Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Time to Twitter Party for Fall Fiction Fest

Announcing the Fall Fiction Fest Twitter Party!

Waiting may be the toughest part of publishing, and we hate that you’ll have to wait to find out who got into Fall Fiction Fest. 

To help the time skip by, let’s keep the #FallFest lively.

Here are the party topics (Don’t forget to use the hashtag #FallFest!):

October 31: Shout out the genre and age category you're sending. Shout out if you got in.
November 1: Tell us the first line of your MS
November 2: What’s your main character’s favorite movie, and why?
November 3: Any animals in your MS? If so, what kind and what is/are their names?
November 4: Is this your first MS or…?
November 5: How many povs are there in your MS, and why did you choose that number?
November 6: Is your book in first person, second or third? Past or present?
Plus VOTE and tweet a picture and maybe increase the picks from 30 to 33 or even 36 finalists! 

November 7: When did you know you HAD to be a writer?
November 8: Tell us a little about your villain (if you have one)
November 9: What’s your main character’s favorite color and why?
November 10: What’s your favorite line from your MS?
November 11: Sun or snow (in memory of the older contest). Which would your MC prefer and why?
November 12: Tell us why you decided to write the story you entered.
November 13: What’s your most troublesome crutch word?
November 14: If your MC was going on a dream vacation, where would they go?
November 15: What’s your MC’s zodiac sign?
November 16: If you MC could have one wish fulfilled, what would it be?
November 17: Coffee or tea or neither?
November 18: Is your MC into sports? If so, which ones? Any favorite team?
November 19: Picks are announced! Final tweet party topic: What pumpkin spice is in your MS?

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Instructions for Entering Fall Fiction Fest

The submission window for Fall Fiction Fest opens tomorrow, October 31st, at 4:00 pm EST! 

The instructions and rules for entry are below.

No need to rush. We will be open for 24 hours. That's right, submissions can be sent on Halloween or All Saints Day, depending on whether you're feeling saintly or slightly more evil. 

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. If you entered Pitchwars and didn't get a mentor, we welcome you. 

falling leaves loop GIF

Though we love picture books, Michelle holds special contests just for them. We do accept all MG, YA, NA and Adult genres, excluding erotica. We'd like you to be followers of our blogs. Click the “follow” button on my blog. You can find Amy's blog here and Marty's blog here. If following our blogs doesn't work, follow us on twitter or sign up for our newsletters instead. Don't sweat this. Do your best.  

dog fall GIF

The Format:

Send submission to Sunversussnow (at) yahoo (dot) com. (Yep, we're recycling the address.) 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: Fall Fest: TITLE, Age Category + Genre
(example: Fall Fest: 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.)

How Did You Fall for Writing: (Share your origin story in 100 words or less.) My husband dared me that I couldn't write a book. And--ta-da--I could!


Query goes here! Include greeting and main paragraphs. You may include bio, closing, but not the word count + genre. We already have that. 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 or otherwise has diversity up in the genre line and in the query. 

Remember a query has several paragraphs with spaces. 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 on Halloween. Good luck!

jimmy fallon bobbing for apples GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Now for the fun stuff!

Watch on Wednesday for our Twitter Party!  We'll have a list of daily topics to talk about on twitter under #FallFest.

Also join us for a very special party on November 6th! That's when we'll try to get 100 voters to give us shout outs and blow this contest wide open! 

And you can scroll down on this blog to see the posts about mentors, agents, and all the dates of Fall Fiction Fest, as well as our special November 6th bonus opportunity. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

My Big Fat Pompeii Romance

I can't tell you how delighted I am to see this as a book. This... THIS was one of my first picks in one of my first contests ever!  Such a long time ago.  Over six years now.  But please check out this fun romance. 

