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WRiTE CLUB - 2015

This year WRiTE CLUB turns wooden – and goes syndicated!

That’s right, it’s the five year anniversary of the “little contest that could”.  But more importantly, remember when I hinted at a possible association with the DFW Writers Conference, well…its happening! That means lots of exciting changes which I’ll be detailing below. 

First off, let me explain what WRiTE CLUB is?  What started off as a modest writing competition, whose inspiration was loosely derived from the movie FIGHT CLUB, has grown into a writing community sensation.  There are numerous versions of this concept floating around the internet, but nothing like we do it here.  This unique approach, combined with your participation, continues to set it apart from the other writing competitions and is responsible for its phenomenal growth.  Its essence embodies simple, good-natured competition, with lots and lots of fun sprinkled on top.

Over the course of ten weeks I’ll be holding bouts in which the winners will advance to elimination rounds, and then play-offs, which will ultimately lead to a single champion.  Bouts between who…or what…you ask?  Anonymous 500 word writing samples, submitted under a pen name by anyone who wishes to take part, that’s who.   The writing can be any genre, any style (even poetry) with the word count being the only restriction.  It’s a way to get your writing in front of a lot of readers, without having to suffer embarrassment or the agony of exposure.  How cool is that?

And the winners of each bout are determined by you -- WRiTE CLUB readers!

So what’s at stake…other than exposure? In previous years the most exciting part was the winner of the final round was chosen by a panel of publishing industry professionals!  Agents, Editors, Publishers, Marketers, and well-known Authors!  Check out their bios below (in alphabetical order by last name). But that was before.  Now, the WRiTE CLUB Champion will be announced during the DFW Conference, receive a three-chapter critique of their work by several of the judges – and – FREE ADMISSION TO THE DFW CONFERENCE IN DALLAS FOR 2016.  That is a $400 value and an experience that cannot be missed! Wait, that’s not all – both finalist will also receive a $75 Amazon gift card!

Are you bouncing up and down with excitement, wondering how to submit your sample?   It’s really simple…follow the format below (word attachment required) and send your submission to


My wife will be the only one monitoring that email address and she will log in and assign every entry a number – then remove the writer’s name.  Submissions are open from now until April 30th.  After that date a panel of a dozen judges will read all of the entries and pre-select 40 of the best writing samples to climb into the ring.

You are allowed to enter up to three different writing samples – all in separate entries under the same pen name – but only one will be eligible to become part of the 40 contestants.   

Last year we had 168 entries, so just getting selected to participate in the contest is reason to celebrate in itself.

The 40 participants will then be randomly matched to compete beginning on May 18th (see the schedule below), with everybody hoping to make it into the play-off rounds and moving towards the ultimate goal – WRiTE CLUB Champion. No one (other than my wife)…not even the judges being used to pre-select the 40 contestants, will see the true identity of any sample.  


This year the contest is leaner and meaner – almost half as short as last year.

When we begin on May 18th, a bouts winner will be selected by YOU via your votes left in the comments.  Ties will be decided by me (if necessary).

Here are the general rules of WRiTE CLUB (with explanation) that have guided the competition for five years, loosely based on the Fight Club rules.

1st RULE: You MUST talk about WRiTE CLUB - Spread the word far and wide so we can involve as many writers as possible.  Display the WRiTE CLUB banner prominently on your own blog.  Write a post about it.  Tweet it.  Make videos and post them on Facebook. Heck, send up smoke signals if you can.  

2nd RULE: You DON’T talk about WRiTE CLUB – Once the competition begins you are not allowed to solicit votes – for anyone.  All of the writing entries are anonymous, and we want it to stay that way. This is not a popularity contest!

3rd RULE: If someone taps out, WRiTING is over - Tapping out means a WRiTER can decide at any time during the competition to withdraw their name from the pool. If that happens the next writer from the pool with the most votes will move into that spot.

4th RULE: Only two people to a WRiTE - This is a head-to head competition, no ganging up allowed.

5th RULE: Five WRiTE’s per week for four weeks - No matter how many submissions we receive.

