Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pitch Slam! Are you ready to ROCK?!

Today's the big day! My fellow managers and I have sifted through the glorious mountain of slush and found our twelve band members! Some shook us with their killer drum solos. Some brought a tear to our eyes with a whaling guitar solo only 80's hair bands could touch. Then there were the ones with the voice of a rock angel. We heard you and KNEW you had to be ours.

We negotiated, cried, and even battled where YOU determined where certain entries would end up. And today you find out who made it on our teams!

Also, if you see something wrong with your entry (due to formatting,) please email the pitch slam email to let us know.

Now.... *cues drum roll*

*lights flash*

*clears throat*

Execs and authors! Are you ready to rock out with Team Magenta?!

*P!nk's Perfect blares in the air*

Check out the other teams at the links below! And remember, only agents can comment during 8am EDT - 4pm EDT!

Team Stray Tats - http://lucashargis.com/
Team Sweeter - http://www.michelle4laughs.blogspot.com/
Team Electric - http://rahdieh.tumblr.com/

Congrats to everyone who made it on a team. Just know that there were so MANY amazing ones that it was tough to pick just 12 each. So keep going if you weren't picked. That yes will come your way if you do!

Good luck everyone!

Rockin' Honorable Mentions: I hated I couldn't have you all!

Confessions of a Schoolgirl: The 3:05 Goodbyes & The Discarded.

You were so close to making the final cut. I wanted to give you a shout out just because it was up to last minute before Brandi and I made our final picks and you were right there the entire time. We wish you much luck in the query trenches!

Team Magenta - When The Clock Broke

Genre: NA Fantasy Romance


Word Count: 80,000 words

Song: ‘Time’ by Anastacia

Pitch: Twenty-year-old Aidelle smashes a timepiece as Phillip leaves her, sealing herself in a timeless reality. When she finds out he was blackmailed, Aidelle must cross volatile ‘timestreams’ to rewrite their breakup or be erased forever.


Miss Aidelle Masters stared at the ground so hard, she thought her gaze would burn the stonework steps of the taxicab station to a shingly mess. A pair of boots – the latest black with knife-sharp eyelets – marched into her sight. She’d wondered when the shoes would find their way into her private space.

“Are you waiting for him?” asked the owner of the shoes. “So obedient, but a shame you share none of your sister’s petticoat trim.”

Aidelle faced the socialite bully’s snarl, equal eyes and – gasp! – a poker-straight nose. She wasn’t alone. In the ten minutes the flock by the taxicab shelter had twisted their faces in Aidelle’s direction, she’d filled a page of her pocketbook with sine, cosine, and tangent calculations. Now she’d run out of inked distractions. Well, she’d run out of ink.


“Masters.” Aphrodisya Vallente’s eyes swept down Aidelle in one sharp movement. “No dress today?”

Aidelle kept her mouth a wordless line.

“Shame,” Aphrodisya said. “Your shoddy frills would’ve well matched the shoddy lines of your features.”

Bile seared up Aidelle’s throat. She shot the shelter a glare. One girl, hand twirling locks, lowered her paper fan and displayed a sterile smile.

“No defence? Well, you cannot even—”

Aidelle’s cheeks flamed, and this time her words escaped. “What is it, Aphrodisya? Because I have my fiancé and you don’t?” Gah, curse her uncontrollable tongue!

Fibres of Aphrodisya’s hair frizzled in the August heat as she parted her vicious lips. “You know you don’t deserve him.”

Team Magenta - The Unchosen One

Genre: MG Adventure


Word Count: 30,000 words

Song: “You’re the Best Around” by Joe Esposito

Pitch: 12yo Peter wants to be a hero—enough to believe he’s chosen to fight a crime organization known as The Invisible Arm. His naive, nerdy ambition could get him arrested, killed, or even worse…expelled.


Third Street wasn’t busy, but Peter’s sister chose the worst moment to chase after her baseball.

At first, Peter’s brain refused to let him move. He tried to warn her—tell her to look both ways, but his voice didn’t work. When Sally’s TOMS stepped from the curb onto the sizzling street, he began to hyperventilate. A pickup truck sped toward her, unaware of the helpless child in its path.

Peter couldn’t wait a second longer. His sister was about to share fates with the careless deer that littered the highway. He sprung forward, reached for Sally and raised the other arm like a traffic cop.

“Halt!” The word burst from his mouth as the overwhelming heat took his breath away. He shut his eyes and braced for impact. A deafening pop shot down Third Street. Burnt rubber and exhaust fumes drifted over Peter and Sally, but the truck didn’t follow.

Peter opened his eyes and released his breath. His pants were damp, but he did it. He saved his sister. Was he a hero? It was hard to tell, but yes, yes he was.

A skin-and-bones boy slammed the car door, scratched his peach fuzz and examined the flat tire.

“Perfect.” He wiped his forehead and spit. “First it’s the muffler, now it’s a tire—rusted old hunk of scrap metal. Why don’t you die already?”

Peter turned to Sally. “Are you okay?” She clutched her baseball with the ungloved hand and nodded, unsure if she believed herself.

