Month: February 2017

Pitch Madness Submission Window is OPEN!

The Pitch Madness 2017 submission window is now open!

To submit your manuscript pitch into the contest, use this form on Brenda Drake’s post here.

What is Pitch Madness?

It’s a contest to win a request from one or more of the participating agents. (See who they are here.)

The submission window is open from NOW and until 11:59PM EST on February 24th. You should have plenty of time to get your submissions in. Make sure to perfect your entry. If you make an error, you may not resend. What do you need to enter? A 35-word (max) pitch and the first 250 words of your finished manuscript. If the 250th word falls in the middle of a sentence, go to the end of the sentence. If you’ve entered this manuscript into contests before, you CAN still enter Pitch Madness.

There will be 60 finalists moving onto the agent round. Pitch Madness will accept Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult (never before published) fiction only, novel length (no novellas) completed and polished manuscripts only. All genres (i.e. fantasy, contemporary, sci-fi, and so on) are welcome to enter. Only one entry per writer.

Each blog host will have a co-host helping them choose their top 10 entries. We have a team of first readers who will check for formatting, grammar, and content and put their top picks through to the hosts and cohosts.

This year’s first round readers and teams can be found here.

The agent roundwill be on March 16 and 17. To see our amazing line up agents go to this post here.

All the twitter fun will happen on the hashtag #PitchMadness! Hope you’ll enter and good luck!





Thank you, SCBWI San Diego!

I gave an intensive on The First Ten Pages . . . don’t let them put it down, and a workshop on #PitchWars, #PitMad, and #PitchMadness yesterday, February 11th. There were so many writers there with an impressive, collective talent. Their kindness was paramount. I had my own two-liter of Diet Mt. Dew, a fun lunch, a loud Mariachi serenade at dinner, and I met so many interesting people. The San Diego SCBWI community is truly blessed and I loved being a part of it!


Among many other things, we discussed all the ways to get your first 250 words, your pitch or logline, your synopsis, your query, your manuscript, and your first ten pages looked at for free. I wanted to give the links to all these opportunities in one easy place. Ultimately, all these roads lead back to me and my collegues–and I’d love to help you in any way I can.


Cornerstones offers a free assessment of your first ten pages and synopsis. Click on the logo below and click through the red “Get Started” button to have them looked at by me or Michele Rubin, 17-year agent with Writers House and now head of Cornerstones US.






#PitchMadness is a way to get your pitch and first 250 words looked at for free. It’s a contest though, so you have to apply using the submission window on February 24th. Click on the Candyland game below for more information about Pitch Madness.



#PitMad is a contest where you tweet your 140-character pitch and agents scroll through the feed and like, favorite, heart the pitches they would like to have submitted to them. It’s a great way for agents and authors to connect!



#PitchWars is a contest where you win a two-month mentorship with a publishing industry professional. If chosen, they will help you polish your query, pitch, and entire manuscript to be presented to agents who will request the manuscripts that fit their lists.



As always, if you have any follow-up questions, you can reach me through Twitter: @HeatherCashman

If you were there, I’d love to hear what you thought in the comments!

GUARDIAN OF SECRETS by Brenda Drake . . . Release Day and Giveaway!



Today is the release of Brenda Drake’s GUARDIAN OF SECRETS (Library Jumpers #2)! Be sure to enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter below!

Title: GUARDIAN OF SECRETS (Library Jumpers #2)
Author: Brenda Drake
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: February 7, 2017

About the Book . . .

Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens. Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it. And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him Dzex,dz since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia. Maybe. If she survives.

Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1): Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2): Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes


Magic and mayhem return to the world’s libraries in this YA sequel.

. . .  Drake’s (Thief of Lies, 2016, etc.) continued love affair with libraries, through Gia’s appreciation for their beauty and architecture, both grounds the worldbuilding and fills real libraries with a sense of potential wonder. With magical trials, political uprisings, strange beasts, monster-filled pocket dimensions, prophecies, and high school, the . . . the author manages to bring all the pieces together in a cliffhanger conclusion that should have readers eagerly awaiting the next installment.

A fantasy that embraces its love-triangle motif and deftly manages to create a believably fragile political system at risk of collapse—unless the heroine can save it.

Brenda Drake Author Photo32

Brenda Drake

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2). She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. She hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment). Look for her upcoming novels, Thunderstruck, Seeking Fate (Fated Series #3), and Assassin of Truths (Library Jumpers #3) coming soon from Entangled Teen.

Guardian of Secrets by Brenda Drake | Release Day Launch |

a Rafflecopter giveaway