Monday, April 21, 2014

#yahugs Round One Winners!!!

(Artwork provided by S.P. McConnell)


I'd like to thank everyone who participated in #yahugs.  

I need to share an observation with you. (Sorry it's the teacher in me.) No matter if you are submitting to a contest, to an editor, or to an agent, you must follow directions. Reading the directions and doing what they say can be a matter  of whether your submission will be read, marked ineligible, requested, or rejected. Why am I saying this? Because numerous people did NOT follow the contest direction. You were to submit your query letter and that was all for round one. I hope that this will be a learning experience for all of us. 

Without further a due...

The round one winner of #yahugs, in no particular order:
  1. Donna McDine - Images of the Past
  2. Yamile Mendez - A Chair of Every Color
  3. Heather Powell-Van Fleet - Taking a Chance
  4. Sarah Sharp - Royalty By Day
  5. Kimberly Van Sickler - The Mall In Gullybrook
  6. Elizabeth Arroyo - The Simple Truth
  7. Roshani Choski - The Glass Garden
  8. Jen Galasso - The Love Spell
  9. Lauren Kerstein - Every Part of Me
  10. Caitlin LaRue - Welcome H.O.E.M.
Congratulations to the round one winners. Please submit your first seven pages through this link by Wednesday, April 23rd.

The winners of the thirty minute phone calls with Literary Agent, Terrie Wolf and the line edit and critique (from me) will be announced here on May 2nd.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ready...Set...Query #yahugs NOW CLOSED


#yahugs is now closed!

Ready...

Set...


QUERY!

Please follow the link for #yahugs...

Be sure to follow the directions or you will be disqualified.

Best wishes to everyone!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

AKA Literary Management, LLC (and SK Mayhew) Young Adult Writing Contest Rules and Rewards #yahugs


(Artwork provided by the amazing, witty, and talented @SP_McConnell.)

Before I begin with the rules and rewards for the #yahugs contest, I'd like to thank Literary Agent, Terrie Wolf, for being so gracious with her time and expertise.  She has been an amazing mentor to me these last few months. We actually "met" several years ago through Twitter and became friends. She helped me through a very sad time last spring when my grandmother passed away. Until we started working together on the #sweetheartpbcontest, #midgrademadness and #yahugs contest I had very little idea of her expertise. 

It seems fitting that we are having our #yahugs contest as my one and only, beautiful, and brilliant daughter is graduating from high school  in May. My summer will be devoted to creating special memories with her before she begins the next phase of her life, in college. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#yahugs Rules:
  • On April 14th at 6 pm CST you will be able to enter your complete query letter through a link on my blog.
  • The first 51 entries will receive a automated letters stating that the entry was accepted. (If you don't get in the 51 entries, you will be able to submit to AKA Literary Management, LLC when regular submissions open. Submissions will open after the contests are complete. Terrie and I will announce when they are open here, on the AKA Facebook Page, on Twitter and our Facebook Pages.)
  • On April 21st we will announce the ten winning query letters.
  • They will then be invited to submit the first seven pages of their YA novel to AKA Literary Management, LLC through a link on my blog.
  • On May 2nd will announce the five winners.
#yahugs Rewards:
  • A thirty minute phone call with Terrie (and me) to discuss your manuscript, your writing career, the writing industry or other relevant topics.
  • A line edit and critique of your seven pages.
  • And....you never know, you might be asked to submit more pages.


If for some crazy reason you don't follow @AKA_Terrie on Twitter or Terrie Wolf on Facebook please click on the links and become a follower. You can also follow @AKA_Lit on Twitter and you can LIKE AKA Literary Management, LLC on Facebook.

PS: Make those queries sparkle!
PPS: There will be a #yahugs Q & A event on Facebook this Friday night from 8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. CST. Not only will Terrie be discussing what she would like to see on the YA front but she'd like to know what you would like to see. Hope to see you there.


Monday, April 7, 2014

#midgrademadness Winners...

(The artwork is credited to S.P. McConnell. Check out Sean's new gorgeous website!)