Team Magenta - The Haunting of Springett Hall

Genre: YA Paranormal

Title: The Haunting of Springett Hall

Word Count: 69,000

Song: Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo

Pitch: Lucy's such an incompetent ghost that nobody notices she's haunting Springett Hall, but she's certain she died trying to rectify some terrible mistake—one she must remember and set right before oblivion reclaims her forever.


Light drew me back from the void of oblivion. The sun’s rays pooled around me through a crack in red velvet curtains and spilled across the floor. I stood blinking at the morning sunlight, my mind as still and dark as a well. Shimmering flecks of dust hovered in the air. I waved to stir them, and they floated through my palm.

I gasped and jerked my hand back, staring at it. Through it, really. Even when I covered my eyes, I could see the furniture on the other side of the room: a grandfather clock with its hands stopped, a mahogany side table and sofa, and a portrait draped in black.

Someone had died.

I turned my translucent hands back and forth. Yes. Someone had.

My eyes tingled, but no tears came. I raced to the curtains to fling them open, but my fingers passed through their thick folds. Whimpering, I wrapped my arms around myself and paced.

What had happened to me? I ran my fingers over my face, my hair, my bustled dress. No injuries marred my body. But do ghosts remain as they were when they died or return to some earlier state? How was I supposed to know? I couldn’t even remember my name.

A thought shone past my confusion like a paraffin lamp. There was something I needed to do, some important task left unfinished. That fit my notion of ghosts. Didn’t they—we—always have a purpose binding us to this world?

Team Magenta - Little Miss BlogAlot

Genre: Upper MG/Contemporary

Title: Little Miss BlogAlot

Word Count: 36,000

Song: Secrets - by One Republic

Pitch: When thirteen-year-old Ami Sanchez’s anonymous tell-all blog gets outed by an act of social-revenge, Ami must decide if online companionship is enough or if she has the courage to fight for IRL friends. #BlogGirlProblems.


Ami felt the hooks of her training bra pop open in mid-stride. Her body went completely stiff, petrified to take another step. The tips of her ears and cheeks burned in color-coordinated mortification. She negotiated an intense prayer, even offering up her precious cell-phone for invisibility, but Ami knew she'd have no such luck.

Getting her period, a new pimple and now a faulty first bra, Ami might as well let a stream of brown toilet paper hang out of her jeans and just call it a day.

Chest-stares zoomed in, as if every kid in the hallway could see the turmoil going on underneath Ami's shimmery white tank top.

She forced herself to move, walking like a challenged robot over to her locker. She practically wore a blinking forehead sign that read: YUP, THAT'S RIGHT, MY MOM MADE ME WEAR A DEFECTIVE BRA!

Why was everyone gawking at her unfortunate hook-incident? It's not like she had boobs or anything. But her mom's argument that one day she would is what forced her to be the Monday Morning Stare Spectacular.

Using her notebook as a booby-shield, Ami forfeited all upcoming thirteenth birthday wishes for just one baggy-anything to be left in her locker.


Please, please, please...

"Yes," she whisper-cheered, when she discovered a wrinkled denim shirt crumpled beneath her gym sneakers. Ami scrambled to get her bare arms through the sleeves.

Now she reeked of musty hot locker. AwesomePew.

Team Magenta - The Lantern's Tithe

Genre: YA Fantasy

Title: The Lantern's Tithe

Word Count: 89,000

Song: Blackbird by The Beatles

Pitch: When Arcanu enrolls in the Academy, he expects to study the theory of magic. Not to be assigned to spy on his twin brother, who is fomenting a rebellion against everything the Academy stands for.



My brother's werelight sparked and flared in the darkness above me. He coaxed the golden orb from his fingertips, sending it drifting upwards to illuminate the room. His scarred hands flickered through a flurry of signs.

Father's here. He told me to wake you. He said he needed to talk to you as soon as possible–

I'll come see him right away,
I signed. Just let me get dressed.

Our father– here, now? It was too good to be true. I'd only seen him a handful of times in my life, but he always made me feel like I was his favorite son. Once, when I was little, I even promised him I'd take his place in the Council when I grew up.

What a pretty dream that had been. Pretty, and short-lived.

Could my father still be clinging to the wreckage of that dream? Was that why he'd come? If so, he'd be sorely disappointed.

As I shrugged on my tunic, I noticed that Lycænu was already dressed. He probably hadn't even tried to go to bed– his insomnia had worsened in the weeks since our mother's death. Without waiting for me to finish tying my boots, he darted through the splintering wooden doorway. I hurried after him, bootlaces trailing.

Our father sat cross-legged on the dirt floor. Lycænu knelt beside him, his werelight sallow against the harsher glow of the hearth. Eltenu, Lycænu, and me: a strange, sorry little family, but we were all we had left.

Team Magenta - Chasing Eveline

Genre: YA Contemporary

Title: Chasing Eveline

Word Count: 61,000

Song: “Both Sides Now”, Joni Mitchell

Pitch: Sixteen-year-old Ivy’s mom is long gone, but the unanswered questions linger. To get answers, though, Ivy must reunite their favorite 80s band Chasing Eveline. A concert is the only sure place to find her mom.


They say music is the key to the soul. Or maybe it’s the heart. I can’t remember exactly what my mom said that day she danced into my room with a new record for me to hear; I was only in fourth grade. I became a believer, though. And tonight my friend Matt and I hold a giant master key to all the teenage hearts and souls in this musty gym.

