Monday, April 16, 2018

Query Kombat 2018 Judges and Chat

Time for our AMAZING lineup of judges for this year's Query Kombat tournament. Many of them were contestants in prior contests. We've worked hard to find authors that form a diverse group of opinions, talents, and specialties from all categories and genres.

Query Kombat would not be possible without the wonderful people who donate their time to help. For this month-long contest, we've recruited over thirty industry professionals to critique entries and vote for a winner of each matchup. Each and every one of these judges is participating out of the kindness of their heart, so please join the QK Crew in thanking them for volunteering.


Remember that the best way to thank judges for their time is to buy their books. We've created a list on Goodreads of their books so you can see all of them. Also be sure to follow the judges on Twitter. 

On Monday, May 14th, we'll be hosting a Twitter party where writers can reach out to the judges and ask questions about their entries, writing, querying, etc. Join us at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. EST. The hashtag will be #QKChat. 

We'll have another round of chats to calm raw nerves on Saturday, May 19th at 3:00 pm  and 7:00 pm EST. 

There are so many judges this year, we're breaking the bios down across all three host blogs. Go here to see them all: Mike, Kara, and Michelle. For a rule refresher, click here.

Now, without further ado, I'd like to introduce one set of judges for Query Kombat 2018.

Chad Randall 

Chad Randall is a speculative fiction writer living in Portland, Oregon. He has a B.A. in History from the University of Oregon and currently works for lawyers.

His unremarkable origin story involves scribbling adventures where Princess Leia and Han Solo got into all sorts of trouble, and a school project about dogs who got trapped in the mall on the way to dog prom. Now he writes about cowboys and people living on space colonies. He loves fiction where people are constantly running away from things – whether emotional trauma or monsters foaming at the mouth.

Elizabeth Roderick

ELIZABETH RODERICK is the author of the LGBT romantic suspense novel, Love or Money; the neurodivergent magical realism The Other Place Series; and has several stories in the 13 Horror Anthologies and a romance short in the upcoming Crave: One Night anthology. 

She built a tiny house, and homesteads in Eastern Washington where she grows much of her own food. She is a musician and songwriter, and has played in many bands—mostly guitar, bass and keyboards. She has two albums of original music which you can find at

Elizabeth’s stories are about love, death, gang warfare, and madness. Her characters tend to be of the type that society generally shuns: addicts, convicts, and the neurodivergent. She is a neurodivergent person and a disability rights activist.

Elizabeth believes if people get to know those who live on the fringes of society, both in stories and in real life, they'll find them more likeable than they originally thought.

Jamie Olin

Jaime Olin writes YA contemporary novels, and she’s represented by Jordan Hamessley of New Leaf Literary. She blogs weekly about writing and the publication process at the Operation Awesome website, and has acted as a mentor in the last two rounds of Author Mentor Match. Jaime grew up in South Florida, found her Xanadu in San Diego, then somehow ended up in Dallas instead, where she continually borrows from Texas geography and culture for her books’ settings and characters. Jaime is also a lawyer, an animal welfare advocate, a New York Times crossword puzzle aficionado, and a die-hard proponent of the Oxford comma. Beware: She’s never met a pun she didn’t like.

Kat Hinkel

Kat Hinkel writes adult and young adult Sci Fi and Fantasy. She lives in Philadelphia. Stories are an essential part of our lives. I aim to tell my own stories in various ways. Primarily, I write thrillers with speculative twists. Literary themes I love to explore include: friendship, travel, museums, synesthesia, betrayal, neural coupling, witty banter, time, old things, magic, and love. I'm currently working on a choose-your-own adventure immersive play. Stay tuned for workshop invites!
I am an active singer-songwriter, and you can find me performing around Philadelphia, or occasionally singing with my classically-trained-soprano voice at weddings in France or Italy (please contact me if you have any such opportunities available. No, really. As soon as possible.) 

Kim Long 

Kim Long is an attorney in the Chicagoland area, where she spends her days expressing her clients’ (always true) stories to judges and juries. She writes MG fantasy that contains a sprinkle of science and is represented by Natascha Morris at BookEnds Literary. When not managing her fantasy baseball and football teams, she can be found biking, watching Star Wars for the zillionth time, or teaching her nieces about the importance of choosing the correct racer (Toad) and vehicle (standard bike) to obtain success in Mario Kart.

Mike Mammay

Michael Mammay is a science fiction writer, an English teacher, and a former soldier. His first novel PLANETSIDE is due out from Harper Voyager on July 31st, 2018.

Farah Heron
Farah Heron writes romantic women’s fiction with humour and heart. When she’s not locked in her office writing, Farah can be found searching for water for boating, fishing or kayaking, or baking bread in her kitchen. She lives in a small house in Toronto with one husband, two children, two gerbils, one rabbit, and a fish named Sylvia. She is represented by Rachel Brooks at Bookends Literary Agency.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagra
m: FarahHeronAuthor

Rick Wheeler

Rick Wheeler lives in Northern California with his wife Angela, their three kids, and two granddaughters in a multi-generational household. When he is not writing middle grade fiction, he works with at-risk youth as a Deputy Probation Officer. He enjoys listening to classic rock, hanging out with his dog, and having tea parties with his granddaughters, not necessarily in that order. He is fluent in dad jokes and bad puns. He is rep'd by Lauren Galit from LKG Agency.

Teresa Richards

Teresa Richards writes speculative and contemporary YA. She is the author of Emerald Bound and Topaz Reign, dark fairy tale twists revolving around cursed gemstones. When Teresa's not writing, she can be found chasing after one of her elementary-aged kids, driving one of her teens around, or hiding in the house with a treat she'd not planning to share. She's a member of SCBWI and the LDStorymakers Guild.

Emily Victoria

Emily Victoria is a Canadian prairie girl and a writer of both young adult fantasy and science fiction. She has a deep love of the written word which is why, when she's not wordslinging, she can often be found at her local library connecting others to stories. She has a dog who is named after Peter Pan and she spends far too much time crocheting amigurumi dolls from various fandoms.   

Her work is represented by Rebecca Strauss.

Gail Villanueva

Gail D. Villanueva is a Filipina author based in the Philippines. She’s also a web designer, an entrepreneur, and a self-professed dog and duck whisperer. Her writing is represented by Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media Group. Gail’s debut middle grade novel, MY FATE ACCORDING TO THE BUTTERFLY, will be published in 2019 by Scholastic.

Goodreads | WebsiteTwitter | Pinterest | FacebookInstagram: @gaildvillanueva

Jessica Rubinkowski

Jessica Rubinkowski is a young adult fantasy writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on Creative Writing. She lives in rural Illinois with her family and far too many pets to keep track of. When not writing, she can be found baking, hiking, or playing video games. Her debut novel, THE BRIGHT AND THE PALE, which is inspired by Russian folklore will be released by HarperTeen in 2020. She is represented by Sarah Landis of Sterling Lord. 

Aden Polydoros

Aden Polydoros is the author of the Assassin Fall series. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys reading, haunting antique stores, and getting lost down Google rabbit holes while researching his current works in progress. 

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