Please note: We changed the submission time to Monday, February 4th at 12:00pm eastern, to accommodate people attending SCBWI this weekend and our west coast entrants.
Link to the Pitch+250 Contest information
Now, we would like to introduce all of our fabulous judges for the contest. We are so excited to bring together a brilliant group of individuals who all give so much of their talent, expertise, and kindness to the online writing community. We're beyond grateful to have them all participating in this, and we hope that we will be able to make some good things happen to a lot of writers!
Round 1 Judges - Brilliant Bloggers, Authors, Editors, and Agent Interns
Stina Lindenblatt - Stina Lindenblatt is a mother of three, an adoring wife, a photographer. She's also a fiction writer who's addicted to YA and NA (New Adult) novels, chocolate, and exercise. She's a member of the RWA and SCBWI, and a contributing member of the Querytracker.net Blog.
Kat Ellis - Kat Ellis writes YA sci fi and fantasy, which has so far included: hot dragon boys, giant squid, drug abuse, robots, little people in trilby hats, winged aliens, shuttle crashes, kissiness, evil moths and malicious vomiting. She talks about pretty much all of those things on this blog. She's represented by Molly Ker Hawn of The Bent Agency.
Vivian Lee Mahoney - Vivian Mahoney writes books about rebels. She's also a postergirlz for readergirlz, a literary advisory group for teens. Who knew going back to the teenage years would be so rewarding?
Sheri Larsen - Sheri Larsen is a YA/MG/PB author repped by Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary. A published freelance/short story writer of numerous community interest articles; children's articles HE DREAMS IN GOLD (June 2012), MARTIAL ARTS ARE ALL IN THE FAMILY (Aug. 2012), IT'S ALL ABOUT COMBINED LEARNING (Aug. 2012), FOR LOVE OF THE FIGHT (Aug. 2012) published in Martial Arts Magazine; short story 'HIS SHIRT' in Daily Flash Fiction Anthology 2012 published by Pill Hill Press; vignette 'Tape Recorder' in The Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal 2012 published by eMergent Publishing.
Carol Riggs - Carol Riggs is a YA writer represented by the fantastic Kelly Sonnack of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. She is also a member of SCBWI, and has a degree in Studio Arts. She's a Christian who lives in Magalia, California with her hubby.
Susan Sipal - Susan Sipal is published in both fiction and nonfiction but is perhaps best known as an analyst of the Harry Potter series. Over the last several years, she has developed and presented A Writer's Guide to Harry Potter, which helps writers of all genres improve their craft with Harry Potter as their text. She has worked in the industry for many years as an editor and marketing consultant for both small traditional publishers as well as electronic. Now she is happily editing for Musa Publishing in their YA line, Euterpe.
Lydia Sharp - Lydia Sharp is an author of young adult contemporary, fantasy, and romance. She has been dedicated to helping fiction writers improve their storytelling skills through her own blog (since 2009), at the award-winning Writer Unboxed blog (since 2010), and at the Write It Sideways blog (since 2012). Laughing is her favorite pastime. Kissing is a close second.
Dee Romito - Dee Romito loves to explore education, parenting, and writing. She has two beautiful children who inspire her and remind her how exciting it can be to learn and discover. She is a New York State certified teacher, PreK-6, and has mainly taught grades three through five. She also does freelance writing for educational companies and writes Middle Grade fiction. She is represented by the amazing Kerry Sparks of the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency.
Tonya Kuper - Tonya Kuper is a YA writer rep'd by Nicole Resciniti, she is also the Promotions Manager at The Seymour Agency, and a literary intern for Marisa Cleveland. She's a contributor at YA Stands & All the Write Notes.
Lisa Gail Green - Lisa Gail Green writes paranormal and fantasy. She is a generous and brilliant contributor at the First Five Pages Workshop. Look for the first novel in her DJINN series, THE BINDING STONE, available this April! She would most definitely have a werewolf for a pet if she weren't allergic.
Round 2 Judges - Authors
Angela Ackerman - Angela Ackerman lives in Calgary, Alberta, just a short drive from the Canadian Rockies. A writer of Chapter Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult, her work has appeared in Spider Magazine, Wee Ones Magazine and several local city newsletters. When she isn't plotting about pirates, zombies or monsters made of cereal, she enjoys photography and taking in the natural beauty of Alberta with her family. She belongs to several writing groups, moderates for The Critique Circle, an online critique community and co-owns a popular writer's blog, The Bookshelf Muse. She is the co-author of THE EMOTION THESAURUS.
Jodi Meadows - Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a cat, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut. She is the author of INCARNATE and ASUNDER.
Mindy McGinnis - Mindy McGinnis is a YA writer repped by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary. NOT A DROP TO DRINK is a post-apocalyptic survival tale set in a world where freshwater is almost nonexistent. Coming Fall, 2013 Katherine Tegen / Harper Collins.