Or at least to some, I hope. Finding my mom depends on it.

I nudge Matt, whose face is glued to the computer screen at our DJ table. A vibrating speaker to our left thumps out music, so I yell into his ear, “Is it ready?”

He tilts his head toward me. “Geez, Ivy. I just loaded the disc.”

“Okay…sorry.” I step back. He sweeps his blond hair out of his eyes and returns to the computer.

I pace behind him, a nervous left followed by an excited right and back again. The musical brilliance of the greatest guitarist of all time will soon weave through these bodies and drift into every ear. My heart floats up with the blue and yellow balloons hovering overhead like a latex fog.

Matt still fidgets with the computer. Ugh.

My hand strums on my thigh. Near the entrance, Principal Henry stands with Narc 1 and Narc 2, and a wave of yawns travels across them. The newbie freshmen line the walls and cluster in groups. The mood is more like a casting call for an acne medication ad.

Team Magenta - Falling for Insanity

Genre: YA Contemporary

Title: Falling for Insanity

Word Count: 54,000

Song: The Scientist by Coldplay

Pitch: Jessica murdered her best friend's mother. Now in a mental institution, she must put her trust in the hands of a troubled intern to bring back her sanity, or risk losing her freedom forever.


I did not murder Ricardo Montanez.

Then why are my hands so filthy? Why are they so red?

But no, that’s not right. My hands are smooth and pale, empty and small. I stare at them, torn between the image I see in my head—shadows and blood—and the image I see right before my eyes.

Somewhere outside of the police cruiser I am sitting in, hordes of people are watching, waiting in silent horror. Red and blue lights flash. I hear voices, loud and demanding. They all seem to be asking the same question.

Who murdered Ricardo Montanez?

The police think it is me. In the morning, everyone will think it is me. Knowing this, I should be afraid. I should be terrified. But the fabric of my mind is unraveling, a quick spiral of thread piling on the floor of my thoughts. I cannot look away from my hands, cannot fathom what these hands have done, what these hands have lost.

If I try to fathom it, I will lose myself.

I am losing myself.

I have lost myself.

“Miss Lahmer?”

A man hovers over me, wearing a hastily tucked button-down and slacks that are two sizes too small. I see all of this out of the corner of my eye, since I cannot bother to look away from my hands, which have begun to shake. The man breathes heavily above me, smelling faintly of chemicals, and it is then that I know.

He’s a doctor.

Team Magenta - A Magic Dark & Bright

Genre: YA Gothic Romance

Title: A Magic Dark & Bright

Word Count: 84,000

Song: Storm Comin' by the Wailin' Jennys

Pitch: Amelia wanted to help the ghost in the woods; she didn’t count on unleashing a curse. As her classmates’ bodies pile up, she must exonerate the boy next door—or end up the next victim.


A woman haunted the woods behind my house.

I used to watch her from my bedroom window. She glowed silver in the moonlight, a pale wraith in a white dress that curled around her ankles and twisted in an ancient wind that didn't touch the pine trees around her.

My brother, Mark, used to tease me about my interest in her. Some days, he called her my obsession. On others, my overactive imagination. "Watch out, Amelia," he'd say, throwing his hand against his chest, "She’ll lure you out into the woods and steal your soul."

But that was before. I hadn't seen her in six months, not since the night she watched Mark die.

I pressed my palm flat against the screen and waited, like I had almost every night since I'd come home from the hospital. Nothing stirred outside; the line of forest along the edge of our yard stood still, black branches stretched toward the sky. Not even a breeze fluttered the gauzy curtains around my windows. The woods were empty.

Everything was empty.

"Come on," I whispered, like I could summon her with my words. The clock in the hallway chimed, its bells echoing through the silent house. Three in the morning. I sighed and turned from the window--if she hadn't shown up by now, she wouldn’t show up at all. Sometimes, on nights like this, when the corners of my brain went fuzzy from exhaustion, I wondered if she disappeared because of me.

Team Magenta - Tender Fragments

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Title: Tender Fragments

Word Count: 55,000

Song: Love and Happiness by Al Green

Pitch: Abused by her possessive stepfather, Nessie shields her mother from the truth with silence. Falling in love with David is ruining everything. Because Nessie can only keep one: her secret or her first love.


Usually, he hits me where no one will see it but I guess he felt like being sloppy today. I saw the punch from the corner of my eye. I had just enough time to throw up my arm to protect my head. My forearm received the brunt of the blow.

“What did I say to you? When I ask you a question, you answer me, out loud, none of this nodding shit, is that clear?” his voice boomed, echoing around the small kitchen, while I hunched in the corner for safety. The corner lined up with the front window. The drapes were open. If he hit me again, someone might see it.

“Yes,” I answered.

“I expect you to be back in this house before 3:30. Finish your chores and get out,” he stomped away, his thick work boots pounding against the linoleum. He kicked me in the back with those on once. It hurt to breathe for a week.

I moved my arm, wiggling my fingers, and making a fist. Not broken but it did hurt like hell. Standing up straight, I returned to the sink to finish washing the dishes. The lukewarm water soothed my hot forearm. I’d have a bruise within the hour.

No point crying about what happened. Half the time, I don’t even get angry. Shitty things happen to people all the time and you either deal with it or show weakness by asking for help.

