Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rules, Judges, and Prizes - OH MY!

Here is the big contest info post I promised you. But remember because of the sheer size of this endeavor we have a separate website for all contest posts. So I recommend you go ahead and add to your favorites!

  • We will take the first 25 Middle Grade/Young Adult/New Adult entries submitted in the correct format after NINE AM EST on 8/24 and the first 25 MG/YA/NA entries submitted in the correct format after 9PM EST to the email Please remember that we have many teen readers on this blog who are under 18, so keep the first pages rated PG. (I'm the last person to suggest any kind of censorship for ANY reason, but there is a level of expectation based on what readers are used to seeing here at AYAP.) 
  • Only one entry per person to make sure everyone has a shot at feedback. 
  • Entries must be included directly in your submission email a plain text. 
  • Entries will consist of the first five pages of a COMPLETED manuscript, which should not exceed 1250 words (but please feel free to complete the sentence). Please use single spaced text, no indentations, one space between paragraphs. 12 point font. Please make sure to include your name, email, manuscript title, word count and genre/subgenre. For example:
    Ida Luv Anoffer
    78,000 words
    YA Magical Realism
  • The accepted entries will all be posted on by 6AM EST August 26.
  • We will invite reading, comments, and love from anyone who wants to participate — until 6:00 AM ET on 9/4. By noon on 9/6 we announce the top 25 entries as judged by our respected blogger judges, who will score the entries according to a standard scale with two bloggers reading each entry and a third blogger serving as a discrepancy judge if there is a wide disparity in scores.
  • The top 25 entries will then be invited to send their query pitch (of no more than 150 words) and a revised first five pages by Midnight EST 9/8, to be posted the next day no later than NOON EST. These entries will be judged by our amazing author judges, who will also score the entries according to a standard scale with two bloggers reading each entry and a third blogger serving as a discrepancy judge if there is a wide disparity in scores.
  • The top 10 will be announced on 9/20 by NOON EST and will have until MIDNIGHT on 9/21 to send in their revised entries in order to move on to the agent round beginning 9/22. 
  • Winners will be announced on 10/3/14. 
  • All feedback, from the public, bloggers, authors, and agents will be posted as comments on the entry or emailed on score cards, but the identity of the judge making the comment will not be revealed. You'll just see Judge 1, or Judge 2, etc. You will, however, have a bio for all of the judges involved in that round. This will give all participants the opportunity to receive feedback that they can apply immediately to their work, and give anyone who is inclined to watch the process the ability to learn vicariously.

Boy do we have PRIZES. So many that the top FIVE entries as judged by our esteemed agents will receive something priceless:
  • 4 Runners Up will receive one of the following: A one chapter critique from Agent Christa Hescke, Agent Jordy Albert, Agent Victoria Lowes, or Agent Alex Slater!
  • TWO Grand Prize Winners will receive one THREE Chapter Agent Critique from either Melissa Nasson of RPC or Lara Perkins from Andrea Brown AND a free query pass to the also amazing (and currently closed to queries) Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency!
  • AND if that's not enough - we will have a poll near the end of the contest for YOU to pick your favorite two entries that did NOT make it to the finals. Those entries will win the following:
  • Runner Up: One chapter critique from the AMAZING Angela Ackerman (co-author of the can't do without writer's tool: The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writers Guide To Character Expression).
  • First Place: One chapter critique from New York Times Best Selling Author, Jen Nielsen!


Not everyone will get the critiques offered above, however EVERY participant will receive copies of the score sheets from our awesome judges, presented anonymously. These score sheets are standardized and rated on a scale across a spectrum of different areas from likability of characters to story question to premise, freshness, and quality of writing. Even if you don't win, you'll get information you can use to take your writing up a notch.


To keep up with the contest, follow hashtag #PitchPlus5 on Twitter!


Third Round - The Agent Judges

Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Literary Agency

Jordy Albert is a Literary Agent and co-founder of The Booker Albert Literary Agency. She holds a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University, and a M.A. from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She has worked with Marisa Corvisiero during her time at the L. Perkins Agency and the Corvisiero Literary Agency. Jordy also works as a freelance editor/PR Director. She enjoys studying languages (French/Japanese), spends time teaching herself how to knit, is a HUGE fan of Doctor Who, and loves dogs.

