Pitch Wars Update and Inspiration Blog Hop

30 Oct

So, that contest I was gabbing on about, Pitch Wars? Well, my young adult novel, THE ACCIDENTS, was one of 126 novels chosen out of 1,600 entries. This caused lots of squealing, jumping up and down, chocolate eating, wine drinking, and dazed looks when I was anywhere other than at my computer, hard at work. After three years of laboring over this novel, this was an amazing vote of confidence.

Alas, being chosen for Pitch Wars was only the (glorious) beginning. The hardest work was ahead of me. Or as Daft Punk would say:

“Work it harder, make it better
Do it faster, makes us stronger
More than ever, hour after
hour, work is never over.”

Best Mentor Ever

Luckily, I had the brilliant, comforting, hilarious mentor, Rachel Lynn Solomon, on my side. Rachel was the one who picked my book out of her 145 submissions (yup, still pinching myself). She had a four page edit letter ready to go the night I was chosen, and we chatted for three hours one night (2.5 hours of which was talking about our dogs—am I kidding? You may never know). Then, I made a seven-page revision plan with detailed notes about every scene, we kept in touch every day, and I started kicking my novel’s butt into shape.

Before Pitch Wars, over the course of two summers, my wonderful and supportive MFA professor Jane Delury read and critiqued THE ACCIDENTS more times than I can count. Jane and I were working on fixing a sub plot problem and pinpointing the right ending, but man, was I stuck. Rachel honed in on the same problems, and helped me find some “ah ha” solutions. Working (and becoming friends) with Rachel has been more awesome than eating chocolate icing with a spoon every night, or even every hour, and that’s saying something.

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Pitch Wars Potential Mentee Bio

12 Aug

My Twitter avatar, in case you forget!

Hello, lovely Pitch Wars people! Here’s the down-low on who I am, and how my manuscript got to where it is today. I’ve enjoyed connecting with all of you so much, and hope to keep in touch!



About Me: Work and Hopes and Dreams

Most of my working life is spent helping tech startups with marketing strategy and content. I also teach college composition and college prep. I work for myself, so I get to control my schedule, which is the best thing ever. Though sometimes my boss can be a real jerk.

World's best boss


One day, I hope to teach college creative writing. Days full of writing, inspiring students, and being inspired by students would be a dream.

Excuse me while I go cry

I also cofounded Sounding Sea Writers’ Workshop, which launched this summer with classes on non-fiction, fiction, publishing, and poetry, as well as individual writing coaching. We are based in Baltimore, and we are working on launching our first online class. We’re always open to pitches for classes, both online and local, if you’ve got a great idea you’d like to teach. If there’s a class you’d like to take, we want to hear that, too. But let’s talk about that after the Pitch Wars mentees are chosen, to avoid any conflicts of interest.


About Me: The Writer

Yup, I was that kid who was always sitting alone in the corner making stuff up. I had the absolute privilege of going to a Literary Arts magnet program for high school, Carver Center for Arts and Tech. The community of writers my amazing teachers helped to build—what can I say? My heart.

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Query Critique Blog Hop

23 Jul

I’m throwing my hat into the ring for a query critique blog hop run by the wonderful Michelle Hauck. I’m working hard to get my novel in shape for Pitch Wars, which starts in August, and I’d love your feedback!

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How to Use LinkedIn to Mine Your Existing Network

3 Jul My LinkedIn Profile

I had a great talk with Paul Kirch from BOSS Academy Radio about how to use LinkedIn for your business. We cover do’s and don’ts, how to grow your network, and how to mine your existing network.

Queue this up for the next time you have a long drive, or jump in and listen while you work!


And of course, feel free to connect!

Writing Classes in Baltimore: Sounding Sea Writers’ Workshop Launches

3 Jun

Sounding Sea Writers' WorkshopIf you want to become a better writer, check out Sounding Sea Writers’ Workshop’s first classes. I started Sounding Sea with three classmates from The University of Baltimore back in January, and we have been working hard to nail down the details and bring these classes to reality.

Here are the first four classes we are offering. I am so excited about these professors! If you can’t make these dates, or don’t live in Baltimore, Sounding Sea also provides personal writing tutors. Email tutoring@soundingsea.com to inquire.

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Essay in Baltimore Fishbowl: White Privilege and Police Brutality

20 May

Today, Baltimore Fishbowl published my essay, “On White Privilege, Police Brutality, and Baltimore.”

Here’s a snippet—head to the Fishbowl to read the full article.

“I’m white, and I live in a neighborhood of yuppies near the water in Baltimore City. So, I can’t speak to what it’s like for the folks affected by police brutality. But I can speak to what it’s like to deal with police when you’re a stupid, white teenager.”


LinkedIn for Writers & Illustrators: 4 Tips

3 Apr

My LinkedIn ProfileFacebook and Twitter get most of the attention as the social networks of choice for writers and illustrators—and they’re great tools! But poor little LinkedIn, sitting quietly in the corner, can also be extremely useful. So, when my local chapter of SCBWI announced that they were doing a blog linkup on the topic of social media, I thought I would chime in on behalf of LinkedIn.

Here are a few ways that I’ve used LinkedIn in my career as a writer. I’ve written many posts and taught whole classes on using LinkedIn, so this is just scraping the surface—but hopefully it will be good motivation for getting started!

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New Short Story: “Pie” Out in Refractions

20 Jan

You can now order Refractions, a collection that includes “Pie,” the first short story I will ever be getting paid to publish! Paying people for producing art? In America? What?!

The collection, Refractions, is geared towards teen readers (which doesn’t mean adults won’t like it). It’s $4.99 for the eBook (it’s a PDF, there’s artwork too), and $9.99 for the print. The publishers, Golden Fleece Press, are creating a lot of really cool books and are awesome for actually committing to paying contributors.

Here’s a little excerpt from “Pie”:

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New Writing: Check Out My 50-Word Story

11 Sep

My story, “Her Boy,” went live on 50-Word Stories today. Check it out! 50-Word Stories is an amazing site; in just a few minutes, you can read several stories that are exactly 50 words long and run the gamut from funny to scary to touching. Enjoy!


Social Media and Content Marketing Updates Around the Web

16 Sep

Just a quick post to share a few articles I’ve written around the web.

For marketers who are interested in using content to educate current customers, and find new customers, check out “12 Lessons For Focusing Your Content Marketing Strategy on Education” on the Content Marketing Institute’s blog.

For writers, illustrators, and other creatives, check out “5 Ways Writers and Illustrators Can Use Twitter” on the MD/DE/WV chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators blog.