Legally Blonde meets Gladiator in this Romantic Comedy with a historical twist.
Twenty-first century goddess Pandia is shaking in her Jimmy Choos. A few weeks ago, the NYC socialite traveled back in time, where she suggested Julius Caesar abandon politics for gardening. Her father, Zeus, summons her to present-day Olympus after he discovers her meddling eliminated the month of July. To teach her the importance of fate, he strips Pandia’s goddess powers and sentences her to a stint of mortality in ancient Pompeii.
Pandia refuses to let her punishment get her down. She’ll do her time, leave destinies untouched, and be home in time for her next shift at the local animal shelter. Instead, she’s mistaken for a prostitute and arrested for inciting a riot. Sentenced to serve as a massage therapist in Pompeii’s gladiator school, she’s assigned to Caladus, a gladiator whose washboard abs test her vow to remain uninvolved.
To escape Pompeii, Pandia must prove she respects mortals’ fates. But she’s falling for Caladus, and her time’s running out: Mt. Vesuvius is rumbling.

MY BIG FAT POMPEII ROMANCE is a full-length romantic comedy with a guaranteed happy ending.

Christina Wilder writes books featuring cocky-beta heroes (is that a thing?) and kick-ass heroines who find love together in strange and exotic places. She lives in the wilds of New England, where turkeys and deer on the front lawn are a regular thing. She's a member of RWA.

Twitter: @LaneyKChristina

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Mentors for Fall Fiction Fest

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 Fall Fiction Fest:

Submission Window Opens: October 31st for 24 hours. Time TBD. 
Final Picks are Announced: November 19th
Mentors Go to Work: November 19th - 25th
Revised Entries Due Back: October 25th at noon. Sooner if possible.
Agent round: November 26 - 28 

A third of the list of amazing mentors is here. To see the other parts of the list, visit Amy's list and Marty's list. Some of the mentors have been helping in contests for ages and some are brand new. Please give all of them a big welcome!

Also please find the agents here and the announcement here

Laura Heffernan

Laura Heffernan is the author of the Reality Star series (available now) and the upcoming Gamer Girls series (2019). When not watching total strangers get married, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, and new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her husband and two furry little beasts.
Some of Laura’s favorite things include goat cheese, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, the Oxford comma, and ice cream. Not all together. The best place to find her is usually on Twitter, where she spends far too much time tweeting about writing, Canadian chocolate, board games and reality TV.

Kim Long

Kim Long loves to write stories with a sense of adventure, a dash of magic, and a hint of science. She wrote her first book at age 10, where she combined the best parts of her favorite Choose Your Own Adventures into a single story. (Cave of Time at Chimney Rock in the Bermuda Triangle.) When not writing, she loves playing board games, watching Star Wars movies, and riding her bike along Illinois’ many trails. Her debut novel, Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament, will be released in Fall 2019 by Running Press Kids.

Lisa Leoni

Lisa Leoni writes contemporary romance and constantly dreams of her next Scotland trip (her book ideas have to come from somewhere). When not working as a PR pro at a university, she serves as president of Oregon's Rose City Romance Writers RWA chapter, produces the social media for authors podcast Social Media Deconstructed, manages an Instagram account for her two ginger cats, and balances her adoration of love stories with procedural crime drama binges. Lisa was a 2017 Pitch Wars mentee and is represented by Michelle Richter of Fuse Literary.

Kelly DeVos

Kelly deVos is from Gilbert, Arizona, where she lives with her high school sweetheart husband, amazing teen daughter and superhero dog, Cocoa. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. When not reading or writing, Kelly can typically be found with a mocha in hand, bingeing the latest TV shows and adding to her ever-growing sticker collection.

Kelly is represented by Kathleen Rushall of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and her work has been featured in the New York Times as well as on Vulture, Salon, Bustle and SheKnows. Her debut novel, Fat Girl on a Plane, named one of the “50 Best Summer Reads of All Time” by Reader’s Digest magazine, is available now from HarperCollins. Her second book, Day Zero, is coming in 2019 from Inkyard Press/HarperCollins.

Wendy Trimboli and Alicia Zaloga (co-writers)

Wendy Trimboli grew up in England, Germany and the United States, and learned to speak two languages well enough that most people can understand her. Determined to ignore her preference for liberal arts, she attended the US Air Force Academy then worked as an intelligence officer, which was less exciting than it sounds. These days she has a creative writing MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and lives in Colorado with her family, border collie, and far too many books.

Alicia Zaloga grew up in Virginia Beach not liking the beach, and now moves every few years, sometimes to places near beaches. She has a writing degree from Columbia College Chicago, and when she’s not dealing with life’s chores, she collects hobbies: plucking the E string on the bass, producing an alarming number of artistic doodles, and French beading floral bouquets.

