Pitch to Publication

Whoa! Did I read that right? This appears to be the Holy Grail of writerly competitions hosted by Samantha Fountain! Okay-okay. So, this won’t provide youth or food in abundance, but it sure as heck is gonna make winners feel extremely happy as it might have the special power to see them get a publishing deal by the end of the year.

Much like Brenda Drake’s PitchWars, Pitch to Publication has mentors that will edit the entire manuscript of the winning entrants. They will go through everything with a fine-tooth comb to make the manuscripts shine before the agent round. However, these mentors are ALL freelance editors, where PW mentors are a mix of agented authors and editors (which is still awesome BTW).

But the difference doesn’t stop there. After the agent round, there will be a publishing house round. (I may have squealed after reading that. Go ahead, you can too.) So basically, if an agent decides to represent one of the entrants, s/he will have time to further edit before the publishing round, but the team can also decide to sit the pub round out. Why on earth would they do that? Perhaps they’ll want longer to work the MS, or any other varied reason.

Here are some important dates:

June 29-July 3: Submissions window for entrants. You can choose up to FIVE mentors. Window closes at midnight on July third.

July 6-16: Editors will make requests for first 50 pages. If a mentor requests pages, they’ll want to see them within 24 hours.

July 17: Noon CST, editors must have sent in their 1st, 2nd, 3rd choices to Samantha Fountain.

July 20: Editor/Author teams will be announced.

July 27- August 28: This will be the time chosen writers will work on their manuscripts with the editors.

August 31- September 1: The agent round.

September 21: The agent needs to have replied to the writer/writers with a rejection or offer of representation. If offer, they’ll have a few more weeks to tweak things.

October 12-13: The Publishing house round.

Unfortunately, if Samantha has listed the agents and publishing houses that are participating, I couldn’t find the links. But, Samantha is responsible for Agent Match, which had agents from Writers House, The Bent Agency, Corvisiero Literary Agency, McIntosh and Otis, TriadaUS Literary Agency, and more! So as you see, she has fabulous connections! I expect she will have many great agents and publishers for this contest too.

Be sure to check out Samantha’s blog for links to the mentors. After reading what they’re looking for, select only five to submit to. There is also more information to know regarding the dates she’s listed. READ THIS SECTION on her blog!  If writers scroll further down the page, they’ll see complete instructions on how to format entries. Read the instructions carefully so your entry doesn’t get deleted. Now, go get those subs ready!

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and Writer of MG/YA fiction

Brenda Drake’s June Query Workshop

Brenda Drake Logo

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of the lovely Brenda Drake. She gives back so much to the writing community when she spearheads contests and workshops for writers to participate. This month, she is doing the Query Workshop series. Even though the window has closed to submit, writers can read the selected entries and critiques given by past and present PitchWars mentors. Be sure to follow each day as new posts go up and apply any learned knowledge to your own query.

Have a great day!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA fiction

Don’t Forget #Pitmad Is Tomorrow!

As always, I want to give a shout-out to remind everyone of a fabulous contest. Don’t forget that #Pitmad (hosted by Brenda Drake) will be live tomorrow (June 4th) on twitter from 8am to 8pm EST (New York time).

Twitter-Brenda Image

Get your 140 character pitch ready to capture an agent’s or editor’s attention. (This is for completed manuscripts only!) Be sure to include the hashtag #pitmad and the category (#YA, #MG, #A, #NA, #PB, and #NF). Vary your pitches so twitter won’t delete duplicates thinking they’re spam. And if you are super crafty, you can squeeze your genre hashtag into the tweet!

All the guidelines are on Brenda’s blog here. Be sure to follow her rules so you don’t get a polite reprimand from Brenda. She’ll be watching…mwah-ha-ha!

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA fiction


Often in the universe of writers, there is talk of conferences and workshops. Most of the time they seem to be located in New York or Los Angeles because there are beaucoup agencies in these cities. However, occasionally a few are held in the Midwest. One such workshop is the Midwest Writers Group.

Midwest Writers Group

This workshop will be held at Ball State University Alumni Center from July 23rd-25th, 2015. Not only can you attend intense sessions on learning more about the writing craft and tax options for writers, but you can attend pitch sessions with participating agents. Agents attending for pitches and/or speeches are Alec Shane, Christa Heschke, Brooks Sherman, Michelle Richter, Janet Reid, and Elise Capron. There are also query critiques, manuscript evaluations, head shots, and consultations available (plus much more). And don’t forget to checkout the authors and editors attending to share their knowledge. Sign up for one of their sessions! But slots are going fast. You can go here to learn about costs, lodging, and the facility. Be sure to scroll the headings to learn about all your options.

Have a great day!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA fiction


Any writer who’s been on twitter long enough knows Brenda Drake. She is the queen of contests to obtain a literary agent and the wrangler for mother-loads of mentors. She is responsible for #Pitmad (a twitter contest) and Pitch Madness. She hosts The Writer’s Voice and the all time favorite…PITCH WARS!!!

