If you were stuck for two minutes in an elevator with a publisher, would you be able to wow them with your book pitch? Or would you stare, open-mouthed unable to utter a single word? While this may seem like an extreme case, having your elevator pitch down pat for your novel is super important. Say, for example, you were given five minutes with a publishing label executive and a freelance editor in Google+ Hangout? What would you say to make them want to read your book?

Fierce Ink Press is giving you this chance. On August 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. AST you’ll get the opportunity to pitch a young adult novel to Colleen McKie (fierce publisher) and Penelope Jackson (editor extraordinaire). You’ll have five minutes to plead your book and then Colleen and Penelope have five minutes to give you feedback on your pitch and your novel. Think of it as speed-dating for books! At the end of the event, Colleen and Penelope will announce which author did the best and that author can submit the full manuscript to Fierce Ink Press for consideration (with no guarantee of publication), skipping the initial submissions stage. Cool, eh?

So if you have a young adult novel that you’d like to pitch to us, just sign up below using the form. We’ll be in contact and let you know what time you “go on”. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

1. The book you are pitching must be young adult.

2. It must be a completed novel.

3. It shouldn’t be a first draft. (Remember if we like your pitch the best we’re going to want to read your novel and consider it for publication!)

4. What to include in your pitch: Make it all about the book! Tell us the premise, what genre it is, what makes it unique, who you see reading it and any books that are similar to yours.

5. Notes are okay to make sure you hit all the high points, but don’t write out a speech. We want you talking directly to us, not reading word for word from a sheet. (This is where #6 comes in handy.)

6. Practice, practice, practice! Remember, you only have five minutes. You’ll want to make sure that you use your time wisely. So practice your pitch with a friend or alone. Time yourself. Try different approaches. If you just “wing it” we guarantee you’ll be cheating yourself out of a potential publishing opportunity.

7. Have fun! Try not to let your nerves get the best of you. Colleen and Penelope are pretty easygoing and aren’t mean or tyrannical. This won’t be Shark Tank: The Publishing Edition, we promise you!

There will be spots for ten authors, so sign up now! Once we have our ten authors, we’ll create a waiting list in case of cancellations or no-shows.


A superb series from start to finish that, like the best musical mashups, takes something old (werewolf mythology) and makes something completely fresh out of its source material.” — Charles de Lint, award-winning author of The Newford series

TNIF cover lowres 200x300 Happy Book Birthday to Kat Kruger and The Night Is Found!









The Night is Found, the third and final book in Kat Kruger’s popular The Magdeburg Trilogy, is now available for purchase.

The Night Is Found continues to follow Connor Lewis as he tries to figure out what is best for not only him and his friends, but — more importantly — for his pack and all the packs in Europe.

You can pick up your copy of The Night Is Found from Storenvy, Kobo, Kindle or iTunes. If you are new to the series, you can also purchase a specially priced bundle of the Collector Editions that is only available online and includes the option of a signed bookplate and eBook for each title in the trilogy.

On July 26 there will be an official launch party at Bayers Lake Chapters in Halifax. Kat will read an excerpt from The Night Is Found and will sign books.

Kat will also appear at The Word on the Street Toronto. Other upcoming scheduled events in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will be announced at a later date.


Leaving for Good, the latest Fierce Short published by Fierce Ink Press, addresses how hard it is as a teen to make friends when your family is constantly relocating and how sometimes it’s easier to stop trying.

When her parents announced they were once again moving right before Sawler’s final year of high school she was convinced it would be like every other time, her only friends appearing in the books that she read. She surprised herself by forming a strong bond with a boy before the move and it’s this friendship that gave her the confidence to be more outgoing at her new school and to take a chance and try to meet new people.

“When I found out my family was moving from Moncton to Halifax the summer before grade twelve, I was devastated,” Sawler says. “It meant missing out on the school trip to Europe, going to prom with a bunch of strangers, and saying goodbye to a Very Important Person. Sometimes, things actually work out. And that’s what Leaving for Good is all about. That, plus a terrible kiss, an ingenious scheme and a book addiction.”

Twenty per cent of proceeds go to IWK Foundation.

Fierce Ink Press is also releasing bundles of previously published shorts. Volume 3, Cheating at the End of the World by Corey Redekop and I Think We’ve All Learned Something Here by Nils Ling, will be available August 12.


Leaving 199x300 Moving Around, an Addiction to Books and a Truly Horrible Kiss Made Teen Friendships a Challenge for Journalist Sarah Sawler








Available now from StorenvyKobo and Kindle.

What is it about?
Moving a lot, finding a true friend and discovering the courage to open up to new people.

Who will read it?
Anyone who knows how hard it is to try to make new friends.

When is it releasing?
July 15, 2014

About The Author
Sarah Sawler is a freelance journalist, book reviewer, and copywriter living in St. Margaret’s Bay, Nova Scotia. Her bylines include Quill & Quire, Halifax Magazine, ParentsCanada and The Chronicle Herald. When she’s not writing (or reading, or researching), she’s usually hanging out with her family or daydreaming about her next project.

