Introducing Team Hufflepuff!

Whichever Hogwarts house you identify with most, I hope if you're sorted into ours that you feel as thrilled to be here as we will be to have you!

I was originally going to be the head of Ravenclaw House. I chose it because my Head Girl was a Ravenclaw and I knew she'd like for us to take on the role of her house rather than mine. I'm a Hufflepuff, soul deep, and I'm self-sacrificing like that.

One of the other team captains really, really wanted to be Ravenclaw. In fact, I'd go so far as to say she NEEDED to be. So I stepped down and I let her. Because I'm a Hufflepuff, soul deep, and I'm compassionate like that.

My Head Girl had book edits and family commitments that needed to take precedence. But even though she isn't able to help me this time, I'm going to suggest you check out her amazing fantasy trilogy published by Carina Press. Because I'm a Hufflepuff, soul deep, and I'm thoughtful like that (plus the books are gobsmackingly good and everyone should read them).

In preparing for Pitch Slam, I've come to realize that most of my favourite things about myself, and the people I love and respect most in this world, are Hufflepuff things. Rather ironically, bragging about how Hufflepuffy I am probably isn't very Hufflepuffy, but this is a contest, a spectacle of sorts, and I've got to make at least a little bit of a fuss, yes?

Wondering what it will take to snag the attention of our Head of House, Head Girl, and Prefects? Here's a little information about the people who will be critiquing your entries and (hopefully, hopefully) falling in love with your stories:

Kimberly - Head of House Hufflepuff
Kimberly Vanderhorst is a spec-fic author who cherishes a love for all things strange and beautiful. She started out as a slush reader in the first Pitch Slam and worked her way up to Team Captain by being both generally and specifically AWESOME.

Other claims to fame include being a freelance content editor for Prism Editing (where 100% of profits are donated to charity), serving on the committee for the annual Whitney Awards program, and founding and running her local writers' guild.

Despite being a city girl with a tendency to cuss a lot, Kimberly is married to an LDS minister and lives in rural northern Canada. There, she helps raise her four lovely daughters while pretending not to be afraid of the neighbour's chickens. 


Liz is the perfect representative of all that is right with social media. She is sweet, compassionate, and supportive. A real life Hufflepuff (and in my opinion, that's high praise). Liz will be running House Hufflepuff whenever I'm not around.

Liz - Hufflepuff Head Girl
Born in Toronto, Ontario, J. Elizabeth Hill exported herself to Vancouver, British Columbia after many years of staring longingly at the map following every snowfall. For as long as she can remember, she's been making up stories, but it wasn't until high school that someone suggested writing them down. Since then, she's been hopelessly in love with story crafting, often forgetting about everything else in the process.

Published Works 

Mel is HYSTERICAL and her corner of the internet is one of the very shiniest. She's going to fill the role of Prefect and since she has a lot of experience being on the other side of contests, she knows EXACTLY what our students are going to be dealing with. Count on her to cheer you up and cheer you on!

Melyssa - Hufflepuff Prefect
Melyssa Mercado is a writer of Middle Grade and Young Adult stories. Creative writing has always threaded the needle of Mel's life, weaving worlds and character-friends into a kid's heart. She believes humor is the true chicken soup for the soul (and that nobody really throws up all night). Mel’s wish list will forever include book-scented candles and making readers smile. SCBWI and Eastern New York chapter member. She's represented by the lovely Victoria Selvaggio of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. 

Rebecca is new to the world of contests but she isn't new to being AWESOME (she's always been that). Her critiquing skills are second to none, and she's literally one of the sweetest, most uplifting gals I've ever met. I can't wait for you all to get to know her!

Rebecca Blevins - Hufflepuff Prefect
Rebecca Blevins is from the Midwest, land of tornadoes and cows—hopefully not mixed together. She began reading before she can remember, so books have always been part of her life. 

Rebecca’s love of reading has turned into an affinity for writing. Her first book—at age four—was a huge hit, with a cut-up diaper box cover and pages of stick-figure drawings. 

Now that she considers herself a grownup, Rebecca writes about pirates with rooster pox and princesses with pet anteaters, as well as tales for young adults. Her first book through Trifecta, Captain Schnozzlebeard and the Singing Clam of Minnie Skewel Island, was released on March 31st, 2015. 


Wondering how to impress Team Hufflepuff? Check out my Writing Tips posts for help with your pitch and first 250, follow our team on Twitter, and check out the #PitchSlam Twitter hashtag where all the teams will be tweeting helpful suggestions (and torturous teasers). Ultimately, we'll be choosing entries with brilliant hooks, gorgeous and/or hilarious writing, and pages so compelling even a soul-deep Hufflepuff will be pissed off by there only being 250 words. ;)

So polish those pitches and 250's! We can't wait to be blinded by the shine of them!

The Other Houses . . .

Pitch Slam Calendar*

*The email address is in the 13th-15th calendar squares only for convenience. Entries should be sent in on the 17th, 19th, and 21st as indicated. Remember: You do not have to enter the two feedback rounds to send your final entry on the 21st.

Full details here.

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