Friday, March 18, 2011

Mystery Agent Revealed: Kathleen Ortiz

The fabulous twitter-pitch-loving March Mystery Agent is...

Kathleen Ortiz of Lowenstein Associates (pic and bio from her website)

Kathleen Ortiz began her career in publishing at Ballinger Publishing as an editorial assistant, writing and editing for their young adult section, and as an interactive media designer, working to boost the magazine’s online presence through social networking. She then moved on to UWire as online editor for the features, art & entertainment sections. She has also taught high school classes as a visual media instructor.
After teaching for a few years, and even a seven-year stint in veterinary nursing, Kathleen moved on to her true passion of working within the book industry. She interned with Fine Print Literary and Caren Johnson Literary Agency, and is currently working toward her M.S. in Publishing at Pace University.
Kathleen is currently Associate Agent and Foreign Rights Manager at Lowenstein Associates. With the continued demand for online marketing in publishing, a strong online platform is essential for today's authors. Kathleen uses her background in interactive media design to assist Lowenstein Associates’ clients with branding themselves.
Kathleen's word on your entries:

Thanks to all who participated! And thanks for your patience!

There were (as I usually see in my slush / at conferences) a lot of YA paranormal. Let me stress that I am a huge fan of paranormal (it was the first genre I sold as an agent!), but there is SO much of it out there that it’s really hard to make it stand out without a really unique hook. So if your hook immediately made me think of another paranormal novel, I passed and went to the next pitch. Also, if your hook doesn’t grab me with an action of some sort, then I passed and went on to the next one. Something to think about when constructing your pitch for a conference (where agents will hear dozens of other paranormal pitches).

While there were several great pitches (140 characters or fewer is tough!), I had to narrow it down to the following:

Runner-ups (i.e. 25 pages requested):
            The Whip-Slip
            The Peanut Butter & Jelly Friendship

Second place (75 pages requested):
            The Hungry Ground

First place (Full manuscript):
            Waiting for Augusta

To the eight writers who won, please send me one Word document with the query letter as the first page, followed by the requested pages, to blog.kortizzle(at) In the subject line please write “Contest Winner: (title of MS).” I will confirm receipt within 48 hours and get back to you within four weeks. Looking forward to reading!!

Thanks again to all who entered!

Thank you, Kathleen! Eight winners! Congratulations, guys!! You offered an unprecedented number of entries (75) and a whole lot of talent and fresh ideas. On behalf of myself and the other ladies of Operation Awesome, I want to say thank you for making this contest so much fun!

And now, find out more about the March Mystery Agent. 

Mini-Interview: Kathleen Ortiz

Amparo: Your clients never stop singing your praises on their blogs and Twitter, and even made you a Happy Birthday video! Aside from doing those uber-nice things, how would you describe your dream client?

Kathleen: My dream client (and current clients) is comprised of a package of awesome, which includes creativity, open communication and an amazing sense of humor. (there could be issues if one isn't a fan of sarcasm)
Amparo: In a cage match between you and The Query Shark (the awesome Janet Reid), who would win and why? 

Kathleen: My legal team has advised me that while the probability of finding an already manufactured cage large enough to fit a TRex is quite slim, the Shark would win in a style that resembles the end scene of Karate Kid II. Including the nose honk.

Katrina: Best candy evah:

Kathleen: I actually hate candy, lol. I'm more of a cupcake and cookie girl *bats eyelashes*

Katrina: Most amazing TV show/movie:

Kathleen: Oh man. Too many to name. My current faves? True Blood and Grey's Anatomy (though GA has sunk to a low level. But Jesse Williams is hotttttttttttttttt)

Katrina: Do you have any agency or client news we can get excited about?

Kathleen: None that I can talk about right at this moment, but keep your eyes peeled to my blog.

Sounds mysterious! Can't wait to hear this news! BIG GIGANTIC AWESOME 
to Kathleen and the talented writers who shared their tweet-length pitches this month!

Other places you'll find Kathleen:

Twitter (her avatar is a T-Rex. It's awesome.)
NeoAgent Podcasts!! New episodes every other week with Liz Jote and Kathleen Ortiz

Here are those winning pitches for your enjoyment and/or study (to see all the pitches, check out the original contest post):

Runner-ups (i.e. 25 pages requested):
Title: Alternate
Genre: YA Sci-fi

A teen hacker is drawn into a war between parallel universes when she meets an alternate version of herself from another dimension.

Courtney Lowe said...
Title: Shutter
Genre: YA Horror

Valkyrie Mina Flynn’s soulchained: she’s got 7 days to exorcise the demon Zamiel, or she’s dead and damned. She’s in for a hell of a week.

            The Whip-Slip
Elena Solodow said...
Title: The Whip-Slip
Genre: YA Fantasy

A teen whose touch heals or infects struggles to unearth her past before the forces of Life and Death deploy her as a weapon.

Norma said...
Title - VEX
Genre - YA Fantasy with a techie twist

Virtual Environment Ten—VEX—turns deadly when Tana, 16, discovers something wants to download itself into her body and take over her life.

Nora Coon said...
Genre: YA Alternate History

In an alternate 1961, 17-year-old Meri leaves her fishing town looking for a more exciting life. The chance to fight Nazis? That's a bonus.

            The Peanut Butter & Jelly Friendship
Janet Johnson said...
Title: The Peanut Butter and Jelly Friendship
Genre: MG Contemporary

When selling her appendix on e-bay doesn’t work, ten-year-old Annie seeks other ways to save her best friend’s house from foreclosure.

Second place (75 pages requested):
            The Hungry Ground
Rebecca said...
Genre: YA fantasy with an espresso-shot of horror

When the population of a nearby city vanishes overnight, aspiring detective Kalinda joins the search party. But the city isn't empty.

First place (Full manuscript):
            Waiting for Augusta
Jessica said...
Title: Waiting For Augusta
Genre: Contemporary Middle Grade

A runaway Alabama boy takes his dad’s cremation urn on an adventurous father-son trip to scatter the ashes in a special (& illegal) spot.


Anonymous said...

YEAH HUNGRY GROUND! You will enjoy it. I guarantee it.

Unknown said...

:::wails::: How did I miss this awesome contest? Please say there will be another soon(ish)?


Elena Solodow said...

Thanks so much for hosting the contest!

J.L. Campbell said...

Well done! Congrats to the winners.

RaShelle Workman said...

Congrats to the winners. =D

Kell Andrews said...

Congrats to the winners and thanks to Kathleen Ortiz!!!

Kell Andrews said...

Can I also say how awesome it is that Kathleen picked eight winners, more than we expected, and requested a partial or full from each? That's such a testament to the quality of the entries. Yay!

Thanks to everyone who entered.

Jessica Lawson said...

Wow! This is fantastic~ it's great that there are so many winners! Thanks to Operation Awesome for hosting such a cool contest, and to Kathleen for taking the time to judge and pick her favorites!

Amparo Ortiz said...

CONGRATS to the winners!! And a huge thanks to Kathleen for being so awesome! :)

Janet Johnson said...

Oh my gosh, thank you! So excited!

And congrats to all the other winners, too. Very awesome of Kathleen to pick 8! And thanks for hosting these you guys, we really appreciate the opportunities. :D

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Yay! Congrats to the winners! ;)

Donea Lee said...

Congrats to the winners! Very impressive pitches ~ :) I hope Ms. Ortiz loves the rest of everything she reads! Thanks for the opportunity.

Stina said...

Yay to the winners and especially to my friend, Janet. :D