CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Here are my current Giveaway Contests

THE LIGHTHOUSE BETWEEN THE WORLDS through November 24th
THE PROPHET CALLS through November 24th
Gratitude Giveaway Hop through November 30th

Upcoming Agent Spotlights and Query Critique Giveaways

Weronika Janczuk Agent Spotlight Interview on 11/26

RAINING ROMANCE GIVEAWAY HOP



Happy Saturday Everyone! Today I'm excited to participate in the Raining Romance Giveaway Hop hosted by StuckInBooks. I'll be honest. I don't read strictly romance books. I need a good other plot to go along with my romance. Fortunately, YA is very accommodating this way and often has heart-wrenching love relationships.

I hope you find a book you like for yourself, a family member, or a friend in the choices offered. Don’t see a book you like? You can win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card instead. I hope you'll all enter to win a book or gift card for yourself or as a gift for someone.

So here are your choices. I've got a combination of MG and YA. If you want an earlier book in any of these series, you can pick that instead as long as it doesn't cost more than the book here. You can find descriptions of these books on Goodreads.

 


 


 


 



 



 



 



 



 



 
 If you haven't found a book you want, you can win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.


To enter, all you need to do is be a follower anyway you want and leave a comment through April 14th telling me the book you want to win or if you want to win the Gift Card instead. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. International entries are welcome as long as The Book Depository ships to you for free.

Here's what's coming up:

Wednesday, April 4th I have a guest post by author Corrina Austin and a giveaway of her MG historical CORNERS and my IWSG post

Monday, April 9th I have a guest post by debut author Alexa Donne and her agent Elana Roth Parker and a giveaway of a query critique by Elana and BRIGHTLY BURNING, a YA romantic science fiction by Alexa

Monday, April 16th I have an interview with author Jerry Mahoney and a giveaway of his MG science fiction BUTTHEADS FROM OUTER SPACE

Monday, April 23rd I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with associate agent Jennifer March Soloway

Monday, April 30th I'm participating in the May I Suggest Giveaway Hop!

Hope to see you on Wednesday!

Here are all the other blogs participating in this blog hop:



AGENT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH HILARY HARWELL AND QUERY CRITIQUE GIVEAWAY


Today I’m thrilled to have agent Hilary Harwell here. She is an associate literary agent at kt literary.

Status: Open to submissions.

Hi­ Hilary! Thanks so much for joining us. Thank you for having me – I’m happy to be here.

About Hilary:

1. Tell us how you became an agent, how long you’ve been one, and what you’ve been doing as an agent. 

I started as an intern several years ago and then landed a position as literary assistant at KT Literary in the summer of 2016. I signed my first client in Spring of 2017 and officially hung out my shingle in August of the same year.

About the Agency:

2. Share a bit about your agency and what it offers to its authors. 

KT Literary is an established, well-known (and well-liked!) agency. Kate and Sara are fabulous mentors with amazing clients and sales records, and solid industry connections and expertise, not only on the domestic side, but in the film and foreign realms too. KT has a sort of family vibe which is evident in how authors support one another and how we all come together, agents and authors alike, at our annual writing retreat. This year’s is in Scottsdale and we can’t wait!

What She’s Looking For:

3. What age groups do you represent—picture books, MG, and/or YA? What genres do you represent and what are you looking for in submissions for these genres?

I’m currently focused on MG and YA, all genres.

4.  Is there anything you would be especially excited to seeing in the genres you are interested in? 

Diverse perspectives, own voices authors, first and foremost. But I’d also like some really amazing magical realism in either category – think RULES FOR STEALING STARS and SNICKER OF MAGIC. I’d also really like wildly original middle grade fantasy right now.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

5. What types of submissions are you not interested in? 

I’m not always the best choice for anthropomorphic stories and issue-driven projects, though I wouldn’t turn one away before carefully considering.

Agent Philosophy:

6. What is your philosophy as an agent both in terms of the authors you want to work with and the books you want to represent? 

I’m looking to pair with authors for their careers. I’m in it for the long haul and am more than willing to help authors develop and hone their craft. I want to find books that entertain, that make a difference, that impact the world. I have a favorite quote by Danielle Orner ~ “Writing is a dangerous profession. You never know what kind of hole you may rip in society’s carefully woven master narrative.” I love this. Give me these projects.

Editorial Agent:

7. Are you an editorial agent? If so, what is your process like when you’re working with your authors before submitting to editors? 