6th RULE: No shirts, no shoes - Come on, tell me you didn't giggle at that one.

7th RULE: WRiTES will go on until June 22 - On that date the 10 elimination round winners will be matched up against one another. At some point an advancing WRiTER will be asked to submit a new 500 word sample, and a total of FIVE could be required to reach the championship round.

8th RULE: Anyone can WRiTE, but it must be original material. Your submission can not have been published anywhere else before! 

We started accepting your 500 word submissions today…the cut-off date is midnight on April 30th…and then May 18th the first bout will be held. 

Want to see who will be judging the final round this year?  Here are their bios.

Lauren Oliver – Lauren Oliver is a New York Times bestselling author of YA novels Before I Fall, which was published in 2010; Panic; and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. She is a 2012 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee for her middle-grade novel Liesl & Po, as well as author of the fantasy middle-grade novel The Spindlers. Panic, which was published in March 2014, has been optioned by Universal Pictures in a major deal. Her most recent novel—and her first novel for adults—is entitled Rooms. It was published in late September 2014, to glowing reviews. Recently released is Vanishing Girls, a YA novel.

Academically, Lauren graduated from the University of Chicago, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She also has a degree from New York University’s MFA program. With Lexa Hillyer, she is co-founder of the boutique literary development company Paper Lantern Lit.

Growing up, Lauren was both an avid reader and writer, saying, “I come from a family of writers, and so have always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between ‘chortling’ and ‘chuckling’ is normal. As a child, after finishing a book, I would continue to write a sequel for its characters, because I did not want to have to give them up.”

As she continued in her writing, Lauren eventually made the switch to writing her own stories and characters, to some success. Yet, in addition to writing, Lauren also enjoyed taking ballet, drawing, painting, making collages, singing, acting, experimenting with cooking, and as she puts it, “(trying) to spend my time being as creative and useless as possible.” After finishing high school and moving on to the University of Chicago, Lauren reveals, “I continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature...inadvertently aided and abetted in my mission by my older sister, Lizzie, who pursued a Ph.D. in philosophy and cognitive science. This eventually led our parents to resign themselves to the fact that their children would never be lawyers, doctors, or even gainfully employed.

Nevertheless, things appear to have worked out for the well-known author.

Russell C. Connor – Russell C. Connor has been writing horror since the age of 5, and has been in the self-publishing industry for a decade. He has published 8 novels and 4 novellas in both paperback and eBook, including the Box Office of Terror Trilogy and "Whitney," an epic horror novel about hurricane survivors fighting a washed-ashore sea monster. He also designs books for clients and assists them with self-publishing endeavors through his company, Dark Filament Publishing Startup. Contact him through, or on twitter @russellcconnor.

Russell C. Connor
Author of "Race the Night" and "Whitney"

Marisa A. Corvisiero: Marisa is the founder of the Corvisiero Literary Agency and the Senior Literary Agent. During the few years prior to starting her own agency, Marisa worked with the L. Perkins Agency, where she learned invaluable lessons and made a name for herself in the industry. She is also a Literary Consultant and an Attorney practicing law for over twelve years in New York City.

Ms. Corvisiero is also the founder of The Corvisiero Law Practice, P.C. Since the law firm’s inception, it has achieved incredible success and growth, and continues on its high-speed trajectory towards excellence. The firm now provides assistance in a number of practice areas as a comprehensive package of legal services for existing and new clients.

Ms. Corvisiero received her Bachelors in Business Administration in International Business and Marketing from Hofstra University in 1995, where she was the President of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity Chapter, and the President of the Pre Law Society during her last year. Ms. Corvisiero received her Juris Doctorate from Pace University School of Law in 2000, and earned Pace University School of Law's prestigious International Law Certificate for her studies in International Law. During her legal studies, she held several Board positions on the Student Bar Association, where she was also the Treasurer of the Environmental Law Society, the Chair of the Social Committee, and the Co-Editor of the Pace University School of Law Year Book in 1999 and 2000.