Tracy Townsend

Tracy Townsend is the author of The Nine (Pyr, Nov. 2017) and The Fall (Pyr, Jan. 2019), the first two books in the Thieves of Fate fantasy series. She holds a master's degree in writing and rhetoric from DePaul University and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from DePauw University, a source of regular consternation when proofreading her credentials. She teaches creative writing and science fiction and fantasy literature at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, an elite public boarding school, and is a regular columnist for the feminist science fiction magazine Luna Station Quarterly. She has been a martial arts instructor, a stage combat and accent coach, and a short-order cook for houses full of tired gamers. Today, she lives in Bolingbrook, Illinois with two bumptious hounds, two remarkable children, and one very patient husband.

Elizabeth Chatsworth

Elizabeth Chatsworth is a British author and actor (SAG-AFTRA) based in Connecticut. She creates voice-overs for commercials, videos, and computer games. If there's an elf, a witch, or an aristocrat in a video game, it might be her!
Writing is Elizabeth’s passion. Represented by Natalie Grazian of Martin Literary Management, she’s a Pitch Wars alumna, a member of the RWA (PRO), and the Authors Guild. Her award-winning alternate history romcom THE BRASS QUEEN became a 2018 RWA® Golden Heart® finalist in the Mainstream Fiction category. Her sci-fi novelette “Ten Minutes After Teatime” is included in the Amazon bestseller When to Now: A Time Travel Anthology.
To be the first to receive exclusive news and giveaways, you can subscribe to Elizabeth's newsletter. You can also connect with her on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and via her website

Jenny Elder Moke

Jenny Elder Moke writes young adult fiction in an attempt to recapture the shining infinity of youth. Her debut novel, HOOD, about the daughter of Robin Hood and Maid Marien, will release from Disney/Hyperion in Spring 2020. When she is not writing, she’s gathering story ideas from her daily adventures with her two irredeemable rapscallions and honing her ninja skills as a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Jenny lives in Austin, TX with her husband and two children.
Twitter: @jennyelder
Insta: @jennyeldermoke

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Fall Fiction Fest Bonus!

So Amy, Marty and I are strong believers in voting. Now more than ever, we think everyone should educate themselves on the issues important to you. And it's all our duties to let our voices be heard by voting!

No matter whether you stand on the left or right. Voting is crucial to our democracy. 

We want to encourage that to happen. And here we have a contest going and the means to provide some incentive. 

To that end, Amy, Marty and I are willing to add an extra pick to our finalists. That's right! Instead of ten each, we'll each pick 11 entries to get a mentor and go before the agents! All we need is proof that you care about voting too.

So on November 6, tweet at us with pictures of your voting journey. It can be you and your I voted sticker. You in the car on your way to the polls or driving others. You with yard signs. You putting your absentee ballot in the mail. An image of the line you had to wait in. You pushing your adult kids and husband/wife into the voting booth--just kidding--I don't think pictures are allowed inside polling places. We don't want you breaking the laws.

Please don't share who you voted for. That's private. Yes we have opinions, but we are not trying to influence you. And we don't want that as part of the contest. We just want you to vote. The rest of that decision is up to you.  

To sum up: Share some kind of photo proof that you filled out a ballot or pulled a lever. Don't forget to include #FallFest in your tweet and send it out on November 6th. 

If we get over 100 of these, then we will add the extra three picks. And to add extra incentive, I want my eleventh pick to come from among the writers who participated. I'll be looking exclusively among the people who tweeted that they voted to find my last pick. 

So get registered if there's still time in your state. 

If you're from another country or too young, or not allowed to vote, we haven't forgotten you. Encourage others to vote on the #FallFest hashtag and that will count! Say why you think voting is important.

Hopefully our efforts will go viral and move more than just writers. And if we get over 200 responses, Marty, Amy and I will be convinced to move our numbers to 12 picks each! 

Mark your calendars! Let's vote! 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Fall Fiction Fest Agents 2018

Time to rake in the agents! We have 15 agents joining us for this improvised contest. Some are new. Some are established. All are looking to make requests. To everyone entering this year, best of luck! The Slush Pile is going to be SUPER competitive.

