Tag Archives: Fiction

RONE Awards: Vote for The Beltane Escape


The Beltane Escape has been nominated for a RONE Award for excellence in

YA Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi!

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Reader voting begins today, May 22 – until May 28.

To vote:
1. Go to http://www.indtale.com/2017-rone-awards-week-six
2. Follow the instructions to vote, follow (“Click to register)
3. Click the verification link sent to you via email. If you do not verify that you registered, you will be unable to vote.
4. Return to www.indtale.com.
You will find The Beltane Escape under the YA Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi category.

All votes will be greatly appreciated!

Coming Soon!

  • The relaunch of The Teen Wytche Saga will begin in June with new covers, new content, and new stories.
  • The Amber Elixir, a Two Realms novella featuring the Lady of the Lake, Merlin, and Morgan le Fay will soon be available for preorder.
  • The Viking Mist, Book 2, The Two Realms Trilogy, is in the final stages of editing!



Great Opportunity For Aspiring Authors

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Why should you enter a writing contest?

  1. To gain valuable feedback.
  2. To gain access to acquiring editors and agents.
  3. To improve your craft.

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Toronto Romance Writers is accepting entries from unpublished writers for The Catherine 2017* from December 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017. Permission to forward is granted and encouraged!

Grand Prize

The Gold Ticket Round winner and runner-up will receive a three-month mentorship with a published author.

Mentors:  Molly O’Keefe and Eve Silver

Judge:  Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

Finalist Round

The top three entries in each category from the preliminary round will advance to the Finalist Round. Each entry in the Finalist Round will be judged by one acquiring agent and one editor.

Each first place winner in their category will receive a critique by a published author prior to advancing to the Gold Ticket Round.


Agent:  Shira Hoffman, McIntosh & Otis

Editor:  Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks

Published Author:  Stefanie London


Agent:  Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Editor:  Piya Campana, Harlequin

Published Author:  Mary Sullivan


Agent:  Courtney Miller-Callihan, Handspun Literary

Editor:  Brenda Chin, Entangled Publishing

Published Author:  Christine d’Abo


Agent:  Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency

Editor:  Jennie Conway, St. Martin’s Press,

Published Author:  Ann Lethbridge


Agent:  Janna Bonikowski, The Knight Agency

Editor:  Allison Carroll, Harlequin, Graydon House Books

Published Author:  Kate James


Agent:  Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourett LLC

Editor:  Angela James, Carina Press

Published Author:  Morgan Rhodes


Agent:  Stacy Donaghy, Donaghy Literary Group

Editor:  Elizabeth May, Kensington Publishing

Published Author:  Kelley Armstrong


Agent:  Vanessa Robins, The Corvisiero Literary Agency

Editor:  Annie Berger, Sourcebooks

Published Author:  Juliana Stone


Preliminary Round 

Each entry will receive guaranteed feedback.

Judges: Toronto Romance Writers’ members.

*For the complete rules and regulations, please visit torontoromancewriters.com

Writing YA and the Importance of Reader Engagement

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Have you ever become so engaged in a book, movie, or television show that you dreamed about its characters? This happened to me during college when I allowed myself a one-hour study break each weekday to watch a soap opera. The show’s villains, heroes, and star-crossed lovers penetrated my psyche and took up residence. I became emotionally invested in their fates. I plucked the characters and twisting story lines and wove them into my own mental narrative. Successful YA novels inspire similar devotion and emotional involvement. Teens especially embrace trilogies and book series. They love returning to familiar worlds and journeying along as new truths are revealed, and more difficult obstacles must be overcome.

Intense Emotions and Reader Engagement

Do you remember the heightened emotions connected to high school? Developing brains and raging hormones amplified feelings about friendship, love, family, and peer approval. Beliefs and thoughts grew to epic proportions. There were no shades of gray. A well told YA novel will inspire similarly intense emotional engagement, and inspire fan fiction, Street Teams, and reader/blogger loyalty.

In her Romance Writers of America University class, “Romancing YA,” author Nancy Holder asked students to “Describe how reader engagement is built into your story idea.”

Since I write series YA (The Teen Wytche Saga), I applied the question not only to my individual books, but also to the series overall. In doing so, I discovered that I had employed the characteristics outlined in an article Holder referenced, “Fiction Writing: What Makes Your Readers Care About Your Characters?”http://menwithpens.ca/fiction-writing-what-makes-readers-care-about-your-characters/ and had strengthened them with each subsequent book. Ask yourself the same question about your work-in- progress and then read the Men With Pens article.

Your World As a Reader Springboard

Imagine the world you have created in your YA novel, be it a contemporary high school, a dystopian setting, steam punk, Fairy, between worlds, or a mental institute. How would a reader react if he or she were plopped into your setting? Whether your characters are aliens, vampires, lunatics, or Every Girl and Boy, would the reader identify with their humanity enough to want to aid and befriend them, help them overcome their obstacles, and destroy their enemies?

As an author, my visceral reaction to the characters I write is a good predictor of how my readers will react. (I so wanted a happy ending for Aidan in Spell Struck!) Like the soap opera characters of my college days, I want my characters to be so relatable and compelling that they get inside a reader’s head and enter his or her dreams. I’d consider that level of reader engagement an epic success.

Ariella Moon