Ms. Corvisiero is licensed to practice in New York State, and has been in good standing for the duration of her admission to the Bar. She belongs to the New York City Bar Association, New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. 

Katelyn Detweiler:  Katelyn is an Agent with Jill Grinberg Literary.  She was an English major in college, emphasis in creative writing, and had the vague notion from the end of freshmen year or so on that she wanted to be in publishing – though “publishing” to her at that time meant being an editor, because it was hard to really have a sense of the opportunities and roles much beyond that.

She worked as an intern at Penn State University Press for two years, and then moved to New York City a few weeks after graduation for the Columbia Publishing Course, a fairly intensive 6 week program that throws you into the ins and outs of the book biz and leaves you, hopefully, with a real job at the end – or at the very least, a whole lot of acquaintances in the field.

She threw her resume at all sorts of openings, and was lucky enough to get her first job shortly after the course ended, a marketing assistant position at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. She stayed there almost two years before moving on to Jill Grinberg Literary Management, where's she been for the past five years and building her own list.  Katelyn is also a YA author, with her debut novel IMMACULATE coming out with Viking Children's this May.

Allison Devereux - Allison is an associate agent and the foreign & subsidiary rights manager at Wolf Literary Services. She moved to New York from Austin, where she was a graduate of the University of Texas and an intern at the Harry Ransom Center. She previously worked at Tor Books.

Allison reads books across all genres, but she particularly loves literary and up-market commercial fiction featuring everyman characters who find themselves in unlikely, surprising, and unexpected situations; unconventional narrative voices; and stories set firmly in reality but that explore otherworldly paradoxes. She’s drawn to fresh and distinctive debut voices, contemporary narratives with a visceral sense of place, and psychologically adept stories with a surreal/subversive bent. For nonfiction, she’s interested in a broad range of topics, including examinations of contemporary culture, pop science, and female entrepreneurial perspectives; humor and blog-to-book; illustrated novels or memoir; and narrative nonfiction that uses a particular niche topic to explore larger truths about our culture.

She’s run two marathons, is a synesthete, and lives in Brooklyn.
Dawn Frederick - Dawn Frederick is the founder of Red Sofa Literary, previously of Sebastian Literary Agency, and she brings a broad knowledge of the book business to the table—with multiple years of experience as a bookseller in the independent, chain, and specialty stores; sales, marketing, & book development at a YA publisher, a published nonfiction author, and an agent associate literary agent at Sebastian Literary Agency in 2002 (before Red Sofa Literary was established).

In addition to her literary agent duties, she extensively volunteers with her local library system, while still finding time to spend quality time on her “wheels.”

She carries a B.S. in Human Ecology, and a M.S. in Information Sciences from an ALA accredited institution.  “Not only do I know what people like to read and are currently reading; I also have the experience of working one-on-one with authors, book distribution centers, and literary organizations

Shannon Hassan: Shannon brings a depth of business and editorial experience to her role as agent at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency LLC, having worked in publishing and law for more than a decade.  She represents authors of literary and commercial fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction, and select nonfiction. 

A few of Shannon’s recent and soon to be published books include THE AFTERLIFE ACADEMY by Frank Cole (Penguin Random House/Delacorte), THE MOON IN THE PALACE by Weina Dai Randel (Sourcebooks), ALMOST ANYWHERE by Krista Schlyer (Skyhorse), and UNTIL BETH by Lisa Amowitz (Spencer Hill Press).

Before becoming an agent, she was the Acquisitions Editor at Fulcrum Publishing, and prior to that, a corporate attorney at Arnold & Porter in New York. She received her JD from Harvard and her BA from George Washington University.

Saritza Hernandez: Saritza is the Sr. Literary Agent at the Corvisiero Literary Agency and is known as the first literary agent to represent authors in the digital publishing landscape. While continuing to seek traditional publishers for her authors, Saritza is the leading literary agent in digital publishing deals. An avid coffee-drinker with a Kindle book obsession, she enjoys a steaming cup of strong Cuban coffee every morning while reading an erotic contemporary romance or action-packed science fiction adventure. A strong advocate of the GLBT community, she enjoys fresh voices in Young Adult and New Adult genre fiction.  

