Monday, November 26, 2012

Pitch Wars submissions and About me!

 It's here! The day you've been waiting for. Time to officially sign up for Pitch Wars and have your opportunity nab a mentor. In this post you'll find my wish list (what I'm looking for in an MS to champion), my bio (stuff you need to know about me as a coach) and the sign up details. Makes for a long post so let's get into it.

I'm taking submissions of all genres, as long as it's YA or NA. But What I'm really hanging out to see is:
  • Emotional Contemporary - Whether it's making me laugh or making me cry, I want a contemporary full of feeling. Think Anna and the French Kiss or Hushed.
  • Genre Mash-Ups - I'm the Glee Queen of Pitch Wars. If you've mashed genres together then I want to see it!
  • Speculative Fiction - Alternative histories, like The Curse Worker Series, or genre mixes of SciFi, Horror, Fantasy or Paranormal (like a genre mash-up but more specific).
  • Historicals - preferably mashed up with another genre, like The Falconer by Elizabeth May (yet to be released but the blurb looks awesome!). 
  • Science-Fiction - I prefer more emphasis on the Fi than the Sci, but I am a huge fan. Think Across the Universe.
  • Magical Realism - A contemporary setting with just a touch of magic, like The Locket.
Me and the first book I was published in.
About me:

I'm a writer of YA and NA weird fiction and contemporary fiction, a blogger at YAtopia, Writing Teen Novels and Down Under Wonderings, a regular speaker at The Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival and a NA/YA intern for Entangled, so I've got my finger on the pulse for what editors are looking for (which is also what agents are looking for!). I've also been a host for Pitch Madness and had lots of agents request from the MSes I picked from my blog. I'm a CP for Wendy Higgins, Aimee Salter, Suzanne Van Rooyen and Stacey Nash. I have a habit of having weird profile pics and have been stalked by women because of my great taste in shoes.


Wendy Higgins, author of Sweet Peril and Sweet Evil: "Sharon CPed for me and gave me the invaluable advice that Aussie guys don't really use Shelia to refer to females."

Angela Slatter, Australian short story Queen with anthologies including Sourdough and The Girl With No Hands: "Under my mentorship Sharon will never write a MS with a MC who suffers from sad sack syndrome again."


Editer Kitty is editing
Jeyn Roberts, author of Dark Inside and Rage Within: "I've been friends with Sharon for a couple of years now. I fully endorse her ability to push cats off her laptop...I mean mentor.

Suzanne Van Rooyen, author of Dragon's Teeth and Obscura Burning:  "Sharon's good for my ego. She keeps saying she loves everything."

Stacey Nash, Sharon's CP and contributor for Authors Promoting Authors: "I love having Sharon as a CP, even if she's a dialogue formatting freak."


Submissions start today (11/26) ! The cut off time to get your applications (query & first five pages of manuscript) in is 8PM EST on December 5. 

Send your applications to Writers can apply for up to 3 coaches. The coaches' categories are set. Coaches can only consider the categories they've signed up for. Writers cannot apply for a coach that is not in their category.

For additional information about this contest go HERE (link to your post announcing the contest)

·        This is open to finished manuscripts only.

·         You may only enter one manuscript.

·         Only the genres requested by each coach will be considered for the contest.


 Subject line: Pitch Wars Application: Coach Name you want to apply for: Title (Example: Pitch Wars Application: Brenda Drake: GONE WITH THE WIND)

 Name: Your Name

Genre: The genre of your manuscript

 Word Count: The word count of your manuscript 

Query letter here  (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.

First five pages of the manuscript here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph. 


REMINDER: You can send an application for up to 3 coaches.

 Check back soon for a complete list of the amazing agents participating in the contest. There's over a dozen!

Today all the coaches are posting bios/wish lists on their blogs. So before choosing your top 3 picks, check all the coaches' posts in your category before deciding which coach to submit. To jump from blog to blog, just click on our pictures below.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Opal Trailer Reveal with giveaway

I fell in love with the Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout and I'm thrilled to host the Opal Trailer reveal. It's so hot it's sizzling! You can read a fun interview with Jennifer about her writing here.


Opal (The third book in the Lux Series)
Available in both print and digital version on December 18, 2012 at


Check out Jennifer L. Armentrout on the following sites:

I'm going to giveaway a preorder of Opal to one lucky person. All you have to do is comment on what book are you hanging out for to read that will be released in 2012 or 2013. For me it's The Falconer by Elizabeth May and Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins (even though I've already read it =P).