I refused to be weak.

Team Magenta - The Unbelievable Misadventures of Avery Mann

Genre: MG Contemporary Fantasy

Title: The Unbelievable Misadventures of Avery Mann

Word Count: 70,000

Song: Semi-Charmed Life (if only for the title and not the lyrics)


After the Wicked Witch of the Midwest tricks Avery into releasing a monster, he must summon up some courage and control his ability to alter reality or watch his world transformed into a twisted fantasyland.


A breeze blew through the gazebo, bringing with it the scent of white and purple roses. I breathed in. Mmmm. The garden in Kensington Park smelled so much better than the bushes behind Ms. Crabtree’s compost heap—which had made a great hiding place last year, but required nose-plugs and deodorant sprays.

The garden was quiet, too.

Chip! Chip! Chip!


Three baby chipmunks poked their heads out of a rose bush.

“Again?” I put down my comic and tossed them the last few peanuts from my lunch bag.

They dashed out, stuffed their chubby cheeks, and raced back home. Not even a thanks. Oh well, what could I say? I was always a sucker for animals.

I glanced at my watch. It was almost noon on the first full day of summer vacation and nobody had bothered me here. Not my six older brothers. Not my arch-enemy Max “The Wild Thing” Lovell. Not—


A piece of paper flew into my face.

“Gah!” I yanked the thing off me, ready to rip it into subatomic particles, but then the word, “Magic” caught my eye. A thrill fluttered up from the bottom of my stomach to the back of my neck as I shoved the flapping flyer against the ground.

Madame Magpie's Magic Shoppe Grand Opening
Incredible magic tricks, strange curiosities, and more!
All customers get a free token for our fortune-telling machine. One winner will receive a $100 gift card!

My thoughts flashed with visions of vanishing boxes, levitating wands, and smoke bombs galore.

Team Magenta - How to Take a Life

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Title: How to Take a Life

Word Count: 83,000

Song: “Redemption” by The Strange Familiar

Pitch: Eliot always thought she’d be a Healer. But when she places as a Reaper she's forced to take lives instead of save them. Now she must accept her fate or be stripped of her birthright.


Eliot James believed in fate. She believed in it as if it was a physical thing she could make a wish on and then tuck into her pocket for safe keeping. She ignored the half-whispered predictions from her classmates about what their evaluations would say and continued to capture their tight smiles and wide eyes in thin, sweeping lines across the surface of her folder.

Music pumped from the earbuds of someone a row or two behind her. Someone else shuffled papers as if going over the transcripts and birth certificates they were required to bring for testing would somehow help them get the placement they wanted. But the incantations and charms they’d been taught at Fuller Academy—which masqueraded as a normal private school to the rest of the town—weren’t really a factor. Each student was born with a gift. Before the end of the day, Eliot would know for certain if she would spend the rest of her life killing people or saving them.

Her creamy leather jacket bunched around her forearm when she tugged her watch down her wrist. It’s getting late. They’ll have to hurry if they’re gonna get through all of us today.

She swiveled in her chair when a knitting needle poked her shoulder. Amelia leaned back, still pointing the blue metallic needle in Eliot’s direction. Amelia’s eyes were so dark it was hard to distinguish her pupils from her irises.

“Do you think anyone’s ever cheated on the evaluation?” Amelia asked.

Team Magenta - Songs of Change

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Title: Songs of Change

Word Count: 86,000

Song: "Try" by Pink

Pitch: Five-hundred-year-old elf Erissa must unite the elves and humans, magic-users and technologists driven apart by the Cataclysm that destroyed technology, or witness the destruction of everything she loves by an invading army of mechanically-enhanced humans.


Legend says powerful mechanisms protected ancient Galdor until the Cataclysm shattered the land a millennium ago, creating a hundred islands and destroying the technology. Mother's first prophecy showed an invasion force sweeping across the Isles. Her second showed a fiery sword stopping it.

- Erissa Filidh, 899 years After Cataclysm (yAC)

When I was fifteen and still learning the bard’s craft, I believed my future held no surprises. That was before I learned that the old tales about lost technologies understated the truth.

- Radha Darkstone, 1046 yAC

I. Song of Silence

Erissa Filidh glided through the pattern of her sword exercise. After four centuries, each movement was precise, automatic. As she finished the sequence, dripping with sweat despite the winter chill pervading her practice room, she paused in the unexpected silence. The sound of Radha's harp should fill the house.

Erissa relaxed as the first notes wafted through the doorway, then clenched her jaw when she realized they were not from her fifteen-year-old daughter's harp, but her own. She marched up the stairway, halting a foot from the harp. Her leaf-colored eyes looked like they could cut through flesh.

Radha's hands fell from the crystalline strings. Her eyes locked with her mother's as she rose, toppling her stool.

"Yes, I touched your precious harp. Someone should." She'd inherited Erissa's pointed ears and compact form, but her human father's dark skin and fiery temper.

Erissa froze. She required every ounce of the self-control gained during centuries of practice to keep from striking her insubordinate daughter.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Pitch Slam Twitter Party - My Music!