Mark Hough – Mark was the 2012 WRiTE CLUB champion. Mark and his wife Faith live and work in Southern Connecticut, a short drive away from the music centers of New York City and Yale School of Music in New Haven. Mark is not only a talented writer, but he has been making violins, violas and cellos for 13 years, since he completing his 3-year apprenticeship with Lawrence Wilke in 1998. He is a member of the Violin Society of America, which has awarded Mark's violins two Certificates of Merit for workmanship

Michelle Johnson - Michelle L. Johnson is a literary agent, the founder of Inklings Literary Agency and has a business administration background in addition to a lifetime of working with books (sales, editing, and writing) and authors (marketing, promoting, event planning), and also has been a script/story consultant for an independent film.

Before founding Inklings Literary Agency, she was with Corvisiero Literary Agency. She has spent many years in the editing field for private clients and multiple independent publishing houses.

She has also owned and operated a Writers' Center and Bookstore in Virginia Beach, organizing numerous special events for authors and artists alike.

Ella Kennen: Ella is a junior Agent at the Corvisiero Literary Agency.  An experienced editor who went to Corvisiero from a publishing house, Ella loves working one-on-one with writers to help mold their manuscripts into the best possible stories. When she's not busy agenting, she manages the blog at Rate Your Story, a service that helps writers make sure they'll stand out of the slush pile before they submit. She also teaches drama and creative writing to school-aged kids.

To balance out her right-brain propensities, Ella also has a Masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, which means she enjoys thinking about how to make systems run smoothly and efficiently.

DanKoboldtDan was last year’s WRiTE CLUB Champion. Dan lives in the Midwest and manages the human genetics group for the Genome Institute at Washington University. He’s a husband, proud father, and first-time dog owner. He’s a genetics researcher who uses next-generation DNA sequencing to study the genetic basis of human disease – who also writes short stories and novels in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. He is represented by Jennie Goloboy of the Red Sofa Literary Agency and they are seeking publication for my adult SF novel THE ROGUE RETRIEVAL.  Dan hosts a blog about writing craft and the publishing industry. His Science in Sci-fi and Fact in Fantasy series tackles the scientific and technological aspects of SFF. He also runs the #SFFpit Twitter pitching event.

Sara B. Larson - Sara is the author of the acclaimed YA Fantasy DEFY that released from Scholastic in January 2014, and the sequel IGNITE (December  2014). She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband and their three children. She writes during naptime and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting of her sugar addiction. She is represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.

Laura Maisano  - Laura has an MA in Technical writing and is a Senior Editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA Christian Fiction. She’s excited to release her debut YA Urban Fantasy SCHISM, and she’s finishing up the sequel UNITY.

Her gamer husband and amazing daughter give support and inspiration every day. Their cats, Talyn and Moya, provide entertainment through living room battles and phantom-dust-mote hunting. Somehow, they all manage to survive living in Texas where it is hotter than any human being should have to endure. Check out her blog at

Lydia Moëd:  Lydia is an Associate Agent at The Rights Factory after moving from the UK, where she worked as a foreign rights executive for UK publishers including Usborne Publishing and Elwin Street Productions. She has also worked as a freelance literary translator and editor, and as a bookseller at Foyles in London. In addition to handling foreign rights for The Rights Factory's children's and YA list, she is building her own list of clients for representation


Sarah Negovetich – Sarah is fully aware that no one knows how to pronounce her last name, and she's okay with that. She’s a junior agent at the Corvisiero Literary Agency.  Her favorite writing is YA, because at seventeen the world is your oyster. Only oysters are slimy and more than a little salty, it's accurate if not exactly motivational.

