Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Super Agent, Super Contest: the Liz Norris Pay it Forward Writing Contest

Super Agent Janet Reid is sponsoring a writing contest you have to see to believe!

From her blog:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Announcing the Liz Norris Pay It Forward Writing Contest

To celebrate the publication of UNRAVELING by debut author Liz Norris we're sponsoring the Pay It Forward Writing Contest.

We're looking for a debut writer with a great voice and energetic prose (like Liz!)

We're looking for a novel that grabs us, enchants us, and keeps us glued to the page (like UNRAVELING!)

We're looking for the Next Liz Norris!

The contest is open to American writers who are not published in novel-length form (published includes self-published) and who are not represented by an agent.

The prize is:

1. Registration for the Backspace Writing Conference in NYC (May 24-26)
2. Hotel for three nights (Thurs, Fri, Sat)
3. Travel stipend of $300
4. Lunch with Liz Norris' agent

The winner will be announced on publication day for UNRAVELING by Liz Norris: Tuesday April 24, 2012.

Here's how to enter:

1. EMAIL your query letter and your finished novel to Janet@fineprintlit.com
The subject line must be: Liz Norris Pay It Forward Contest entry.
The query must be in the body of the email.
The novel must be an attachment in .doc form

2. SEND between March 1, 2012 and March 15, 2012. Entries received before or after those dates will not be considered.

3. Your entry will be acknowledged by email.

4. Your manuscript must be in English.

5. Your manuscript must be properly formatted: 1" margins, TNR font 12 pt.

We do not accept any responsibility for manuscripts that cannot be opened or read.
The contest is open to novels in any category or genre.

You are not eligible to enter if you have an agent, or have been published in novel-length form.

You agree we can publicize your name, the title of your book and your photo for publicity purposes.

To find out more about Liz Norris, check out her blog

To order UNRAVELING go to the Harper Teen site here

Questions? Post in the comment section of this blog post OR tweet to me @janet_reid

WAIT! Contest opens March 1!
Go get 'em!! and ¡Buen Provecho!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

¡Lunes Libro Fantástico!: OPERATION ERASE by Robin Brande

One of my most favoritest YA writers, Robin Brande, has branched into Middle Grade territory with her new Secret Security Squad Series. Yay! She kicks if off with Book One: OPERATION ERASE.

From http://www.robinbrande.com/: Darby Langdon has a plan for taking out the bullies in her junior high. But she’ll need a team of specialists to do it: the gamer, the actress, the scientist, the football player, the inventor, and the bookworm. Each of them has a secret that makes them perfect for what Darby has in mind. Now if only her plan would go as perfectly . . .

Of course Darby's plan does not go perfectly, but to my great joy, OPERATION ERASE surely does! With a pitch-perfect tween voice, conflict, and sweet crushing, Robin Brande's MG debut is a fun, fast read that not only entertains but also gives hope to all facing the joys and horrors of junior high. Robin Brande tackles bullying with an unflinching eye and a creative, non-violent solution. How effective it is remains to be seen since this is a planned series, but as the situation goes from bad to worse, I cannot wait to find out! SECRET SECURITY SQUAD is available as an e-book from Kindle, Nook, Smashwords (which supports ePub and other formats), and as a paperback.

Happy Reading and ¡Buen Provecho!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Last Word: DEFIANCE Cover Reveal & Giveaway!

The YA writing community is the best. Everyone helps and supports everyone else. I'm always impressed by all the love out there. In that same spirit, here's you're chance to help support an awesome new YA author and her debut novel:

The Last Word: DEFIANCE Cover Reveal & Giveaway!: The day has finally come for me to reveal the HOLY COW AMAZING cover the talented team at Balzer+Bray designed for DEFIANCE. I am beyond exc...

Head on over and enter to win a FREE copy of CJ Redwine's DEFIANCE. Because the next new author in need of support may just be you!

Good luck and ¡Buen Provecho!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Excuses, Excuses: A Dragon to the Rescue!

That's me, the queen of excuses. And they're pretty good, too, if I do say so myself. This week's excuses for not writing/revising:

It was a holiday weekend!

I have sick kids and a sick hubby!

My oldest daughter's Jr High musical was this week - and I had to dye white tights orange at the last minute!

I had a filling done!

My fridge needs cleaning!

But dang nabit if I didn't find time for Facebook, Words with Friends, blogging, and reading. Not to mention The Office, Once Upon a Time, and a small but growing addiction to Redbox. So why is there time for all this and not for working on my blossoming novel?

Simple. I'm scared.

What if it's not good enough? What if I'm not good enough? Why waste so much time and energy on something that's doomed to fail?

If you're feeling the same way, I have some great news - there is someone who believes in you and is willing to tell you so. His name is James Owens and until midnight Tuesday (2/21), he is offering his written belief in you for FREE!

Drawing Out The DragonsRead "One. Day." and click on the link at the bottom of the page (or here: Make Today Extraordinary. But I strongly reccomend One. Day.) to get your free e-copy of the uber-inspirational "Drawing Out The Dragons." Consider it armor for the artist in your struggle against the evil Sorcerer Self-Doubt.

