Oct 13, 2017

NoQS 2017 Submission Window Begins Today!


The submission window opens at 4:00 pm (EST) on October 13th. Don't send too soon or your entry will be deleted. You may resend when the window opens. There will be email confirmation. After the window opens, please don't resend an entry unless you check with us. Sometimes the confirmation process gets overwhelmed. The window will close when we receive 250 entries or in two hours, whichever is first.

Michelle and Mike and Laura will make thirteen picks each, and those picks will go up on our blogs on October 31. Before this, there will be a mentor round to whip that entry into shape. We've already got amazing mentors lined up, so know that your entries will be polished for the agents. We are accepting all age categories and genres, excluding picture books and erotica. The story does not have to be scary. But be sure to check our list of agents when it goes live to see if they represent your book's genre. If you plan on participating in the contest, you have to be following all our blogs (Michelle, Mike, Laura). If you can't get the blog follow to work, just follow on twitter. You'll want to be on twitter for the party anyway.

Send your submission to nightmareonquerystreet (at) yahoo (dot) com. Only one submission per email address AND person is allowed. Here's how it should be formatted (yes, include the bolded and everything!). Please use Times New Roman (or equivalent), 12 pt font, and put spaces between paragraphs. No indents or tabs - they mess up our formatting.  

Subject Line: NoQS: TITLE, Age Category + Genre (example: NoQS: GRUDGING, Adult Epic Fantasy) 

INSIDE THE EMAIL: 

Name: Laura Heffernan
Twitter Handle: @LH_Writes
Title: AMERICA'S NEXT REALITY STAR 
Genre: Adult Romantic Comedy [OwnVoices] (Age category and genre. YA/MG is not a genre.) 
Word Count: XX,XXX 

My MC and MP (main protagonist?) are dressed as:
Jen's dressed as a great pun, something like Ruth Vader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court justice with a light saber. She'll make the entire thing herself. Ariana's looking to get noticed, so she'll dress to impress: Sexy Supreme Court justice, anyone?

Query: 

Here is my fantastic query! 

DO NOT INCLUDE BIO OR COMPS PARAGRAPH. Try to stay in the 250-300 word range. Please put spaces between paragraphs and don't indent. Please remember this is a query letter and NOT a pitch. Don't send pitches. 


First 250: Here are the first 250 words of my manuscript, and I will not end in the middle of a sentence, even if I hit 255 words. Do not abuse and send 256. Keep it fair for all. Use Open Office/Word to determine your official word count.


Entries will be disqualified at our discretion for rule violation. And that's it! Send in that email during the submission window and you're ready to go. There will be a confirmation email.

Topics for the twitter party are as follows:

October 13: All day, shout out the genre and age category you're sending. After 4:00 shout out if you got in.

October 14: Share a scary line from your manuscript. It can be from any chapter.

October 15: What costume would your MC character wear for Halloween?

October 16: What's the most fearsome thing about querying?

October 17: What's your favorite candy to gorge while writing and what kind would you toss back to give out to the neighborhood kids?

October 18: What's your favorite scary, or not so scary, Halloween movie?

October 19: What's your main character's greatest fear?

October 20: Picks released. Tell us how you deal with stress as a writer. What helps while you wait on query letters? 


Best of luck to everyone submitting today. Competition will be fierce.

Oct 9, 2017

Agents of NoQS 2017 (partial list)

We have 24 agents and counting joining us this year! Some are new. Some are established. All are looking to make requests. Good luck to everyone entering this year. Slush is going to be INSANE.

 If you need a refresher on the submission guidelines, click here.



Agents of Nightmare on Query Street 2017
 


Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
I joined the LKG Agency in 2008, thereby disproving the theory that no English major ever does anything with their degree.  Before that I worked at another literary agency, Don Congdon Associates, where I had the behind-the-scenes thrill of seeing Kathryn Stockett’s The Help first come in (and getting one of the first reads). And before that I was getting my Masters in English and Publishing from Rosemont College. I have enjoyed my apprenticeship under Lauren very much, and I am now actively looking to build my own list, which includes (after a surprisingly minimal amount of begging and pleading on my part), securing Lauren’s agreement to open the agency to considering middle grade and young adult fiction.

