Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!


It’s on! . . . It Was a Dark and Stormy Blogfest Contest

Monday, 7 February 2011  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Yay! It Was a Dark and Stormy Blogfest Contest is finally here. So, today and tomorrow, February 7th and 8th, post your first lines on your blog and go hop around to the other participants’ blogs listed in the linky below to critique. Polish your first line and post it in the comments below starting now until February 9th at 8am EST EXTENDED TO 8PM EST when the contest WILL BE CLOSED

Post your first line in the comments below like this:

Name: Brenda Drake
Title: Annika Britanika: Around the World in 80:45:07
Genre: MG Steampunk

Maximillian Drayson didn’t quite like girls, but he figured Annika Britanika was different. 

And to remind you, our fabulous judge is agent Weronika Janczuk with D4EO Literary Agency and she’s giving out these great prizes:
1st place — a critique of the first 50 pages + query
2nd place — a critique of the first 25 pages + query
3rd place — a critique of the query

To give Weronika plenty of time to read–along with all her demanding agent duties–the winners will be announced on the blog by Monday, February 14th.

Also don’t forget that there will be an additional editing prize from CA Marshall given away to a follower at the new DNA Writers blog.



Filed: Misc

  • Okay I’ll be first…

    Name: Erica M. Chapman
    Title: Anomaly
    Genre: YA Thriller

    My mom always said, “Never fart in front of a boy.”

  • Name: J. L. Jackson
    Title: Gift From the Gods
    Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

    I have always feared this room.

  • Florence says:

    Name: Florence Fois
    Title: Lizzie Brogan and the Broadway Ghost
    Genre: Paranormal Romance

    I loved to play in the dark corners of the attic, peeking into the boxes of my sister’s and brother’s childhood keepsakes, an old prom dress that Moira had worn, my brother Michael’s football uniform, trophies and photographs, dusty lamps and some old furniture.

  • Margo Kelly says:

    Name: Margo Kelly
    Title: The Education of Thia
    Genre: YA Contemporary

    Some old dead guy once said a journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step.

  • Name: Donna Earnhardt
    Title: When Rhubarb is on the Menu
    Genre: Picture Book (quirky/humorous)

    On Monday, Mom cooked 8 pounds of rhubarb.

  • Fun! Here’s mine:

    Name: Patricia Lynne
    Title: Being Human
    Genre: YA paranormal

    It’s said vampires forget their human lives.

  • lbdiamond says:

    Name: Laura Diamond
    Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy/Adventure

    The Renaissance Faire wrecks my birthday every year.

  • Anonymous says:

    Name: Miss S Louth
    Title: Choas with Siz
    Genre: Gay fiction.

    “Gay chicken,” he added.

  • Name ~ Angie Ledbetter
    Title ~ {Afraid to write it, fearing someone
    will love it and use it before me. LOL}
    Genre ~ Womens Fiction

    If Candy could open her eyes and see the dry-eyed faces staring down into her casket, she might well die of madness – not the coo-coo for Coco Puffs kind of insanity, but the anger that makes you want to spit nails and kick ass.

  • Miss S Louth says:

    Name: Miss S Louth
    Title: Chaos with Six
    Genre: Gay fiction

    “Gay Chicken,” he added.

  • Lindz says:

    Name: Lindz Pagel
    Title: The Blood Wind Saga
    Genre: Fantasy

    The night moved with fateful lethargy, and by the time the sun skirted the horizon Queen Malwen could barely hold on.

  • Name: Christi Corbett
    Title: Along the Way Home
    Genre: Historical Fiction

    Every Wednesday Kate stood on the same front porch, her knuckles poised inches from the door, willing herself to finally do the unthinkable–walk away without knocking.

  • Title: Crucifiction
    Author: Luis Vendrell
    Genre: Literary Fiction

    Pastor Joseph’s knees hurt.

  • Kendal says:

    Name: Kendal Ashby
    Title: Trouble at Trinity
    Genre: YA contemporary

    I didn’t wear mascara to my brother’s funeral.