You have until 30 November 2012 to enter. Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pitch Wars!

We're extremely excited to announce an upcoming event where  agented authors, industry interns, and editors team up with aspiring writers to shine up their manuscripts and pitches to present to some awesome agents.

Here's the deets...

·         The teams will consist of 1 agented author or industry intern or editor (coaches) and 1 aspiring author.

·         December 1: The coaches (listed on the linky below) will post on their blogs what genre/category they want to coach. They'll be very specific genres. Aspiring writers will hop around and decide which coaches best fit their manuscripts.
·         December 5: Aspiring writers will submit 3 "applications" to their top choices for coaches to the contest email ( during the allotted times (8AM to 8PM EST). That means, participants will send three separate emails to the contest email addressing each with one of their three top choices for coach. 

·         December 5 through December 10: Coaches will read the applications and pick teammates.The coaches don't have to pick from their applications. If a coach passes on an application, it is then up for grabs and another coach, if they haven't connected to their applicants, can snatch it after notifying the applicant and if the applicant chooses the coach. 

·         December 12: Teams will be announced. On the announcement post there will be instructions on how the winners must send their work. 

·         December 12 through January 16: Each coach will read their teammate's manuscript and give general notes on any issues they find. The coach will help their teammate get his or her pitches ready for the agent round. 

·         Note: The material for the agent round will be a 3 sentence pitch and the first 250 words of your manuscript. Coaches will read manuscripts and query letters only once and give notes. It is up to the writer to use the notes from their coaches to get the manuscript and query letter in as best shape as they can to send to requesting agents. The coaches will critique the three sentence pitch and first 250 words. The coaches will read them as many times as they deem necessary. In no way will writers expect the coaches to read the manuscript and query letter more than once or the pitches more than twice.  

·         January 20: Coaches will submit shined pitches to the contest email. 

·         January 23 and 24: Agents will read and make requests on the pitches they like (it is likely that not all participants will get requests). 

·         January 25: We'll announce the team with the most requests and who will take home the winning prizes (an amazon gift card for each). 

·         This is open to finished manuscripts only. 

·         You may only enter one manuscript. 

·         Only the genres requested by each coach will be considered for the contest.


Subject line: Pitch Wars Application: Coach Name you want to apply for: Title (Example: Pitch Wars Application: Brenda Drake: GONE WITH THE WIND)

Name: Your Name 

Genre: The genre of your manuscript 

Word Count: The word count of your manuscript 

Query letter here  (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.

First five pages of the manuscript here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.

 REMINDER: You can send an application for up to 3 coaches (Note from Sharon: If you like YA - pick me =P).

 Our mentors ...


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Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Last month, my partner in crime, John announced CritFest, our short story critique competition for writers of the ages 13-20. It is so epic! You get to write a short story and submit it for the chance to receive feedback from an industry professional.
Up until December 20 (10 - we've extended the deeadline for you NaNoers) you can submit your short stories to CritFest (see the bottom of the post for the rules courtesy of John!). The ten stories, as chosen by myself and John, will win full critiques of their short stories (done privately) from one of the industry professionals below!
If you don’t make the top ten, the ten runner-ups that John and I choose will move to a separate voting stage. Each of these entries will be posted on the blog for everyone to vote for their favorite and possibly make critiques of the entries. The top three will win fantastic prizes, which will be along the lines of ARCs, perhaps some sort of critique from us, and other things. One random commenter will also win a prize. Note: If you don’t want to enter for this part of the contest—only the first one, where your work is not posted—please say so in your entry.
The awesome industry professionals participating, ranging from editors to literary agents to authors who are all full of knowledge and sure know how to critique. They include:
Shade (Shade, #1) Possess Code Name Verity
Ginger Clark, top-notch literary agent at Curtis Brown Ltd, representing fantastic YA authors like Elizabeth Wein, Jeri Smith-Ready, Gretchen McNeil, and more!
Jodi Meadows
Incarnate (Newsoul, #1) Asunder (Newsoul, #2)
Jodi Meadows, author of the popular INCARNATE (HarperCollins, 2012) and ASUNDER (HarperCollins, 2013)
Victoria Schwab
The Near Witch (The Near Witch, #1) The Archived (The Archived, #1)
Victoria Schwab, author of THE NEAR WITCH (Disney, 2011) and the totally amazing THE ARCHIVED (Disney, 2013)
Leigh Fallon
Carrier of the Mark (Carrier Trilogy, #1) Shadow of the Mark (Carrier Trilogy, #2)
Leigh Fallon, author of the popular CARRIER OF THE MARK (HarperTeen, 2011) and SHADOW OF THE MARK (HarperTeen, 2013)
Kat Zhang
What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)
Kat Zhang, author of of the newly released (and excellent) WHAT’S LEFT OF ME (HarperTeen, 2012)
Thumbnail photo of children's and young adult author Cath Crowley
Graffiti Moon A Little Wanting Song
Cath Crowley, author of the award-winning GRAFFITI MOON (Pan Macmillan, 2010), A LITTLE WANTING SONG (Knopf, 2010), and more!
Jeyn Roberts
Dark Inside (Dark Inside, #1) Rage Within (Dark Inside, #2)
Jeyn Roberts, author of the the thrilling DARK INSIDE (Simon & Schuster, 2011) and RAGE WITHIN (Simon & Schuster, 2012)
Emily Steele, awesometastic editorial director at Medallion Press, publishing YA authors like Rachele Alpine and many more!