In my spare time, I am an author in my own right (or is that write?).  My first book, Lady Vernon and Her Daughter, which I co-wrote with my mother, was released by Crown in 2009.  We also contributed to Jane Austen Made Me Do It, published by Ballantine in 2011.  My first middle grade novel, Ordinary Magic, was published by Bloomsbury Children’s in 2012.

Read more about LKG here.

****


Clelia Gore
It was when Clelia first read Charlotte’s Web in the first grade that she got hooked by the magic of books. Her love of children’s books carried through adulthood and she is delighted to dedicate her life to bringing quality books and stories to young (and whimsical adult!) readers.

Clelia is originally from the suburbs of New York City. She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Boston College. She received her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law and practiced law as a corporate litigator in New York City.

In 2011, she decided to dedicate her career to books and reentered graduate school at Emerson College, where she received a master’s degree in Publishing and Writing. While she was studying publishing and taking creative writing courses at Emerson, Clelia gained firsthand experience in the publishing industry working in the children’s book division at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and in academic books at Oxford University Press.  She also taught academic writing and research courses to freshman students as a graduate student faculty member at Emerson College.

Clelia attends writing and publishing conferences. She also sits on the board of directors for Poetry Northwest magazine.

Clelia acquires picture book, middle grade and young adult books. She is particularly interested in developing her nonfiction clientele. With apologies, Clelia is no longer accepting new adult fiction queries at this time.

Read more about Clelia Gore here and her agency here.


****


Mark Gottlieb
Mark Gottlieb’s focus on publishing began at Emerson College, where he was a founding member of the Publishing Club, later its President, overseeing its first publication and establishing the Wilde Press.

After graduating with a degree in writing, literature and publishing, Mark began his career with the Vice  President of Berkley Books (Penguin), working with leading editors.

His first position at the Trident Media Group literary agency was in foreign rights, selling the books of clients around the world. Mark later worked as Executive Assistant to Robert Gottlieb, Chairman of Trident, with responsibility for organizing/managing diverse authors and their complex business transactions. He next assumed the position of audio rights agent. Since Mark has managed the audio rights business, the annual sales volume has more than doubled. Mark showed great initiative and insight in identifying talented writers.

In passing the Audio Department's torch, Mark is building his own client list of writers. He is excited to work directly with authors, helping to manage and grow their careers with all of the unique resources that are available to Trident. Since that time he has ranked as high as #1 in Agents on publishersmarketplace.com in Overall Deals and other individual categories.

Read more about Trident here.

****


Lisa Abellera
Lisa Abellera joined Kimberley Cameron and Associates in 2013 with a background in management, marketing, and finance. She has studied creative writing, design and business, earning her B.A. in Strategic Management from Dominican University of CA and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco.

Lisa had a successful career in the corporate world before joining the world of publishing. After editorial internships with an independent press and Kimberley Cameron & Associates, she now follows her true passion for books and writing. She leverages her business and marketing expertise to help authors navigate the complexities of publishing. She is excited to develop talented authors and help advance their careers. She is looking to form long-term, collaborative relationships with writers who are committed to putting forth their best work.


Lisa responds to well-crafted prose with strong hooks and high personal stakes, to idiosyncratic, sympathetic characters, to a tangible sense of place, to multicultural aspects and international settings, to page-turning twists, and to emotionally immersive fiction that explores the human condition, especially within family and close relationships.

She is seeking to represent upmarket fiction, women's fiction, historical fiction, mystery/suspense/thrillers (especially if it has a dose of science or the supernatural), science fiction, fantasy, most speculative fiction except for paranormal fantasy (no demons, angels, vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc.), romance if it's an element or part of another genre, NA, YA and middle grade.

Read more about Kimberley Cameron here.


****


Alec Shane
I began my career at Writers House as an intern in September of 2008 and simply refused to leave, so I was given the wonderful job of Assistant to Jodi Reamer. I am now also in the process of actively building my own list and currently represent a fairly eclectic mix of Children's and Adult fiction and nonfiction. I'm eagerly looking for both.