I am an editorial agent. I did quite a bit of editorial work for some of Sara and Kate’s clients, and I enjoy helping authors elevate their projects via providing feedback in the most engaging, open-ended, inspiring way possible.

Query Methods and Submission Guidelines: (Always verify before submitting)

8. How should authors query you and what do you want to see with the query letter? 

At KT we ask for a query and first three pages. I like to have a clear idea of the hook, the stakes, and the main characters. I like to see two good comp titles, and the obvious – category, genre, wordcount. A bit of true personalization does make a difference, but ultimately it comes down to the story and the writing.

9.  Do you have any specific dislikes in query letters or the first pages submitted to you?

This has been said a million times before, but I’m not a fan of comparing your project to mega-best-sellers nor am I a fan of querying writers trashing other books. Just show me what makes yours awesome on its own, and show me you know where your book should sit on a shelf.

Response Time:

10. What’s your response time to queries and requests for more pages of a manuscript? 

Our policy at the agency is a two week response time, and we all try our best to stick to that. Though it varies, I try to keep my responses to requested materials to within two months.

Self-Published and Small Press Authors:

11.  Are you open to representing authors who have self-published or been published by smaller presses? What advice do you have for them if they want to try to find an agent to represent them? 

I’d prefer previously unpublished authors because sales records do follow you, however, I wouldn’t turn a great project away because of this. There are certainly ways to work around it!

12. With all the changes in publishing—self-publishing, hybrid authors, more small publishers—do you see the role of agents changing at all? Why? 

I don’t know if I see the role of the agent changing because of these, necessarily. I feel that these roads to publication exist for different types of writers and are perfectly legitimate avenues for certain folks. As an agent, I am still responsible for finding, honing, and pitching the very best work I can. Some writers simply want to see their book in print. Others will choose to pursue representation because they want someone in their corner to negotiate on their behalf, to handle the business side, and to help guide their careers, enabling them to focus on more important writerly things, like refreshing email inboxes, chasing plot bunnies, and dreaming up new story ideas. 😊

Clients:

13. Who are some of the authors you represent? 

Middle grade author, Conan Putnam. YA authors Jennifer Gruenke, Terrance Jefferson, and Erin Cotter.

Interviews and Guest Posts:

14. Please share the links to any interviews and guest posts you think would be helpful to writers interested in querying you.

  
Links and Contact Info:

15. Please share how writers should contact you to submit a query and your links on the Web.

You can submit queries to: hilaryquery@ktliterary.com
You can connect with me on twitter: https://twitter.com/HilaryHarwell
You can follow the KT blog for exciting announcements: http://ktliterary.com/daphne/

Additional Advice:

16. Is there any other advice you’d like to share with aspiring authors that we haven’t covered? 

I think the most important thing for any writer wishing to gain representation and to become published is to recognize that the road can be a long one. And the ups and downs continue even after publication. Acceptance of this and the desire to persevere at any cost are crucial to success in the industry. Always continue to hone your skill – read books on craft, find new critique partners, and establish a strong network of writers to help drag you through the muck, I mean, support you when you need it. You undoubtedly will.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Hilary. 
You are so welcome. I hope it helps shed some light on who I am as an agent!

­Hilary is generously offering a query critique to one lucky winner. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follower button if you're not a follower) and leave a comment through April 7th.  If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter either contest. If you do not want to enter the contest, that's okay. Just let me know in the comments.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This is an international giveaway.

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7@gmail.com
Note: These agent profiles and interviews presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found here is subject to change.

SALLY PLA AND KAYA SIMCOE GUEST POST AND STANLEY WILL PROBABLY BE FINE GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I'm excited to have Sally Pla back on the blog with a younger, talented writer, Kaya Simcoe, that Sally met through a library workshop, to help celebrate Sally's new MG STANLEY WILL PROBABLY BE FINE. It's both contemporary and humorous--a great combination.

Here's a blurb from Goodreads:

This novel features comic trivia, a safety superhero, and a super-cool scavenger hunt all over
downtown San Diego, as our young hero Stanley Fortinbras grapples with his anxiety—and learns what, exactly, it means to be brave.

Nobody knows comics trivia like Stanley knows comics trivia.

It’s what he takes comfort in when the world around him gets to be too much. And after he faints during a safety assembly, Stanley takes his love of comics up a level by inventing his own imaginary superhero, named John Lockdown, to help him through.