Sarah's background is in Marketing. FYI, your high school algebra teacher was right when they told you every job uses math. She uses her experience to assist Corvisiero authors with platform building and book promotion. And btw…she’s my agent. :)

Cheryl Pientka: Cheryl always wanted to work in book publishing but took a slightly different route to get there. She spent her twenties working at trade magazines and for the Associated Press in Washington, DC, and New York. After pursuing an MS in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she became a part-time assistant in a literary agency and has been happily involved in book publishing for eleven years. She is currently the subsidiary and foreign rights director and an agent with Jill Grinberg Literary Management.

Cheryl is especially interested in children’s, young-adult and adult-women’s fiction, and narrative nonfiction. A few notable clients include Dr. Cuthbert Soup (A Whole Nother Story, Another Whole Nother Story, No Other Story, Bloomsbury 2010, 2011, 2012), Christopher Healy (The Hero’s Guide to Savings Your Kingdom, The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle, The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw, Harper Collins 2012, 2013, 2014), Katie D. Anderson (Kiss & Make Up, Amazon Children’s Publishing 2012), and Sarah Smiley (Dinner with the Smileys, Hyperion 2013).

Christopher Rhodes - Christopher is an agent for the James Fitzgerald Agency. He began his career in publishing in 1996 as a bookseller at Borders Books at the World Trade Center. He has held positions in both the sales and marketing departments at Simon and Schuster and was Executive Assistant to Carol Mann of the Carol Mann Agency where, among other duties, he managed contracts and assisted in the sale of foreign rights. Christopher divides his time between NYC and Wilmington, North Carolina.

Currently specializing in debut fiction and nonfiction, Christopher is actively seeking queries in the following areas: literary and up-market fiction (including thriller and horror); connected stories/essays (both humorous and serious); memoir; young adult fiction (including both adventure and contemporary, but not science fiction); creative/narrative nonfiction with a quirky bent; self-help; history (last 200 years); religion; and art & design.

Tiana Smith – Tiana was the first ever WRiTE CLUB champion back in 2011! She graduated with double bachelor's degrees in Honors and English from Westminster College, and she writes YA books. Some of her many talents include finding Waldo, making a mean box of mac & cheese, and designing blogs/websites. If you're thinking of updating your online look, visit her shop at The Blog Decorator.


Tex Thompson – Our fourth year WRiTE CLUB winner was Arianne "Tex" Thompson and she’s a home-grown Texas success story.
"Tex" is a 'rural fantasy' author, freelance editor, and comma placement specialist.  A relentless fantasy enthusiast dual-wielding a bachelor's degree in history and a master's in literature, Tex was the 2012 WRiTE CLUB champion.  Since then, she's channeled her interests into an epic fantasy Western series, which kicked off in 2014 with the release of ONE NIGHT IN SIXES and its sequel, MEDICINE FOR THE DEAD.   In addition to writing cowboys-and-fishmen fantasy, she is an active member of SFWA, and currently serves as editor for the DFW Writers Conference.  Find her online at and on Twitter as @tex_maam!

Are you willing to WRiTE for what you want?  Then crack those knuckles and get ready to flex that imagination.  And whatever you do, tell your friends!

WRiTE CLUB – The contest where the audience gets clobbered!



  1. DL, that's awesome! What a prize package.
    Look how far you've come...

  2. Definitely an awesome competition, DL. Good luck to all that enter.

  3. Awesome prizes, wish I could enter this year! HEH.

  4. This is SO AWESOME AND COOL!!! Thrilled that the contest's fame and renown are spreading :) :) I'll make it to as many bouts as possible to vote!

  5. DL, this is super awesome. Good luck to all who have entered. I have sent you an email.

  6. Great judges and prizes! Good luck to all who enter!

  7. That's a great judge lineup, and awesome prizes!

  8. It's gonna be awesome this year, DL. Can't wait!

  9. Ooh! How exciting! Looking forward to the bouts.

  10. Sounds like it's going to be a great year! Can't wait!

  11. Woo hoo! Congratulations on the five year anniversary.

  12. Don, I've always been afraid to compete. But I started working on something...

  13. A great lineup of judges! Woot!

  14. That IS a great line up of judges. This is an exciting event for writers.