That being said, Query Kombat would not be possible without the wonderful people who donate their time to help others. In this month-long contest, we have managed to gather over thirty industry professionals to judge and critique entries. Each and every one of these judges is participating out of the kindness of their heart, so please join the QK Crew in thanking them for volunteering.
Judges of Query Kombat 2015
Stephanie Scott is a Young Adult writer whose debut ALTERATIONS is set for release in 2016 by Bloomsbury Spark. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America including the YA chapter YARWA. She loves helping other writers, and this year will be her second as a Pitch Wars mentor. Besides writing, she enjoys dance fitness, cat memes, and binging on TV with her tech-of-all-trades husband. She has a life goal to cosplay Hoth Leia from The Empire Strikes Back. A Midwest girl at heart, she lives outside of Chicago.
twitter: @StephScottYA https://twitter.com/StephScottYA
Annika Sharma was born in New Delhi and brought up in the United States, where she moved with her parents as a baby. A proud alum, she graduated from Penn State University with dual degrees in Biobehavioral Health and Neuro-Psychology, and minors in Biology and Human Development and Family Studies. She received her Master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education before pursuing her dreams of becoming a writer, landing her agent Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group while daylighting as a preschool teacher. The Rearranged Life, her first novel, was written in the month before graduate school.
Annika, a Gryffindor and Scorpio, spends much of her time dreaming of adventure, working on her next book, going on Starbucks runs with family and friends, shopping online and watching superhero movies.
The Rearranged Life will hit shelves on May 15th, 2015, published by Curiosity Quills Press.
Author, The Rearranged Life (Amazon order link)
Find me here: Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Website
Carrie DuBois-Shaw is a YA writer and playwright. She recently relocated to San Francisco where she is enjoying the abundance of independent bookstores, sourdough bread, and fog. Carrie and her co-writer, Betsy Aldredge, were named Grand Champions of Query Kombat 2014 for their YA Contemporary Romance, Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things. The entry, nicknamed “Shalom Sasquatch,” led to signing with the wonderful Christa Heschke at McIntosh and Otis.
Betsy Aldredge is a former magazine editor turned communications professional and YA/NA writer. Betsy and her co-writer, Carrie DuBois-Shaw, were named Grand Champions of Query Kombat 2014 for their YA Contemporary Romance, Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things. The entry, nicknamed “Shalom Sasquatch,” led to signing with the wonderful Christa Heschke at McIntosh and Otis.
Melissa Caruso was born on the summer solstice and went to school in an old mansion with a secret door, but despite this auspicious beginning has yet to develop any superpowers. She wrote her first books in crayon at age four and hasn’t stopped telling stories since.
Melissa lives in Massachusetts with her video game designer husband, two superlative daughters, a Labrador, and a pair of cats. She graduated with honors in Creative Writing from Brown University and has an MFA in Fiction from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. She writes YA fantasy, and is represented by Naomi Davis of Inklings Literary.
Sarah Glenn Marsh is the author of the forthcoming YA historical fantasy novel Fear the Drowning Deep (available September 2016 from Sky Pony Press). An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since. She lives in Virginia with her husband, four rescued greyhounds, and some pretty fish. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found antiquing, painting, or playing board and video games. Come say hi to her at: www.sarahglennmarsh.com
Laura Heffernan is a California-born women's fiction writer, represented by Michelle Richter at Fuse Literary. One Saturday morning when she was four or five, Laura sat down at the family's Commodore 64 and typed out her first short story. She's written both fiction and non-fiction ever since.
In her spare time, Laura likes travel, baking, board games, and new experiences. She lives in the northeast, with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts. There are rumors that summer may one day arrive in this region, and she’s pretty excited.
When she's not busy writing about life on other planets, magical places with hidden dangers, or things that go bump in the night, Wendy Nikel enjoys a quiet life with her husband and two very imaginative sons. She is a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) and contributes to the Operation Awesome blog. She loves chai tea, photography, board games, and road trips. You can find a full list of her published short fiction on her website: wendynikel.com
Christina June writes young adult contemporary fiction when she’s not writing college recommendation letters during her day job as a school counselor. She loves the little moments in life that help someone discover who they’re meant to become – whether it’s her students or her characters. Christina is a voracious reader, loves to travel, eats too many cupcakes, and hopes to one day be bicoastal – the east coast of the US and the east coast of Scotland. She lives just outside Washington DC with her husband and the world’s most rambunctious four-year-old. Christina is represented by Kevan Lyon.
Richard Pearson is the author of THE ROLE a LGBT Coming of Age novel which will be published by Lethe Press in February of 2016. Richard grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. As a child he consistently performed, often without request, for anyone who would listen to him. He eventually found his audience, and spent most of his years in high school rehearsing various plays and musicals. At Rhodes College, Richard took numerous courses in theatre and creative writing (though his major was Sociology) and has never stopped writing or performing since graduating in 2004. Aware that he had to pay the bills somehow, Richard worked as a paralegal for many years, but eventually decided (thanks to some loving coaxing by his husband) to attend law school in 2007. After graduating from Rutgers School of Law in 2010, Richard passed both the New York and New Jersey state bar exams. He currently practices part-time out of his home in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Lethe Press: http://www.lethepressbooks.com