James Patterson Masterclass and Co-Author Competition

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With New York Times Bestselling author James Patterson‘s net worth at $700 million, who wouldn’t want to take a MasterClass with him? There will be 22 video lessons and exercises for $90. Super afforadable peeps! Even better, he’s choosing someone from the class to co-author a book with him!

Say what?

Yeppers, you heard right. James Patterson will choose someone to write a novel with him. During the competition, each stage is designed to help you craft and pitch a novel. And the prizes are:

  • 10 Semi-Finalists: Ten students will win $1000 based on book hook and sample chapter.
  • 3 Finalists: Three students from the ten semi-finalists will be chosen to submit outlines for their books and will win $2500.
  • 1 Grand Prize Winner: Opportunity to co-author a book with James Patterson. In addition, $5000.

If you’re interested, get your words polished. The deadline for the competition is March 1, 2017!

As always, good luck!

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

Discovering BookBub for Readers & Writers

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I recently discovered BookBub and have been piling up books to read! If your an avid reader, you’ll want to subscribe to this site because most of the deals are below $1.99 (US) or FREE! The site allows you to build a profile based on the genre of books you like to read and when they find deals, they’ll email to let you know. A lot of what I’ve been receiving in my inbox are from New York Times Bestsellers and USA Today Best-Selling Books. They even let you know when a book has had raving reviews from Kirkus Reviews or Publishers Weekly, or gained five star reviews from places like Goodreads, and more!

If you’re a writer, reading more of the genre you write in can only help hone your craft. Industry professionals don’t hold back telling writers to read more. Even famous authors, including Steven King, preach to read more to improve writing skills. It’s kind of a no-brainer, right?

Needless to say, I was thrilled when I discovered BookBub! (No, they didn’t pay me to say this stuff.) They even supply links to where the deals are: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, or Google. Let’s face it, most of us don’t have time to search the web to find the deals we want. Why not let BookBub do it for you? So, get purchasing and happy reading!

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

HARPER Voyager Author Chat at #SFFChat on Twitter Today

Harper Voyager

Chat time! A group of science fiction and fantasy authors from HARPER Voyager have agreed to chat on twitter today (February 23, 1017) using the hashtag #SFFChat. The mingling will be between 3pm and 8pm EST.

They encourage everyone to participate, writer or not. While I’m sure they’ll talk about books they’ve written (who wouldn’t), they’ll also be discussing querying, world building, character creation, writing a page turner, book promo, and marketing! So join in the fun and get your questions ready!

And always remember, if you can’t make the timeframe, you can always peruse the hashtag later to see the Q&A that took place. You might find a nugget of information.

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

Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh’s #PitchCB on #Twitter

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This Friday (February 24th) will be the first pitch event of 2017 for Curtis Brown Literary and Talent Agency and Conville & Walsh. These events are held on the fourth Friday of every month (so you can catch the next event if you miss this one), hosted by Rebecca Ritchie and Richard Pike of Curtis Brown

In order to submit, prepare a 140 character pitch including #PitchCB hashtag for your completed manuscript. The window will be open for 24 hours and remember to only pitch once! If your pitch is “liked”, submit directly to that agent following the agencies’ submission guidelines.

As always, good luck!

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

Pitch Madness via @brendadrake Is Approaching!

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If y’all don’t already know, Brenda Drake is an amazing author that hosts some amazing opportunities for writers via contests. Pitch Madness is one of these awesome events that helps connect writers with literary agents! Writers submit a 35-word (max) pitch and the first 250 words of their completed manuscript on submission day. Then a team of readers choose the top sixty (60) entries to go onto the agent round.

The submission window for 2017 Pitch Madness is February 24, 2017. This is a blog contest, so stay tuned to Brenda’s site for entry information!

As always, good luck!

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

#PBPitch Twitter Party! (Picture Books)

It’s time for another picture book twitter party using #PBPitch! So, if you write or illustrate picture books, this is the event for you. This party will take place Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 8am-8pm EST. But remember, anyone can trawl the feed, so be sure and do your research! There will be legit agents and editors that pop in and out, including those that haven’t confirmed attendance. But those that have confirmed are:

Be sure and only pitch once before 2pm and once after! (Yes, twice is all you get per manuscript!) If you’re an illustrator, you can attach an image to the pitch. For complete rules and proper hashtags, go here.