Jordy is looking for stories that capture her attention and keep her turning the page. She is looking for a strong voice, and stories that have the ability to surprise her. She loves intelligent characters with a great sense of humor. She would love to see fresh, well-developed plots featuring travel, competitions/tournaments, or time travel. Jordy is looking for: *ROMANCE (contemporary, New Adult, erotica, or historical--soft spot for Regency). * YA: Open to pretty much any genre; however, she's looking especially for YA that has a very strong romantic element. *Middle Grade (action/adventure, contemporary).

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Jess Dallow of New Leaf Literary

Before moving back to her home state of New York, Jess Dallow spent eight years working at a talent agency in Hollywood. Deciding books and cold New York winters were more her speed, she became an intern at New Leaf Literary before being hired as the subrights and film/tv assistant. She is looking to build her list with strong character driven stories, dialogue that can play out like a film in her head and something that will make her laugh and cry (maybe even at once.) Specifically in YA she's looking for something with heart, friendship and romance. In adult, she's looking for new adult, romance, and crime fiction. In her spare time, Jess can be found at either Sprinkles or Dylan's Candy Bar, stuffing her face with cupcakes and gummy bears. 

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Christa Heschke of 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 actively looking for picture books, middle grade, and young adult projects. 

She is a fan of young adult novels with a romantic angle, and strong, quirky protagonists. Within YA, Christa is especially interested in contemporary fiction, horror and thrillers/mysteries. As for middle grade, Christa enjoys contemporary, humor, adventure, mystery and magical realism for boys and girls. For picture books, she’s drawn to cute, funny, character driven stories within fiction and is open to non-fiction with a unique hook.

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Victoria Lowes of the Bent Agency:
I was born and raised in Queens, New York and graduated from the City University of New York, Queens College. Before joining the Bent Agency, I completed internships at Serendipity Literary and the Carol Mann Agency. In my spare time I can be found teaching dance classes for young students or watching re-runs of The Office. I love books that teach me something, whether it be about a culture I don’t know, event in history or about the dynamics of a tumultuous young romance. I want to root for your characters -- connect with them and the problems they face. I'm looking for characters as complex and interesting as those I meet in real life.

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Melissa Nasson of Rubin Pfeffer Content: 

Melissa Nasson is an associate agent with Rubin Pfeffer Content. She is also an attorney and contracts director at Beacon Press, an independent publisher of non-fiction. Melissa is currently accepting submissions, and she is actively seeking MG, YA, and NA fiction in all genres (though she has a soft spot for fantasy and sci-fi). She will also consider fiction intended for the adult market, particularly edgy speculative fiction and gothic/horror novels. She is not considering non-fiction at this time.

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Lara Perkins of Andrea Brown Literary
Lara Perkins represents all categories of children's literature, from picture books to young adult. Lara works closely with Executive Agent Laura Rennert, with whom she jointly represents a number of clients, in addition to building her own list. She is also the agency's Digital Manager. Lara is a fan of insightful, page-turning, voice-driven young adult and middle grade fiction, as well as quirky, witty picture books. For middle grade, she's particularly looking for compelling, unexpected mysteries, stories set in fascinating, unexpected worlds (real or imagined), and stories that hit home in their depiction of ending/changing friendships or family shifts. Humor is always welcome. For young adult, Lara is looking for heart-breaking but very funny contemporary (or contemporary with a fantasy or paranormal twist) novels. She loves a bittersweet romance when it's solidly grounded in reality between believable, memorable characters. She's also drawn to character-driven fantasy with striking world building, and whip-smart, page-turning psychological mysteries. In the picture book realm, Lara is drawn to picture books that take a small but universal experience of childhood and draw out something beautiful or hilarious, and an endearingly flawed main character is central for her. She loves working with author/illustrators, and she's drawn to a wide range of illustration styles. Some of Lara's recent titles include THE FANTASTIC FAMILY WHIPPLE by Matthew Ward (Razorbill/Penguin)*, A MILLION WAYS HOME by Dianna Dorisi Winget (Scholastic Press), IF YOUR MONSTER WON'T GO TO BED by Denise Vega (Knopf/Random House), THE STEPSISTER'S TALE by Tracy Barrett (Harlequin Teen)*, and I'M NEW HERE by Anne Sibley O'Brien (Charlesbridge). Noteworthy deals include a two-book, six figure deal to Razorbill/Penguin and a two-book deal to Harlequin Teen (*together with Laura Rennert). Lara has a B.A. in English and Art History from Amherst College and an M.A. in English Literature from Columbia University, where she studied Victorian Brit Lit. In her pre-publishing life, she trained to be an architect, before deciding that books, not bricks, are her true passion. She spent over a year at the B.J. Robbins Literary Agency in Los Angeles before coming to Andrea Brown Literary. She is a frequent speaker at conferences nationwide, and currently is based in the SF Bay Area.

