Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Query Kombat Free Pass Giveaway!

Query Kombat begins soon! Each year, I raffle off one entry into the first round. The free pass winner is guaranteed to be featured on my blog for Round 1 only, and to get feedback from about a dozen judges (possibly more).* Winning a free pass does not guarantee entry into the agent round.




I've been thinking a lot about the tragic death of Julie Lonewolf and what I can do to help marginalized writers. Nothing I can do can undo what happened, but I'd like to give a chance to someone whose work might have been overlooked. This year, my free pass is open to marginalized writers only. The contest itself remains open to all writers. 

For this giveaway, I'm using a definition borrowed from DV Pit

This includes (but is not limited to): Native peoples and people of color; people living and/or born/raised in underrepresented cultures and countries; disabled persons (including neurodiverse); people living with illness; people on marginalized ends of the socioeconomic, cultural and/or religious spectrum; people identifying within LGBTQIA+; and more.


To enter, leave a blog comment. Share your story. Tell how the lack of diversity in books has affected you. Or tell a story about growing up a member of a marginalized group. Name a diverse book that has touched your life. Again, this is your story. I'm not going to put rules on what you say. You do not need to use your real name. You do not need to state how you've been marginalized (but please do not enter if you do not fit the above definition). Your comment can be as long or as short as it needs to be. If you have a lot to say, PLEASE draft in another program so you can break into multiple comments if it's too long. Then, use the Rafflecopter below. The rafflecopter will pick the winner, so you must submit your entries after leaving a comment.

The Rafflecopter will remain active through May 15. The winner will be announced on my blog on May 16. You have plenty of time to prepare your comments and still get into the giveaway. If you do not want me to announce your name if you win, please email me at laura (at) pitchslamcontest (dot) com. This will not affect your chances. I'll check it after drawing a winner. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Inappropriate, racist, homophobic, bigoted, or otherwise offensive comments will be deleted and anyone leaving such comments will be disqualified from the kompetition.

If you have any questions, please feel free to tweet me. I tend to be online less over the weekends, but will get back to you as soon as I can. 

* I reserve the right, in my sole discretion, to disqualify racist, offensive, or inappropriate entries, entries in genres we're not accepting (i.e., picture books), or entries with words counts that are significantly outside genre standards (like if you send me a 20,000 word adult fantasy. Or a 200,000 word adult fantasy).

19 comments:

  1. I remember when I read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for the first time I cried so hard because it was the first time I had ever really seen myself in a story. Portrayals of YA sci-fi and fantasy characters with PTSD are surprisingly rare despite the frequent trauma the characters experience. And because they are so rare, the portrayals are all the same.

    As for YA sci-fi and fantasy with openly queer characters - those didn't start to get published until I was an adult. There were just hints and subtext that might not have been intended.

    So I write openly queer characters, and characters who react in realistic ways to trauma - some develop PTSD, some don't but they still react like they experienced something traumatic instead of bouncing back right away.

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    1. I didn't notice this as much as OOtP (which I clearly need to re-read), but I had the same reaction to Mockingjay. It was so difficult to read because no one was acknowledging what Katniss was going through or trying to help her.

      And yay for queer characters in SF/F!

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    2. It isn't as explicit in OOtP as it is in Hunger Games, but it's a common interpretation and I certainly identified with it

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  2. People gave me looks; it was the disregard - without me realizing it, growing up in a marginalized group stripped me of the dream of being a writer before it had a chance to flame. Many years later I stumbled across Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. Thankfully, the flame sparked and grew thereafter.

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    1. That makes me so sad. I'm glad you're working toward your dreams now.

