Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 8 Young Adult/New Adult
Jun30

Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 8 Young Adult/New Adult

From June 27th through July 18th, we’ll be posting mini-interviews with most of the Pitch Wars mentors so you can get to know them. Many of the mentors also hang out on twitter. Follow the links to their Twitter accounts and say hello. They’ll be on the #PitchWars hashtag tweeting advice and answering questions. We will also host live chats from July 19th through August 2nd, and the Pitch Wars submission window will open on August 3rd! We asked our mentors to answer these three questions … 1. What are you looking for in a submission and what would you forgive as far as issues in the sample pages? In other words, what do you feel is an easy fix and what would be a pass for you? 2. What is your editing style and do you have a game plan to tackle edits with your mentee in the two months given for the contest? 3. And lastly, what is your all-time favorite book and how did it inspire your writing? And here are their answers … Charlie Holmberg Twitter  |  Website Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She graduated from BYU, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and hopes to one day own a dog. ONE:  I’m looking for originality, both in the premise and with the main character. I’m not interested in the trope of a girl-gone-warrior or a snarky voice. Easy fixes are small to medium consistency errors, plot holes, or character motivations. Automatic passes are large problems in those areas, cliche ideas, and grammar/syntax that will take far too long to get into shape. TWO:  Different edits require different game plans, so I don’t have one ready before reading the submissions. I put the most emphasis on developmental edits, because if plot/character/setting don’t work, the story will not work. A misspelled word here or there or an awkward sentence now and then will not make an editor or agent pass on a good book. Story comes first. THREE:  This is an impossible question! I don’t know about all-time favorite, but the book that may have effected my writing the most is Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones. I love the sense of whimsy to it and have tried to incorporate that whimsy into many of my own stories. (#2 would be the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, which has seriously shaped how I do magic systems.) Diana Gallagher Twitter  |  Website Though Diana Gallagher be but little, she is fierce. She’s also a gymnastics coach and judge,...

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Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 7 Adult/New Adult
Jun30

Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 7 Adult/New Adult

From June 27th through July 18th, we’ll be posting mini-interviews with most of the Pitch Wars mentors so you can get to know them. Many of the mentors also hang out on twitter. Follow the links to their Twitter accounts and say hello. They’ll be on the #PitchWars hashtag tweeting advice and answering questions. We will also host live chats from July 19th through August 2nd, and the Pitch Wars submission window will open on August 3rd! We asked our mentors to answer these three questions … 1. What are you looking for in a submission and what would you forgive as far as issues in the sample pages? In other words, what do you feel is an easy fix and what would be a pass for you? 2. What is your editing style and do you have a game plan to tackle edits with your mentee in the two months given for the contest? 3. And lastly, what is your all-time favorite book and how did it inspire your writing? And here are their answers …   Layla Reyne Twitter  |  Website Romantic Suspense and Contemporary Romance Author. Reluctant Attorney. Displaced Tar Heel. Foodie and Fangirl. Lover of books, TV, food, wine, whiskey, designer shoes, smushed-face dogs, and a hodgepodge of sports teams. 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist. Rep’d by Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency. ONE: I want to see a good, clean entry that has a distinctive voice and hooks me from page one. We can work on pacing, plot, fleshing out characters, and minor copy edit fixes. But if there are basic craft issues, such as head hopping and shifting tenses, or if there’s not a happy ending, it’s a pass for me. TWO: I’ll read the full and provide a manuscript assessment, focusing primarily on big picture developmental items (plot, pacing, characters, setting, etc.). We’ll chat and formulate a realistic game plan for making revisions. Once I get the revised manuscript back, I’ll give it another read, let my mentee know if anything else, big-picture-wise, is still amiss. When the story is in good shape, I’ll copy edit the first three chapters and maybe more (time depending). THREE: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. I loved the lyrical, moody prose of it and the coastal setting, which shows up a lot in my stories. I also wanted more at the end, so for a school writing project, I drafted an epilogue. Thus began my dive into fanfiction and from there original fiction.   Michelle Hazen Twitter  |  Website Michelle is a nomadic wildlife biologist who was forced to get a set of solar panels and a smartphone...