On the fiction side, I love mysteries, thrillers (although I'm experiencing a bit of terrorist fatigue at the moment), bad-ass protagonists with a chip on their shoulders, beautifully told historical fiction (The Vietnam War, the Maccabees, and The American Revolution fascinate me in particular),well-researched adventure stories, and great horror - I haven't been scared to turn off the light in far too long and something needs to be done about it. In terms of children's books, getting boys to read again is especially important to me, and thus I'm particularly on the lookout for a fun middle-grade adventure series, ghost story, or anything else geared toward younger male readers.

On the nonfiction side, I'm attracted to odd, quirky histories, military history, biographies of people I didn't even know existed (but definitely should have), "guy" reads, humor, narrative nonfiction that sheds light on under-the-radar events and lifestyles, and all things sports. I'm also currently up in the air as to whether or not I believe in ghosts, hauntings, and the supernatural, so if you have something that can convince me one way or the other, I'd love to see it.

Read more about Writers House here


****


Jaida Temperly
Jaida’s primary focus is adult fiction, with a special affinity for literary fiction, magical realism, historical fiction, upmarket fiction, horror, and speculative. She also loves stories that shed light on marginalized experiences and question the “status-quo”, as well as titles that include #OwnVoices themes, international settings, political commentary, conspiracy theories, and alternate histories. Some of her all-time favorite adult fiction titles include: THE VEGETARIAN by Han Kang, THE SELLOUT by Paul Beatty, THE DINNER by Herman Koch, JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL by Susanna Clarke, and A THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Mark Haddon.

Jaida is also interested in select prescriptive nonfiction with a commercial edge, such as YOU ARE A BADASS by Jen Sincero and THE POWER OF HABIT by Charles Duhigg, and forgotten/untold stories like HIDDEN FIGURES by Margot Lee Shetterly and the film LAND OF MINE. She enjoys narrative nonfiction titles that explore the darker corners of the human experience, such as STIFF by Mary Roach and SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES by Caitlin Doughty.

Finally, Jaida is on the lookout for outstanding YA and MG titles. Similar to her adult taste, she loves magical realism, literary fiction, fantasy, historical, and speculative titles, as well as those that push the boundaries between YA/adult. Some of her all-time favorite children’s titles include: CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber, THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas, THE GREENGLASS HOUSE by Kate Milford, THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY by Trenton Lee Stewart, and NIGHTBIRD by Alice Hoffman.

Prior to joining New Leaf Literary, Jaida studied biology at The University of Wisconsin-Madison, and briefly attended medical school before moving to NYC to intern at Writers House. She loves art history, traveling, logic puzzles, secret societies, antiques, and numerous other topics that come in handy for Trivia Night and crossword puzzles.

Read more about New Leaf here.


****


Amanda Jain

Amanda Jain has loved books for as long as she can remember. When she was a kid, Amanda always had her head in a book. In her room, in the car, in the bathtub, wherever. She probably would have brought a book to the dinner table every evening if that was allowed.

After earning a BA in English, she worked in the trade department at W. W. Norton for seven years before leaving to pursue graduate studies. She graduated in 2011 with a MA in the history of decorative arts. Amanda then joined Inklings in 2014, first as an intern and then as Michelle’s assistant.

Amanda is primarily interested in adult fiction in the following categories: historical fiction (in all genres), women’s / book club / upmarket fiction, romance (particularly historical, suspenseful, or with a comedic bent), mysteries (particularly historical or cozy, or historical cozies), and narrative nonfiction in the areas of social history, archaeology, art history, material culture, etc. She is also interested in select YA and MG projects with unique hooks and a strong voice.

Read more about Inklings Literary here

Check out Michelle and Laura's blog for their 3rd of the list

Oct 4, 2017

Nightmare Chat! - October 12th, 2017

Writers like to socialize from the comfort of their homes.  So we're having a twitter chat to get to know the mentors and ask questions and just visit! 


Join us on Thursday, October 12th right before the 
submission window opens for Nightmare on Query Street on the 13th. Bring your questions, writing problems, and curiosity at 3:00 and 8:00 pm Eastern time and mentors will be there. All this happens under the hashtag #NoQSchat.