Help is what he needs, because Stanley’s entered Trivia Quest—a giant comics-trivia treasure hunt—to prove he can tackle his worries, score VIP passes to Comic Fest, and win back his ex-best friend. Partnered with his fearless new neighbor Liberty, Stanley faces his most epic, overwhelming, challenging day ever.

What would John Lockdown do?

Stanley’s about to find out.
Now here's Sally and Kaya!


Two Writers, 40 Years Apart, Talkin’ Shop.

by Sally J. Pla and Kaya Simcoe
  
Do you remember when you were twelve, and loved books and writing more than almost anything? If
you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you fall in that category along with me. And it’s certainly no surprise that we STILL love books and writing more than almost anything.

Last summer, I taught a workshop for tweens at our local public library, and met a talented writer named Kaya. The best way to describe her is to say she is the type of bright and earnest young person who gives one hope for the future! Since that time, Kaya has reached out online, and we’ve become pen pals.

Young Kaya is a reader who’s not to be underestimated. She’s also a talented fellow writer – and she reminds me keenly of what it was like to be twelve, and so passionate about writing and reading and thinking about things. So many things.

Listen to our conversation and see if you agree. Without further ado, here’s us -- two kidlit writers, forty years apart, talking shop.

Hope you enjoy!

Sally: Kaya, tell us about yourself. What are you working on?  What inspires you?

Kaya:  I’m in 7th grade, and I homeschool. I have been spinning stories for as long as I can remember but I'd say it was when I turned eight that I really started understanding that I was writing. I am working on lots of poetry now, a fictional piece, and a collection of meditations! But I usually just write whatever I want, and sometimes projects only last a day and there's enough enjoyment right there.

I get inspired by words I hear, beautiful things I see, and what I read. Sometimes people give me story ideas. Sometimes I have a "writers tingle" and I know I have to write, even if I don't know what I'm gonna say yet.

Okay, Sally: What is your favorite type of story to write? Fiction? Sci-Fi? Novel?

Sally: I love that description of a “writers’ tingle,” like a Spidey sense! As for me, I clearly love contemporary middle-grade. I’ve written two, The Someday Birds and Stanley Will Probably Be Fine, and I’m currently working on my third, about a girl this time. But I’m also working on a prose poem memoir. I have a picture book coming out later this year, and want to write more.  I like to draw and would love to do an illustrated work. I’m also planning a Sci-Fi/Fantasy time-travel series, and I write adult literary short stories…  I like to keep many pots bubbling. Sounds like you do, too.

Kaya, tell me about a book or two that has especially influenced you.

Kaya: One of my favorites is Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It’s sad and inspiring, and it really conveys emotion well through short and fast sentences. Other than that, I LOVE Harry Potter.  J.K. Rowling is hard to beat! Finally, Stone Soup Magazine is a great resource of inspiration. I find lots of ideas by reading stories written by kids just like me!

Sally, how long have you loved writing? Have you done it all your life?


Sally: I was about the same age as you when I first discovered the stories in my head could be translated onto paper. My teacher encouraged me, which really started me off.

How about you? Was there a special teacher/mentor who encouraged you? And: What do you think is the best way to teach kids writing?

Kaya: A lot of people have encouraged and helped me. My teachers at my old homeschool co-op, Katie and Rachel, were kind, loving and supporting. I wrote my first story at that school!

I think the best way to teach writing varies from kid to kid. One child might need direct instruction while another would benefit from free flowing creative time... As for me, I think I need the free creativity, but the structure also keeps me going! In general, I would say: get kids excited. Use prompts you know they would like--get to know the kids better. Sometimes writing reveals a lot.

Sally, why do you write books for children? Would you ever write for adults?

Sally: I write for kids because there is something magical about being your age, Kaya. I think it’s a crucible, a stepping-off time, one brief moment before one’s path turns onto the road to adulthood. It’s when possibility and potential hang in the air, when anything feels likely to happen. I love to write for kids your age, because I love kids your age, and I loved being your age!

Now a short, practical question. How do you find out about new books you might enjoy?

Kaya: I love that answer. Okay: I usually get book referrals from friends or read books by authors I know I love. Wendy Mass is one of my favorite authors. She has many books, so after I read “The Candymakers” I explored some more, and discovered many great books in the process! Sometimes books jump out at me in the library. Usually I read continuations from my favorites.

My turn! What is your best advice for young authors? What practical things did you not know before entering the publishing world?