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Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 6 Adult/New Adult
Jun29

Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 6 Adult/New Adult

From June 27th through July 18th, we’ll be posting mini-interviews with most of the Pitch Wars mentors so you can get to know them. Many of the mentors also hang out on twitter. Follow the links to their Twitter accounts and say hello. They’ll be on the #PitchWars hashtag tweeting advice and answering questions. We will also host live chats from July 19th through August 2nd, and the Pitch Wars submission window will open on August 3rd! We asked our mentors to answer these three questions … 1. What are you looking for in a submission and what would you forgive as far as issues in the sample pages? In other words, what do you feel is an easy fix and what would be a pass for you? 2. What is your editing style and do you have a game plan to tackle edits with your mentee in the two months given for the contest? 3. And lastly, what is your all-time favorite book and how did it inspire your writing? And here are their answers …   Kara Leigh Miller Twitter  |  Website Kara Leigh Miller combines her knowledge and prior editing experience with a passion for the written word and a love for all things romance. Represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency, Kara is a multi-genre published author, and an avid reader with eclectic tastes that range from the tame to the taboo. She currently lives in Michigan with her husband, three kids, three pit bulls, and two cats. When she’s not busy writing romance novels that leave readers swooning, she’s spending time with her family. ONE: I’m looking for a submission that puts me through a range of emotions; a story with characters who will grab me from the start and keep me thinking of them long after I finish the last page. I’m a sucker for the most common of tropes as long as I can relate to the characters. As for issues in the opening pages, I’m willing to forgive quite a bit, but some deal breakers for me include: too much narrative and/or lengthy descriptions, or head-hopping / POV issues. TWO: I’m very laid back when it comes to editing. I like to keep an open dialogue with the author — whether that be via email, messages, or phone calls. I believe the editing process is a partnership and in order for it to be successful, we need to work together. My plan to tackle edits for PitchWars is to start with an in-depth email (or phone call) outlining the big picture issues, and then work our way down to small, line...

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Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 5 Adult/New Adult
Jun29

Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 5 Adult/New Adult

From June 27th through July 18th, we’ll be posting mini-interviews with most of the Pitch Wars mentors so you can get to know them. Many of the mentors also hang out on twitter. Follow the links to their Twitter accounts and say hello. They’ll be on the #PitchWars hashtag tweeting advice and answering questions. We will also host live chats from July 19th through August 2nd, and the Pitch Wars submission window will open on August 3rd! We asked our mentors to answer these three questions … 1. What are you looking for in a submission and what would you forgive as far as issues in the sample pages? In other words, what do you feel is an easy fix and what would be a pass for you? 2. What is your editing style and do you have a game plan to tackle edits with your mentee in the two months given for the contest? 3. And lastly, what is your all-time favorite book and how did it inspire your writing? And here are their answers …   Brighton Walsh Twitter  |  Website Brighton Walsh spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with her first love: writing. When she’s not pounding away at the keyboard, she’s probably either reading or shopping—maybe even both at once. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children, and, yes, she considers forty degrees to be hoodie weather. Her home is the setting for frequent dance parties, Lego battles, and more laughter than she thought possible. She is multi-published with Berkley, St. Martin’s Press, Carina Press, and recently through her own publishing company, and is represented by Mandy Hubbard of D4EO Literary Agency. ONE: Above all else, I want something I cannot put down. Bonus points if it makes my heart flutter and my cheeks hurt from smiling/laughing. That’s not to say something more serious wouldn’t hook me, either! It’s really tough to pinpoint one single thing, because everything I’ve selected as a mentor has been vastly different from one another. I’ll forgive a lot on the sample pages because if they’re perfect, what am I even there for? But one of the main things I can’t forgive is basic grammar issues. Those are easy fixes, yes, but if they’re not fixed prior to submission, it shows me the applicant didn’t care enough to polish the MS as best they could before submitting and thus isn’t willing to invest the time and/or do the work I’d expect from my mentee. TWO: I’m pretty in-depth on editing. In previous years, I’ve...

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Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 4 Adult
Jun28

Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 4 Adult

From June 27th through July 18th, we’ll be posting mini-interviews with most of the Pitch Wars mentors so you can get to know them. Many of the mentors also hang out on twitter. Follow the links to their Twitter accounts and say hello. They’ll be on the #PitchWars hashtag tweeting advice and answering questions. We will also host live chats from July 19th through August 2nd, and the Pitch Wars submission window will open on August 3rd! We asked our mentors to answer these three questions … 1. What are you looking for in a submission and what would you forgive as far as issues in the sample pages? In other words, what do you feel is an easy fix and what would be a pass for you? 2. What is your editing style and do you have a game plan to tackle edits with your mentee in the two months given for the contest? 3. And lastly, what is your all-time favorite book and how did it inspire your writing? And here are their answers …   Holly Faur Twitter  |  Website Holly grew up traveling all over the western U.S. and Germany pretending each long car ride was by covered wagon. She now lives in her birth state of Michigan with her husband and four little ruffians where she write modern historical fiction about wonderfully complicated people. She keeps a garden, tackles the art of baking French macarons, loves the Great Lakes, and can’t live without her Wellie boots. She’s represented my Maria Vicente of P.S. Literary ONE: Something exciting! Sorry, that’s so vague. Easy fixes would be too much back story up front or a little too much telling vs showing. Grammar slips are totally expected, but if they are quite heavy in only a few pages, I might have to pass. TWO: I go line by line and leave lots of notes, along with an edit letter. I’m hoping for a mentee who likes emailing back and forth, brainstorming ideas and scenes. I want to help out along the way while they tweak if I can and I’m totally game for reading over track changes and giving more feedback on the new material. THREE: Hmm. My all-time fav is Three Men in a Boat (Not to Mention the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome. But I can’t say that it’s influenced/inspired my writing at all. Other than realizing there’s nothing wrong with writing for sheer enjoyment.   Michelle Hauck Twitter  |  Website Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two college kids. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of...

