Monday, 25 June 2012

Christmas in July: A few more details

As you know, Michelle Krys is co-hosting Christmas in July with me, and today we have a few more details for you.

First of all, if you missed the first post, you can find it here.

Now for the exciting bits :) We already told you you'd need a query letter and the first 500 words of your completed ms to enter. We'll both be reading ALL the entries (and possibly fighting over our favourites.) I'm kidding (I'm not, and I'm pretty sure I have the weight advantage).

Anyway, once we've come to a dignified and amicable decision (seriously, I fight dirty), we're going to help you edit your entry until it is a many spendoured thing. Not that you HAVE to take our advice - it's your work. But the advice will be there :)

So because we'll need time to read all the entries and you might need to time to polish them up after our suggestions, the timeline is going to look like this:

Next post - 2nd July. This one will reveal our ten agents!

Submission window - 9th July between 6am and 3pm EST. Submissions should be sent to lottiehumphries14(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)uk. I'll set up an auto response so you'll know we've received your submission.

13th July - the 30 writers chosen by us will be posted and notified.

18th July - after polishing, the entries go live on our blogs for the entire week and requests will be made!!

Don't forget to use the hastag #XmasinJuly on Twitter!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Christmas in July: Agent-judged competition announcement!!

It's time to announce a HUGE agent-judged competition that's so big it's going to need two blogs to contain all the awesome. No prizes for guessing that my co-host is Michelle Krys. So if you don't follow her already, then you'll be wanting to (also, what is wrong with you?)

As you can see, we're calling it Christmas in July!

And here's the tagline:

                  30 pitches, 10 agents, 1 week. 

Yep, we'll be choosing 15 entries each to post on our blogs. The entries will be up for a whole week, and there will be ten, yes 10 agents dropping by to make requests!

This is where it gets even more exciting.

Because there are 10 agents (did I mention that?) there's a wide scope for genre here. Which means that we'll be accepting Children's picture books, MG and YA (all genres), and Adult submissions of ALL GENRES (except erotica)!!

You'll need a query letter and the first 500 words of a completed manuscript to enter.

You don't have to follow my blog to enter, but I'd like it if you did. I'd also like it if you'd check out my previous post. It's about a great book!

More details on the submission window and what we'd like to do with the entries before they go live to follow in the next post, which will be on the 25th June. In the meantime, we're using the hashtag #XmasinJuly to talk about it, hook up on Twitter and TELL EVERYONE : D

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan

The Weight of WaterThe Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

Here's the blurb from Goodreads:

 Armed with a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother leave Poland and head for the UK to find her father. Life is lonely for Kasienka. At home her mother's heart is breaking and at school Kasienka finds it impossible to make new friends. While the search continues, Kasienka is kept afloat by William, a boy she meets at the local pool who understands what it means to lose someone and who swims with Kasienka towards her new life.

I find that kind of lacking actually. Here's the blurb from Amazon instead:

 Armed with a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother head for England. Life is lonely for Kasienka. At home her mother's heart is breaking and at school friends are scarce. But when someone special swims into her life, Kasienka learns that there might be more than one way for her to stay afloat. The Weight of Water is a startlingly original piece of fiction; most simply a brilliant coming of age story, it also tackles the alienation experienced by many young immigrants. Moving, unsentimental and utterly page-turning, we meet and share the experiences of a remarkable girl who shows us how quiet courage prevails.

Yeah, that one's better, because this book is utterly lovely. Poignant without being sentimental and incredibly relatable. Easy to read and beautifully written. As a writer I'm jealous, as a reader consider my thought provoked. It's written in verse, but if you think that bothers you, get over it. This is a great read!