As the final round of Pitch Slam comes to a close, Managers trade, swap, make underhanded deals, and all but come to blows over amazing entries. I’m serious you guys, there were tears shed over losses and I-don’t-care-if-I-look-like-a-fool victory dances. You need to congratulate yourselves on a job well done because. I BS you not, a lot of this came down to personal preference and what we thought would interest our Execs, because the end game of this whole thing (outside of all the fun had, the great people you meet, and the feedback received) was to get requests, right? Right.

So many entries had strong writing and enticing premises that worked together to make the Managers lose. their. minds. In the end, some picks were made because, let’s face it, as human beings we all have our tastes. That being said, we’ve got a wide array of age categories and genres to display on Tuesday 4/29 at 8:oo am EST, so stay tuned for the reveal! And to watch the Execs (possibly) have their own skirmishes.

While you wait for the big show, we’ve got another #PitchSlam twitter party theme for you: #MyMusic. Well, not MY music, but your music! Who’s your favorite singer or band? What’s your favorite song? It can be anything, from opening themes on television shows to scores for movies. Composers are included, from Beethoven and Bach to John Williams and Hanz Zimmer, back again.

Keep it going, party people!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pitch Slam, You're Going to Vegas!

Due to technical difficulties, meaning the internet did what it likes to do from time to time and shut down completely on my end, this post was delayed by a few hours. But that’s okay, here it is now and OMG, is this really happening? Have we gotten through all of the feedback and all of the critiques? I am SO excited!
We have been waiting for these R&Rs. The battles over certain stories have already begun behind the scenes, so let’s rock this joint! The VEGAS! round submission window opened at12:00am EST on 4/26, and as an added bonus we’ve decided to keep it open for an extra day. All entries need to be in by 11:59 pm EST on 4/27, but there’s no need to rush. Make sure everything is as perfect as you can get it before hitting send. Anything entered before or after the indicated times will be deleted without being read. Now, on to formatting.
Check it, we need to keep the entries as uniform as possible since we’re pretty much copying and pasting onto our blogs, so we’re gonna go over this one mo’ ‘gain.
Name: Real name (Writing as such-and-such if you’re using a pen name)
Genre: This includes both age category and genre. Fiction is not a genre. YA/MG etc on its own is not a genre. Please pick ONE genre and possibly a sub-genre. Adult Paranormal Romance is a proper genre. YA Sci-Fi Horror is a proper genre. MG Magical Realism Paranormal Romance Horror is not a genre. An easy way to do this is ask yourself, if my book was in a store, what would the sign on the shelf say?
Title: Your story
Word Count: xx,000. Round to the nearest thousandth.
Song: This isn’t gonna influence anything. It’s more for fun, so don’t stress about it. Tell us what song best exemplifies your story!
Pitch: Your revised pitch. 35 words max.
250: Your revised first page single spaced with one line between paragraphs and NO indentations. This goes for pitches and first 250. Notice the space between each line in the entry information above the pitch as well. *Infomercial gesture*
For the first 250, don’t stop in the middle of a sentence, but here’s the thing about that. If you have 247, 248, 249 words and the sentence stops, end it there. Don’t go to 250 and then up to 260 or something cause the first word was the 250th. Aim for 255 at the most. You have more than that? Make it work.
Please type Pitch Slam: TITLE  (Your title, not the word title) into the subject line.
Everyone’s been pretty good about this so far, but I’m gonna say it again. Just in case. If you did NOT enter the previous rounds, you cannot enter this round.
Any questions, check the FAQ page. If your question is now found there, hit up the comments below or @ me on twitter. The 50 finalists are going to be chosen from this submission pool, so put your best foot forward and GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
While all of the lovely entries are coming in, we’re gonna keep the #PitchSlam twitter party train going’! Today’s theme is one I enjoy quite a bit: #PlaysMyMC. Tell us who would play your protagonist. Heck, go crazy, secondary characters, villains, comedic relief, give’em all! And for the cute ones, post pictures. ~_^
That’s it for submission details. Time to dive into the slush and find my rockstars in the rough!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Pitch Slam Twitter Party - Cool Parts!

Who’s enjoying these Twitter party’s? I know I am, I love getting the tidbits from the stories, which provide a bit of insight into the workings of the manuscript. Okay, enough gushing, on to the important bits. Today’s party theme - #CoolParts. You all know what this one’s about, oh yeah. Post a line or two from your book that you think is cool. It doesn’t matter if it comes from the beginning, the middle, the end, an awesome scene you had to cut but still think rocks, post it!

This one is popular, people have played it during just about every writing contest I’ve seen. Make sure to include the #PitchSlam tag when you post your #CoolParts, otherwise we’ll miss them! And we want to watch all that awesome roll on buy as we dish out feedback on the first 250 slush. Helps pass the time!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pitch Slam Twitter Party - Theme Songs!

It’s time to announce today’s Twitter party theme - #ThemeSongs. These theme songs cab be for anything about the book. Give us songs for characters, scenes, chapters, couples, setting! Anything that has to do with your book is fair game.

And the theme songs can be from any book you’ve ever written, or what you’re currently working on. We don’t care, we want all the awesome music! So join us on the #PitchSlam tag and post links to videos, to lyrics, to you belting out ballads at karaoke night, just keep the party going!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pitch Slam Call Backs! And Manuscript Music! Closed!