As always, good luck!

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


Monthly Mumbles: Book Covers (or Lacking)

 

MEH.

Please note, these are solely my thoughts and nothing more. But, I had to share, regardless of how shallow my readers might think me to be. Recently I got asked to select a free book from a publisher to read. It was my choice, so I could’ve selected anything. I was slightly familiar with the publisher, since I know someone that edits for them. Thus, I was thrilled to take my freebie! (Besides…booooooks people!)

 

Now, we’ve all heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover”. And sure, this holds true for many things, especially humans. But in marketing, what’s in front of a consumer must be visually stimulating. And I confess, I am a consumer that needs roused to pick up a book before I’ve ever read the blurb. But from a marketing standpoint, this is just smart business!

So, imagine my dismay as I perused unpleasant cover art from various titles to select my awarded freebie. Most looked cheaply done or simply didn’t mesh with the title. And forgive me for this, but I judge the lack of detail given to a books cover as indication of the lack of editing probably given to the story. My eyes will roam over the cover and move along to the next. And with technology today, there simply isn’t a good reason to have bad cover art!

As authors, we don’t always have control over the cover art, but I’d stress to stand ground when something seems extremely off or comes across cheap in appearance. Should a writer want a lovely embracing couple on their horror book? No, this would lead readers to think it’s a love story and could result in bad reviews from romance readers. And authors wouldn’t want a picture of an ocean if their entire story is set within a magical forest. Why would authors expect anything less than perfect for their book baby? This is even more important for authors self publishing. Take the same amount of time on the cover art as you spend on editing. If you hire out the art, be sure to check previous work before settling on the artist or company. This is about proper marketing. Give the reader a reason to pick up the book BEFORE they’ve read the blurb!

That’s it. Rant over.

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

2017 Virginia Festival of the Book

2017 Virginia Festival of the Book logo

The Virginia Festival of the Book brings readers and writers together for a five-day celebration of books, reading, literacy, and literary culture. The 23rd Annual Festival will be held March 22-26, 2017. Programs range from traditional author readings and book signings to children’s programs and hands-on workshops. All programs are open to the public and, with the exception of a few ticketed events, the majority of Festival programs are free to attend.

An abbreviated list of past participants includes Rick Atkinson, Edward Ayers, David Baldacci, Maureen Corrigan, Edwidge Danticat, Kate DiCamillo, Rita Dove, Alan Furst, John Grisham, Jan Karon, Jim Lehrer, Frances Mayes, Colum McCann, David McCullough, Alice McDermott, Katherine Paterson, Jon Scieszka, Lisa Scottoline, Pete Seeger, Karin Slaughter, Alexander McCall Smith, Lee Smith, Bryan Stevenson, Elizabeth Strout, Judith Viorst, and Charles Wright. For a current listing, go here.

As always, have fun and learn lots!

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

Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest

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The deadline for Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest is approaching. All unpublished entries must be received by February 17, 2017. This is also a chance to get feedback on your work. There are twelve categories:

  1. mainstream
  2. historical
  3. romance/women’s fiction
  4. mystery/thriller
  5. sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal
  6. young adult
  7. middle grade
  8. nonfiction/memoir
  9. poetry
  10. short story
  11. children’s picture/chapter book
  12. adult short topics (articles/essays/memoir)

There are three monetary prizes:

  • FIRST PLACE: $600
  • SECOND PLACE: $300
  • THIRD PLACE: $100

Eight finalist will receive two critiques on their submissions. The agents and editors participating in the PNWA‘s summer conference will pick winners out of the finalists. Go here for complete details. As always, good luck!

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

Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry

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Submissions for the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry will be closing February 15, 2017. So, don’t delay if you want to enter. This is an annual regional prize, presented in partnership by Milkweed Editions and the Lindquist & Vennum Foundation. Submittors must currently reside in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin. The submitted manuscript must be unpublished, though individual poems may have been previously published. The prize awards $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions. The winner is selected from a small number of finalists by an independent judge.

For complete details regarding submissions and guidelines, go here.

As always, good luck!

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