a career in books because she was so very wrong. Turns out she knew me better than I thought! Of course, looking back, the fact that I never left the house without a minimum of two books (the book in progress and at least one backup) should probably have tipped me off.
I double majored in creative writing and women’s studies at Hamilton College (both “impractical majors” that have been incredibly practical for me) and figured out that creative writing classes do a really great job of honing your editing and critiquing skills. After internships at several top literary agencies and publishers, I spent four years at New York Agency and began building a client list before moving to NLA in January 2017.
As an agent based in New York City, I primarily represent YA and MG along with very select mystery and women’s fiction. I look for a strong narrative voice and a cast of characters I want to spend time with (which doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be likeable!). Something all of my clients have in common is the ability to sweep me up in their writing and make me grateful for a chance to spend time in their worlds. When I finish a novel and immediately want to thank the person who wrote it, I know I will have the enthusiasm to fight tooth and nail for that author.



Alec Shane
Writers House









Kari Sutherland
Bradford Literary


Kari Sutherland joined the Bradford Literary Agency in 2017 after a decade of experience in publishing from the editorial side. Previously a Senior Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, she has worked with bestselling and critically acclaimed authors on projects such as the #1 New York Times bestselling Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. She graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in English and Psychology, which she considers the perfect combination for working with authors on character and plot development. With her editorial insight and experience with the entire publishing process, Kari is passionate about helping to polish each manuscript and equip her clients for success.

Open to genres from picture books through adult, Kari is most interested in finding stories full of heart; ones that carry readers to faraway places or deep into a character’s mind; action-packed page-turners that surprise her; dark dramas with touches of humor; and, above all, a voice that leaps off the page. She is actively seeking diverse voices across all genres.

In children’s books, Kari is interested in character-driven stories, new twists on classic tales, empowering themes, epic fantasy, fresh voices and experiences, inventive mysteries, humor, and magical realism.

In YA, which is near and dear to her heart, Kari is drawn to compelling voices, tight pacing, and clear world-building regardless of whether it’s a space drama, an underground dystopia, a small town, or a big city contemporary. She is open to any genre within YA.

Kari is interested in adult fiction including general fiction; upmarket women’s fiction; intergenerational tales; magical realism; historical dramas; and light-hearted contemporary fiction.

A firm believer that truth can be stranger than fiction, Kari is seeking nonfiction in the following categories: quirky topics; history and biography; pop science and psychology; humor; and parenting. Most important to her are a concrete platform, an engaging voice, and well-researched material that will broaden readers’ understanding of themselves, the past, and the world around them.

Kari is not seeking: horror, romance, erotica, memoir, adult sci-fi/fantasy, thrillers, cookbooks, business, spiritual/religious, poetry, or screenplays.




Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Happy Release Day for Enchanted Book 1: Magic Spark





The first of a trio of trilogies by three amazing romance writers. These stories all have two things in common: magic and romance!

“When Demigods Court Death” by Wendy Sparrow:

As the demigod of fertility, Aster Slone has a thriving doctor’s practice. In fact, the incidence of triplets has made it too thriving. He needs more time with his neighbor the demigoddess of death to dampen his powers. Chandra Linton being gorgeous and sweet makes his task less of a hardship. Hitting the zenith of heretofore-unknown powers without enough exposure to her match is killing Chandra. Accepting all that her crazy, but hot neighbor says is her destiny…well, it muddles her convictions, but her real concern is: does Aster want Chandra because she’s the woman he desires or because she’s Death?

“These Roots Run Deep” by Em Shotwell:

Spitfire, New Orleans weather girl, Cheyanne Murphey has everything, and that is exactly how she likes it. When she discovers evidence of her fiancĂ©’s philandering, she refuses to let her perfectly cultivated image fall to pieces. Cheyanne has worked too hard, dragging herself up from the trailer park into New Orleans’ society, to give in without a fight…even if that means trading a year of her life in exchange for a love incantation from her ancestor’s spell book.
A skyclad, moonlit dance, a mysterious potion, and magic gone awry leave Cheyanne with a very peculiar life lesson: love can take on many forms, so be careful what you wish for.

“Destiny’s Dark Light” by Sara Dobie Bauer:

In modern day Charleston, lonely white witch Cyan Burroughs has waited her whole life to lead the battle against dark witches and eventually meet the man she is fated to love. A tragic trolley accident brings Liam Cody into her life. He is her destiny, but he’s also in love with someone else. Now, Cyan and her magic family must find the dark witch who caused the accident while Cyan fights her feelings for Liam—a charming Irishman with secrets of his own.

Magic Spark on Amazon.com --> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0776ZP5ZX
Only 2.99 or FREE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED!


Author Bio:

Em Shotwell is a Mississippi native turned Louisiana local who writes about misfits and the people who love them. You can visit her online at www.emshotwell.com, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/emshotwellauthor.




Character Profile Post:

If there is one constant in my writing that I have noticed, it is that I always end up writing sisters. Maybe this is because I come from a very female-centric family with two sisters of my own as well as more than a few girl cousins. I believe that the relationship between sisters is one of the most complex dynamics that exist. You can love your sister fiercely, but grow up in constant competition. The same person, your sister, who you will always protect can be the same person who drives you bonkers.

My husband grew up with brothers, and while it has its own original dynamic, I don’t find it as intricate.  He and his two brothers are straightforward. When they are mad, they are mad. When they are happy, they are happy. Their feelings are often complicated, but the relationship isn’t. No, there is no other relationship like sisterhood, which means there are many threads for this writer to tug when crafting a female sibling group. Tallulah and Delia in BLACKBIRD SUMMER are different from Milly and Francis in WORN OUT WISHES. Evelyn and her sisters in FORGET ME NOT have a very unique bond.

The oddest sisters of all, however, are my Marchland family from THESE ROOTS RUN DEEP, THIS HOLLOW HEART, and THESE RESTING BONES. They are a tangle of trust issues and defensiveness, wearing chips on their shoulders like badges of honor, and they love each other fiercely. Let’s meet them.

Cheyanne Murphey.

Cheyanne is the oldest. She over-compensates for her shaky confidence by being the best at everything—the prettiest woman in the room, the smartest at the table, and the fiercest at work.   Cheyanne has always been the protector and the leader of her sisters, a role which held over from a rough childhood on into adulthood. She has pulled herself up from the trailer park to become New Orleans’s own top weather girl, and when she finds out her fiancĂ© may be cheating, her sisters put aside their opinions of the good-for-nothing man and do what Cheyanne asks. Of course, Cheyanne has never had an eye for detail. And if one thing is true—it is that magic requires an eye for detail… And maybe there are more to those live oaks you see around the parks of New Orleans than meets the eye.


Marchland Murphey.

Middle sister. Soft spoken. Kind. Marchland does her best to do no harm, an easy going vegetarian who never raises her voice. But she looks outwardly to fill the dullness that plagues her heart. When tattoo artist Marchland needs help casting a spell to keep an obsessed man at bay, of course her sisters help her out. But magic knows intent and can read the message of your heart…so what happens when your heart is hollow?


Bradley Murphey.

Youngest sister. College student. Bradley does her best to slip by under the radar, never making waves, her sharp tongue and sullen nature is her defense against the world.  Poor Bradley. Killing a man in self-defense is still killing and killing is scary…scary enough to cause a witch to panic and bring a person back from the dead. There is a reason necromancy is forbidden, and Bradley soon learns that every spell has a price. And every price must be paid.