Before I announce the winners and the runners up of the #midgrademadness contest, I'd like to thank the writers who have tweeted with the #midgrademadness and #sweetheartpbcontest. I'd like to thank those of you who have shared on your Facebook pages or blogs.  I'd also like to thank everyone who chimed in with #bepositivehour on Twitter.

Your participation makes me feel really positive about hosting this competition. Both Terrie and I noticed who was joining in.  We were totally impressed by the people tweeting about the contests who didn't even write in that particular genre.  Well done, people!

Soooooooooooo

Here

Weeeeeeeeeeeee

Go....................

The winners for #midgrademadness are (in no particular order):
  • JUST FRED - Shelly Steig
  • MY BEST FRIEND'S VOODOO DOLL - Marissa Graff 
  • BUTTERFLY GIRL - Sarah Floyd
  • LOOKING FOR LIZZY - Lauren Kerstein
  • THE PRINCESS WHO WAS NOT - Melissa Menten
  • DYLAN BYRNES AND THE SECRET OF SALDANHA - Mark McNulty
  • CAMP CAMMOODLE - Terri Fields
And now for a couple surprises...
  • A CHAIR OF EVERY COLOR - Yanike Mendez- moved to the #yahugs contest
  • IMAGES OF THE PAST - Donna McDine- moved to the #yahugs contest
Runner up:
  • HOOFIN IT TO HOLLYWOOD - Kendra Henthorn

Honorable mention (wins a critique) because this person was amazingly supportive on Twitter and Facebook to all of our contests.
  • A SOMEWHAT TRUE STORY OF SARA ROBERTS- Ramon Ballard
One more surprise to be revealed later this month....

#yahugs rules will be announced on 4/10.

Congratulations to everyone who put their work out there...It's scary to put yourself out there...Well done!
Congratulations to the winners.

Thanks so much for all the support! I will let you know when Terrie is open for submissions.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

#midgrademadness... Round one results!


Surprises and love are not just for February!

Literary Agent, Terrie Wolf, and I are having so much fun we decided to share a little luck with the #midgrademadness writers...

Are you ready for it?

I didn't hear you?

Are you ready for it?????

Much better!

Everyone who entered a pitch for #midgrademadness is invited to submit their first seven pages (HERE)

  • Make sure you have your information and manuscript formatted correctly. (Font: Times New Roman, 12 pt., double spaced, header with page numbers) 
  • No cover letter or pitch needed...We already read them.
  • You must submit your 7 pages by 8 PM CST on March 18th to be considered.
Come back on April 7th to see if you are one of the lucky five winners!

Each winner will receive a 30 minute phone call with Terrie. In addition to a critique of the first seven (7) pages originally entered into the contest, each winner will be encouraged to discuss their work in general, and will be invited to ask questions pertaining to their writing careers and the publishing industry. 

May the Luck of the Irish be with you....


Thursday, March 6, 2014

READY? SET? ENTER!!! #MIDGRADEMADNESS IS NOW OPEN TO THE FIRST 51 ENTRIES!!!

 The contest is now closed!
TODAY IS THE DAY!!!

If you've forgotten the rules or prizes check here.

#midgrademadness begins NOW! First 51 pitches can be submitted HERE!  (You'll get an automated email saying if your entry got in.)  



Terrie and I can't wait to read your pitches!  We'll be back on March 13th with the top ten pitches.

Happy Pitching!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Mid Grade Madness (Contest Detail) With Terrie Wolf from AKA Literary Management, LLC

 (Artwork provided by the amazing S.P. McConnell!)

What is a Middle Grade Novel?

I've been hunting on the web and in books to give you a great definition and I think this is a great one from Michael Stearns:

* “Middle grade novels tend to be shorter.”
* “Middle grade novels tend to have main characters who are the age of—or slightly older than—the target reader.”
* “Middle grade novels tend to be more outwardly focused: Their plot of events, of things happening to the character, is more important over the course of the book than what happens within the character.”
* “Middle grade novels tend to have a simpler vocabulary and a simpler sentence structure.”
* “Middle grade novels tend to have a single inciting element—the thing that sets the comfortable, given world a-kilter.”

If you would like to read the whole article, pop over HERE to do so.