  • Name: Christine Arnold
    Title: The Kingery Conservatory of Elemental Enchantment
    Genre: YA Fantasy

    I grabbed my backpack and glanced out the front window, half expecting to see a pair of eyes watching me from between the trees.

  • Name: Sarah Woodard
    Title: The Secrets of Sisters
    Genre: YA contemporary

    All I can think about is how much I hate my sister as I find puke in the toilet again.

  • Hope Welsh says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Name: Catherine A. Winn
    Title: The Secret in the Cellar
    Genre: Middle Grade Mystery/Thriller

    I like Faye Nelson, I really and truly do, but it’s getting harder to ignore that jealous knot in my chest every time I see her.

  • Kate Higgins says:

    Name: Kate Higgins
    Title: Emerald Boots
    Genre: MG historical/fantasy

    Jade felt the balloon basket swing violently and scrunched far back into the dark corner hoping desperately to become invisible – stowing away on The Great OZ’s balloon really wasn’t one of her best ideas.

  • hopejunkie says:

    Name: Taryn
    Title: Splashback
    Genre: YA Contemp

    The Sour Patch Kids in the bottom of Heidi Maverick’s sparkly clutch probably bothered him the most.

  • Name: Stina
    Title: Still
    Genre: YA contemporary

    My stomach clenches as Dad cranks up the volume on the TV.

  • Name: Kathryn Jankowski
    Genre: MG fantasy adventure

    Any other morning, one of the scavengers sifting through the white sands of Palanga would have found the jewel first, but today Roze arrived at the beach before dawn.

  • Lorelei says:

    Name: Lorelei Bell
    Title: Vampire’s Trill
    Genre: urban fantasy

    I could feel the cold, hard ground beneath me; my body felt as though every bone in it had been broken at least twice as I tried to remember why I was outside without a stich.

  • Shallee says:

    Thanks so much to Brenda for hosting this, and to Weronika for judging!

    Name: Shallee McArthur
    Title: Devolutionaries
    Genre: YA dystopian

    Grandad lied to me a lot.

  • A. Grey says:

    Thank you Brenda and Weronika!

    Name: Artemis Grey
    Title: Evernow
    Genre: YA Dystopian

    Life is so much easier without underwear.

  • T C Mckee says:

    Thanks Guys. This is awesome.

    Name: T.C. Mckee
    Title: Will of the Walkers
    Genre: Paranormal Romance

    Freaking babies?

  • Name: Christy Hintz
    Title: Solstice
    Genre: YA Fantasy

    I clutched the journal and pressed it to my chest, twisting it side to side as my feet pounded the frosty earth.

  • Morgan Lee says:

    Name: Morgan Lee
    Title: Gabriel Stone and the Divinity of Valta
    Genre: MG fantasy adventure

    Gabriel paused mid-step, captivated by the radiant hues glowing beneath the frigid water.

  • Name: Gabriela Lessa
    Title: Whatever You Call Home
    Genre: Multicultural Humorous Women’s Fiction

    I never thought I would long for coach class seats, but then again, I never thought I’d even have the guts to board a plane like this one.

  • Nathalie says:

    Name: Nathalie Bleach
    Title: Liberty
    Genre: YA Dystopian

    Crumbling rock, dark recesses penetrated by cap lamps, explosives…and death.

  • Name: Elaine AM Smith
    Genre: MG SF (SCi-fi)

    She imagined a house with foundations, not wheels, parents who worked as accountants and slices of death in thin, white sandwiches, only the break discs screamed.

  • Name: C Scott Morris
    Title: Poets and Angles
    Genre: Dark Fantasy/Steampunk

    Ethan was drunk when he stumbled across the dead man.

  • Name: Lisa M. Basso
    Title: Shimmering Angels
    Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

    Doctor Graham said I was cured the day he signed my release papers, but there was nothing like a big fat set of wings to pour on the doubt.

  • Name: Karen Harrington
    Title: No Ordinary Girl
    Genre: Women’s Fiction

    I am a woman who never sent a Mother’s Day card and never expects to receive one.