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Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 3 Adult
Jun28

Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 3 Adult

From June 27th through July 18th, we’ll be posting mini-interviews with most of the Pitch Wars mentors so you can get to know them. Many of the mentors also hang out on twitter. Follow the links to their Twitter accounts and say hello. They’ll be on the #PitchWars hashtag tweeting advice and answering questions. We will also host live chats from July 19th through August 2nd, and the Pitch Wars submission window will open on August 3rd! We asked our mentors to answer these three questions … 1. What are you looking for in a submission and what would you forgive as far as issues in the sample pages? In other words, what do you feel is an easy fix and what would be a pass for you? 2. What is your editing style and do you have a game plan to tackle edits with your mentee in the two months given for the contest? 3. And lastly, what is your all-time favorite book and how did it inspire your writing? And here are their answers …   Kristin Lepionka Twitter  |  Website Kristen Lepionka’s mystery series featuring private investigator Roxane Weary debuts May 2017 from St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books. She grew up mostly in a public library and could often be found in the adult mystery section well before she was out of middle school. Her writing has been selected for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grift, and Black Elephant. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her partner and two cats. ONE: I’d love to see a submission with a bold voice and a story with good bones. The nitty-gritty of the plot can always be fixed, and so can issues like starting in the wrong place or some character inconsistency, but a story without a solid premise in its core is going to be difficult to fix in 2 months. TWO: I’d say my editing style is thorough but flexible. I can’t tell you exactly how to fix every single issue in a manuscript—it’s YOUR story, after all—but I can offer you lots of suggestions to help you find a solution that resonates with you. I will likely provide an edit letter very soon after the contest starts—or, depending on my mentee’s communication style, an edit-email-chain because this process should be a discussion, not just a radio transmission! My awesome mentor from last year, Kellye Garrett, was great about emailing back and forth a lot, which I found to be really helpful in terms of working out the kinks in my ideas. I’d also love to get to line edits on the revised manuscript before the agent round, time permitting. THREE: If...

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The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn . . . Happy Release Day and Giveaway!
Jun28

The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn . . . Happy Release Day and Giveaway!

We’re so excited to be part of the Release Blitz for Pintip Dunn’s THE DARKEST LIE! Check out the book’s details and teaser, and be sure to enter the giveaway below!     TITLE: The Darkest Lie AUTHOR: Pintip Dunn Publisher: Kensington YA Publication: June 28, 2016   “The mother I knew would never do those things. But maybe I never knew her after all.” Clothes, jokes, coded messages…Cecilia Brooks and her mom shared everything. At least, CeCe thought they did. Six months ago, her mom killed herself after accusations of having sex with a student, and CeCe’s been the subject of whispers and taunts ever since. Now, at the start of her high school senior year, between dealing with her grieving, distracted father, and the social nightmare that has become her life, CeCe just wants to fly under the radar. Instead, she’s volunteering at the school’s crisis hotline—the same place her mother worked. As she counsels troubled strangers, CeCe’s lingering suspicions about her mom’s death surface. With the help of Sam, a new student and newspaper intern, she starts to piece together fragmented clues that point to a twisted secret at the heart of her community. Soon, finding the truth isn’t just a matter of restoring her mother’s reputation, it’s about saving lives—including CeCe’s own… Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble Excerpt from The Darkest Lie “I’ve been researching the story of her suicide,” Sam says. “And I came across something in my research that nobody could explain.” “What is it?” I say dully, even though I can probably guess. I mean, there’s lots that’s inexplicable about my mom’s behavior. Tons. Like: How could a grown woman be sexually attracted to a boy? Or more importantly: Why would she act on it? And my personal favorite: Did she have any kind of moral fiber—even a few lost threads—at all? But Sam bypasses all the obvious questions and picks up a lock of my hair. I feel the slight tug all the way to my roots. “Her hair.” He rubs my strands between his fingers, and I suppress a shiver. “It was chopped off, jagged. One article said it looked like it was lopped off with a butcher knife.” I shrug, but even that simple movement is infused with the awareness of his touch. Still, he doesn’t let go. “They said she was crazy,” I say. “Out of her mind. Maybe she was disfiguring herself as a sign of her shame. Who knows what motivated her actions?” But even as I repeat the explanation the detectives gave for just about everything, my dad’s words echo in my mind: I knew your mother....