(We’re still looking for two more participants, which we’ll most definitely find by January. If you’re an agent or editor or published YA author and would like to participate, please email John at TeenRiter(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks!)

As a recap, the rules (courtesy of John from his CritFest post):
- To participate, you must be of the ages 13-20. No exceptions.
- You don’t need a finished manuscript or anything special. All you need is to write and polish a 1.5k-5k  word short story (we've lowered the minimum word count from 3K) and submit it to us during the appropriate time.
- For your entry to be counted, you must tell us in the entry whether or not you’d like to participate in the voting stage, too, in case you end up to be one of the ten runners up.
- The story must not have been previously published on your blog or elsewhere.
- Only one entry per person.
- Please only enter if you’re genuinely interested in a critique from these industry pros. The critiques will be nice but honest, so if you’re looking for a cheerleader, this contest is not for you.
Submission Info & Dates:
- The short stories should be 3k – 5k words in length and should be some form of Young Adult, although genres within the Young Adult category work too. Other than that, anything goes. There’s no set prompt; just a short story.
- You can start submitting your short story NOW, (if you even have it written yet) but it may be best to hold off for a few weeks because we’ll be running short story writing advice posts and John have an opening paragraph critique going on throughout November, which should hopefully help make your short stories even better.
- The deadline for entries is December 10th.
- We’ll announce the top ten finalists as well as who will critique their stories on January 10th, and we’ll post the ten runners up for the voting round the next day.
- There’s plenty of time to get your short stories written and polished, but those of you doing NaNoWriMo might want to start writing them now then go back and edit them in December before the entry window closes. I know how busy November is with NaNoWriMo, so I made sure there’s still time for you guys. Don’t worry!
- Please send your submissions to TCWTContests(at)gmail(dot)com. Short stories should be attached as a .doc file. We’ll respond with a receipt of confirmation after one week. If you don’t get a confirmation after that time, please resend and let us know via comment. Formatting of the email should look like this:
Name/Pen Name:
One sentence pitch of your short story*:
Whether you’d like to have your story posted on the blog, if you’re one of the runners-up:
[Attach the short story as a .doc]
And that’s it!
If you decide to participate…
This event is obviously pretty large, and we’d really appreciate anything you can do to spread the word. Tweets, facebook posts, etc. are awesome (but not required). Or if you blog, we’d really appreciate any mention of CritFest in a post, or even adding our CritFest badge to your sidebar. You can get the HTML for that here:

Or grab the image here:

So, if you have any questions drop it to me in the comments.

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Monday, November 12, 2012


I've been having a few giveaways so it's time to announce some winners! Don't forget though you can win a copy of CURSED by Jennifer L Armentrout at the moment on this post here. And if you're a teen who likes writing you can enter CritFest, which I'm cohosting on Teens Can Write Too.

10 Page Critiques
Critiques with Jordie: Kenya Wright, Raven Paramour and Laurie Litwin.
Critiques with me: Samantha Farkas, Mandi Lynn and Holly D.

