Sunday, August 18, 2013

15 Announcing the Top 10 Finalists in our August Pitch+250 Contest - Congrats to All!

Congratulations to the Top 10 contestants, who will be moving on to the Agent Round in the August Pitch +250 Contest. And congratulations also to everyone who entered. It takes courage, dedication, and heart to put yourself out there like this, so everyone deserves a big round of applause.

Here are the contest finalists:

  • Brimstone for Breakfast – Tasha Ellis
  • Crossing Lau Dai La – Hong Tran
  • Dead Girls Can't Sing – Ammy Hall
  • Gone Wild – Martha Mayberry
  • Mage Storm – Meredith Mansfield
  • Might Mike and the Alien Pez Dispenser – Marlene Moss
  • Rectify – Jo Riley
  • The End – Michele McCole Moss
  • Under the Violet Sky – Michaele Stoughton
  • Wandaful – Michael Young

As always, the authors who participated in this round have been immensely generous with their time, and they are providing scorecards for each entry so the contestants can pinpoint areas for improvement. Please join us in thanking them! If you haven't already read their books, you are in for a treat--and you will be amazed at the level of writing skill and creativity they bring to their books. Their books are honestly among some of our very favorites in recent years.

Incredible YA Author Judges

Ellen Hopkins is a poet, freelance writer, and the award-winning author of twenty nonfiction titles and nine NY Times Bestselling young adult novels-in-verse, plus two adult novels.

She has published hundreds of articles on subjects ranging from aviation to child abuse to winegrowing. Ellen mentors other writers through her position as a regional adviser for the Nevada chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She is a regular speaker at schools, book festivals and writers conferences across the US, and now throughout the world.

In 2012, Ellen founded Ventana Sierra, Inc., a 501(3)(c) whose mission is to help disadvantaged youth into safe housing and working toward career goals through higher education, vocational training and the arts.

Beth Revis is the author of the NY Times Bestselling Across the Universe series, published by Razorbill/Penguin in the US and available in 17 countries.

The first book in the trilogy, Across the Universe, is a “cunningly executed thriller” according to Booklist, and the second book, A Million Suns, was hailed by the LA Times as “a fast-paced, action-packed follow-up.” The final book of the trilogy, Shades of Earth, will be released in early 2013.

A former teacher, Beth lives in rural North Carolina with her husband and dog. Her goals include travelling around the world in 80 days, exploring the moon, and finding Narnia.

Kendare Blake is the author of the NY Times Bestselling Anna series, consisting of ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD and GIRL OF NIGHTMARES. Her next novel, ANTIGODDESS, the first title of a trilogy about Greek gods and reincarnated heroes, is set to release September 10, 2013.

Kendare is an import from South Korea who was raised in the United States by caucasian parents. You know, that old chestnut. She received a Bachelor's degree in Business from Ithaca College and a Master's degree in Writing from Middlesex University in London. She brakes for animals, the largest of which was a deer, which sadly didn't make it, and the smallest of which was a mouse, which did, but it took forever. Amongst her likes are Greek Mythology, rare red meat and veganism. She also enjoys girls who can think with the boys like Ayn Rand, and boys who scare the morality into people, like Bret Easton Ellis.

Kimberly Sabatini is a former Special Education Teacher who is now a stay-at-home mom and a part-time dance instructor for three and four year olds. After her dad passed away in 2005, she used writing as a way to make sense of the experience and discovered that she’s full of questions that need to be answered.

She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and three boys. Kimberly writes Young Adult fiction and is a member of the SCBWI (The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and she’s also a member of two debut author groups–the Class of 2k12 and the Apocalypsies. She is represented by Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary Agency and thrilled to be part of the “Wolf Pack.” TOUCHING THE SURFACE is her debut novel. (Simon Pulse – Simon & Schuster, October 30, 2012)

Molly Cochran, author of the teen paranormal romances LEGACY and POISON, has written 26 published novels and four nonfiction books under her own name and various pseudonyms. Her books include New York Times bestselling novels GRANDMASTER and THE FOREVER KING, coauthored with Warren Murphy, and the nonfiction DRESSING THIN, also a NY Times bestseller. She has won awards from the Mystery Writers of America (Best Novel of the Year), the Romance Writers of America (Best Thriller), and the New York Public Library (Outstanding Books for the Teen Age).

SEDUCTION, the third installment in the LEGACY series, is scheduled for release later this year through her publisher, Simon & Schuster. Two eBooks, THE TEMPLE DOGS and THE FOREVER KING, are currently available through online retailers. A third, GRANDMASTER, will be available soon.

Molly has lectured extensively and has taught writing at the college level as well as at a women's prison (where she was NOT an inmate). She lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


  1. I am so excited to have made it to the next round! Thanks to all the judges--from each round. Congrats to all my fellow writers! Yay!

  2. I can't believe I made it!!

    Thanks so much Martina and Jan for organising this contest, and thanks to the judges for evaluating all entries.

    Congrats to all the writers who made the top 10 :)

  3. Me as well. Thank you so much, judges!

  4. Yay! Thanks so much to all the judges for taking the time to do this, I really appreciate it.

  5. Oh my, so exciting! Congrats to all and awesome job to everyone who entered. Thank you judges!

  6. Congrats and good luck to the Top 10. And a huge thanks to the pitch judges and organizers. :)

  7. Hooray for the finalists. Can't wait to hear the success stories pouring in.

  8. The excitement continues with the next round underway. Congrats to those who made it to this point.

  9. Omigosh! I'm so excited! Thank you judges and organizers!

  10. Congratulations to the top 10!

  11. Congrats to the Top 10, but also to everyone who entered. Right now I'm reading FAILING FORWARD which is a wonderful reminder that success isn't about winning and losing or avoiding mistakes. It's about tenacity and embracing imperfection. I had this pinned inside my locker in high school and it has served me well...

    Don’t Quit

    When things go wrong; as they sometimes will,
    When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
    When the funds are low and the debts are high,
    And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
    When care is pressing you down a bit,
    Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

    Life is queer with its twists and turns,
    As everyone of us sometimes learns,
    And many a fellow turns about,
    When he might have won had he stuck it out.
    Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
    You might succeed with another blow,

    Often the goal is nearer than,
    It seems to a faint and faltering man;
    Often the struggler has given up,
    When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
    And he learned too late when the night came down,
    How close he was to the golden crown.

    Success is failure turned inside out,
    The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
    And you never can tell how close you are,
    It may be near when it seems afar;
    So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
    It’s when things seem the worst that you must not quit.

    Author Unknown


  12. What a great bunch of authors. Congrats everyone!

  13. Thank you judges for your time! And congrats to the ten; looking forward to seeing the openings!

  14. How do you get to read a copy of these works?


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