Before we get started, I want to emphasize that EVERYONE who entered the auditions round needs to enter the Call Backs round, even if you haven’t received feedback for your pitch yet. You need to enter ALL THREE ROUNDS to be considered for the finals.

If you didn’t enter the first round, you cannot enter any subsequent rounds.

And for those who didn’t get feedback yet: If you received a confirmation email that says your entry made it, you’re in. If you’re in, you’ll get feedback. If you haven’t, you will. We’re typing up 179 individual letters, while carrying on some semblance of normal lives, so it’s coming. I think a 48 hour turn around time is pretty quick considering how fast the industry moves as a whole, don’t you?

Now, let’s get this show on the road!

Just like before, e-mails will be accepted from now until 11:59 PM EST tomorrow, Wednesday 4/23. Anything sent before or after that will be deleted without being read. PLEASE send in your first 250 so we don’t have to bounce anyone, because anyone who doesn’t send their first page, even if they sent their pitch, will be dropped.

Today you’re ONLY entering your first 250 words of your COMPLETED and POLISHEDmanuscript, along with all of the other information like title and genre and stuff, cause we wanna know who ya are. For the full story on submission details click here. Everyone will receive confirmation for their entry.

Again, pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease read all of the deets so you know what to do, when to do it, and how to avoid being bounced during any of the rounds. A rundown on how said rounds will go can be found here.

Any questions or concerns, hit me up in the comments or the #PitchSlam twitter tag, and read the comments on the posts to see if someone already asked what you were going to. There is also going to be a FAQ page provided, to watch out for that.

This moment also marks the beginning of Twitter Party day three! #ManuscriptMusic. Post your playlist for the manuscript on your blog and link it on Twitter so we can check out your jams! This playlist should include any music you listened to while writing.

I know writers love sharing about their process, so here’s another chance! I seriously cannot wait to read these first pages and check out the music that helped bring about these awesome stories. Let’s rock this joint!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pitch Slam Twitter Party - Last Lines!

Thanks for sharing all of those awesome #FirstLines with us yesterday! We had a blast reading them, and it helped pass the time as we crafted feedback for the pitches. Now we’re on to day two, and yet another #Pitchslam twitter party!

Today’s theme is #LastLines. Same rules from First Lines applies, so keep sharing. Share from the manuscript you submitted to the contest, share from your current WIP, share from some other manuscript you wrote, share if you didn’t enter, all the sharing!

Just remember to share on the #PitchSlam tag so we can read–and possibly join in on–the rockin’ endings you’ll be spinning~.

Pitch Slam Twitter Party - First Lines!

I was not kidding when I said we were gonna party every day over on the #PitchSlam twitter tag. I don’t care if you entered or didn’t, you’re invited to join in on the fun.

Today’s party theme: #FirstLines. Post the first line from your book in twitter, along with the tags. Star and retweet ones that catch your eye, make connections with folks you think cooked up some amazing openers, cheer each other on, all that awesome stuff. Plus, the #FirstLines tag isn’t just for book beginnings, it can be for chapters, too.

We’ll have a new theme each day this week while we roll through revisions, re-submissions, and eventually band selections. Rock on, Pitch Slam!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Pitch Slam Submission Window #1 is CLOSED!


The Window is now CLOSED

It's here! Pitch Slam is here! Time to audition for the first round. Remember, it's open for a full 24 hours, so no need to rush. On the flip side of that coin, make sure you don't wait until it's too late. E-mails will be accepted from now until 11:59 PM EST. Anything sent after that will be deleted without being read.

ALSO remember, today you're ONLY entering your 35 word pitch. For the full story on submission details click here. Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease read all of the deets so you know what to do, when to do it, and how to avoid being bounced during any of the rounds. A rundown on how said rounds will go can be found here.

Any questions or concerns, hit me up in the comments or the #PitchSlam twitter tag, and read the comments on the posts to see if someone already asked what you were going to! Great minds think alike and all that.

Everyone at R&R Management is so stoked to read all of the awesome you guys plan to throw our way. Once you've entered, or even if you don't, come hang out with us over on twitter! We've got a party planned for every day of the contest. Anyone who can tell me which song lyrics are hidden in that last sentence is totally a rocker at heart.

Okay folks, single file, down this hall, round the corner, and first door on the left. Bive it all you've got!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pitch Slam Submission Details!

T-minus four days and counting until Auditions open for Pitch Slam. Who else is excited! I seriously cannot wait to get this party started, but we need to share a few more details beforehand so everything can run as smoothly as possible.

This contest is for COMPLETED and POLISHED manuscripts, not novellas, not poetry, not screenplays, not short story collections, not collections of any of the aforementioned nots. Pitch Slam is open to all Adult, New Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade stories of all genres.

You’ll need a 35 word pitch and the first 250 words of your manuscript to enter. The 35 word pitch is a hard number, meaning 35 is the number of the words thou shalt pitch. Any previous number is acceptable. 36 is right out. Pleeeeease don’t make us give you the X over something like that.

For the first 250, don’t stop in the middle of a sentence, but here’s the thing about that. If you have 247, 248, 249 words and the sentence stops, end it there. Don’t go to 250 and then up to 260 or something cause the first word was the 250th.

A couple of reminders about the rounds:

Auditions open 4/20 at 12:00 am EST and will stay open for a full 24 hours. During this time you submit your 35 word pitch ONLY. Feedback* will be given.