But Brenda doesn’t just host fabulous contests to support our undying addiction to twitter teases. She is a fabulous writer!

Brenda DrakeHer cover for LIBRARY JUMPERS has been revealed! People, I’m in love with this magnificent artwork: a kick-ass girl, magic, and library books! Who wouldn’t want to pre-order this?

Library Jumpers

Summary :

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik’s world and her own, before both are destroyed.

**Release date is January 6, 2016, published by Entangled Teen. You can pre-order at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.**

Brenda is represented by Peter Knapp at Park Literary. For any rights inquiries, please contact him at info (at) parkliterary (dot) com

I highly recommend showing Brenda some love, especially if you’ve ever been a winner in one of her contests! It’s time to give back the support she’s shown everyone for several years! Pre-ordering LIBRARY JUMPERS would be awesome, but you can also tweet/FB/blog to spread the word instead. Give her some shout-outs and let her know how happy you are for her! As for me, I pre-ordered my copy! (No, Brenda didn’t bribe me to say that!)

Have a great day!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG//YA fiction

Query Kombat Contest

May is full of contests for writers! And Query Kombat is another great one. This contest is hosted by Michelle Hauck, Michael Anthony, and SC Author.

Query Kombat Logo

The submission window will open on May 22, 2015 (tomorrow) and be open for only ONE HOUR! And like every contest, there are rules people…so follow them (here)! Now hold on to your hats…there are TWENTY FIVE agents/editors in total participating this year! Whoa! Because there are so many, the hosts had to divide the list on their blogs:

Michelle Hauck (Agent link)

Michael Anthony (Agent link)

SC Write (Agent link)

This is HUGE! Great job to the hosts. They’ve truly outdone themselves this year! Now, get outta here and polish those submissions!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA fiction

The Writer’s Voice Contest

Yes, this is another fabulous contest for a chance to have a literary agent request material. Submissions begin on May 20th, 2015 from 9:00am thru 9:00pm EDT. Remember, this is for completed manuscripts only!


For those who aren’t familiar with “The Writer’s Voice,” it’s a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Brenda Drake, Mónica Bustamante Wagner, Elizabeth Briggs, and Krista Van Dolzer. They’re basing it on NBC’s singing reality show The Voice, so the four hosts will serve as coaches and select projects for their teams based on queries and first pages.

The fabulous agents that will be participating are:

Caitie Flum of Liza Dawson Associates

Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media

Erin Harris of Folio Literary Management

Lauren MacLeod of The Strothman Agency

Sara Megibow and Renee Nyen ofkt literary

Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency

Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency

Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger, Inc.

Courtney Stevenson of Pippin Properties

Caryn Wiseman of Andrea Brown Literary Agency

So get those submissions ready because the window will only be open for 12 hours. For all the guidelines and dates, go here.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and Blogger of MG/YA fiction

Secret Agent Contest via @AuthoressAnon

Just a quick reminder that @AuthoressAnon is hosting her Secret Agent Contest tomorrow, May 18th, 2015.


So, get your first 250 words polished! You can find the entire information for submission guidelines on her website Miss Snark’s First Victim. And remember, this is for completed manuscripts only!

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA ficiton

Whiskey, Wine, & Writing Tonight!

Reminding everyone Whiskey, Wine, & Writing is tonight at 8pm EST, hosted by Natasha Raulerson & special guest host E.L. Wicker. This is “a place for authors to relax, connect, and learn how to be even more kick ass writers”.


Their guest tonight is Emily Bleeker. Discussions will be her debut novel WRECKAGE and the genre of women’s fiction.  You can watch live on YouTube and join them on Twitter or Google Hangouts for a chance to have your questions answered.

See you there.

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA fiction


If you thought writing the novel was hard, try summarizing your book-baby into a couple paragraphs. OY! But it has to be done if you plan to query agents. There are three main parts the query should contain:

1. The hook.
2. A mini synopsis
3. Brief BIO

I discuss more about the structure here, but be aware when I discussed the word count and genre, it can also be contained in the BIO paragraph. Sometimes agents prefer it that way. Also, I want to remind authors to make sure you mention the stakes. I’ve critiqued several lately that have been very vague. Let the agent know what your MC risks losing.

With that said, many writers are aware of the infamous Query Shark blog. (If not, head over there NOW! There are a gazillion queries torn to shreds by the lovely Query Shark. Reading others mishaps can help you write better.Trust me.) But recently, I learned BookEnds Literary Agency is joining the query-shredding team, per se. SQUEE! Another chance to have the guts ripped from your words. Call me crazy (and you probably do), this is good people, GOOD-GOOD! BookEnds announced on April 6th, they now offer critiques by the QUERY QUEEN! If you are getting rejections, submit for a chance to learn what’s not working in your query letter before you send to another round of agents.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA fiction