Time to have a little fun, maybe learn something, and talk to writers with experience in querying, editing, and submissions.  See you there!   

Oct 2, 2017

Mentors of NoQS 2017 (partial list)

Our contests would not be possible without the wonderful people who donate their time and energy. This year we have over 30 industry professionals who have agreed to help whip your queries into shape for our agent round. Take a moment to follow their respective social media profiles and send out thanks for helping. This small gesture truly goes a long way.

At 4pm on Friday, October 13th, the submission window will open for two hours, or until the first 250 entries are received. Please visit this post for all relevant details.

Visit Laura and Michelle's blog for their portion of the list.


Mentors of Nightmare on Query Street


Diana Pinguicha

Born and raised in the sunny land of Portugal, Diana lives in Lisbon, where she works as a game developer and writer. In her free time, she can be found writing (obviously), painting, and devouring extraordinary quantities of books and video games—especially anything on the fantasy spectrum. Keeping her company are two awesome kitties, Sushi and Jubas, and her bearded dragon Norbert!

Blog
Twitter





Kosoko Jackson

Kosoko Jackson is the Digital Media Associate for Rock The Vote and manages social media accounts totaling 270K followers. He also moonlights as a paid sensitivity reader for big 5 publishers. Kosoko has taught elementary kids how to read, educated millennials about the power of voting, and held various communications positions in political organizations. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Public Health with a minor in new media communications. He lives in Washington D.C and is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.


Author Website
Twitter


Sarah Janian

Sarah Janian is an elementary school teacher-turned MG and YA author. She attended Swarthmore College ('05) and earned her master's in literacy education ('09) from Bank Street in NYC. After being selected for Laura Heffernan's Query Kombat team last spring, she signed with Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger for her MG contemporary The Middle Schooler's Guide to Divorce. In between caring for her toddler and newborn, Sarah is revising an MG SF and regularly gives away query critiques through Twitter. She is thrilled to be an MG mentor for this year's NoQS.

Twitter



Peggy Rothschild

Peggy Rothschild grew up in Los Angeles. Always a mystery-lover, she embraced the tales of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys before graduating to the adult section of the library. An English major in high school, she switched to art -- her other passion in college. Peggy has authored two adult mysteries, CLEMENTINE'S SHADOW and ERASING RAMONA. PUNISHMENT SUMMER is her first young adult book.

Peggy is represented by Melissa Jeglinski of The Knight Agency. She lives in the beach community of Ventura with her husband and their cats. In her spare time, she is learning how to throw a hatchet, loves to garden and work in clay, and practices yoga.

Twitter
Author Website
Facebook


Melinda O'Neill

As the owner of a boutique chocolate factory in Atlanta, Melinda O’Neill loves to write murder with a sweet twist, including her debut mystery, THE CORPSE WORE STILETTOS, due out in Summer of 2018 from Red Adept Publishing. When she’s not spinning a sweet yarn or creating delicious confections, she spends time with her husband, Brian, their kids who range in age from 24 to 7, a hyperactive cocker spaniel named Divo (after the band), a princess tabby cat named Twilight (before the book stole her name) and a collection of stray fish. She is represented by Priya Doraswami of Lotus Lane Literary. Check out her blog at melindajoneill.blogspot.com and follow on twitter. Or if you’re an author in need of a chocolate fix, claim your author’s discount at http://www.chamberlainschocolate.com/

Blog
Twitter
Chocolate!





J.B. Rockwell

J.B. Rockwell is a New Englander, which is important to note because it means she's (a) hard headed, (b) frequently stubborn, and (c) prone to fits of snarky sarcasticness. As a kid she subsisted on a steady diet of fairy tales, folklore, mythology augmented by generous helpings of science fiction and fantasy. As a quasi-adult she dreamed of being the next Indiana Jones and even pursued (and earned!) a degree in anthropology. Unfortunately, those dreams of being an archaeologist didn't quite work out. Through a series of twists and turns (involving cats, a marriage, and a SCUBA certification, amongst other things) she ended up working in IT for the U.S. Coast Guard and now writes the types of books she used to read. Not a bad ending for an Indiana Jones wannabe...