Social Media Links
Twitter: @SarahSawler


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Ready for some more fierce tunes? Then you’re in the right place! Here’s a link to today’s songs and at the end of the post, you can check out the complete playlist.

And you can pre-order the anthology through our Indiegogo campaign.


Lee D. Thompson (Diary of a Fluky Kid) — “Dream Police” by Cheap Trick.

During winter, or rainy summer days if we weren’t out playing ball we were in the basement playing air-band long before things like Guitar Hero were even part of predictions of the future. There was a set list, insanely varied, from J. Geils Band (“Centerfold”) to Neil Diamond (“Song Sung Blue”) to Chilliwack (“My Girl”) to Queen (“Another One Bites the Dust”) and always Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”. But my favourite, and perhaps this was a nod to one day becoming a writer (aka living inside of my head), was “The Dream Police” by Cheap Trick. We rocked it.


Patti Larsen (Prince Nameless)  — “Hard Habit to Break” by Chicago.

I’m a teenager all over again thinking about this song, that time in my life. My older sister Caron loved Chicago and, because she did, I did, too. We’d sing the entire album at the top of our lungs, anytime, day or night. Sharing parts, of course, into hairbrushes and our closed fists when props were unavailable. There was something truly angsty about Chicago’s music that appealed to the melancholy nerd-girl in me. And, of course, I could sing and pine over the boy I thought I loved, imagining him hearing me singing and understanding just how much he needed to be with me … I’m listening to the song right now after how many years away. I still know all the words.


Jamie Fitzpatrick (These Memories Can’t Wait)  — “Memories Can’t Wait” by Talking Heads.

My Fierce Short borrows its title from a Talking Heads song, “Memories Can’t Wait”, from an album called Fear of Music. That’s one of the records that changed the way I hear music. It’s hard to put into words, but I think of it as a record that favours ambiguity over affirmation. I didn’t know what it was trying to say, and eventually I came to realize that a great song isn’t defined by what it “says” or what it’s “about.” It’s something you witness and take in and process without articulating it. That was a good music lesson, and not a bad life lesson.


Cale Liom (I Used to Think I’d Make a Good Boy) — “Strangelove” by Depeche Mode.

When I think of my childhood/teen years, the first album that comes to mind is Depeche Mode’s Music for the Masses. It was the first album I ever bought. I has a lot of emotional significance to me, and probably well represents my angst-ridden youth. At least three songs on it would make my top songs list, but pressed to pick one, I’d say “Strangelove.”


Gerard Collins (The Long Last Year)  — Various.

Blondie was sultry and sexy, singing “Call Me” in a way you wanted girls to want to call you. Bob Seger was already a ragged soul and “Against the Wind” reflected that weary vagabond part of me, which was really more of a yearning to just grow up, leave town and have experiences that would leave me depleted (I heard it on the radio a couple of days ago, and, in my mind, checked all the boxes, for better or worse). The girls were going gaga over Michael Jackson, but the song I remember most vividly — besides “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” on the car radio the summer after I graduated, sitting next to a girl who might, or might not, have wanted me to kiss her — was “Another Brick in the Wall”. Pink Floyd said I “didn’t need no education”, though even then I thought Pink Floyd had a grammar problem and could’ve used some further schooling. But I liked the rebel call, double negative and all. It spoke to me. At that point, I had no intention of pursuing education — I declared on my last day of high school that I was “never going to school again, for as long as I live.” And, for a couple of years, I was true to my word. Now, I have more letters after my name than I’ll ever use … I won’t say I don’t need no letters, but, then again, I won’t say I do.

Oh — and to punctuate all this rebellion without a cause, I remember our entire senior year class waiting for the teacher to leave the room before we started beating on the desk and stomping our feet to the beat of Queen’s “We Will Rock You”. Yeah, it was like that, all the time. We were young and angry, the lot of us. I can’t remember if I started it, or just followed. But I remember being the one to sing the Freddie Mercury part, and it felt good to be a part of something like that, all of us implicated when the teacher returned, though sticking my neck out just enough to qualify as passive-aggressive rockstar.

I realize, of course, this is more than one song. But I guess, once a rebel, always a rebel.


Becoming Fierce — The Complete Soundtrack



Music is the soundtrack to life. Not sure where we heard that saying, but it’s definitely true. A certain song, melody or lyric can take you on a trip into your past, bringing up memories and feelings you thought you had forgotten.

Each of the authors featured in Becoming Fierce: Teen Stories IRL already headed back into their teen years to share with us a piece of their history. We thought it would be cool to get them to share one song that reminds them the most about the time they wrote about.

Today five of our Becoming Fierce authors share their song with you. Tomorrow the other five.

Check out today’s songs on Grooveshark.

And don’t forget you can pre-order Becoming Fierce right now on Indiegogo!


Chris Benjamin (Cuisvé)  — “Circumstances” by Buju Banton.

It played, extremely loudly, on every minivan bus I took while in St. Lucia. It was a huge hit and looking back it seems perfectly representative of what I learned there. We are each products of our environments, the context in which we come up. No one is an island — even Islanders.