Call Backs open 4/23 at 12:00 am EST and will stay open for 24 hours as well. During this time you submit your first 250 words ONLY. Feedback* will be give.

VEGAS! opens 4/26 at 12:00 am EST and, yup, will stay open for 24 hours. During this time, submit your revised pitch and first 250 TOGETHER. This is the pool managers will pull from.

Managers will make their picks and those will go up 4/29 for the Execs to make requests. For a more in depth look at the rounds, go here.

Okay guys, pay attention to this part. Just as agents have submission guidelines, so do we at R&R Management. Again, please don’t give us a silly reason to discount your entries, cause we wanna read all of the awesomeness!

The format for each round is the same. Every time you submit, the entry needs to be single spaced with one line between paragraphs and NO indentations. This goes for pitches and first 250.

I understand sometimes email clients screw stuff up, but a way to avoid this is DON’T copy and paste directly from your document into the email message. Instead, paste it into a new document and clear all of the formatting, then apply the contest requirements. It’ll seriously take two minutes, if that long, and save everyone–yourself included–a lot of headache in the long run.

This is what your entry should look like:

Name: Real name (Writing as such-and-such if you’re using a pen name)

Genre: This includes both age category and genre. Fiction is not a genre. YA/MG etc on its own is not a genre. Please pick ONE genre and possibly a sub-genre. Adult Paranormal Romance is a proper genre. YA Sci-Fi Horror is a proper genre. MG Magical Realism Paranormal Romance Horror is not a genre. An easy way to do this is ask yourself, if my book was in a store, what would the sign on the shelf say?

Title: Your story

Word Count: xx,000. Round to the nearest thousandth.

Song: This isn’t gonna influence anything. It’s more for fun, so don’t stress about it. Tell us what song best exemplifies your story!

Pitch and/or 250: For the first round it’ll be pitch only, second round first 250 only, third round both together with pitch followed by 250.

Please type Pitch Slam: TITLE into the subject line for each round.

And that’s it! Simple right? Oh, you probably need the email address you’ll be submitting to, that’s kinda important. ALL entries are to be sent, during the appropriate submission window, to pitchslamcontest (at) gmail (dot) com. For anyone who may have skipped everything else to get to the email address, please read the entire post for info on how to avoid the boot.

NOW that’s it. Any questions, concerns, hit us up in the comments. I hope you guys are pumped, cause I’m pumped! And I can’t wait to hang out on the #PitchSlam hashtag with you all during the week. We have lots of fun events planned for Twitter, check out the rounds postfor details on those shenanigans. Now, I have just one more question to ask…
Dooooooom is reeeeaaadyyyyyyy!

***Feedback provided will be general but still helpful. In other words, no line-edits.

READ THIS! – Anything sent before or after the entry windows of the second and third rounds will be discarded. Any entrant who fails to supply their work for said subsequent rounds will be disqualified from the contest as a whole, and no submissions will be accepted for ANY round unless the entrant participated in the previous ones. What this means is, in order to make it to VEGAS, an entrant needs to have participated in both the Audition and Call Backs rounds. No trying to squeeze an entry in at the last minute. Also, no switching up manuscripts in the middle of the game. You pick a story, that’s the one you carry through with.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pitch Slam! The Execs!

You guys, Pitch Slam is less than a week away. I know! It's totally crazy, and we're so excited to get started! But before we do, we've got more schway people to introduce. We know you've been waiting for this, rockaholics. The awesome Execs from Literary Records who'll be making request on your work during the battle round!
Roseanne Wells of the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency!

Uwe Stender of the TriadaUS Literary Agency!

Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Literary Agency!

Sarah Negovetich of the Corvisiero Literary Agency!

Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson, Inc.!

Taylor Haggerty of the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency!

Check out their agency websites and twitter feeds for details on what gets them groovin', and remember there's always a possibility for Ninja Agents to jump in for a dance. Keep an eye out for the submission details post where we'll go over how to format ALL of your entries as well as where to send them to. In the meantime, tune in over on the #PitchSlam tag on Twitter!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Pitch Slam Teams!

Pitch Slam is right around the corner and all five teams have been announced! Below you will find links to check them out so you don't have to go searching through the posts.

Keep an eye out for the Executive's (agents) introductions and new Pitch Slam news! And if you have any questions or just want to say you're excited about Pitch Slam, hit us up on the #PitchSlam tag! We'd love to hear from you!

Team Spyder - L.L. McKinney and Kimberly Vanderhorst. #TeamSpyder
Team Electric - Renée Ahdieh and Ricki Schultz. #TeamElectric
Team Stray Tats - Lucas and Natasha. #TeamStrayTats
Team Sweeter - Michelle Hauck and Carla Rehse. #TeamSweeter
Team Magenta - Jamie Corrigan (Me!) and Brandi M Lynch. #TeamMagenta
Check out all of the teams above if you haven't already. And if you have any questions for us, please feel free to ask. We won't bite, I swear!

Until next time, happy reading and writing everyone.

And here's a little video for you all to enjoy! Long Live Rock & Roll!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pitch Slam: Introducing Team Spyder!

Here we are folks, the finale for the Managers at R&R. Last, but certainly not least, this pair draws their inspiration from the power chords and chiming riffs of alternative rock band Nickelback. Bringing it home is Team Spyder!