  • Charlie says:

    Name: Charles Rice
    Title: A Good Daughter
    Genre: Thriller/Paranormal

    Three words that had haunted Detective Guevera for years, “Daddy help me. . .” was the only communication from Erin, and the only glimmer of hope.

  • D. R. Rux says:

    Name: D. R. Rux
    Title: The Seventh Seal
    Genre: Paranormal/Occult/Horror

    She couldn’t sleep because of the pain.

  • Name: Sharon K. Mayhew
    Title: Everyone Did Their Part
    Genre: HF Picture Book

    It was World War Two and everyone was expected to do their part for the war effort, even Mummy and me.

  • Heather says:

    Name: Heather McCorkle
    Title: The First Dragonwatcher
    Genre YA Fantasy

    Chemier loved it when people ran; it made the hunt that much sweeter.

  • Jen says:

    Name: Jen Duffey
    Title: Boyfriends,Spies and Lies
    Genre: Contemporary YA

    Absolute freedom.

  • Name: Richard Levangie
    Title: Secrets of the Hotel Maisonneuve
    Genre: Late MG Adventure

    Jacob Jollimore didn’t hesitate; his fight-or-flight instinct was missing the fight half.

  • Name: Stephanie Thornton
    Title: Mistress of Byzantium
    Genre: Historical Fiction

    My life began the night my father died.

  • Name: Shannon O’Donnell
    Title: Scott and the Naughty Boy factory
    Genre: Chapter Book

    I crouched in my favorite box elder tree, fourth branch up from the ground and only one branch over from my sister’s piñata.

  • RaShelle says:

    This is awesome, Brenda! Thanks.

    Name: RaShelle Workman
    Title: CONNECTED
    Genre: YA SF

    Like a new star, the arrow glowed—shiny and bright.

  • Cheree says:

    Name: Cheree Smith
    Working Title: SHADOW EMBRACED
    Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy

    Her blows come quick and hard, knocking me back into the fleshy wall of the crowd.

  • Name: Teralyn Rose Pilgrim
    Title: Sacred Fire
    Genre: historical fiction

    The sun set above the river Tiber, its reflection making the currents into pink ribbons, and Tuccia clutched the edge of her seat; Rome was close.

  • Holly Jones says:

    Name: Holly Jones
    Working Title: The One Before the One
    Genre: Romance

    Sitting down and concentrating very hard I wrote my reply, hoping it was legible and didn’t scream drunken text.

  • Name: Shelley Watters
    Title: BLUE LOTUS
    Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

    The jagged rocks on the edge of the cliff sliced into my bare feet like razor blades.

  • Kelly Bryson says:

    Name: Kelly Bryson
    Title: WAYS TO FALL
    Genre: Paranormal Romance

    My small lantern—one of many things Mother had salvaged from the Outside world—made a halo of light around my feet.

  • Name: Vicki Tremper
    Title: Kwizera Means Hope
    Genre: YA

    I did not want to pick tea for a living.

  • Kathryn says:

    Kathryn Sheridan Kupanoff

    Name: Kathryn Sheridan Kupanoff
    Title: The Travelers
    Genre: Fantasy

    To my left is an eerie light, glowing unlike anything you’d ever find down there on Earth.

  • Name: MaDonna
    Title: Shaken
    Genre: YA Contemp

    “We’re moving where?” I say standing up from the couch hoping my six foot frame shouts adulthood.

  • Gina says:

    Name: Gina Ciocca
    Title: Life Before Death
    Genre: Paranormal Romance

    I was very relaxed for a girl with no idea where she was or how she got there.

  • Loralie Hall says:

    Name: Loralie Hall
    Title: Uriel’s Fall
    Genre: Urban Fantasy

    Cherubim longed for a name; a label to give it shape and definition like the seraphim it admired from a distance.

  • Name: Lauren Becker
    Title: The Heartbreak Boys
    Genre: LGBT Contemporary

    Annabelle Williams gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Ryan; beautiful words for a heartless bitch.

    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

  • Thanks ladies!