Author Website
Goodreads


Heather Van Fleet

Heather Van Fleet is a stay-at-home-mom turned book boyfriend connoisseur. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, a mom to three girls, and in her spare time you can find her with her head buried in her Kindle, guzzling down copious amounts of coffee.

Heather graduated from Black Hawk College in 2003 and currently writes YA, NA, and Adult contemporary romance. She is published through Sourcebooks Casablanca with her Reckless Hearts series. Along with being an author, Heather also serves as a foreign rights assistant agent through Inklings Literary. She is represented by Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary.

Author Website
Facebook 
Instagram
Twitter


Gail Nall

Gail Nall lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her family and more cats than necessary. She once drove a Zamboni, has camped in the snow in June, and almost got trampled in Paris. Gail is the author of the Aladdin/S&S middle grade novels OUT OF TUNE, BREAKING THE ICE, the YOU'RE INVITED series (co-authored with Jen Malone), and BEST.NIGHT.EVER. (co-authored). She is also the author of the young adult novel, EXIT STAGE LEFT (Epic Reads Impulse/HarperCollins).

Twitter
Author Website
Facebook





Thanks again, Mentors!

Sep 22, 2017

NoQS 2017 is Near!


We're back with 20 agents and even more mentors!
 
It's Nightmare Time!

Don’t have a scary manuscript, DON'T WORRY. Just read on.
 

A brand new year, and unimaginable horrors to come.
This contest, as it runs in the Halloween time, is all about FEAR.

The Details:

 
The submission window opens at 4:00 pm (EST) on Friday, October 13th. Don't send too soon or your entry will be deleted. There will be email confirmation. Please don't resend an entry unless you check with us. Sometimes the confirmation process gets overwhelmed. The window will close when we receive 250 entries or in two hours, whichever is first. 


Michelle and Mike and Laura will make thirteen picks each, and those picks will go up on our blogs from October 30th through the 31st. Before the agent round, there will be a mentor round to whip your entries into shape. We've already got amazing mentors lined up, so know that your entries will be polished for the agents. 


We are accepting all age categories and genres, excluding picture books and erotica. But be sure to check our list of agents when it goes live to see if they represent your book's genre, or if you've queried them already. We ask that if you find that you've already queried a majority of participating agents for your potential submission, please refrain from participating in the contest.

If you plan on participating in the contest, you have to be following all our blogs (MichelleMike, Laura). If you can't get the blog follow to work, just follow on twitter. You'll want to be on twitter for the party anyway. 


ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON. DO NOT TRY USING MULTIPLE EMAIL ADDRESSES. THIS DOES NOT MEAN ONE PER WRITING PEN NAME. ONE AND ONE ONLY. 


It's pretty simple, actually.
But there's a catch. 


Along with your query and 250, you must write a SHORT paragraph (no more than 100 words) about your main character. This is the question you must answer: 


Your protagonist and antagonist bump into each other at a Halloween Party, only to discover their costumes are similarly themed. What/who are they dressed as?


The Format:

 
Send all your submission to nightmareonquerystreet (at) yahoo (dot) com. Only one submission per email address AND person is allowed. 

Here's how it should be formatted (yes, include the bolded and everything!). Please use Times New Roman (or equivalent), 12 pt font, and put spaces between paragraphs. No indents or tabs are needed. 

Subject Line: NoQS: TITLE, Age Category + Genre (example: NoQS: GRUDGING, Adult Epic Fantasy)

INSIDE THE EMAIL:

 
Name: Michelle Hauck
Twitter Handle: @Michelle4Laughs (optional) 
Title: GRUDGING (yes, caps!)  
Genre: Adult Epic Fantasy (Age category and genre. YA/MG is not a genre.)  
Word Count: XX,XXX 

My MC and MP (main protagonist?) are dressed as:
 
Remember, keep this around 100 words. 

  
Query:
 
Here is my fantastic query! DO NOT INCLUDE BIO OR COMPS PARAGRAPH. Try to stay in the 250-300 word range. Please put spaces between paragraphs and don't indent.
 

