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FicFest – Meet the Team




Introducing the fabulous, smashing, most definitely charming Team England! I like to think we’ve got all the class and a little bit of that cheeky, dry humor. Plus some of us really really like tea (not naming names, ahem).

Without further mumbling and stammering, here is Team England in all its glory!


Team Leader:

E. Latimer

E.-Latimer2E. Latimer is a young adult/middle grade fantasy writer and literary intern who was born and raised in Victoria, BC and recently moved to Vancouver. She writes books, makes silly vlogs with the YA Word Nerds about writing and reads excessively.

You can find out more by following her on twitter at @ELatimerWrites

E’s Wish List:

  • Creepy, whimsical MG with strains of dark magic (think Coraline, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events).
  • Quirky, fun MG with a classic feel to it (think The Kneebone Boy, by Ellen Potter).
  • Fantasy of almost any kind.



Team Members:

Kate Saunders

Kate picKate is the editorial director for new Australian publishing house, Lakewater Press, and a freelance editor and proofreader. Her debut middle grade novel, Winell Road: Beneath the
, was published by Jet Black Publishing in 2015 and the sequel is coming soon this year. She has mentored new writers as part of Nest Pitch and Pitch Wars, and regularly judges writing contests. Originally from England, she now lives with her family on the Gold Coast in Australia.
Find Kate on twitter as @winellroad
Go to Kate’s Website:
Kate’s Wishlist:
  • Voice comes first before all else. So clear and addictive tones; precise and beautifully executed narratives. I am a sucker for dark and disturbing, but if the hook and great characterisation are apparent in those opening paragraphs, I’m in!

Ramon Ballard 

RamonRamon Ballard grew up in Salt Lake City and was invisible throughout his schooldays (due to his shyness), unfortunately he had the lonely child’s habit of making up stories and holding conversations with imaginary persons. Invisibility has definite advantages, especially when combined with a vivid imagination. He created magical, fantasy worlds with magical inhabitants.

Time does not stand still. Fantasy worlds evolve into mundane, everyday life. As he grew older, his whimsical travels to far off places diminished and his invisibility slowly faded into visibility. All foolish realms were forgotten, pushed into the furthest regions of his mind. Ramon grew up, but a small part of his mind, the part stuffed to overflowing with imaginary worlds, refused to get older. It appears as if he had a Peter Pan soul.

Ramon would tell the stories, once only heard by his imaginary friends to his own children. Alas children, like time, do not stand still, and grow too old for such nonsense. But for some reason he still loved his stories and would tell my wife “one day I will write a great children’s novel.”

One day Ramon’s life changed forever when his lovely wife told him to “shut up and write.” It seems that life has a way of going in full circles, late at night Ramon finds himself holding conversations with imaginary persons.

The rest is or will be history.

Follow Ramon on twitter at @raballard

Follow Ramon’s blog:

Ramon’s Wishlist:

  • Anything fantasy. Something my grandchildren would love to read (when they’re older). From dragons to dungeons, Unicorns, to a kid with an untied shoe that sends the kid to far off places. You know, fantasy





photo credit: <a href=”″>Through The Haze…</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

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FicFest – A New Contest For Writers

Feather Image by EL Wicker- Fic fest


Very pleased to announce I’ll be participating as one of the judges/mentors in the middle grade category for FicFest!

What is FicFest? It’s a online contest for writers with a finished, ready-to-query manuscript in almost any genre or category  (Picture Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult)

There will be three different teams in each category, so lots of opportunities for writers who submit!

2016 Time Line


March 20, 2016 @ 12:00 PM EST
Guidelines & Theme Reveal
(Host Blog)

March 27, 2016 @ 7:00 PM EST
Meet the Team Leads & Their Members!
(Team Lead Blogs & Host Blog)

April 3, 2016 @ 6:00 PM EST
Agent List Announced
(Host Blog)

April 17, 2016 @ 7:00 PM EST – 10:00 PM EST
Q & A with Team Leads & Host
(Twitter – Using #FicFest)

April 24, 2016 @ 12:00 AM EST – April 25, 2016 @ 11:59 PM EST

April 26, 2016 – May 3, 2016
Teams will chose their finalists/alternate

May 4, 2016 @ 10:00 AM EST
Finalists/Alternate Reveal
(Team Leads Blogs)

May 5, 2016 – June 30, 2016

July 8, 2016 @ 12:00 AM EST – July 14, 2014 @ 11:59 PM EST
Agent Round


For more details and updates, visit the host website/blog:

Website –

Blog –






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Author Goals

New Years.jpg

No, this isn’t a hashtag on instagram or twitter, this is an actual list of author goals for 2016. Feel free to comment below with your own goals for the new year, or if you don’t make goals and resolutions, vague musings on what you might like to do in the new year, with no commitment whatsoever. Whatever your style is, really.