    Name: Kerri Cuevas
    Title: The Kiss of Death
    Genre: Paranormal Romance

    It was the old man’s lucky day because I was his Grim Reaper.

  • Name: Jamie Manning
    Title: Ever
    Genre: YA Paranormal

    I woke to an overpowering hunger and the coppery smell of blood.

  • Tina Lynn says:

    Name: Tina Lynn Sandoval
    Title: Ten
    Genre: YA Paranormal

    “What the hell am I doing here?” Mattie asked herself as she slid the car into park.

  • Name: Stephen Tremp
    Title: Breakthrough: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan
    Genre: Near Future Sci-fi

    He carefully opened the floor safe in the Salon Suite on the fifty-fifth floor of the Wynn Las Vegas, one of the newer five star mega hotels on the Las Vegas strip

  • Nata says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Kate Haggard says:

    Name: Kate Haggard
    Title: Everly (which is so provisional it hurts)
    Genre: YA Science Fiction

    Fifteen minutes more and Rayna would be free.

  • Nora Coon says:

    Name: Nora Coon
    Title: Kinesthesia
    Genre: YA Alternate History

    Meri remembered exactly two brief, shining moments in her life when she’d thought maybe she could be happy after all.

  • Angela Scott says:

    Name: Angela Scott
    Genre: YA Zombie/Western/Romance (Paranormal)

    The zombie saved his life.

  • Name: Juanita McConnachie
    Title: Phoenix’s Ashes
    Genre: YA steampunk-fantasy

    Mira’s dress swirled around her feet as she glided across the frozen lake, her skates leaving behind a shimmering trail of grooves.

  • Maria Cope says:

    Name: Maria Cope
    Title: Bottom Feeder
    Genre: YA Fiction

    I fought overseas for twelve months, but Maddy battled a war at home her entire life.

  • SM Johnston says:

    Name: Sharon Johnston
    Title: Mishca
    Genre: Speculative Fiction (Science-Fiction and Horror with a paranormal feel)

    First line: I always knew I was adopted.

    Thanks for the feedback so far. I’ve been blog hopping and I like what I see.

  • MarcyKate says:

    Name: MarcyKate Connolly
    Genre: YA Ghost Story

    Two words were written on the paper: Help me.

  • Name: CA Marshall
    Title: The Inside of Trees
    Genre: MG Urban Fantasy

    I squeezed my toes as hard as I could, a trick Mom had taught me to hide my nervousness or embarrassment; Everyone could see you cry, but no one knew if you curled your toes.

  • Name: Eleni Alexandraki
    Title: The Gypsy Princess
    Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

    I had warned my Dad about moving to Knoxville.

  • C.L. Moyer says:

    Name: Cynthia L. Moyer
    Title: The Keepers of the Emerald Cave
    Genre: MG Urban Fantasy

    Bubbles slipped through the morning air, dancing past bouquets of flowers tucked in their paper cones.

  • J.C. Martin says:

    Thanks again for this awesome contest and opportunity, Brenda and Weronika!

    Name: J.C. Martin
    Genre: Adult crime/psychological suspense

    I can tell from the way he stares at me, from the way he swipes at his beer-glazed eyes–as if rubbing them hard enough would erase my image from his sight–that Dan Stanton is starting to regret his sixth pint of lager.

  • Amy Machelle says:

    Name: Amy Machelle
    Title: Saving Elizabeth
    Genre: YA Paranormal Romace

    “Don’t do it, Abby!”

  • Hope Welsh says:

    Name: Hope Welsh
    Title: Forever Again
    Genre: Romance/Paranormal

    Shawn knew if didn’t get out of here soon, this masquerade party was going to turn into a massacre.

    I tried to edit my other line with the suggestions–but blogger won’t let me

  • Mara Nash says:

    Name: Mara Nash
    Title: Faerie Fate
    Genre: Paranormal Romance

    Holly Reed slept curled in a tiny bundle reminiscent of the fetus she’d been only a week ago, unaware of the two women who stood over her, watching.