First 250 words:
 

Here are the first 250 words of my manuscript, and I will not end in the middle of a sentence, even if I hit 255 words. Do not abuse and send 256. Keep it fair for all. Use Open Office/Word to determine your official word count. 

Entries will be disqualified at our discretion for rule violation.
And that's it! Send in that email during the submission window and you're ready to go. There will be a confirmation email.
 

We're Tweeting under the hashtag #NoQS. As before, we'll have a twitter party once submission starts. Mentor and agent posts will follow before October 13th.
 

Good luck! And sweet nightmares!

Sep 15, 2017

Nightmare on Query Street 2017





One...Two...We are coming for you.
Three...Four...There will be a slush war.
Five...Six...Get your query fixed.
Seven...Eight...Make your first page great.
Nine...Ten...Yes, we're at it again.

Nightmare on Query Street
The agents are ready.... Are you? Face your Fear October 13, 2017


Jul 17, 2017

A NoQS Success: Ash Otterloo

My favorite type of success story--one that came from our contests! Let this bit of inspiration follow you into Pitchwars and the fall contests. Here's the story from Ash.
I put the finishing touches on my MG fantasy manuscript CATTYWAMPUS in late May of 2016, spent July-Sept in rounds of revisions with notes from my beta readers and critique partners. Right before I started my first round of queries, on a whim, I noticed a blog schedule for #NoQS and entered the story. Having entered contests a few times before, I knew it would be a fun experience and hoped to snag helpful feedback before I leapt into the query trenches.


When my name popped up on Mike’s team list, I promptly exploded with excitement. My second stroke of luck was being paired with the clever Kate Foster as my mentor, who I’d received a bit of constructive feedback from in a past contest with a shorter project. (A good reminder to us all to receive constructive criticism gracefully, even in rejection!) We polished my query and pages, and it got a significant amount of requests.


By the end of October, I found myself on the phone chatting with the incomparable Lauren Spieller. I’ll admit it: I had instant agent-crush. Besides being fun to chat with, she asked all the clarity-bringing questions about plot development, was enthusiastic and straightforward (swoon), and asked for an R&R, along with suggestions for sensitivity reads. Why, hello, sweaty palms. Obviously, I was eager to give it a whack.


I worked hard on revisions, found some amazing sensitivity readers, and resubmitted in March. Another R&R. And y’all. I am so grateful for last round of revisions, too, because that’s where I truly found my protagonists (and discovered an underground bunker of feelings to pour into the manuscript.) I re-submitted and got a phone call. THE phone call. (Dun, dun, dunnnnn!)


When I answered my cellphone, Lauren offered me representation with Triada Us. Only barely did I manage to refrain from shrieking directly into the receiver. As before, Lauren was supportive and excited about the story, and had great thoughts for final revision notes. After recovering from a round of omygodomygodomygod, I was eager to accept. I’d researched agencies and MG agents thoroughly, and this was indeed my dream representation. A couple of days later, I officially accepted the offer and went out with my family to celebrate with pizza.


My final thoughts: Writing can be lonely, sometimes. There are moments (months) when you have to be the one who believes in your work, even though part of you worries you might be wasting your time. And when the opportunity to make a helpful connection comes, even in the form of a constructive “no”, tackle it and suck every bit of wisdom from it. Learn, and be kind to yourself. And don’t give up.
_________________________________________

Ash Van Otterloo lives just outside of Chattanooga with her long time best friend and four wild forest-children. She's regarded fondly by her two cats, and, like a cat, she enjoys people who offer her good food regularly. Whether or not she's a witch is a topic for gossip among her neighbors. The ones, at least, that she's not yet turned into newts.

Jul 10, 2017

QK Grand Champion: Erin King



Query Kombat Grand Champion
Erin King



Erin King hails from the deserts of Las Vegas, where she was a serious high school choir nerd (no, really, we won a Grammy), turned songwriter, turned novelist. These days, she lives in Manhattan with her designer husband, where they pretend “creatives” can afford the city. She writes Young Adult fiction while her three native New Yorkers attend elementary school, and takes her life in her hands every time she goes for a run in Central Park. She’s anaphylactically allergic to exercise. Yes, it’s a thing. However, she hopes to survive to write many more fantastical tales about fictional teenagers.