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 Alex Slater of Trident Media:
When asked how he became an agent at Trident, concentrating in the expanding children's, middle grade and young adult businesses, Alex simply replies, "It was only natural.” While karma is not an established business concept, it is clear that Alex's career arc led him in this happy direction. 
Start with Alex's love of fiction, and in particular the stories that captivate the minds and imaginations of young people, from those so young that books are read to them, to young adults who get captivated by creative fiction. "I love to let myself go, and become the reader, whether the story is directed at a ten-year-old or a teenager," says Alex. 
Next is Alex's experience at Trident, where he has been since 2010. He became a very successful agent representing the company's children, middle grade and young adult authors in many licensing arrangements in the global marketplace for translation and in the English language in the U.K., having placed books with publishers in dozens of countries. Alex was Trident's representative at the Bologna Children's Book Fair in Italy, as well as the broader-based London and Frankfurt book fairs. His experience in representing fiction in these areas showed him what elements in stories work well, and how to maximize the value of what an author has created. 
Alex's plan is to, "Look for stories that will rise above the rest with characters that will be remembered well past childhood, with the potential to cross over to other media and formats," such as programming, games, motion pictures and merchandise. "Trident is the leader on taking advantage of the latest opportunities presented by changing technology," says Alex, and, "I will be there to help make the latest innovations happen for my authors." 
"I believe that the most successful writers have a bit of the dreamer in them." And Alex passionately believes that he can help turn their dreams into reality.

Second Round - The Author Judges

Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of twenty-one books for adults and young adults. She has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers’ dismay. 

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

Her work includes the Otherworld series, the Cainsville series, the Darkest Powers/Darkness Rising series, and Sea of Shadows, this year's stunning first installment in the Age of Legends series.

* * * 

Erin Cashman
I have been writing for as long as I can remember; in grade school usually from my perch near the top of our maple tree (much to my mother’s displeasure!) With three kids and a career as an attorney, I often wrote late at night, or stolen hours here and there. I wrote a previous middle-grade novel about a treasure, and could wallpaper a large room with all of my rejection letters! But within a few weeks of sending The Exceptionals to Pam Glauber, an editor at Holiday House, she called and told me that they wanted to publish it! I was thrilled and very fortunate to work with such a brilliant editor.  The Exceptionals is a Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book.

My mother was born in Galway Ireland, moving to America when she was about twenty. She believed in angels, fairies and leprechauns, and loved to tell the most imaginative (or who knows – real!) stories. I inherited my love for books from my father, who ironically dropped out of high school at the age of sixteen, joined the Army and eventually went back and finished high school and then graduated from Bentley College, going nights. I grew up in Framingham, Massachusetts. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Bates College in Maine and from Boston College Law School. I live in Massachusetts with my husband, three children, and our dog. 

Delilah S. Dawson is a writer, a geek, an artist, an adventure junky, and a coffee and cupcake connoisseur. She writes books for young adults and mostly-adults that range from whimsical to dark to sexy to horrific to adventuresome. She can occasionally be NSFW, but when she is, it's usually because she's ranting about writing or sexism or talking honestly about her experiences with rape, depression, and suicide. Delilah loves having adventures, playing on the trapeze, horseback riding, seeing superhero movies, going to cons, traveling, reading, tacos, the ocean, pretty boots, eating weird animals, tattoos, vests, cosplay, The Cure, painting, narwhals, octopodes, crows, cheese, drinks made with elderflower, dark chocolate, cold sheets, Boyd Crowder, and shows like Justified, Firefly, Venture Bros., Community, Adventure Time, Arrested Development, TWD, and Frisky Dingo. Please geek out with her on Twitter for full SQUEE. She is also an Associate Editor at Cool Mom Picks and Cool Mom Tech and can teach you to wear a baby on your back so you can pretend to be Luke Skywalker toting Yoda.