  • Name: A.L. Sonnichsen
    Title: Seagull Rising
    Genre: Contemporary YA

    Give me a well-sharpened knife.

  • Misty Waters says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • gideon 86 says:

    Name: Michael Di Gesu
    Title: The Blinded Gardener
    Genre: Y/A Contemporary

    Meeting Danny altered the only life I knew: A breathing punching bag.

  • susansheehey says:

    Name: Susan Sheehey
    Title: Under the Covers
    Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

    David’s heart drummed at the dreaded thought circling in his mind- he was right, again.

  • Thanks again for hosting this.

    Name: Christopher S. Ledbetter
    Title: Caenus and The Quiver of Artemis
    Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

    Prince Caenus deflected a thrust from his friend’s sword.

  • Nora Coon says:

    Name: Nora Coon
    Title: Kinesthesia
    Genre: YA Alternate History

    Meri remembered exactly two brief, shining moments in her life when she’d thought maybe she could be happy after all.

  • DL Hammons says:

    Name: DL Hammons
    Title: Fallen Knight
    Genre: Mystery/Suspense

    Today was the day.

  • Trisha Wolfe says:

    Name: Trisha Wolfe
    Title: White Flame
    Genre: YA Steampunk

    I was beginning to lose consciousness—if I could just wedge my fingers beneath his arm—it might loosen his grip from around my neck…

  • Misty Waters says:

    I need to change my entry! Can I? I missed the “finished” ms part of the rules. Oops. That’s what I get for skimming.

    Name: Misty Waters
    Title: The End of Days
    Genre: Adult Fantasy

    “Death isn’t what I expected.”

  • Name: Elena Solodow
    Title: The Whip-Slip
    Genre: YA Fantasy

    *italics are /text/

    /They’re coming for you, T.,/ She told me.

  • Sam Witt says:

    Name: Sam Witt
    Title: The Bleeding Cure
    Genre: Horror

    Real friends are up for a kidnapping and won’t complain too much when you get down to the bloodletting.

  • Name: Mandy Mikulencak
    Title: Hannah’s Half
    Genre: YA Paranormal

    I rarely asked questions anymore because the Visitors never speak.

  • Susan Oloier says:

    Name: Susan Oloier
    Title: Outcast
    Genre: Young Adult

    Emergency lights throbbed atop the ambulance, yet there was no sound.

  • Name: Carolyn Snow Abiad
    Title: BURNT AMBER
    Genre: YA Fantasy

    Seyhan led us up the serpentine streets of Bebek to an unimpressive building Alexis and I would never have found on our own.

  • RaShelle says:

    Hi Brenda,
    Total dork reporting for duty. I didn’t realize when I entered the contest yesterday the first sentence needed to belong to a completely complete MS. So, I’m going to change my sentence.

    Name: RaShelle Workman
    Title: DISTORTED
    Genre: YA Crossover/Paranormal

    A quick glance at the Ghost Busters watch on my wrist told me mom would be ticked.

  • Amanda says:

    Name: Amanda Hoving
    Title: My Life as a Transgender Chihuahua
    Genre: YA Contemporary

    The room looked like it had been swallowed by a bunch of dizzy hogs.

  • Thanks for all those comments you pushed toward this revision!

    Name: J.W. Parente
    Title: Bond of Darkness
    Genre: Epic Fantasy

    Valence clenched his hands, the power crawling under his skin like a silky robe wrapped in thorns.

  • Name:Elaine Smith
    Title: Edgware
    Genre: YA Paranormal

    Some people run towards things, others run away; I just run.

  • Bekah says:

    Thanks for extending! I thought it was 8pm- yikes : )

    Name: Bekah Kritsch
    Title: Parallel Earth
    Genre: MG Science Fiction / Fantasy

    A crystal marble sizzled with blue sparks under Wyatt Parker’s desk.

  • Erin says:

    Thanks again!

    NAME: Erin LaVallee
    TITLE: The Eyes Beneath
    *Complete at 81,000 words
    GENRE: A conglomeration of a YA romance & paranormal fiction

    Some refer to me as the fallen.