Manager L. L. McKinney, aka El, is all about the voice. A lover of sound over genre, she falls for the way a song hits the ear, not the category its placed in, and this goes doubly for what she reads. Though she electrifies the genres of YA urban fantasy and sci-fi (with a little cyberpunk thrown into the remix) she'll rock out to anything well written with engaging characters. From contemporary to space opera, all genres can strike the right chord. To check out what she's usually vibing to, follow her on twitter @Tangynt.

El's talent scout Kimberly Vanderhorst is excited to put her unique mix of Canadian charm and eclectic tastes to work. Though she writes MG/YA spec-fic, powerful, emotion-packed stories are what will get this talent scout grooving to your beat. Check out her twitter feed @Kymburleev for insights into what gets her toes tapping.

#TeamSpyder is ready to blow minds, and speakers, during the battle round! And they round off the awesome pairs here at R&R Management who'll be giving you feedback on your entries, but the fun is far from over.

This set might be finished, but we're just getting started. Ready to meet the Execs from Literary Records who'll be making requests for your stories? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pitch Slam: Introducing Team Electric!

Keeping the show going is another amazing R&R Management pair. These two draw their inspiration from the bass bumping, sizzling synths from electronica artist Calvin Harris. Presenting the amazing Team Electric!

Manager Renée Ahdieh is a lover of pretty words and a seeker of epic talent! She writes YA fantasy, and her novel The Wrath and the Dawn will be published by Penguin/Putnam in 2015. Her life goals include becoming Twitter-verifed and discovering what truly matters. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog. You can find her managing all kinds of mischief on Twitter at @rahdieh.

Renée's talent scout Ricki Schultz is a grammar guru and a professional nerd. She has a keen eye for talent, and her sharp wit as an author of contemporary YA fiction makes her feedback just as entertaining as it is constructive. You can find her waxing poetic and making her followers cackle on Twitter at @RickiSchultz.

Both Ricki and Renée are represented by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency. What can we say? Birds of a feather.
#TeamElectric is ready to bring the shock and awe to #PitchSlam! That's four of five, leaving our final team to be revealed soon. Stay tuned for our last manager scout duo!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pitch Slam: Introducing Team Stray Tats!

It's time to get to know another R&R Management team. These cool cats draw their inspiration from the swingin' beats and slick sound of the rockabilly band The Stray Cats. Showing pride in their music and ink, here's Team Stray Tats!

An agented writer of YA fantasy with heart (and a touch of weirdness), Manager Lucas is on the prowl for unique acts with catchy vocals layered over a thrumming bassline. He’s keen on stories with a little edge and/or LGBT characters. If you own the stage with innovation, strut your stuff Lucas’s way. To check out more of Lucas’s sly-cat-class, shimmy over to Twitter @LucasMight.

Lucas' Talent Scout Natasha rocks the town with lyrics that stick around long after the song ends. Though she writes YA Contemporary fantasy and thrillers that promote diversity, gut-wrenching page-turners get this Talent Scout moving. If your sound will make this rock’n’roll queen want to dance, then shake this way. To check out more of Nat's slinky-cat-style, strut over to Twitter @agirlnamednat.

#TeamStrayTats is pair number three, leaving two more acts in this stellar host lineup. Stay tuned for the last couple of teams, as well as the Execs post where we highlight the agents who're helping make #PitchSlam possible. Got any questions for the teams, or in general? Hit us in the comment, and tag us on twitter. Until next time.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pitch Slam Battle Blitzes!

We're going to change the rules a bit--we can totally do that--though not for everyone. This one goes out to all the hard working agents out there helping us writers come that much closer to our dreams, we're gonna spice things up for ya.

Okay, that's enough of my Casey Kasem impersonation.

Remember how we said the Execs of Literary Records will make requests based on the music recording sales thresholds? If you don't, here's a reminder of the system.

Demo Tape – Query and first 5 pages
Silver Record – Query and first 10 pages
Gold Record – Query and first 50 page
Platinum Record – Query and first 100 pages
Diamond Record- Query and full

Last time we said each Exec gets an infinite number of tapes to use, but certain records will be limited. We're changing that bit. Every agent can bid whatever they want on any entry they like, and instead of the Diamond Records being a first come first serve type deal we're gonna handle ties with what we're calling Battle Blitzes!

When the Band picks go up April 29th, the only ones who'll be able to comment are the Execs. They'll be able to dish out their requests from 8am EST on 4/29 through 3pm EST on 4/30. Starting at 3pm on 4/30 we'll have the Challenge Round on twitter under the tag #BattleBlitz, where all ties will be broken with either music trivia questions or bouts of "finish these lyrics."

For example How many Backstreet Boys are there? or Finish these lyrics "I Love Rock and Roll, so put another dime __ ___ ______, ____!"

Agents who are tied with the same request will be tagged with the blitz. Whomever answered the question or finishes the lyrics first will be declared winner! The other challenger will be bumped back to the previous level. Example, if the Blitz happens at Diamond level, the loser will drop down to Gold, Gold to Silver, so forth and so on.

That's it! Anyone have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to let us know. And get ready to meet another awesome Manager and Talent Scout team tomorrow!