Do it before your talk yourself out of writing that next book, sentence, word. James Owens believes in you so much, you can't help but start to believe in yourself.

Psst: Pass it on! Everyone could use this. As for me, I will read "One.Day." every morning I plan to write. And twice on the mornings I don't.

Happy Reading and ¡Buen Provecho!

Monday, February 13, 2012

¡Lunes Libro Fantástico! DEAD TO YOU by Lisa McMann

I love it when an author can make me mad for all the right reasons. Mad that I stayed up way past my bedtime because I couldn't put their book down. Mad because they got me so invested in their characters that their pain was mine. Mad because their story ended way too soon. Lisa McMann's newest YA release, DEAD TO YOU, did that and more in this installation of ¡Lunes Libro Fantástico! (Fantastic Book Monday)

From Lisa McMann's official website : Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together.

But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable...

And you'll never guess what it is! DEAD TO YOU is a fast paced, gut-wrenching read. The very epitome of edgy teen fiction, it's darkness is heart-breakingly pierced by moments of warmth, love, and worst of all, hope. Lisa McMann's first foray into realistic fiction (all others have been paranormal/fantasy) is a winner all around. Part Law & Order SVU, part psychological Twilight Zone, DEAD TO YOU will have thinking long past it's punch-to-the-gut ending.

Parents should know: this is for more mature young adults - there are a handful of swear words including the big daddies. And while there is no explicit sex or abuse in the teens' current situations, other incidents are referred to, though not in graphic detail.

Be sure to check out Lisa McMann's other titles: the NYT bestselling WAKE YA triliogy (WAKE, FADE, GONE), CRYER'S CROSS, and the MG fantasy THE UNWATNEDS. Enjoy!

Happy Reading and ¡Buen Provecho!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

NaNoWriMo Pitchapalooza

There is so much more to NaNoWriMo than 50,000 words. Here's yet another reason why it rocks: (from their blog The Office of Letters and Light)

February is Pitchapalooza!

The Book Doctors are back with the second-annual Pitchapalooza for Wrimos. Read on to get the lowdown from them on what this means, and how you can participate!
You wrote your 50,000 words (or got pretty close!). You’re a winner. You’ve been congratulated. You felt the high. But here’s the 64-gigabyte question: What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious manuscript?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Query Letter Hell

I brave revisions this month, two months after finishing my NaNo baby. The thought makes me nauseous. Revisions are the meat of creating a novel, what separate the writers from the wannabees. Did I mention the nausea?

For me, revision means starting with a query letter. For those not in the know, the query letter is a book pitch in about 300 words or less, and is a thousand times harder than writing an entire novel. Not only do you have to whittle your book down to under 300 words, but they have to be the best 300 words you've ever written in hopes of attracting the attention of a very busy literary agent who receives hundreds of them a week. A week!

Most often the query come after your novel is all shiny and polishy, but after getting stuck in revisions on my last novel due to problems revealed through my query, I decided to start with the query this time. That way, I can fix whatever problems it reveals before I fall in love with every word I've poured my heart and soul into.

After the query is done, I'll head over to AbsoluteWrite and post it in their forum entitled Query Letter Hell where it will get torn to shreds and made better than I thought possible. And I'll discover what's working and what's not. Where the plot holes are, which characters belong and which should be laid off, and if there really is a story there to revise.

You must sign up for AbsoluteWrite to post any of your writing - query or otherwise - there for critique and to critique others, but it's free and the education is invaluable.

Revise the big stuff first. Then on to the little stuff. But that's a whole 'nuther blog :)

For more information on queries, be sure to check out literary agent Janet Reid's Query Shark (not for the faint of heart) and CJ Redwine's Querypalooza. And my Evolution of a Query page is up and running if you'd like a peek at the route my last query took.

Happy revisions and ¡Buen Provecho!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Thursday Thirteen: THE DARK DIVINE by Bree Despain

Bienvenidos to the first installment of The Thursday Thirteen: books reviewed in thirteen words or less. Fun, quick, and challenging! To join in the fun, email me - shielacblank(at)aol(dot)com - your 13-word review and I'll post it here on Thurdays. We'll evolve the rules as we go. For now, punctuation doesn't count, but emoticons do.

Today, I review THE DARK DIVNE by Bree Despain. Check her out at http://www.breedespain.com/.

Here we go:

A Christian werewolf romance? You betcha! Original, dark, and sweet. Like chocolate :)


Happy reading and ¡Buen Provecho!

There's still time to enter to win a hard back copy of Tom Leveen's edgy YA novel PARTY here. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cupid's Agent Hook Up!

Cupid's Literary Connection Blog brings together talented writers with astounding literary agents in not so romantical BUT magical ways. If you're looking to meet that special agent, here's a wonderful opportunity to get your query and first 250 words read. Act fast - it takes place this Fri 2/3.

Cupid's Literary Connection: Entry Windows Info! (Blind Speed Dating Event): Info on Blind Speed Dating Event in the second half of the post here . More deets coming soon! WINDOW TIMES!!!!!! The first entry windo...

Good luck!