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Christine Fonesca
Critically acclaimed and award-winning nonfiction and fiction author Christine Fonseca is dedicated to helping children and adults find their unique voice in the world. In nonfiction, she delves into the world of giftedness, resiliency, and temperament, offering children and adults a no-nonsense, how-to approach to facing the world head on. In fiction, she explores the more complex aspects of humanity through sweeping romances, Gothic thrillers, and psychological horror stories. Christine's words have been heralded as "thoughtful", "Lyrical and poetic", "gorgeous writing that pulls you in", and "a great voice for teen girls" by editors, critics, book bloggers and readers. She was awarded 2013 Special Achievement Award from the Surrey International Writer’s Conference for her body of work and efforts to give back to the writing community and was a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Review's Best Indie Book (YA) for her thriller, Transcend. Her 2013 titles include The Girl Guide, Quiet Kids, and the final installment in the Requiem Series, Dominus. Collide, a YA paranormal thriller, is her most recent release. Christine lives in the San Diego area with her husband and children. When she isn't crafting new books, she can be found sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at the local coffee house, or exploring the world with her family.

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S. E. Green

You name it and I’ve pretty much done it. Hiking, rafting, swimming, snorkeling, sailing, surfing, mountain biking, spelunking, canoeing, power lifting, running, camping, para sailing . . . well, you get the drift. 

I’ve been all over the world, use my crazy adventures to spice up my writing, and I’m always on the lookout for the next best thrill. 

My award winning teen spy series, The Specialists, was an ALA top pick and a National Reader’s Choice Recipient. Killer Instinct marks my debut into the world of thrillers. Believe it or not, I dreaded reading and writing when I was a kid. So it’s pretty ironic I’m now an award winning author.

* * *

Nancy Holder
New York Times Bestselling author Nancy Holder was born in Los Altos, California. A navy brat, she went to middle school in Japan. When she was sixteen, she dropped out of high school to become a ballet dancer in Cologne, Germany. Eventually she returned to California and graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a degree in Communications. Soon after, she began to write; her first sale was a young adult novel with the unfortunate title of Teach Me to Love. Nancy’s work has appeared on many bestseller lists. A five-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association, she has also received accolades from the American Library Association, the American Reading Association, the New York Public Library, and Romantic Times. She and Debbie ViguiĆ© coauthored the New York Times bestselling Wicked series for Simon and Schuster. They have continued their collaboration with the Crusade and the Wolf Springs Chronicles series, and are hard at work on a teen thriller. She is also the author of the young adult horror series, Possessions, for Razorbill. She has sold many novels and book projects set in the MTV Teen Wolf, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Saving Grace, Hellboy, and Smallville universes. She has also sold approximately two hundred short stories and essays on writing and popular culture. Her anthology, Outsiders, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in 2005. She is an editor and writer of comic books, graphic novels, and pulp fiction for Moonstone Books, where much of her work centers around Sherlock Holmes. She writes a column for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Bulletin. She also teaches in the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing Program, offered through the University of Southern Maine. This summer, she will serve as the Writer in Residence at Odyssey, a six-week summer intensive workshop at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. She and her daughter Belle, have sold two short stories together. Their cats, dogs, and leopard gecko allow them to live with them in San Diego. She loves Castle and Firefly, is attempting to catch up on Dr. Who, and firmly believes that nothing says breakfast like really strong coffee and potato chips.

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Brendan Kiely
Brendan Kiely received an MFA in creative writing from The City College of New York. His writing appeared in Fiction, Guernica, The AWP Writer’s Chronicle, and other publications. 
Originally from the Boston area, he now teaches at an independent high school and lives with his wife in Greenwich Village.

His 2014 debut novel, The Gospel of Winter, received starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. 

Brendan Kiely has written a novel that is both unflinching and redemptive.” — Colum McCann, NYT Bestselling author and National Book Award winner for Let the Great World Spin

“The Gospel of Winter marks Brendan Kiely’s auspicious debut as a novelist.”— A.M. Homes, author of May We Be Forgiven and winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction

“An emotional coming of age story that you won’t soon forget.”— John Corey Whaley, winner of the Printz and Morris Awards for Where Things Come Back

“The Gospel of Winter comes to us in full flower, a rich, complex, wise, beautifully written novel and a compelling read.”— Frederic Tuten, author of Tintin in the New World
* * * 

Jen Nielsen

New York Times Bestselling author, Jennifer Nielsen, was born and raised in northern Utah, where she still lives today with her husband, three children, and a dog that won’t play fetch. 

