Blog Party! Free Critiques! Free Books!

You’re invited to a blog party right here on The Bookshelf, this coming Saturday the 18th!

I’m now done with both of my publishing internships and focusing entirely on my own writing and editing with Month9Books (well, and also teaching). I want to keep up the agency/submissions content on my blog, however, since those tend to be some of my most-shared posts! Since you guys love it, I want to keep it coming. 🙂

I’m very excited to be inviting publishing industry interns to join me here on The Bookshelf as co-bloggers. To celebrate their awesomeness, we’re having a blog party, complete with the chance to win critiques and free books!

Please welcome my new bloggers!

Alex Yuschik:

When not writing or working on grad school stuff, Alex Yuschik leads a secret double life as a literary agent’s intern. She also fights bears and meditates under waterfalls (where by “bears” and “under waterfalls” we mean, respectively, “manuscripts” and  “carefully, as she is liable to break things even when calm”). Alex on Twitter Alex’s blog

Darci Cole:

Mormon. Wife. Mommy. Writer. Editorial Intern for Entangled Publishing. #WriteClub Sprint Leader. Crazy Geeky Fangirl. Current project: UNBROKEN (YA Fantasy Series) Darci’s Blog  Darci on Twitter  Darci on Facebook

Talynn Lynn:

Writer who dreams big. Literary Agent Intern for Blue Ridge Literary. Mom of six. Music lover. Coffee drinker. Talynn on Twitter  Talynn’s blog

and last but never least, Claire Donnelly:

Book nerd, hockey chick, lit agent intern, Kiwi, Slytherin. Claire on Twitter

These talented book people and I are going to be posting a freebie almost every hour throughout the day this coming Saturday. Some of the things included are two five-page critiques, a pitch critique, a first chapter critique, a query critique, a fifty-page critique (yes, 50!) and physical copies of THE ARCHIVED by Victoria Schwab, LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green, and CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins. These critiques are by the interns and industry pros who are reading your slush, so you’ll get great feedback! Plus, free books! You may enter for any number of items.

Entering is simple- watch for the post with the items you want to win to go up on Saturday and it will have instructions! The giveaways will end Saturday night and we’ll notify the winners that night!

Special thanks to Darci for the super cool blog party announcement!

Blog party

GUTGAA Meet and Greet

This week the “gearing up to get an agent” contest kicks off- it’s a huge contest with great opportunities to get your work in front of agents. The first part of the contest and blog hop is a “meet and greet” post. If you want to check out the contest itself, go here!

Questions for the Meet and Greet
I live in the midwest but love to travel. Currently I’m in Alberta, Canada, actually, for a friend’s wedding. I love Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice and anything by John Green, can’t live without music, and tell my friends more than they want  to know about writing and publishing. I am finishing the first draft of my 2nd novel this week (fingers crossed- I’m visiting friends and helping with a wedding!). I write adult and young adult fantasy and contemporary. I’m also an editorial intern with Entangled Publishing and an English teacher. I blog here and over at YA Stands.
-Where do you write?
 Usually I write in my library- a tiny half-bedroom upstairs. I do a lot of writing on my ebook, however, when forced to leave my library.
-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
 Well, I’m in Canada right now, but if I were in my library, to my immediate left is my Keurig. I love it because then I don’t have to stop writing and go downstairs to get coffee. I push a button, and keep writing.
-Favorite time to write?
I teach full-time and year-round, so I don’t really get to pick when I write. Usually it’s from 6:30-8:30 most nights. I’ve been writing a lot later for the past month because I’m marathoning my current WIP.
-Drink of choice while writing?
 Coffee. I wish it was something more exciting, but then I get distracted from my writing. 🙂
-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
Usually I play a mix of Switchfood, Brandi Carlile, Mumford and Sons, and Florence and the Machine. But for really tricky scenes, I need quiet.
-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
 Some of my growing up experiences contributed to my current WIP, but mostly the story just came to me as a big “what if?” one day.
-What’s your most valuable writing tip?
 When you read, find the scenes that make you feel something intense. Get a notepad and jot down how the author did it. Figure out why that scene affected you. Also read good books on writing. One of the tabs up top has a list of ones I have read and recommend, so check them out. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the contest if you’re entering!

Writing Contests

I’ve discovered a whole string of worthy contests of late, and so I’m sharing the love and posting them below. If you’re a writer, check them out. Some end tonight or tomorrow! If you’re a reader, stalk the contests.  Reading the pitches for as-yet unpublished books is fascinating, and you never know- you might see the book on the shelves next year.

Share the Lobov Critique Giveaway from Karen Akins

Pitch Slam 2 from YALITCHAT

Operation Awesome Mystery Agent from Katrina Lantz and the rest of the wonderful writers over at the Operation Awesome blog. This one is run monthly!

Crits for Water by Kat Brauer- contests/auctions for charity here until the end of June

Three Two One Pitch contest from Dorothy Dreyer

Tons of Giveaways for writers and readers- closing midnight tonight!

Miss Snark’s First Victim regularly runs writing contests- sometimes weekly! Keep an eye on the blog.

Cupid’s Literary Connection– contests run here regularly as well.

Mother. Write. (Repeat.) – The fabulous “An Agent’s Inbox” is run here monthly. Don’t miss it!

Watch Monica B.W.’s blog Love YA  and Brenda Drake’s blog Brenda Drake Writes for contests, giveaways, and more valuable info for writers and readers. These ladies are fabulous and recently hosted a major contest with Mother.Write.(Repeat.) and Cupid’s Literary Connection.

If you’re not familiar with these kinds of contests, go here for a great post on the topic and some worthwhile tips.

Like my posts? Follow my blog, and follow me on Twitter!

Book Giveaway!

Hello, readers. I have some exciting news. The fabulous Rochelle Melander, writing coach and author of WRITE-A-THON: Write Your Book in 26 Days, has offered to give away a copy of WRITE-A-THON to one of my readers. See my review of the book here. Honestly, I think you’ll love it. Ms. Melander writes insightfully and honestly about the perils, rewards, and challenges of being a writer. It’s motivating and full of unique ideas. Frankly, this book is good company.

To enter the contest, do the following:

1) Follow my blog, if you haven’t already, and comment below that you’d like to enter the giveaway. I have all kinds of goodies and useful materials for writers coming up, so you’ll want to anyway.

2) Follow me on Twitter here. If you don’t have an account, you should. Twitter is one of the most helpful tools I’ve seen yet for making professional connections and finding invaluable resources.

3) Follow Rochelle Melander on Twitter here. Tweet to me that you followed Ms. Melander, using her Twitter handle so she sees the tweet too.

That’s all you have to do! Here’s what you can win:

First prize: WRITE-A-THON by Rochelle Melander

Second prize: An ebook copy (readable on PC) of Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide from the Gotham Writers’ Workshop, one of America’s leading private creative writing schools. This book isn’t just the thoughts of one author on how to write fiction; each chapter is contributed by a different writer, all 11 of them published authors. Publishers Weekly calls this one “fresh and full of concrete advice.” You definitely want to win a copy- you know you do.

Third prize: Yes, there’s a third. Everyone will receive something- something I’ll announce when we have our winners. Check back to see what it is!

Contest ends Friday May 4 at 5:30 pm central time. That’s this Friday- so enter while you’re here! I’ll use random.org to choose the winners Friday night- results will be announced on Twitter. Thanks so much for reading!