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Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 2 Adult
Jun27

Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 2 Adult

From June 27th through July 18th, we’ll be posting mini-interviews with most of the Pitch Wars mentors so you can get to know them. Many of the mentors also hang out on twitter. Follow the links to their Twitter accounts and say hello. They’ll be on the #PitchWars hashtag tweeting advice and answering questions. We will also host live chats from July 19th through August 2nd, and the Pitch Wars submission window will open on August 3rd! We asked our mentors to answer these three questions … 1. What are you looking for in a submission and what would you forgive as far as issues in the sample pages? In other words, what do you feel is an easy fix and what would be a pass for you? 2. What is your editing style and do you have a game plan to tackle edits with your mentee in the two months given for the contest? 3. And lastly, what is your all-time favorite book and how did it inspire your writing? And here are their answers …   Jennie Nash Twitter  |  Website  |  Author Accelerator Jennie Nash is the author of four novels, three memoirs, and a guide to help writers get over the worst moments in the writing life. Five of her seven books were published by Big 5 publishers and she self published two. Jennie runs a private book-coaching business for writers of memoir, non-fiction, and fiction. Her clients have won national indie publishing awards, landed top New York agents, and had books published by Scribner, Simon & Schuster, and Ten Speed, among others. She has been an instructor at the UCLA Extension Writing Program for ten years and is the founder and chief creative officer of Author Accelerator, a book coaching program for dedicated writers. She is represented by Faye Bender of The Book Group. Recent client memoir successes include The Accidental Truth by Lauri Taylor and For the Love of Money by Sam Polk. ONE: I am open to almost any topic and almost any structure (a straight narrative; a collection of connected pieces; a story that includes how-to or self-help elements), but I am looking for a memoir that is generous of heart and universal in scope — something that can help me better understand myself and the world. It must have a structure and a point. Just because something happened — even something dramatic — is not enough to get me to care. If you have written your memoir simply to make sense of your own life and with no thought as to who might read it, or what they might get out...

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Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 1 Adult
Jun27

Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 1 Adult

From June 27th through July 18th, we’ll be posting mini-interviews with most of the Pitch Wars mentors so you can get to know them. Many of the mentors also hang out on twitter. Follow the links to their Twitter accounts and say hello. They’ll be on the #PitchWars hashtag tweeting advice and answering questions. We will also host live chats from July 19th through August 2nd, and the Pitch Wars submission window will open on August 3rd! We asked our mentors to answer these three questions … 1. What are you looking for in a submission and what would you forgive as far as issues in the sample pages? In other words, what do you feel is an easy fix and what would be a pass for you? 2. What is your editing style and do you have a game plan to tackle edits with your mentee in the two months given for the contest? 3. And lastly, what is your all-time favorite book and how did it inspire your writing? And here are their answers … Carrie Callaghan Twitter  |  Website Carrie Callaghan’s short fiction has appeared in Silk Road, The MacGuffin, Floodwall, and elsewhere. She is a senior editor with the Washington Independent Review of Books, and is represented by Shannon Hassan of MarsalLyon. ONE: I’m looking for smart, confident writing that has a story to tell. Honestly, subjectivity will play a major role — is this a story I’d want to read? And, like all of us, my tastes are very idiosyncratic. More specifically, if I can tell the writer understands how a sentence works and flows, then I’ll much more easily pardon structural flaws (like starting the story in the wrong place, or slowing the reader down with unnecessary narration and backstory). Sample pages that are choppy or shallow, with passive voice and weak verbs, will waddle their way right to the “no thanks” pile. TWO: Is it August yet? I can’t wait to dive into someone’s beautiful story and make it even better. I’m an editor with the Washington Independent Review of Books, and I adore the thrill of polishing promising writing until it sparkles. For PitchWars, I plan to throw as much as I can at my mentee immediately, but prioritizing the structural issues. Is the story starting in the right place? Do we have enough scenes that maintain tension? Does the protagonist earn the ending? I have to confess, I’m also prepping a recommended (required?) reading list. I’ll probably put that up on my blog as fair warning … THREE: Don’t make me answer this! (*Brenda, very politely, threatens to pull the...