Jo Treggiari (Love You Like Suicide)— “Mommy’s Little Monster” by Social Distortion.

It came out in 1983, the same year that Love You Like Suicide takes place. If there’s one punk group that epitomized that time for me and Holly, it’s Social Distortion. Their album Mommy’s Little Monster was on constant repeat. And the title song was on every tape compilation we ever made. “Her eyes were a deeper blue, she liked her hair that color too” just summed it all up for us. We were outsiders, rebels, distanced from our parents, our families, society. Distanced by choice and also by mainstream perceptions of us and the rest of the punk tribe. Punk felt like family, ties stronger than blood; the warehouse we lived in was a home in the best sense of the word, a sanctuary in a sea of poverty and misery. And Holly and I were closer than sisters, closer than lovers, the very best of friends. The soundtrack to our lives was chaotic and unexpected and angry and soulful and bittersweet. Everything that was in our hearts, every painful or triumphant experience, was expressed by our music.


Alison DeLory (Some of My Parts) – “No One is to Blame” by Howard Jones.

The melancholy of the notes and lyrics spoke directly to my teenage self, especially, “The insecurity is the thing that won’t get lost.” The song’s message to me was two-fold: one) you can try hard and still not always achieve (which is bleak but I was comforted knowing others felt the same way) and two) it’s not your fault. Some things are out of reach. It being 1986 and with no digital downloads, internet lyrics at the tip of my fingertips, or even enough money to buy the tape, I had but one option. I waited until C100 played this song on the radio then recorded it on my radio/cassette player. Then I played, rewound and replayed the song until I knew it by heart and could sing it into my hairbrush microphone.

Today, I just had to go to YouTube to re-listen to the song. I had shivers about three seconds in. It’s remarkable how a smell, a sentence, and especially a song can take you right back to a time and place almost thirty years ago.


Chad Pelley (Before I Was Me) — “Heart-Shaped Box” by Nirvana.

I was lucky enough to be in junior high during Nirvana’s prime, so I can’t separate my junior high and high school years from the amazing “Grunge Scene” explosion in the early ‘90s (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots and Alice in Chains in particular). I’m sure every generation thinks the music of their youth was something sacred that will never be matched by the music of any decade before or after it. I certainly do, but it’s because all these bands held the sound of youth, exploding as it hit the wall of reality that is adulthood. Something about high school makes us feel invincible, and makes us feel like the world is more full of potential than it actually is, and these bands captured that, but also the other side of youth, the coming down that’s associated with a life governed by getting your bills paid before finding time to do the things/hobbies that make you you. There’s something in the wild, frenetic, confused and distressed energy in the chorus of “Heart-shaped box” that captures all of that for me.


Ben Boudreau (Say It’s Okay) — “Fast Cars” by Tracy Chapman.

Even though it was released long before my short takes place, and even though the lyrics don’t match up, the feeling of the song brings me back the passenger seat of a dated Chevy pickup truck as it speeds alongside the lake guiding us to the camp. It captures the jagged edges and beautiful freedom of our summer hideaway for all those years, and it’s the same song that I used to steady my breath on the drive home from where my short leaves off.



Take a Walk on the Wilds Side Blog Tour

July 7, 2014

    The Night Is Found, the final book in Kat Kruger’s The Magdeburg Trilogy, will be available July 22. To celebrate the release we’re holding a fun three-week blog tour! There will be reviews, Q&As, guest posts and several chances to win a digital copy of all three books in the trilogy! Pretty cool, […]

Read the full article →

Fierce Ink Press Set to Publish The Night Is Found, the Final Book in Kat Kruger’s Popular Magdeburg Trilogy

June 23, 2014

“Kruger has written [werewolves] so well that it should become canon.” — Tiffany Morris, Paper Droids “A superb series from start to finish that, like the best musical mashups, takes something old (werewolf mythology) and makes something completely fresh out of its source material.” — Charles de Lint, award-winning author of The Newford series “The author […]

Read the full article →

Fierce Ink Press to Publish Anthology of Popular Non-fiction Shorts for Teens with Foreword by Susin Nielsen

June 12, 2014

Fierce Ink Press will release an anthology of selected creative non-fiction pieces previously published as digital singles through their Fierce Shorts imprints. Becoming Fierce: Teen Stories IRL features pieces written by authors living in the four Atlantic Canadian provinces and will be available for purchase as of September 23. Twenty per cent of proceeds will […]

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Fierce Ink Press Releases Second BOGO Bundle of Fierce Shorts

June 10, 2014

Today Fierce Ink Press publishes its second bundle of Fierce Shorts. Vol. 2 features Love You Like Suicide by Jo Treggiari and Before I Was Me by Chad Pelley. Both stories focus on a relationship that each author had, and the turmoil they felt when a loved one committed suicide.           […]

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Happy birthday to us! Fierce birthday sale and giveaway

June 6, 2014

Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us, happy birthday dear Fierce Ink Press, happy birthday to us!!! Hard to believe that Fierce Ink Press is turning two years old! It seems like yesterday that the idea for Fierce Ink popped into our heads. It’s been an awesome, exciting adventure so far and it will […]

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