Sally:  (Wendy Mass’s Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life is my favorite!)  As for advice, I think I’d tell young writers the same thing I’d tell a writer of any age: don’t think it’s impossible, or beyond you, or that you must wait for perfect conditions. Just write. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Study craft, absolutely. Revise hard. Read and learn from EVERYTHING you can get your hands on. And dare to be yourself. Tap into your genuine emotions. Don’t be afraid to reveal what you truly care about, because that is what will make your writing matter.

And don’t worry about the practicalities of “the publishing world” until after you have a work of art you are ready to share. Everything else is researchable. (Literary Rambles is a fabulous resource for agent info, for example!)

What about you, Kaya? Your work has been published in Highlights and in Stone Soup! What’s YOUR advice to young writers? And to adults as well?

Kaya: My advice is: if you want to write about the world, go live it. A writer’s stories are shaped by their experience of what’s going on around them.

Do not be afraid to be real in writing, but respect what an intimate and realistic process it is for so many writers.

Discover your writing style and treasure your words. If you are not sure of yourself yet, you need not share a word. Keep it in a journal, only for you. But if you can be brave enough, share it with one person and just one. Keep going at it, but only do it if you love it. Treasure your writing time, but do not be afraid to take a step back.

Enjoy it!

As for my Highlights and Stone Soup publications (yay!) those I did on a whim. I thought there was absolutely no chance of them getting in, but I figured, “How will I know by not submitting?” In Highlights I don’t even remember submitting my poem very much, because I had applied SO many times!! I will remember, forever, though, the moment of reading them in print for the first time. Writing is special.

Sally, it has been an honor getting to share an interview with you. Thank you so very much!

Thank YOU, Kaya! You are a very special writer indeed.

And thank you, readers!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Sally and Kaya! You can find Sally at:

https://www.facebook.com/sally.pla
https://twitter.com/sallyjpla
https://www.instagram.com/sallyjpla/

Sally has generously offered a hardback of STANLEY WILL PROBABLY BE FINE for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through March 31st. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This giveaway is U.S. and Canada.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is hosted by Greg Pattridge. You can find the participating blogs on his blog.

Here's what's coming up:

Wednesday, March 21st I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Hilary Harwell

Sunday, March 31st I'm participating in the Raining Romance Books Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, April 4th I have a guest post by author Corrina Austin and a giveaway of her MG historical CORNERS and my IWSG post

Monday, April 9th I have a guest post by debut author Alexa Donne and her agent Elana Roth Parker and a giveaway of a query critique by Elana and BRIGHTLY BURNING, a YA romantic science fiction by Alexa

Monday, April 16th I have an interview with author Jerry Mahoney and a giveaway of his MG science fiction BUTTHEADS FROM OUTER SPACE

Monday, April 23rd I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with associate agent Jennifer March Soloway

Hope to see you on Wednesday!

LUCKY LEPRECHAUN GIVEAWAY HOP


Happy Thursday Everyone! Today I'm excited to be participating in the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds.

I hope you find a book you like for yourself, a family member, or a friend in the choices offered. Don’t see a book you like? You can win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card instead. I hope you'll all enter to win a book or gift card for yourself or as a gift for someone.

So here are your choices. I've got a combination of MG and YA. If you want an earlier book in any of these series, you can pick that instead as long as it doesn't cost more than the book here. You can find descriptions of these books on Goodreads

 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 If you haven't found a book you want, you can win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.


To enter, all you need to do is be a follower anyway you want and leave a comment through March 28th telling me the book you want to win or if you want to win the Gift Card instead. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. International entries are welcome as long as The Book Depository ships to you for free.

Here's what's coming up:

Monday, March 19th I have a guest post by author Sally Pla and a giveaway of her MG contemporary STANLEY WILL PROBABLY BE FINE

Wednesday, March 21st I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Hilary Harwell

Sunday, March 31st I'm participating in the Raining Romance Books Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, April 4th I have a guest post by author Corrina Austin and a giveaway of her MG historical CORNERS

Monday, April 9th I have a guest post by debut author Alexa Donne and her agent Elana Roth Parker and a giveaway of a query critique by Elana and BRIGHTLY BURNING, a YA romantic science fiction by Alexa

Monday, April 16th I have an interview with author Jerry Mahoney and a giveaway of his MG science fiction BUTTHEADS FROM OUTER SPACE

Monday, April 23rd I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with associate agent Jennifer March Soloway

Hope to see you on Monday!

And here are all the other blogs participating in this blog hop: