So excited to work as a #pitchwars mentee to @jasouders

I’m a #pitchwars 2015 mentee! Woohoo!

HUGE announcement! Last night the Pitch Wars 2015 mentees were revealed after weeks of behind the scenes bartering and deliberations, and I was on it! Allow me a moments as I beat my chest and roar my best lion roar (that, really, sounds more like a cat with its tail shut in the door, but shhh … don’t tell me that).

ES Wesley #pitchwars

Still amazed to see my name on the #pitchwars 2015 mentee list!

For those of you who don’t know, Pitch Wars is a contest where authors submit their manuscripts in hopes of being mentored for two months prior to an agent round where agents peruse the submissions like an audiophile in a record store. It’s an unbelievably amazing opportunity, and now I can say that I am one of the Pitch Wars 2015 finalists. Roooaaa-*cough-*cough.

So what does this mean, you ask?

It means that the hard work has just begun. Over the next two months, Pitch Wars mentor and Tor Teen author JA Souders (go buy her books

now!) will work with me to make some industry-specific changes to my manuscript, prepare needed materials, and generally sharpen The Outs until it could split a nose hair, and then comes the agent round.

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FOR THE WRITERS: Stop Tinkering with Your Manuscript After You Query

Stop Tinkering with Your Manuscript After You Query and Move On

Seems like it’s query season for us writers lately. Everyone’s getting their manuscript out after various summer writing conventions, polishing up those synopses, and hovering over their email like a helicopter parent on the first day of school. We’re excited. We’ve worked so very hard on these manuscripts, and now that we’re trying to release them into the wild, we are terrified of what that means.

But let me help you out: what querying means is that you believe your manuscript is ready to be read by others. You believe—with confidence—that the query represents a finished work that will dazzle the agents you’re querying. You believe that the manuscript you’re querying is as near perfect as you can get it.

Or at least … you should. Continue reading

Young adults and the science fiction conundrum

Where is the young adult science fiction?

The State of Young Adult Science Fiction

A couple weeks ago I attended the DFW Writers Conference in Dallas, TX. DFWCon was a great event, with lots of fantastic speakers and agents and editors, but one conversation I had really stood out above all the others.

That conversation was with Susan Chang, senior editor at TOR Teen, a division of Macmillan that focuses in on teen and young adult science fiction and fantasy.

Ms. Chang is one of the people who knows what’s what in teen publishing, so she spoke with elegance and poise throughout our conversation at the DFWCon mixer, whereas I was content to stand there and drool all over my drink, soaking in the wisdom of the universe. Continue reading

ESW at DFW (con, that is. DFWcon. DFW Writer’s Conference. Come on, guys!)

DFW Writer's Conference

DFW Writer’s Conference, #dfwcon

Hey everyone! Just thought I’d pop in and give a little report on how things went this last weekend. A lot of you know that I was heading down to the DFW Writer’s Conference this weekend to do all the writerly things that we writers do at writers conferences (like see how poorly we can construct a sentence in order to pass it by agents).

Just so you know, the DFW Writer’s Conference was pretty sweet this year. Great speakers (including the lovely and hysterical southern belle Charlaine Harris and the über-productive and ever-awesome Kevin J. Anderson), great agents and editors and fan-freaking-tastic authors. Seriously, if you live in the DFW area and didn’t drop in on the DFWCon fun, you really, REALLY missed out.

Events like this are a must for writers, and now that I’m walking around with more cultured eyes, I can really see value in everything that happens at a conference like that. At DFWCon I made great connections with authors I’d met only briefly, and some authors I’d never met before. I got to hear some great sessions that really challenged my thinking on narrative voice and villains. And, best part–I got to meet some amazing agents and editors. Continue reading