Weapenry and Patchwork Press are getting ready to make 2016 our best writing year yet, and we want all of you to dream big with us. This week, authors are coming together to start thinking about the coming year and all of the books we’re getting ready to write. If we dream big and write all year round, we can easily make this our best year yet!

What is your favorite writing/publishing memory from 2015?

-Publishing Frost was pretty well the highlight! The launch party was absolute chaos and I loved every minute of it.

What story are you most looking forward to working on in 2016?

-Book 2 in the FROST series is in the making, and it’s going to be a long and complicated process (lots of court politics) but I’m game!

Are you the type of person who makes New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not?

-Absolutely! And then I break every single one of them.

What area(s) of your writing/publishing process are you going to work on improving in 2016? (dialogue, marketing, output, pacing, formatting, etc.)

-For writing, I’d like to work on studying the craft more. Reading more articles on plot structure, characters arcs, that sort of thing. Writing is an art, but the best artists also study their craft like it’s a science, and I’d like to be more like that.

-For publishing with PWP, I’d like to get better at organizing my plans for marketing. I’m terribly scatterbrained and never know where to start.

How would you describe a successful publishing year in 2016? What goals are you working toward?

-Have FROST book 2 out. Getting a literary agent. Getting a book deal for my MG work.

If you had to guess, what do you think your biggest challenge will be when it comes to publishing and writing next year?

-Organizing my insane schedule. I need an additional brain. Or just someone to make lists for me and tell me where to show up.

How far ahead do you plan your writing schedule? Do you prefer to prepare or to see where your muses take you?

-I usually know what book I’m going to write next, and that’s about as far ahead as I think.

Tell us about something non book related that you’re currently looking forward to for 2016.

-Living a healthier life. We’ll see how that one goes.

If you could offer up one piece of advice to other authors and writers for 2016, what would it be?

-Keep writing. And whatever it is you want for you and your writing, keep going after it. If you have enough passion (see also, obsession) you’ll meet your goals someday.


What about you? What goals (bookish and otherwise) are you planning to work toward in 2016? Let us know in the comments! Weapenry will be giving away ebook packs of both Refilling Your Inkwell by Kellie Sheridan, and Surviving First Drafts by Erica Crouch to three randomly selected commenters across the posts going up this week. Be sure to either include your email address or to Tweet at us @patchwork_press along with your goals so we can get in touch if you win!







photo credit: <a href=”″>New Year 2015 Fireworks</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>




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Haters Gonna Hate (Things That Teenage Girls Like)

taylor_swift2Sometimes when I get irritated I listen to “Shake it Off” on repeat, y’know, just to lighten my mood. I’m doing that right now.

If you’re not sure what all the fuss about Taylor is lately, it’s because the singer went up against big company Apple Music and told them (in the most polite open letter in the entire world) that artists deserve to be paid for their work. And holy crap what a NOVEL idea. The best part is that Apple listened, and they changed what they were planning to do. Which, if you’re wondering, was not pay artists for THREE MONTHS (good luck with your rent, suckers)!

But this post isn’t about artists getting paid for their art (believe me you, that’s coming later) what this post is about, is the giant amount of hate that has sprung from this “altercation”. People just LOVE to hate on Taylor Swift. It’s a dogpile over on twitter. People saying she only did it for the money, that’s she’s greedy and vile and only thinks of herself. The thing is, what she did helped thousands of indie artists and small singer/songwriters scrambling to pay for food and rent. But the haters DON’T CARE. They only care about jumping on the hatred bandwagon.

Because that’s what’s popular. We’re allowed to hate Taylor Swift, One Direction and Justin Bieber, because that’s what TEENAGE GIRLS like. We’re allowed to hate Twilight and rip it apart all over the internet, encouraged to. This is a very real thing, so much so that it’s become a big topic. There are blogs about “Things I Hate About Teenage Girls” and “Why You Shouldn’t Hate Teenage Girls”. I mean, WHAT? That blows my mind. How did this become acceptable? How did this become normal?

Why are teenage boys not getting the same hate? Because they’re not. Not even close.


This needs to not be okay anymore. When we see it happening, we need to take a stand. Call people out. Tell them it’s not acceptable. Because every time I come across an entire comment section of vile hatred, I think “Do you really hate Taylor Swift, or have you come here to comment because you know it’s the popular thing to do?”

And there’s something very wrong about that question. Haters gonna hate, but that doesn’t mean we have to tolerate it.


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