Kat Zhang - Kat Zhang is an avid traveler, and after a childhood spent living in one book after another, she now builds stories for other people to visit. An English major at Vanderbilt University, she spends her free time performing spoken-word poetry, raiding local bookstores, and plotting where to travel next. WHAT'S LEFT OF ME is her first novel.
Elana Johnson - Elana Johnson wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to go, and have cool superpowers. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult science fiction and fantasy. She lives in central Utah where she spends her time with many students, one husband, and two kids. She is the author of POSSESSION and SURRENDER.
Round 3 Judges - Agents
Brooks Sherman is an associate agent at FinePrint Literary Management, a full-service literary agency based in New York City.
He is on the lookout for adult fiction that runs the gamut from contemporary (with an eye toward multicultural or satirical) to speculative (particularly urban/contemporary fantasy, horror/dark fantasy, and slipstream). He also has a weakness for historical fiction and a burgeoning interest in crime fiction. On the children’s side, he is looking to build a list of boy-focused Middle Grade novels (all subgenres, but particularly fantasy adventure and contemporary), and is open to YA fiction of all types except paranormal romance.
Brooks is specifically seeking projects that balance strong voice with gripping plot lines; he particularly enjoys flawed (but sympathetic) protagonists and stories that organically blur the lines between genres. Stories that make him laugh earn extra points. Recent favorites include Whiteman by Tony D’Souza, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, the Monstrumologist series by Rick Yancey, The Thieves of Manhattan by Adam Langer, and Horns by Joe Hill.
He is thrilled to be living once more in Brooklyn, after a two-year stint with the Peace Corps in bucolic West Africa and a one-year stint in the savage jungles of Hollywood. As befitting his chosen career in publishing, he subsists on a diet of breadcrumbs and bourbon.
Jordy Albert is a literary agent and co-founder of The Booker Albert Literary Agency. She holds a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University, and a M.A. from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She has worked with Marisa Corvisiero during her time at the L. Perkins Agency and the Corvisiero Literary Agency. Jordy also works as a freelance editor/PR Director. She is a fan of the SyFy, History and Discovery Channels, enjoys studying languages (French/Japanese), spends time teaching herself how to knit, is a HUGE fan of Doctor Who, and loves dogs.
She is looking for stories that capture her attention from beginning to end; stories that have heart, and characters that are hard to forget. She would love to see fresh, well-developed plots featuring travel with unique, exotic settings, competitions, or time travel. She is particularly interested in romance (contemporary or historical) and women's fiction. Jordy is also looking for YA and New Adult contemporary/historical or dystopian, sci-fi/fantasy with romance weaved throughout. She is also open to YA LGBT within those genres. She enjoys intelligent, quirky characters with a deadpan sense of humor. Jordy is not looking for stories post-marriage/divorce/children, erotica, inspirational or paranormal at this time.
In fiction, I focus exclusively on middle grade and young adult fiction. I’m looking for books that challenge the reader intellectually and emotionally, from the high-concept and fantastical to the frank, fresh, and contemporary. I love fiction set in another country, time, or place (real or imagined!) that opens up a rich new world for the reader to discover. Stories featuring characters with strong passions, talents, or smarts – or characters in search of theirs – resonate with me. I’d also like to see: Contemporary YA that’s not afraid to explore complex social issues, historical fantasy, smart middle grade adventures, and good, old-fashioned YA romance. In nonfiction, I’m looking for books that explore social issues relevant to women of all ages. Think Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters; The Purity Myth; Pledged; The Morning After; Enlightened Sexism.
What I’m not looking for: Paranormal “creature” YA (no werewolves, vampires,shapeshifters, selkies, or mermaids, please). I’m probably not the right person for books narrated by animals or focusing on a human-animal bond (girls and their horses, boys and their dogs).
Her passion for reading inspired her to acquire a BA in Literature and Media from England. Her love for writing then took her to Los Angeles where she pursued an M.F.A in Fiction from the Otis School of Art and Design.
As a new agent, Pooja is looking to build her client list and is eager for submissions by debut novelists and veteran writers. She's looking for writing that has an easy flow and a timely pacing, along with a unique perspective and a strong voice.
In fiction, she is interested in literary, historical, commercial, and high-end women's fiction. However, she's most drawn to stories with an international flavor, vibrant characters, multi-cultural themes, and lush settings.
In fantasy, she's looking for original, layered plots with worlds as real and alive as the ones that were created by J.K Rowling and Tolkien.
In non-fiction, she's looking for adventure & travel memoirs, journalism & human-interest stories, and self-help books addressing relationships and the human psychology from a fresh perspective.
In YA, she's looking for stories that deal with the prevalent issues that face teenagers today. She is also interested in fantasy, magical-realism, and historical fiction.
Jennifer Udden joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2010. She represents science fiction, fantasy, and mysteries, and is particularly interested in finding works that creatively combine aspects of all three genres. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College and previously worked in nonprofit arts fundraising.