Tag Archives: Storytelling

Pitch Wars Submissions Are Open!

This is a quick reminder that Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars submissions opened yesterday and will close August 6 at 10pm EDT (New York time). Go here for the guidelines and here  to submit. There are two other ways to get into the contest, a scavenger hunt  (scroll to find the info) to get a free pass into Pitch Wars and if you donate at least $20 you can pick two extra mentors. Woot! Note the participating menotrs are on the post with the scavenger hunt information. Lastly, be sure and stop by twitter to watch the #PitchWars feed because they are giving extra mentor prizes away.

One For Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn

One For Sorrow BookPublisher: Clarion Books
Sold By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: July 18, 2018

Okay, I’ll admit the cover drew me to this story! But look at it, soooo spooky! ONE FOR SORROW is set during World War I and the influenza epidemic of 1918, this story unravels the tale of childhood school days gone wrong. Annie is eager to make friends at her new school, but Elsie claims her as her own bestie, refusing to allow Annie to connect with other girls. After Elsie passes from influenza, her ghost returns to torment Annie for befriending others and to make sure Annie is isolated and disliked as much as she had been when alive.

While this was an easy read, Elsie didn’t become a ghost until halfway into the story. This was delayed longer than I’d anticipated, making some of the bullying redundant in order to get to the good stuff–a scary ghost! And even though the historical setting enriched the story, I felt cheated with the lack of generational terms. But make no mistake, author Mary Downing Hahn creates a realistic story of how easy it is to get swept into bullying when a child just wants to be liked. She also paints a cruel tale of how difficult it is to get out of a this horrible situation. So, if you’re looking for a darker read, this is for you!

Mary Downing Hahn

Mary Downing Hahn, a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Wait Till Helen Comes, which is being adapted for film. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her cat, Oscar.

***THE OFFICIAL BLURB***

Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

Amazon | BN | Kobo| Google PlayGoodreads | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Target | BAM! | Audible

And check out these additional reviews:

“Hahn’s story is characteristically steeped in eerie atmosphere, and the novel’s blend of historical drama, the supernatural, and the intricacies of adolescent friendship is a gripping combination.” —PW

“Hahn is a veteran author who clearly knows her apples about writing ghost stories, as this, her latest inventive page-turner, evidences… Shivers aplenty, but also genuine emotion that will invite empathy.” — Booklist

“Another historical and chilling success.” —Kirkus

“Another solid addition to Hahn’s oeuvre, this would also make a spine-chilling pair with Cohen’s The Doll’s Eye.” —Bulletin

Author Links: Website | Facebook

#MenteesHelpingMentees has opened early!

Mentees Helping Mentees

For all the Pitch Wars hopefuls this year, the class of 2016 mentees have gotten together to offer critiques to 140 writers on their query and first ten pages at Mentees Helping Mentees. They have created seven different Rafflecopters for writers to enter based on age category and a few sub/genres:

  • Middle Grade
  • Young Adult Contemporary and Historical
  • Young Adult Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal
  • Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Adult Romance
  • Adult Mystery & Suspense
  • Adult Other (Historical, Literary, Upmarket, Women’s Fiction)

The giveaway ends on July 2nd, 2017 at 12 am EST. Winners will be notified via Twitter on July 5th. Watch the #menteeshelpingmentees hashtag! Those selected will get their critiques back no later than July 24th (plenty of time to review before Pitch Wars submissions open on August 2nd).

What a fantastic thing for them to do! And remember this is a new thing, so tweet, share, and blog to spread the word. Good luck to all that enter!

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

TV Tropes and Fictional Novels

Have you ever heard an agent or editor say “I’ve seen this trope before” or “this is an old trope”. What does it mean? In storytelling, a trope can be described as shortcuts for describing situations an author can reasonably assume the audience will recognize. But does this mean all tropes are bad? No. It’s up to the author to put a creative spin on an old trope so the audience doesn’t tire of the situation. Or at best, this is to say they have to bring something new to the table regarding the trope.

We not only see tropes in books, but also movies. A few months ago, I learned of a cool website called TV Tropes. It seems like a great place to help authors recognize tropes they might think isn’t one. And if you don’t write, it’s kind of fun poking around anyway. The main tropes have been indexed by Genre, Media, Narrative, and Topical. But there are 36 other categories to peruse.

So if you’re a writer, check this sight out and put a fresh twist on a well known trope! I dare you.

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

Scholastic’s Graphix Novel Contest

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The deadline is fast approaching for Scholastic’s Graphix Imprint contest. Up to FIVE talented debut graphic novelists will win the chance to be published by Scholastic’s Graphix imprint. The editors involved in selecting submissions have a focus on creator-driven graphic novels appropriate for children and teens that bring exceptional art, rich content and strong storytelling to realistic fiction, memoir, fantasy and beyond.

Winners will receive an offer to publish their work with Scholastic and a $15,000 advance! Be sure to check out the complete guidelines before entering. And take note, graphic novelists need to hurry because the deadline is April 1, 2017. (I’m not a-foolin’!)

As always, good luck!

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