She is the author of The Ascendance trilogy, beginning with THE FALSE PRINCE; the forthcoming A NIGHT DIVIDED, and the forthcoming MARK OF THE THIEF series. She loves chocolate, old books, and lazy days in the mountains.

* * * 

Tamora Pierce
Tamora Pierce was born in South Connellsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. She began telling herself stories as she did dishes, and her father suggested that she try to write some of them down. The next year, as she was still scribbling her own stories, her English teacher introduced me to The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein. She got hooked on fantasy, and then on science fiction, and both made their way into her books. 

She wrote her way through college at the University of Pennsylvania, and has continued writing ever since. Her work includes more than six series and numerous short stories, and she is the 2013 winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for her "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature"

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Diana Renn
I write contemporary novels for young adults featuring globetrotting teens, international intrigue, and more than a dash of mystery. TOKYO HEIST (Viking/Penguin) is my first novel, and I have two more novels coming out from Viking: LATITUDE ZERO (2014) and BLUE VOYAGE (2015). When I was five years old, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I always loved writing in school, and I was fortunate to have had many encouraging teachers. I also knew that in order to be a good writer I needed to be a good reader. I majored in English at Hampshire College, and earned my M.A. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University. Over the years I’ve juggled all kinds of jobs in the word business to support my writing habit. Among them: a college writing instructor, an ESL teacher in South America, an editor in educational publishing, a textbook writer, a script writer for language instruction videos, a bookseller, and a comic book shop salesclerk. (Can you guess which was the most fun?) I love to travel, and I’ve enjoyed teaching students from all over the world, so international experiences are a large part of my fiction. I grew up in Seattle, and I now live outside of Boston with my husband, our young son, and a moody cat. In my spare time I love taiko drumming, bike riding, and, of course, traveling.

First Round - The Blogger Judges

Alyssa Hamilton of Swept Away By Books & Adventures in YA Publishing

Alyssa Hamilton is a twenty-something English and Publishing student who hails from Vancouver, Canada. When she is not in class, she is at the bookstore where she works—whether or not she is on duty. 

Her passion for reading started at a young age and has continued to grow, so most of her pay cheque goes toward buying books to fill her already overflowing bookshelves. Her favourite genres within YA are dark and gothic, paranormal, contemporary, high fantasy, and retellings. When she doesn't have a book in hand, you can find her hiking, picking out her next tattoo, or enjoying the outdoors.

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Amanda from Of Spectacles and Books

Amanda earned a BA in English from a small university in Texas. She is currently getting her Masters in Creative Writing and hopefully go on to obtain her PhD. She dreams of becoming a published author and writing of great adventures and daring sword fights. 

One of her main goals in life is to own a library with a ladder and backpack across Europe. Amanda also enjoys the smell of old books, wearing scarves, social networking, glasses rather than contacts, and boys who can play acoustic guitar. Talk King Arthur or in a British accent and she just might swoon.

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Angela Ackerman of Writers Helping Writers
Angela is a newly-minted forty year old writer living in Calgary, Alberta, which is nestled close enough to the Rockies to go on a day jaunt, but not so close as to be pummeled by snow and excruciating cold temperatures in the winter months. Despite being Canadian, she lives in a house, not an igloo, she refuses to wear toques and she generally travels by truck, rather than moose or ATVs or beavers or whatever other things the outside world suspects. Angela’s husband and two kids are beyond awesome. The former rarely complains about the hoarder-like piles of books and paper surrounding her desk, regardless of being a self-professed neat freak. Her kids, both teen boys, have inherited Angela’s interest in All Things Strange, and are great to bounce off apocalypse theories and freaky ‘what-if’ scenarios that are common in Angela’s books. Angela often writes about mythology in the real world, but twists everything so that it’s much darker and interesting. Bad things happen, but her teen and pre-teen characters always rise to the challenge in impossible situations. This is no surprise, because kids have internal strength that represents the best qualities in all of us. They struggle, adapt and survive. This is why she writes for this amazing YA & MG audience. Another passion of Angela’s is helping writers succeed. She enjoys working with writers on strengthening their craft and helping them find the tools and resources they need to take their writing to the next level. She teaches workshops on writing and social media, belong to SCBWI and is a strong believer in paying it forward. Along with Becca Puglisi, she is the author of popular brainstorming tool, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writers Guide To Character Expression.