How long should your MG Novel be??? 

Chuck Sambuchino (from Writer's Digest) has a wonderful post addressing manuscript lengths.

Middle grade is from 20,000 – 45,000, depending on the subject matter and age range. When writing a longer book that is aimed at 12-year-olds (and could maybe be considered “tween”), using the term “upper middle grade” is advisable. With upper middle grade, you can aim for 32,000 – 40,000 words. These are books that resemble young adult in matter and storytelling, but still tend to stick to MG themes and avoid hot-button, YA-acceptable themes such as sex, drugs and rock & roll.  You can stray a little over here but not much.
With a simpler middle grade idea (Football Hero, or Jenny Jones and the Cupcake Mystery), aim lower.  Shoot for 20,000 – 30,000 words.

You can read his entire article HERE.

I can feel you tapping your fingers on your desks...

  • What does Terrie want to see?
  • What are the rules?
  • When does the contest start?
  • How many winners?
  • What are the prizes?
  • Can you enter your MG in this contest and in another contest?  YES, no worries!




Terrie from AKA Literary Management, LLC would like to see:

  • fantasy that is exceedingly well written
  • historical fiction
  • contemporary
  • a tomboy story (not all girls should be ballerinas)
  • humorous stories 
  • wholesome stories
  • adventure stories
  • multi-cultural/cultural stories
  • modern western series
  • unique non-fiction
You can also pop back to this post to learn more about Terrie and her tastes.

The rules:

  • You will submit a pitch for an MG novel that is no more than 7 sentences in length. (Look HERE for an example of what a pitch is...Lucky you! You get more than one sentence!)
  • Instead of writing a query letter you are going to write 7 sentences about yourself and your writing journey.
  • Your MG novel should be polished and formatted correctly for submission. (Who knows...you might get a request for more pages!)
The Contest:

  • On March 6th, at 6 PM Central Standard Time you will be able to enter your pitch through a submission link on my blog.
  • You will get an automated reply, if your entry is in the first fifty-one entries, saying your entry was accepted. (Don't fret if you don't get in. When all the contests are complete submissions will reopen for MG, PB and YA manuscripts.)
  • On March 13th, we will announce the top ten pitches. 
  • The top ten pitches will then submit their first 7 pages through a link on my blog.
  • April the 7th the five winners will be announced on my blog.

The Prizes:

  • Each winner will receive a 30 minute phone call with Terrie. In addition to a critique of the first seven (7) pages originally entered into the contest, each winner will be encouraged to discuss their work in general, and will be invited to ask questions pertaining to their writing careers and the publishing industry. 





I don't know about you guys, but I'm feelin' pretty cool these days. Having the opportunity to help some fellow writers slide past the slush pile is a great feeling for me.  For those of you who have known me for years, you know I live for this kind of stuff.

Best wishes with perfecting your pitches, and I hope to see you back here on Thursday, March the 6th at 6 PM CST!

Tomorrow night at 7 PM CST there will be a Q and A at a Google event. #midgrademadness will last until 8:30 PM CST. Drop in and get to know more about MG writing, our Mid Grade Madness Contest and about Terrie! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sweetheart Of A Deal Picture Book Writing Contest RESULTS!

(Artwork by S.P. McConnell)

Can you believe it? I am about to announce the results...

Your response to Literary Agent Terrie Wolf's and my contest has been amazing.  Thanks for all the support on Twitter and Facebook.

If you weren't able to enter or entered your manuscript in the wrong category, don't fret...You'll be able to submit through the regular submission route when it is reopened. We appreciated the people who withdrew their manuscripts once they realized they had submitted the wrong category.

The competition was tough.  I mean really tough. A lot of you have really studied the craft of picture book writing and it shows. There are more reasons than you would think as to why a manuscript is not chosen by an agent. I plan on writing a series called WEARING AN AGENT'S HAT following the April contest. I will discuss what makes a manuscript demand attention (based on what I have learned from Terrie).

We decided because the competition was so tough and it is February, the month of love, and we love picture book writers, we would add one extra fiction and one extra non-fiction writer to the winners groups. We also decided to announce a group of runners up. This group of writers were so close and we wanted to recognize them too.