Only a third of the agent list is here. You can find the rest of the agents listed on Marty and Amy's blogs. 

Mentors will be revealed next week and they will be followed by instructions to enter.  This is not a twitter pitch event but an online contest where you will email your entry. For the announcement post, go here. Remember that submission starts on October 31st! 

Clelia Gore, Martin Literary Management

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.

Clelia acquires picture book, middle grade and young adult books. She is particularly interested in developing her nonfiction clientele. With apologies, Clelia is no longer accepting new adult fiction queries at this time.

To find out more about Clelia, check out her blog at She also tweets tips, news and musings related to writing and publishing at @MadmoiselleClel.

Jennifer March Soloway, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

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.
Jennifer regularly presents at writing conferences all over the country, including the San Francisco Writers Conference, the Northern Colorado Writers Conference, and regional SCBWI conferences.
For her latest conference schedule, craft tips and more, follow Jennifer on Twitter (@marchsoloway).

Lisa Abellera, Kimberly Cameron & Associates

Lisa Abellera joined Kimberley Cameron and Associates in 2013 with a background in management, marketing, and finance. She has studied creative writing, design and business, earning her B.A. in Strategic Management from Dominican University of CA and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco.
Lisa responds to well-crafted prose with strong hooks and high personal stakes, idiosyncratic and sympathetic characters, a tangible sense of place and lush world-building, multicultural aspects and international settings, page-turning twists, and emotionally-immersive fiction that explores the human condition, especially within family and close relationships.
She is seeking to represent upmarket and literary fiction, women's fiction, historical fiction, mystery, suspense, thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, literary horror, most speculative fiction except paranormal fantasy (no demons, angels, vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc.), romance if an element or part of another genre, and all YA and middle grade fiction genres. She is especially looking for stories by #ownvoices authors and writers from marginalized or underrepresented backgrounds.
Lisa does not represent nonfiction (this includes memoir), novellas, short story or poetry collections, picture books, early readers, chapter books, screenplays or other works of drama, nor does she represent self-published or previously published books. Twitter @LisaAbellera. 

Christa Heschke, McIntosh and Otis
CHRISTA HESCHKE graduated from Binghamton University with a major in English and a minor in Anthropology. She started in publishing as an intern at both Writers House and Sterling Lord Literistic, where she fell in love with the agency side of publishing. Christa has been at McIntosh and Otis, Inc. in the Children's Literature Department since 2009 where she is a
ctively acquiring for all age groups in children’s.
For YA, she is especially interested in contemporary, thriller/mystery, fantasy and horror. She looks for a compelling voice and a strong hook that will set a YA novel apart in the flooded market. She is open to all types of middle grade and especially enjoys adventure, mystery, and magical realism. For both YA and MG, she is interested in unique settings and cultural influences, interesting structure, complicated romances, diverse characters, sister or friendship-centric stories, and stories that feature artists of any kind. In picture books she is drawn to cute, funny stories (as opposed to sweet and quiet) that will grab kids as well as the occasional nonfiction biography on a subject whose story has yet to be told.
Christa is not looking for any Adult fiction or non-fiction, paranormal or dystopian at this time.Twitter @ChristaHeschke

Laura Crockett, Triada US 

In YA, she is interested in contemporary realistic fiction (such as study abroad experiences, strong female friendships, falling in love, mental health, diversity, LGBTQ) and fantasy (particularly with excellent world-building, authentic characterization, fantasy inspired by fairytales and other cultures' mythology, and historical fantasy). Some favorite titles include FangirlThe Lie Tree, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, All the Bright Places, Shadowfell, When We Collided, Anna and the French Kiss, A Shadow Bright and Burning,The Star-Touched Queenand The Winner's Curse.

In adult fiction, she is interested in contemporary women's fiction (heartfelt, juicy moral dilemmas, historical bends with parallel narratives), humorous chick-lit (especially if it's millennial-driven), and fantasy (excellent world-building, authentic characterization, fantasy inspired by fairytales and other cultures' mythology, and historical fantasy). Some favorite titles include The Night Circus, Outlander, The Queen of Blood, Daughter of the Forest, The Winter Witch, The Hating Game, and authors like Jodi Picoult, Kate Morton, Gayle Forman, and Sophie Kinsella. Twitter @LECrockett