Erin lives on Twitter @erinkingwrites, or online at erinkingwrites.com.

QK Adult Champion: Maxym Martineau


Query Kombat Adult Champion

Maxym Martineau


Maxym Martineau is a staff writer and copy editor by day and a fantasy romance writer by night. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Arizona State University and a borderline unhealthy addiction to Dr. Pepper and coffee. When she's not reading or writing, she can be found playing with her dogs or binge-watching TV shows with her husband. She also appreciates a well-made margarita.

Twitter: @maxymmckay
Website: www.maxymmagazine.com



QK Young Adult Champion: Tracy C. Gold


Query Kombat Young Adult Champion

Tracy C. Gold


Every day I strive to help people learn, spark conversations, think about “what’s next,” and play with cute animals.

I spend most of my time teaching, editing, and writing. I cofounded Sounding Sea Writers’ Workshop, which holds writing classes and provides writing tutoring. I teach composition at the University of Baltimore, and I write short stories and novels. I also intern for literary agent Carrie Pestritto.

When I’m not working, I’m devouring a novel, riding my ex-racehorse L.J., running, biking, or at least pining for the trail.

 If you’re a Terp or a Tar Heel, you may want to skip this part, because I’m a proud alum of Duke University. I earned my Masters of Fine Arts in Fiction at the University of Baltimore.

P.S., if you’re wondering why the middle initial is everywhere, it’s because I have no relationship with Tracy Gold, the actress in Growing Pains. I was actually named after a dog, which is cool by me.

Twitter: @TracyCGold
Website:www.tracycgold.com

QK Mid Grade Champion: Jess and Britney Gulbrandsen


Query Kombat Mid Grade Champion

Jess and Britney Gulbrandsen


Jess and Britney Gulbrandsen are a husband and wife writing team who spend their romantic date nights discussing plot points and hunting for Big Foot. When they aren’t writing, Jess and Britney like to read aloud first lines of novels and create dialogue for their children and dog. In his spare time, Jess enjoys fishing, arm wrestling, and extremely low-budget monster movies. Britney spends most of her days making lists, reading, and trying to keep the little ones from burning down the house. She also talks about books and writing on her


website: www.britneygulbrandsen.com
Instagram: @gulbrandsenbooks
Twitter: @britgulbrandsen

Jul 5, 2017

QK Awards Delay





It's unofficially over!

The Query Kombat Awards Ceremony usually marks the close of our brutal, month-long tournament. Praising the top performing entries in each age category as well as the Grand Champion is a something we can't do without!

That being said, the ceremony will be delayed for about a week or so due to an unforeseeable (but totally awesome!) circumstance. We're hoping to present our winners with their badges early next week, so hang tight.

I hope my fellow Americans had a grand Independence Day!

Jun 30, 2017

QK Championship Round: Book Boys Gone Wild vs Delicious Vicious Cycles

Title: Paper Seeds
Entry Nickname: Book Boys Gone Wild!
Word count: 109k
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy

Query

When seventeen-year-old Harlow Jackson gets dumped at her grandma Minny's wake, she's devastated, pissed as hell, and without an escort for the debutante season starting the very next day. But then Harlow finds something Minny left her: paper seeds. Minny always told her that if you place a magical paper seed in a book, and plant it in the ground, you can grow anything you desire from its pages.

In a fit of desperation, revenge, and, okay fine, a little too much funeral punch, Harlow grows teenage versions of Mr. Knightley, Sherlock Holmes, Dorian Gray, and Dracula to be her and her friends' debutante escorts. Because everyone knows there's only one thing better than a handsome, well-groomed, drawling Southern beau... an English gentleman. Harlow is tired of feeling second rate in her small Southern town, and vows to use the boys to beat her ex, and the mean-girl debutantes, at their own game. Frankly, she'd love to burn their perfect curls off their pretty little heads, but that would just be gravy. Instead, she'll settle for winning the debutante crown and the accompanying cash scholarship prize, which she badly needs.