Sweet Peril

Sweet Peril preorder: Maidenveil
Sweet Evil: Sandy (if you already have Sweet Evil we can swap it for Sweet Peril)
Sweet Evil Bookmark: Lacey T
10 Page Critique: Tayte Hunter

Possessing Freedom

Heather Smith and Mia Rose.

Congrats everyone!

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Giveaway - Cursed by Jennifer L Armentrout

I've interviewed the wonderful Jennifer L Armentrout on Writing Teen Novels and I'm giving away a copy of her book Cursed.

To enter into the draw all you have to do is comment on what was your favourite part of the interview, but you can earn extra entries too. Fill in your details in the rafflecopter. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Literary Agent Interview with Jordy Albert

Jordy Alberts from Corvisiero Literary Agency has joined me for an interview. There's even a critique giveaway at the bottom for those of you who want to tighten the opening of your manuscript.

Sharon: Tell us a bit about your journey to becoming an agent.

Jordy: A career in publishing has always been something that’s interested me, but as I’ve discovered, it’s a very competitive field, so I decided that I would love to discover new authors and help them achieve their publishing goals. I really wasn’t sure where to start, but a friend pointed me in the direction of Marisa Corivisiero’s blog. I emailed her with some questions, and she emailed me back asking if I’d be interested in helping her go through queries and submissions, learning from her in the process. Of course, I said yes! She is a complete doll. In March she opened her own agency, and it’s been an amazing experience working with the Corvisiero team! 

Sharon: What advice do you have for anyone aspiring to become an agent?

 Jordy: Read. A lot! Know what is selling and what there is too much of in the current market. Keep a look out for internships on different job boards, such as the one on Publishers Marketplace or Or visit different agency websites to find out if they have any opportunities currently available. Follow agents and agencies on Twitter and Facebook because they will often make announcements when they are looking for new blood.

Sharon: The question that every aspiring author is hanging out to know – what is on your submission wish list?

Jordy: I’m currently looking to acquire Adult, Young Adult/Middle Grade. I’m particularly interested in romance, especially historical (Regency) or paranormal. I would love to see more time travel and mythology in submissions. I’d also love to see more stories involving travel and competitions.

Sharon: You’ve talked about the importance of including character motivation in queries on your blog. What other key things should writers include in their queries?
Jordy: I would encourage writers to focus on hooking the agent. Your query is sort of like the blurb on the back of a book (other materials might be requested, so please make sure you always check guidelines before submitting). Grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more. Recently a number of agents participated in a pitch contest on Twitter: #PitMad. The authors did an absolutely amazing job at catching our attention in just the character limit. Because we receive so many submissions, we can usually tell within the first few sentences if it’s something we’d like to take a closer look at, so you have to make sure you stand out, and that we’ll remember your query.

Sharon: You also work as a freelance editor. How important is it for authors to take the plunge and get a professional to look over their manuscript before they submit?

Jordy: I wouldn’t say that it’s necessary to get your manuscript looked at professionally. But I would recommend finding Beta readers you trust, joining a critique group, or partnering with a writer friend. Also, proofread because I’ll often come across simple grammatical errors that probably would have been caught by double checking.

Sharon: In both your agenting and editing experience, what are the key mistakes authors are making with their stories?

Jordy: Many stories start with a strong hook, but then fail to grab the reader and make her want to keep reading. I look for stories that make me feel I am with the characters, part of the story and along for the ride. I am looking for an emotional connection with the characters and story—appeal to the readers emotions.

Sharon: Tell us a bit about the clients and stories you have signed so far?

Jordy: I love my clients! They are talented and sweet. The stories range from a Middle Grade fantasy and YA sci-fi to a witty contemporary romance.

Sharon: You call yourself a ‘book carnivore.’ What type of books do you like to devour when you’re not reading submissions?

Jordy: Paranormal romance and historical romances ( I love Karen Marie Moning, Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter, Larissa Ione, J. R. Ward, Sabrina Jeffries and Teresa Medeiros). Young Adult titles, such as DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth, Hunger Games, and The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.  

Rapid Fire Questions:

Unicorns or Dragons - Dragons

Time Travel or Super Powers – Time Travel

Drama or Comedy - Comedy

DVD or Cinema – Cinema

Hard Cover, Paperback or eBook - Hardback

Jordy is offering 10 page critiques to three random pitchers and I will also be giving 10 page critiques to my three favourite pitches. Complete the Rafflecopter instructions for your chance for a critique.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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