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#pg70pit Surprises and Slushies!

I’m delighted to not only introduce you to the fine people judging the pg70pit contest, but also to announce some exciting developments in the contest!

But first, let’s get us out of the way—

The Band Managers

We’re just your friendly contest coordinators.

laraHost, Lara Willard
Lara is a fiction and visual storytelling editor who graduated summa cum laude from the University of Northwestern—St. Paul with a bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies (writing, literature, editing, art, and design) in 2010. Fluent in English grammar and geeky GIFs, she’s also studied Spanish, Italian, Koine Greek, Quenya, and body languages. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in literary mags InkstoneThe Cedarville Review, and Revolver. Lara lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, sons, and dog-show dropout Havanese, Neville Shortquarters.


Assistant, Meghan Barrett
Meghan, from the frozen world of northern Minnesota, is a senior at the University of Northwestern—St. Paul who is spending her summer as Lara Willard’s intern and enjoying it immensely. Meghan loves watching movies, going to the theater, being a savvy Old Navy shopper, and, of course, reading. She has been known to channel Lucille Ball, Monica Geller, and Scarlett O’Hara—sometimes all at once. If she could, she would eat tacos every single day.

The Disc Jockeys

Introducing the pg70pit co-hosts! In addition to the top 7 MG, YA, and Adult entries posted on Lara’s blog, each co-host will select up to seven entries to feature on their own blogs! These will also be available for agents to read. That’s a total of 42 winners!


Co-host for Adult Entries, Elizabeth Buege
Elizabeth graduated from Northwestern College (now the University of Northwestern—St. Paul) with a B.A. in English Writing and internship experience in nonprofit writing and book editing. She now provides critiquing and editing services to authors of fiction and memoir. In addition to editing, Elizabeth teaches secondary writing classes at a homeschool co-op. When she isn’t working, she’s probably reading or writing stories full of longing, struggles, and hope.


Co-host for YA Entries, Ethan Vaughn

Ethan Vaughan is a freelance editor and former literary agent. He began as an intern with Folio Literary Management  in 2011, then served from 2011–2015 as a reader and agent with Kimberley Cameron & Associates. He is now earning a master’s degree in history and takes on editing clients throughout the year.


Co-host for MG Entries, Carissa Anna Taylor
Carissa is an author of YA sci-fi/fantasy, graduate of Arizona State University with a PhD in Sustainability, drinker of Earl Gray tea, lover of Firefly, and player of nerdy board games. Originally from Washington State, she now lives with her husband and spazzy kidlet in Sydney, Australia. Her novels are represented by Jason Anthony of Lippincott Massie McQuilkin.

The Bouncers

Our slushies are an integral part of this contest. They not only vote on the entries, they also nominate their favorites to win giveaways! Make these ladies happy, and they can make your dreams come true. But hey—no cash bribes, K?


Slushie, Yolanda Ashton
Yolanda Ashton is the alter ego of a thirty-something mother of three. Her favorite things to do in the world (outside of family) are reading and writing—she fell in love with words at an early age. Yolanda loves creating worlds with them and entering new worlds designed by them. Throughout her life she’s always felt the epitome of a great “me” day is one spent reading a book or creating one.


Slushie, Jo Wu
Jo Wu is a student at UC Berkeley, where she studies Integrative Biology and Creative Writing. She has been published in a few anthologies, and one of her short stories, “Devoured by Envy,” was praised by Publishers Weekly. When she’s not writing, she’s modeling under the alias Carmilla Jo, drawing, painting, or sewing. She’s looking forward to reading your entries and seeking awesome fantasy and sci-fi stories for adults and middle grade!

The Simon Cowells


After the 21 42 top entries are published on the blogs, five editors will peruse the entries and dig back into the slush to pick recipients of free editing services! In addition to Lara, Meghan, and Elizabeth above, two MS Editors will give away the following:

Editor, Kaleigh Walter

  • Five one-page edits
  • Two five-page edits

Editor, Megan Ruesink

  • Three five-page edits

The giveaways will be announced one week from July 7th (7/14/15), right here on my blog, so stay tuned and be sure to subscribe!

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