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  3. Many people don't take me very seriously as a Latina author. The House on Mango Street was the first book by a Hispanic author I read, and it still stays with me and reminds me that I can get my voice out there, I can be heard. :)

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  4. For as long as I can remember, I've loved the English language. I'm not a native speaker - but I loved it regardless. I've been excellent at it since I was in grade school.
    When I was in highschool, I won a prestigious contest of English. That day, I was so happy. After the award ceremony, I went with my mother to get my epilepsy pills.
    My mother was tremendously proud of me. We lived in a small town, so she was sort of on speaking terms with the pharmacist. When my mother commented about the prize I had won, the pharmacist said, "oh, I didn't know you had another daughter."
    My mother said, "I don't."
    I will always remember how the pharmacist looked at me. It was like... I was suddenly contagious. My achievement had been erased because of my disability. And this was a medical professional.
    Until then I never understood why my mother told me not to tell people about my problem. I understood then.
    Fast forward fifteen years, and I'm now a writer. I have a career that I love. I'm happy. But... Nobody talks about epilepsy. Even in fiction... It's like we're not there. It's very frustrating for me. So since people aren't writing about it... I did. :)

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    1. I'm so sorry that you went through this. Thank you for sharing. I can't wait to see your entry.

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  5. I am in the definition of DVPit that applies to disability and illnesses. I have several, actually. One of which makes it difficult to see (nearly impossible during a very bad flareup!) I was quite surprised the first time I read a book that had PTSD/anxiety issues. One didn't portray it well at all, in my opinion. The other was great and I felt almost relieved that it was out there. At any rate, I'm excited for the upcoming DVPit as well as Query Kombat!

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  6. I've suffered from chronic migraines since childhood, and 20 years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Any day can be a good day, but many are not. I just learned the term "spoonies" to identify others like myself, and the biggest problem we're facing right now is that, due to the opioid epidemic, it's becoming much harder to get the medicines we need. My insurance just raised the price of my medication to over twice as much as it was last year. I understand something has to be done, but it seems no one is considering those who actually need these drugs.

    Several years ago, I read a book that identified chronic pain sufferers as "the canary in the the mine shaft", with the mine shaft being the world full of pollutants and chemicals we're in constant contact with. I didn't want to be "disabled", but I didn't somehow mind being a canary. I write so people can hear my words as a song.

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    1. That's beautiful. I wish it didn't happen that way, but writing about it is a great way to let others know what's happening.

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  7. Ugh, that's awful, I'm so sorry. I've had migraines for 23 years but have only had chronic ones for 6 months (my mom died 6 months ago). Have you read Andrew Levy's A BRAIN WIDER THAN THE SKY? It does talk about how it's possible we're a lil bit evolutionarily advanced--sort of like the whole canary theory.

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  8. I have struggled with depression, anxiety and now what I know is Bipolar 2 disorder for years. People never understood why simple things like talking on the phone or going to parties were so hard for me. These issues were then compounded by the fact that I also have PTSD from my childhood. If someone can't understand depression or anxiety, try telling them you have PTSD when you were never a soldier. Add on to that a recent traumatic brain injury with post concussion syndrome from a work injury it makes you view everyday in a different way. Remembering words and being able to form a coherent sentence while speaking is no longer a guarantee and may or may not get better. The best part is that I am only 24. I have not read any influential books on these topics as for me it would be difficult for me depending on the content as I tend to get invested in my books. My life is still nebulous because of all the issues and working on this book has helped ground me. I also hope that my book will help other people understand more about mental illness without it just being about them.
    Anyway that is a very brief summary of my life story.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear people make things so much more difficult for you. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. I spent most of my life torn between pride in my heritage and worry that people would make fun of me for it. So I mostly ignored it. Until I began to experience life, and realized that we are all a composite of everyone who came before us. My heritage is no more or less than anyone else's and it certainly explained a few things that had always bothered me. My connections to the land and animals became more understandable once I acknowledged and accepted my heritage. Pride became a plus not a minus in my mind. I am happy to say that being part of a culture that is part of the American historical experience is pretty cool.

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    1. :-) Definitely. Anyone who makes you feel ashamed for being who you are isn't worthy of your time. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I fall into the neurodiverse category with several issues. Ever since childhood I have struggled with fitting into society as I am from the generation before therapy and mental became more socially acceptable. My parents didn't have a frame of reference to know that I was different and not just trying to act out. So it was rough growing up and getting through school (long before the days of special accommodations). If there had been more books out about such topics, it probably would have helped everyone involved.

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