  • pensees says:

    Name: Cyndi Tefft
    Title: Between
    Genre: YA paranormal romance

    Ravi’s lips were soft and familiar against mine, but my mind was elsewhere, obsessing about my upcoming finals.

  • Story Teller says:

    Name: Holli Moncrieff
    Title: Dragonfly Summer
    Genre: Paranormal Mystery

    I never believed in ghosts.

  • Ariel Swan says:

    Name: Ariel Swan
    Title: Distillation
    Genre: Women’s Fiction with a supernatural thread

    My mother told me never to start a new endeavor on the full moon, but as was my nature then, I didn’t bother to pay attention.

  • Nata says:

    Name: Nata
    Title: For Archar
    Genre: YA Fantasy

    I took a chance and ran away; finally letting the night swallow me whole.

  • Name : Roland D. Yeomans


    Genre : Urban Fantasy


    It rained lies and death today.

  • Tanya Reimer says:

    Name: Tanya Reimer
    Title: Surviving the Storm
    Genre: Urban fantasy
    first sentence:

    Unlike my son, I liked the idea of not knowing who I was in past lives.

  • Suzi McGowen says:

    Name: Suzi McGowen

    Title: Troll Wife

    Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

    First Sentence:

    I hadn’t even been on the job a month and I had 14 bruises, a concussion, multiple cuts and abrasions, a broken arm, and now, a gunshot wound: being a Tooth Fairy shouldn’t be this hard.

  • Trisha says:

    Name: Patricia Farnan
    Genre: MG/humour
    First Sentence:

    Long, long ago in the city of Mouseratten, the hulking figure was scaring the fur off any who saw him.

  • Tabitha Bird says:

    Name: Tabitha Bird
    Title: The exquisiteness of broken glass
    Genre: Women’s fiction
    First Sentence:

    One thousand black birds dropped from the sky the night I was born.

  • lisasanuma says:

    Name: Lisa Asanuma
    Title: Jethro
    Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

    “You know, Dad, we’re ruining a perfectly good prime number by coming back here.”

  • Name: Sarah Billington
    Title: The Kiss Off
    Genre: YA Contemporary

    “What rhymes with ‘douchebag’?” I asked as Vanya turned knobs and pulled the legs out on the tripod.

  • sylsome says:

    Ah, bummer. I missed the cutoff. But, putting it on here so I can cross it off my to-do list 🙂

    Name: Syl DeLeon
    Title: Adornable
    Genre: New Adult

    “Starting over is as easy as breaking into a new squat in a new city.”

  • Donna Hole says:

    Name: Donna Hole
    Title: Not Her Mother’s Fate
    Genre: women’s fiction

    Amy pressed back against the wall as another group of revelers stumbled towards the keg.

  • Brenda – My line was originally posted early on the 9th, and then I left to have surgery. LOL! I had no idea the blog went haywire. I hope you’ll let me re-post late. I gave feedback on soooo many blogs. 🙁

    Name: Corinne O’Flynn
    Title: Wise Jim and The Expatriates
    Genre: YA Fantasy (adventure)

    After working with the tigers then getting a busted lip from my brother, I wasn’t in the mood for the waitress who wrinkled her nose as I wafted into the diner.

  • Lela Gwenn says:

    Here’s mine!
    Name Lela Gwenn
    Title Alamandine’s Song
    Genre Adult UF

    I burst out of the door, all goosebumps and cold sweat, and held it closed behind me.

  • David says:

    Eek, I posted to the original contest thread before the deadline, not this one!

    Name: David F. Weisman
    Title: Absorption
    Genre: Science Fiction

    At first the young girl’s eyes looked identical, but when she glanced around the room the left didn’t keep up with the right.

  • RJ says:

    Name: RJ Dreyer
    Title: Thorn
    Genre: YA Fantasy

    If you saw her, you would think there was no greater joy than to stand on a roof during a storm.

We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

Pitch Wars takes a stand. ANTI-BULLYING. Click here to review our policy

Pitch Wars 2021

Blog Archives

Blog Categories

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.