Harlow passes the boys off as four rather eccentric foreign exchange students, and everything goes according to plan until the book-boys discover their own origins and run amok. At the same time, the town witch, Madame LeRoux, comes after Harlow for the paper seeds, claiming that planting them will have dark consequences for Harlow and the people she loves. Harlow must uncover the origin and twisted history of the paper seeds to discover a way to undo what she's grown. But as generations of town secrets and lies begin to unravel, Harlow discovers it was her beloved grandmother Minny who may have been hiding the biggest, ugliest secret of them all.


First 250
:

If I hadn’t been standing in the middle of my grandmother Minny's wake, I would have whacked that boy in the man parts so hard, people would be looking at pictures of his children in years to come and say—see the funny ear that kid has? Harlow Jackson did that.

But Jonathan took my hand and squeezed it, like he was bestowing some sort of warm comfort on me. He wore the gray shirt I'd saved up a week's wages for, the one that was the exact color of his eyes.

Now, I wanted to rip it off him.

And not in a good way.

I took a deep breath and tried to be civil. “Your parents will get used to the idea of us. I have a way of winning people over, you know.” I smiled my most becoming smile and flashed my dimple. Jonathan loved my dimple. Everyone loved my dimple.

He closed his eyes. “It’s not that, Harlow.”

“Then what is it?” I said, too loud.

Madison Pace cocked her ear in our direction as she scooped bean dip onto her plate at the food table. Nosey was not an adjective in this town, it was a given.

I tugged Jonathan’s hand, and he followed me out onto the front porch. The sky was gray, just waiting to burst open, the air heavy and thick. October in Georgia was not a cool, crisp autumn. It’s more like standing over a pot of boiling pasta. Or maybe more like being the pasta.





VERSUS




Title: VERA WITH A VENGEANCE
Entry NicknameDelicious Vicious Cycles
Word count: 74K
Genre: YA Contemporary, Own Voices (Jewish and sexual assault survivor)

Query: 

Seventeen-year-old entrepreneur Vera Davis starts a business to sell revenge in VERA WITH A VENGEANCE, a 74,000-word young adult contemporary novel.

When a car accident paralyzes Vera’s older brother and kills her parents, she's suddenly in charge of the medical bills, the mortgage, and her own anger and helplessness. Vera's always been good at getting back at people who hurt her, but she can’t exactly get revenge on the curve in the road where her father lost control of the car. 

Meager insurance payouts leave Vera desperate for money, so she starts a business: when the traditional justice system fails her clients, Vera wrecks wrongdoers’ careers and cars, relationships and reputations. She revels in taking down racists and sexual assaulters, but her crush--her brother’s best friend--thinks her style of vengeance is morally wrong. 

Then, while helping a client get payback for a leaked nude picture, Vera finds new evidence about her family’s “accident.” Turns out there is someone for Vera to blame, but the perpetrator had her own very good reason to seek vengeance. 

Now Vera must decide whether getting even is worth getting blood on her hands. 

First 250:

This creeper keeps staring at me with this little half smile, like he thinks I want his eyes undressing me. His face, all chin and cheekbones, reeks of always getting what he wants—women, money, free drinks in first class en route to Ibiza. I want to walk away, but his wife is shopping for an evening gown, and I need the commission to pay the energy bill.

I focus on her, and hold up a green dress to hide my body. “This would look great with your eyes.”

Her eyes are blue, but the green dress sells well, and if she buys it, I’ll hit the monthly quota for a higher commission percentage. I can only work so much after school, and I have to make the hours count.

She turns to Creeper. “What do you think?”

“I’d like to see more.” His eyes flicker down to my calves and back up to my chest. For all his wife can tell, he’s checking out the dress, but his gaze burns my skin.

I hold the dress higher to cover my chest and look at my boss for rescue. He mouths work it. If I didn’t need this job so badly…I force myself to smile.

Creeper’s gold smartwatch buzzes, and he glances away from me. Those watches cost three grand. Three grand would keep the lights on and pay for a month of the mortgage. Three grand could keep Levi and me from losing the house our parents raised us in.