Announcing Pitch Week XVII Winner: Amanda Headlee!

Till We Become Monsters is a story about consequences for those who believe the lies that they tell themselves, resulting in their humanity becoming their greatest burden to bear. The book follows the Perrin brothers, their father, and two friends as they become victims of a freak accident while traveling to a cabin deep in the forests of Minnesota. With the threat of a blizzard hanging in the air, the group must endure the elements and survive a sinister force that hunts them after the true face of one brother is revealed.

Born with a love of scary stories and folklore, Amanda Headlee has spent her entire life crafting works of dark fiction. She has a fascination with the emotion of fear and believes it is the first emotion humans feel at the moment they are born. Most of her work focuses on horror associated with folklore as well as writing that would fall into the category of “cosmic horror” — the fear of humanity’s insignificance in the vastness of the universe.

By day Amanda is an Information Services Program Manager; by night she is a wandering wonderer. When she isn’t writing or working, she can be found logging insane miles on her bike or running the backcountry of Pennsylvania. She’s one of those crazy people who competes in long-distance endurance races. She is inspired by the works of Shirley Jackson, Flannery O’Connor, Margaret Atwood, H.P. Lovecraft, and Joyce Carol Oates — all who write terrifying tales of their own.

“When Words Count Pitch Week is not just a contest, but also an opportunity to grow as an author. Pitch Week’s focus is not only on the manuscript, but looks at who you are as the author of the book and how you are going to market your brand. These are aspects that I have thought about for my writing career, but the preparation for Pitch Week helped me hone in on a better direction for work. Over the two-month course of the contest, we contestants received guidance from well-established industry professionals, which helped us to better craft the pitch for our brand. The feedback is truly invaluable.

This experience toward publication isn’t traditional, but I found that for myself, taking this route taught me a lot about who I am as an author. I’ve grown from this event. I am grateful for all the support that I’ve received on the journey to get this book published. To the Pitch Week judges and staff, thank you for your feedback, advice, and this opportunity.” 

Meet our other Pitch Week XVII finalists here.