* * * 

Becca Fowler of Pivot Book Review
My name is Rebecca, but I think that sounds like an old lady name, so I go by Becca :) I am 22 going on 23 (that doesn't have quite the ring to it as it does on The Sound of Music) I live in the great state of Oklahoma (where the wind REALLY does come sweeping down the plain) I live with who I've dubbed The Parentals (who are, not-so-secretly, the BEST) I have one older sister who is married, and has two girls (which means I get to play the Coolest Aunt Ever) I am convinced I will be the old cat lady (minus the cats, because I heart dogs) Speaking of dogs, I have two! An Aussie named Dixie, and a Sheltie named Gentry! I work for my family's business. We rent out inflatables, aka Bouncy Houses, and MORE! I aspire to be a Young Adult author! It is my dream!! My favorite hobbies include: Reading (duh) Writing Skating Drawing I am a total introvert. I would much rather stay home than go out. I am, also, horrible at talking about myself, because I can't think of anything else at the moment!

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Brenda Drake of Making Connections
Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at school until her family settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Brenda’s fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write young adult and middle grade novels with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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Brooke DelVeccio from the Cover Contessa
Brooke is the creator and owner of The Cover Contessa. She is a book lover for as long as she can remember. She used to pass her evenings in high-school reading books on her bed with a good friend and comparing how far they'd get in a certain amount of minutes. She started this blog a few years ago with the intention of sharing her reviews with people. It blossomed from there and now she includes interviews, release blasts, cover reveals, guests posts, and just about anything else you can think of that applies to books. She has been working as a nurse since 1997 and can truly say she really loves what she does. She's married to her soul mate since 2001 and has three beautiful and active boys! Though she i will always consider herself a Brooklyn girl, she currently lives in Northern New Jersey. As a side job, she works as a publicist for Spencer Hill Press where she currently represents four authors. Her preference in books is MG, YA and some NA, and she'll read almost any sub-genre except horror. But she'll try out any book if it comes highly recommended from a most trusted source! She has dabbled in writing, but has not come away with anything serious, YET!

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Hafsah at Icey Books
Girl. 21. Sister. YA writer. Reviewer. Book Blogger. Blog Designer. Maybe more than that. Hafsah began IceyBooks in late 2010 after many months of reviewing for her local library’s teen blog. What started as just reviews has now expanded to interviews, giveaways, cover reveals, and blogging tips. Aside from blogging, Hafsah is also an author. Her debut YA science fiction novel, UNBREATHABLE, which takes place on a planet much like Mars, released on October 29th, 2013. In addition to being an author, Hafsah has been designing blogs and websites since the age of thirteen. In late 2011, she opened IceyDesigns and began professionally designing blogs, websites, print work and providing social media/marketing solutions to clients – both authors and bloggers alike.

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Julie Musil - Writing and Blogging Between Carpools

Julie Musil is a children's writer, wife, and mother. She lives in a rural California town amid hiking trails and dirt bikes with her high school sweetheart, John. They have three amazing sons, two cute little doggies, and one menacing kitten.

Julie is the author of The Summer of Crossing Lines and The Boy Who Loved Fire, and she is on the Faculty of The Fiction University.

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Nichole from YA Reads

Last year Nichole graduated from a local community college with her AA. She is currently a Junior at the Evergreen State College. She is currently working on her BA with an emphasis on English/Literature. She is planning on applying to the MIT (Master’s In Teaching) program for her MA in hopes to become a high school English teacher.

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Sheri Larsen from Writers Alley

Sheri Larsen is a lover of all that is KidLit, writing about the unseen and the average teen/tween who's not so average. Exploring the New Adult world is her latest endeavor. She's represented by Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary, and is also the creator of #WS4U!-a Facebook writer support group. Her short stories and community/life articles can be found in numerous publications. Her latest steampunk anthology adventure is due out in November 2014. Find her on Twitter, Website, and Writer's Alley-where she focuses on author promotion, the writing life, and motherhood.

Discrepancy Judge

Martina Boone

Martina was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them. She’s the founder of, a two-time Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and, a site devoted to encouraging literacy and all this YA Series.

Her Southern Gothic romance, Compulsion, the first novel in the Heirs of Watson Island series from Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse, will be published October 28, 2014. 


  1. My five pages is waaaay more than 1250 words... I'm not sure if something's messing up on my computer or if that's how it's supposed to be.

    1. Katy - your first five pages would be double spaced in a normal manuscript, making it about 1250 words. I'm just asking you to reformat a little for the blog. Does that help? :D

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  4. When will the scorecards be emailed?


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