Pitch Wars Pimp My Bio 2016!

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Hello, wonderful person! Welcome to my first-ever Pitch Wars Pimp My Bio blog bio!

I am super excited to be entering the contest this year. This post is your go-to place to find out more about yours truly!

Who I Am

My name is Madison Lessard. I live in a little town about forty miles outside of Boston with my family, as well as a dog who (like me) is very appreciative of food and a cat who pets himself by rubbing against inanimate objects.

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I write mostly contemporary young adult. I’ve been an avid writer and reader for as long as I can remember, and this is my first time doing Pitch Wars.

What I’m Writing

The novel I’m submitting for Pitch Wars is a contemporary YA entitled While I’m Here. It follows the summer adventures (and misadventures) of heart patient Casey, who is racing against the clock to make a few months the best of his life.

He wakes up in the hospital on his graduation morning to an unwelcome surprise. His doctor diagnoses him with an irreversible condition that leaves him just a couple more months to live. His immediate reaction? Not so great. Content to spend the rest of his brief life in bed, he confines himself to his bedroom and shuts everyone out.

But a week after his diagnosis, his two best friends present to him a plan for their summer: a very lengthy bucket list, a trip with no destination, and one summer to do as much as they can.

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Casey is sold, and so his last summer begins. There’s just one problem: his parents, who are still coming to terms with losing their son, aren’t so crazy about his ideas. 

And for fun… this is the #novelaesthetics post I made for WHILE I’M HERE.


Here are some fun facts about Casey…

  • He is a huge geek about cars, but the one he drives is a disaster. The car itself is almost like a character in the book because Casey is always complaining about it not running right.  

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  • He has a form of congenital heart disease called truncus arteriosus in which his heart doesn’t function correctly, and he’s spent weeks of his life at a time in the hospital because of it.
  • He’s extremely headstrong, and once he sets his mind on a goal, he’ll stop at absolutely nothing to get there.
  • His bucket list has 100 things on it, and he started writing it in the fifth grade after a major medical episode that left him near dead.
  • He appreciates blueberry pancakes with syrup and bacon very, very much. 

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In addition to While I’m Here, I have several other contemporary YA novels in the early stages, and I have two other complete manuscripts on the backburner right now.  

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More About Me

  • I’m a music person. I love to sing and I play three instruments– the clarinet, the piano, and the saxophone. 

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  • I’m a little bit of a geography buff. I have a bunch of (probably unnecessary, but still fun to do) groups of geographical things memorized– including the countries of the world. Try me!


  • I’ve been a dancer in various types since I was three.
  • I’m a little bit of a musical theatre nerd. 

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  • I am a firm believer that almost any problem can be solved by eating a slice of purple velvet cake.
  • I take pictures of everything. I’m serious.

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Why do I want to do Pitch Wars?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the course of my writing life so far, it’s that you never stop improving. My seventh-grade English teacher always used to tell us that a piece of writing is ‘alive’– it can always be changed and get better.

I was introduced to Pitch Wars earlier this year by a previous mentee, and when I learned what it was, I knew I wanted to enter. I’m entering Pitch Wars because I want to improve. I want to learn about deadlines and writing on a tight schedule. I want to edit and revise. I want to connect with someone over my manuscript and make it so that someday, other people will connect with it, too.

But honestly, the biggest thing that has drawn me to Pitch Wars has been the people in the community. Over the course of this summer so far alone, I’ve met so many fantastic people in the writing world. The long road towards publication so far has been downright scary at times, and the amount of support I’ve gotten from other people in the Pitch Wars community (and the writing community in general) has been absolutely inspirational.

I am ready to work hard and meet some more fantastic people! No matter what happens in Pitch Wars, I will look back at this experience when it’s over as one of my greatest lessons in the writing world yet.

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I am ready to rock!

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Where You Can Find Me

If you want to check out the rest of my blog, you’re in luck! You’re already here– here’s the homepage. My Twitter handle is @oldpbfan21.

Thanks for reading my bio! You can check out the other mentee hopefuls’ bios here.




My First Rejection

I’m going to be starting a series of posts on my blog surrounding rejection.

There’s so much to say about it. Rejection is such a huge and inevitable part of the life of anyone who has a goal, and I believe that in most cases, you can’t succeed unless you experience at least a little rejection along the way. Most writers walk into the querying world and beyond knowing that they are in for a world of rejection and, as a result, disappointment. I wasn’t so wise to know this at first, but rejection has taught me so many valuable lessons– and not bad lessons.

My first rejection made me happy. That’s almost an understatement– I was beyond excited. I started querying when I was fourteen years old, and I was so confident in the letters I sent out that I was positive I would be a published author within a few months.

Ha, ha.

I think this mentality stemmed from the fact that I knew nothing about how unpredictable the publishing industry is. In fact, I knew nothing about the publishing industry at all, other than there were people called literary agents who I could send letters to and they got people’s books published for them. So I did just that– sent the first few queries and hoped for the best.

Then there was silence.

Lots of silence.

I sent my first query letters in early February, and the silence lasted from then until April. Now that I’m used to querying, I know that that kind of silence is inevitable, but it was pretty unnerving to my fourteen-year-old confidence.

The first response I got to any of those letters was from a fantastic agent who sent me a really encouraging rejection letter. It came while I was doing homework during a free period at school.

I freaked out.

I remember calling my mom and yelling, “I GOT A REJECTION!” like it was the most fantastic thing in the world. My mom was confused. She didn’t know why getting a rejection could be a good thing, but to me, after the two months of waiting when I was convinced that responses would be immediate, it was music to my ears. Someone had considered me, even if that person wasn’t going to be my agent. I had been noticed by someone. She didn’t just trash my email.

This story might sound kind of pathetic, but the way I reacted when I got that first rejection reminds me of what a rejection means. Okay, yes, a rejection means your work wasn’t right for the agent and that you’ll have to keep sending queries, but it also means that you were considered. It means someone gave you a chance.

Sometimes a chance can be pretty uplifting.