Brandi M Ziegler

Walking the path to publication one step at a time.

Category: #PitchWars

November Feels

The scariest moment is always just before you start.

~ Stephen King

Hello, all!

Hope your summers were well and you remembered to set your clocks backwards on Sunday.

The leaves are turning and I can finally wear socks and scarves. My favorite time of the year!

I love November! It’s such a creative month for me. I’ve tried NaNoWriMo for years. Never won. But my yearly attempts have made this time of year my plotting/new story drafting season. So although I won’t be participating in NaNoWriMo (good luck and happy/timely writing to all who do!), I’m plotting and drafting scenes for my newest WIP. It’s been glorious.

I haven’t posted in a while. A few updates:

  1. I am officially a mother of two: a boy and a girl! A toddler and a newborn. Yes, I’m crazy.
  2. I’ve been reading up a storm! Apologies for lack of rec posts. A quick list of recent reads:

Currently reading Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy because I don’t have enough YA contemporary in my life.

  1. I’m featured over on today! Thanks to my amazing 2014 #PitchWars mentor, Marieke Nijkamp, whose fantastic debut THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS is out in January 2016. I’m absolutely thrilled for her!

I forgot how nice it is to type. I’ve been brainstorming longhand whenever I have a free moment. As I draft this blog, I’m balancing my cooing newborn on my lap. Do whatcha gotta do, man.

May the rest of the year be months of many words, new and polished. Via writing and all the books.

Happy writing!


#PitchWars Hangover

Anyone who says writing is easy isn’t doing it right.

~ Amy Joy

The last two months have been leading (agonizingly slow) up to #PitchWars, but then the two-day agent round seemed to fly by! My entry received a few requests. Plus my mentor received an email directly from an agent asking for a full. So, exciting times!

It was such a wonderful experience. My mentor, Marieke Nijkamp, has done so much for me and my manuscript. Just believing in me and picking me to represent her has been an honor. My alternate, Evie Bromiley, also received multiple requests! It was a good competition for all of us. And Brenda Drake, the lovely hostess of #PitchWars, worked tirelessly to provide this opportunity for us aspiring writers. I am forever grateful!

I must say, I’ve been a wreck off and on for the last two months because of this competition. Lots of nail-biting and waiting! I suppose it’s just prepping me for all the patience I’ll need as I continue down the path of publication. The publishing industry is all about waiting.

If any writer out there is hesitant about entering writing competitions or thinking about entering one – do it! This was my second year entering #PitchWars and it’s been an absolute blast! Brenda is hosting a few more events this year, and there’s always next year. Never give up, believe in yourself, in your writing, and you’ll go far.

Also, never stop writing. NaNoWriMo is in full swing. I’ve never won, but the energy and camaraderie from participants is contagious, and I can’t help but write like crazy.

I’m super excited to see what the future holds for me. While I wait (ugh) I’ll just keep writing, just keep writing. And of course READING. My TBR pile is climbable.

Happy writing!

#PitchWars Feels

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

~ Maya Angelou


If you don’t know anything about #PitchWars, the most important part of this amazing online competition happens tomorrow.


These lovely agents will peruse the works of 75 hopefuls. If they like something, they’ll request pages.

The last two months have been leading up to this moment for me.

In September, I decided to try #PitchWars again. Yep. This is my second year entering (never give up!). I studied the list of mentors who pick the lucky mentees. I got my wanted list down to ten. But you can only choose four. So I did some thorough research and picked the four whose manuscript tastes fit what I had to offer.

I got a full request the same day I submitted my entry.

I was ecstatic, to say the least. A professional in the publishing industry wanted to read my book and possibly mentor me. This left me giddy for days.

And then my mentor, Marieke Nijkamp, requested a partial a few days later. Mind = blown. I had been daydreaming about my potential mentor experience with the other mentor who had my full, but as I went back through my research and realized how flippling awesome Marieke is, I was desperate to have her mentor me. That following week she started asking me questions like, How serious are you about revisions? Are you currently querying?

Then she said something along the lines of, Weeell, perhaps you should hold off querying for the moment 😉

I had to read this simple sentence over and over. What did this mean?! The mentor picks weren’t going to be announced for another four days! My poor husband. I was a wreck the rest of that week.

The night the mentees were posted, I was putting my toddler to sleep. And of course, he would Not. Go. The. F. To. Sleep. So I sat in the dark with him refreshing the page on my phone. Thousands of people were refreshing Brenda’s blog. I think we broke it. But a half hour after the posting, I was finally able to get through, and I scrolled down, down…

OMG my name is next to Marieke Nijkamp’s – this isn’t real! My book title is next to my name. I’m under the title “mentee”. I did a happy dance with the toddler and he conked right out afterwards.

Since mid-September I’ve been revising like a mad woman with Marieke and my tremendously talented alternate, Evie Bromiley*. I’m so pleased with the results. And beyond grateful for Marieke. For her decision to pick me and challenge me to do more with my work. THE SILENT SALT SHAKER is super shiny and ready for the agent round tomorrow.

I, on the other hand, am freaking out. I must keep myself busy, otherwise I’ll be glued to my phone. Thank goodness for busy, busy toddlers.

I cannot wait, ya’ll!

*Remember that name – Evie Bromiley – she’s going to be a #PitchWars alternate champ!

Out From Under My Rock I Come

I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.

~ Walt Disney

Heeey. How’s it going? Long time no talk. What’s going on with me, you ask?


So my fourth manuscript – what? Oh, yeah. I wrote a fourth manuscript. It has kings and heists and acrobats. I think it’s really good. Though I’m a wee bit biased. I entered it into this year’s #PitchWars contest hosted by the amazing Brenda Drake. Over 1500 aspiring writers applied, and only 75 got in.

I got in! Cue happy dance.

I’ve been working with my lovely mentor, Marieke Nijkamp, since mid-September and my MS is even better. Revisions have always been my favorite part of the writing process, and these last few weeks have been amazing. The agent round is next week (eep!), so I’m keeping myself busy working on my shiny new WIP (with hunters and jungles and prophecies) to keep myself from freaking out. It’s kinda working. Okay, not really.

I’ll post in more detail about my #PitchWars experience thus far. Also, I’ve been reading like crazy. I have so many book recs!

Obviously, consistency is not my middle name. Can’t you tell by how often I post? And er, by my blog name. But! I’m making a real effort here. And I’ve been pretty active over on Twitter. Come say hello!

Happy writing!