So, here we go...

Drum roll..........

In the Fiction Category, in no particular order the SIX winners are:

  • FLEAS  by Angela Turner
  • HOW BAREBONES SKELETON GOT HIS CLACK BACK   by Robin Campbell
  • VULTURE AND HUMMINGBIRD   by Shannon Anderson
  • OLIVER ESCAPES ON CHRISTMAS EVE   by Manju Howard
  • ROCK AND ROLL PRINCESS   by Kelly Polark
  • SAM AND SALLIE  by Rhonda Roberts

In the Non-fiction Category, in no particular order the SIX winners are:

  • PAUL'S LEFTY GUITAR   by Donna Cangelosi
  • HANDS ARE HIGH FIVERS   by Jill Proctor
  • HOMER PLESSY'S TRAIN RIDE INTO HISTORY   by Raj Pillai
  • PLING, PLANG, CLINK! A JOURNEY THROUGH THE U.S. MINT  by Sharifa Grant
  • THE RAIN OF FISH   by Valarie Giogas
  • CLEVER HANS   by Beth Anderson

The runners up, in particular order:

  • ELVIRA THE SPOKESPIDER: BASED ON A TRUE STORY   by Laurel Neme
  • MARTIN'S PERFECT WEB   by Beth Halleran
  • PINKY, FLOP-EARED JACK AND THE PINK CADILLAC   by Kathy Halsey
  • SILLY TILLY by Steve Moran
  • THE CRECIMIENTO TREE  by Tracey M. Cox
  • KATHRINE SWITZER: BOSTON MARATHON'S FIRST OFFICIAL FEMALE RUNNER   by Melanie Moschella
  • PIA AND THE PRIVATE PUMPKIN PATCH   by Natalie Hooker
  • GEORGIA ADAMS IS ADDICTED TO HOLIDAYS: CHINESE NEW YEAR   by Kristen Schroeder
  • AYOKA AND THE LEOPARD   by Rita Borg
  • EARLY MORNING ELEPHANT   by Gabrielle Davis
  • KALEIDOSCOPE EYES   by Christie Wild
  • MOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE FLAMINGOS   by Elle Kwan
  • RHINETTA'S GYMNASTICS TROUBLE   by Amber Hamilton
  • GRANNY AND GAL ON SUNDAYS    by Amy Benedetti
  • MOOGA   by Cathy Ballou Mealey



Terrie at AKA Literary Management, LLC has been so gracious with her time. I'm sure you appreciated this opportunity to pass the slush pile and be read so quickly.  I'm grateful to Terrie for all she has taught me in this month.

We will contact the winners about their prizes. If you would like to resubmit your manuscript after the contests on my blog are finished, please feel free to do so.  If you would like some feedback on your story, you may contact either of us after the Young Adult contest is completed.

Terrie and I worked so well together. I can't wait until we start out next contest in March! I've learned so much about picture books this month. I'm expecting to learn just as much about middle grade novels next month! (No pressure, Terrie!)

Stay tuned for information on the Mid-Grade Madness Contest in March!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Sweetheart Deal Picture Book Contest is now Closed


The AKA Literary Management, LLC Picture book contest is now closed!

Thanks for all the enthusiasm!

Thanks for so many great submissions!

See you back here on February 27th to find out the lucky 10 winner's names!!!

Keep an eye on 
#sweetheartpbcontest for updates 
on Twitter!

Monday, February 10, 2014

UPDATED 11:18 AM CST Read, Set, Submit!!!

(Art provided by Sean Mcconnell)


The fiction part of the contest is now closed. If you submitted your fiction manuscript in the non-fiction file you will get a rejection asking you to resubmit correctly when the contest is over. I will announce that here, on Facebook and on Twitter.

If you have a non-fiction manuscript you may still submit it. Please only submit true non-fiction works. Based on a true story is not non-fiction. Historical fiction is not non-fiction. It must be Non-fiction. We have about ten spots we would like to fill with Non-fiction.

Ready

Set

Submit


Good luck, everyone!