Meet the #SlushPit judges!

You may know us as judges and critiquers, but allow us to show you our silly side with these five fun facts!

Alexandra Maxwell

[1.] I wrote my first completed book when I was 12 years old... and guess who stared in it? Me! And my best friend of course! Obviously, I quickly realized this was a really bad idea. But, somewhere in the dark depths beneath my bed, I still have the two notebooks where I hand wrote that 210-page story. Hopefully, it never sees the light of day, but I knew that I wanted to be a novelist from the moment I started writing it.

[2.] I am a complete History Geek and a Seamstress, and those two interests combined into a passion for historical costume. And let me tell you this, most period movies seem determined to get the costumes wrong. But good news! I am more than happy to loudly explain what's wrong with the costumes during family movie nights... At least until I'm threatened to be duct-taped in a corner so the family can watch the inaccurately costumed movie in peace. Most people also know to avoid mentioning historical events around me unless they're prepared for me to excitedly engage them in a two-hour conversation about said historic event. But, funny enough, as much as I love history, proper Historical Fiction is one of the genres I doubt I will ever write. I find it oddly intimidating and feel it would be hard to truly do an exciting historical event justice! However, I read it by the boatload, so to all you HF writers, keep them coming!

[3.] I am a huge animal lover and have been rescuing/adopting animals in need for as long as I can remember. Growing up, we called our home the Maxwell Menagerie because it was like living in a zoo! I've adopted all the usual critters, the dogs, guinea pigs, birds, lizards, etc., whose families had decided they didn't want them anymore. Still, we also adopted plenty of more exotic ones! Dumbo rats, a skunk, hedgehogs, snakes... I currently have a pet squirrel named Loki, who we found on the road as a tiny baby. And yes, he lives up to the reputation of the God of Mischief... my curtains will never be the same. He is the inspiration for a pet squirrel featured in one of my WIPs. I also have a 30-35 pound African Spur Foot tortoise named Talledega after the race track, who wanders around the back yard like a large trudging boulder and is surprisingly adept at sneaking into the house in search of lettuce.

[4.] I love the movie trilogy How to Train Your Dragon. I mean, LOVE IT. As in, I have posters from the three movies framed on my wall, I own almost every dragon from Build-a-Bear, and all three Art of HTTYD books. I cosplayed as Astrid and had my own Viking horde of Guinea Pigs named after HTTYD characters. I can proudly quote every movie and episode of the DreamWorks Dragons TV show, and I am obsessed with the soundtracks. Like, listen-to-them-every-single-day obsessed #johnpowellisagod. At this point, you're either skeptically wondering how old I am or squealing with delight at finding another fan. If it's the first, close to 30, thank you very much, It is NOT a 'kid's cartoon'! If the later, high five, fellow Berkians!

[5.] And last but not least, I have been a performing Irish Dancer since I was seventeen. I was never eager for the competition side of things but found my true calling on the stage. I've performed before crowds of up to 2,000 people (allegedly, I mean, I was busy and didn't count, but that's what we were told afterwards), as well as at Florida Panther games, Ren Faires, festivals, professional shows, parades, and more Irish Pubs than I could ever count. I've been in the newspaper quite a few times with my troupe and even made it on TV twice that I'm aware of (for about four seconds in total, but who cares, I'm a STAR!). Somewhere along the line, I somehow became an assistant teacher at the school where I danced, and I have no memory of how this happened. Basically, one day I was taking classes like a normal student, and then suddenly, I was in charge of the class and wondering what happened! I never had any desire to be a teacher, but not only did I become a teacher there, I ended up starting my own branch of the school two hours away and am now teaching dancers all on my own. Several of my dancers just competed in their first competition and did amazing! But as much as I love teaching Irish dance, I still can't figure out exactly how it current theory is that the director of our school somehow hypnotized me into becoming her assistant.

If your manuscript is fast-paced, gritty YA/NA fantasy, historical, or urban fantasy, it just might catch Alexandra's eye! Intrigued? Learn more about Alexandra here.

Kristin Curry

[1.] I started writing about 5 years ago, at 25. I'm gearing up to query for my third completed manuscript, and I'm hoping the third time's the charm!

[2.] My bio says that I'm the resident Pennsylvanian-Italian - I'll give a little more context there! :) All of my great-grandparents (except for one!) came from Italy (Rome/Naples areas) in the early 1900s. They all settled in Western PA, where there is a large population of Italian-Americans. I have a pretty big family (23 first cousins and about a hundred second cousins, all of who I see fairly often!), and my grandparents were sure to pass down all the traditions they could to us. I went to Italy in March of 2012 and am dying to go back. My most recent WIP was actually inspired by an Italian Fairytale, "The Little Girl who was Sold with the Pears".

[3.] I have a bachelor's degree in IT and always love to see women in technology!

[4.] Up until last year, the only children in my house were my cat, Bubba, and my Australian Shepherd, Sloane. Then, mid-pandemic in May of 2020, I gave birth to my first child, Olivia!

[5.] My husband and I absolutely love going on cruises. We've been on several since we were married in May of 2015 and have (so far!) visited Alaska, Bar Harbor - Maine, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Puerto Rico, and a bunch of the "saint" islands!

Kristin is interested in a wide range of fiction, but if your manuscript has a strong romance, your pitch just might catch her eye! Want to hear more? Read Kristin's profile here.

Inez Rodk

[1.] When we were kids, my brothers dared me to spray a wasp nest with a garden hose. I've never been able to ignore a dare, especially one from my brothers. So, I bravely suited up in a full winter coat, gloves, boots, and a Halloween mask (like the one in Scream). I started spraying away and those poor wasps streamed out of the nest, buzzing around in absolute fear and panic. I was laughing like a maniac because I had definitively proven myself braver than my brothers. But there was one problem...

The mask had a tiny breathing hole (no bigger than the size of a pencil). A clever wasp crawled in, stung my tongue, and I learnt a valuable lesson about leaving nature alone that I've never forgotten!

[2.] From about ten to thirteen years old, I refused to wear anything but shorts. I have pictures of me on a family skiing holidays, calf-deep in snow and STILL rocking those shorts. Sometimes, we need to sacrifice comfort for style.

[3.] I was once rammed by a ram (as in, a large male sheep). I happened to be carrying pineapples, which went flying, and I lost a shoe. All that aside, I still had a better day than Mr Ram as it was the day of Eid al-Adha, and he was on the menu...

[4.] I've eaten snake, frog, pigeon, snails, caterpillars, scorpions, Balut (fertilised chicken egg), Surströmming (pickled herring), various feet and hooves, lungs, stomachs, brains, skins, hearts... But the worst case of food poisoning I've EVER had was from a pizza.

[5.] My first crush on a character was Landen from The Seer and the Sword by Victoria Hanley, followed by George Cooper from Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet and Li Shang from the 1998 Mulan film.

Inez is looking for gripping NA/Adult fantasy, science fiction, space opera - will your manuscript catch her eye? Curious about Inez? Read her full profile here.

Join the next #SlushPit competition for your chance to win a critique from Alexandra, Kristin, or Inez!

Trapped in the slush pile? Don't suffer alone! Meet Steven, the big blue monster that lurks in this hopeless black pit. When he's not munching on the souls of hapless writers, he hosts an online writing community dedicated to making friends, having fun, and improving our literary skills.

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