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Ask the Pitch Wars Mentees! – by Rebecca McLaughlin
Jun27

Ask the Pitch Wars Mentees! – by Rebecca McLaughlin

Pitch Wars: Got Questions? Hey there! Have questions about Pitch Wars? Want to know what it was like and how successful it was? Want to ask the participants from last year? Guess what—you totally can! If you’re curious about Pitch Wars, or not sure you want to enter, or maybe you totally for-reals do want to enter, but you’re not sure what the process really looks like? Don’t fret! We can help! Community is Key We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The best part about Pitch Wars and Pitch parties is the writing community it fosters. Community is key. Writers struggle through doubt (not to mention the query trenches), and we struggle with patience and inspiration. But what keeps us going—aside from coffee—is our support for one another. The Pitch Wars 2015 Crew has stayed involved and active in the last year that we’ve known each other, and we want to pay it forward. We want to help other writers in any way we can! So we’re providing resources and advice for Pitch Wars Generation 2016! Prove it! OK! Take a look at what the mentees from Pitch Wars 2015 have done together as a community. Since our magical adventure together, we’ve put together TWO blogs! Ask Authors Tumblr To The Shelves blog Our Ask Authors Tumblr focuses on answering questions from visitors (like you, nudge-nudge!) Check it out! Ask Authors Tumblr! Access the experience, wisdom, and silliness of over 100 writers! Among us, we have over 50 agented authors, and at least 5 book deals! We ask and answer a big question each week, and we’ll answer questions from visitors all the time. Ask us anything! We’re accepting any questions you may have about Pitch Wars! Anything you want to know about our experiences, we’re happy to talk about! What was Pitch Wars really like? How did we feel when we saw our names on the Mentee list? What did our revisions look like? Do we still talk to our mentor(s)? Do we have any regrets? What percentage of us got agent deals or book deals in the year since the contest? How did we pick what mentor to apply to? Ask us anything! We’ll do our best to give a wide variety of answers from our merry crew of writers. We won’t shy away from difficult questions. If you’re nervous, don’t worry! You can ask questions anonymously (you don’t even need a Tumblr account). If your question sparks a longer post, or if one of the crew wants to answer your question more in-depth, we’ll send you on over to the To The Shelves...

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A giveaway to help support Pitch Wars … with editing prizes!
Jun24

A giveaway to help support Pitch Wars … with editing prizes!

We have some amazing giveaways! But first, check out the new logo for Pitch Wars created by Isabel Ibañez Davis. If you want to get a t-shirt or coffee mug with the logo on it, you can get it here: https://writerslifeapparel.com/collections/pitch-wars, and 30% of the profit goes to Pitch Wars. After the mentees are chosen, there will be more items added for them. So exciting! Pitch Wars is accepting donations to help with the administrative costs (see this post here) required to run the contest. Everyone who enters Pitch Wars can submit four (4) free applications to the mentors of their choice. Those who donate $20 or more will receive two additional applications.* To claim your extra mentor applications, please keep your emailed receipt from Paypal as proof when uploading your entry during the submission window on August 3. *Please note: Pitch Wars is a contest where mentors choose mentees based on the entrants’ skills and is not based on chance. To help with our donation campaign, some of our mentors who have editing and other services are offering prizes for our giveaway. Everyone who enters Pitch Wars, will get an entry into the drawing. If you donate to Pitch Wars, you’ll receive two extra entries into the drawing. All amounts are greatly appreciated. If you’re not entering Pitch Wars this year and the contest has benefited you in the past, please consider donating. (You don’t need a Paypal account to donate. Just click on the donate button, go to the bottom. and you can use a credit card.)   Go check out the wonderful services offered by our Pitch Wars mentor professionals on their sites. And here are the mentors’ items that will be in the drawing after the Pitch Wars submission window closes …     Chimera Editing From Jami Nord: a Big Picture critique. And a $30 off a Big Picture critique for anyone entering Pitch Wars.   From Rebecca Sky (website): A brand consultation and logo package.   Raulerson Editorial From Natasha Raulerson: A query and first three chapter critique of a YA, NA, or Adult manuscript edit.   From Freelance Editor (website),  Joy McCullough: A query and three chapters of MG or YA manuscript edit.   Wild Things Editing From Kim Graff: A query, 1-to-2 page synopsis, and first 2,500 words edit. From Amy Trueblood: A query, 1-to-2 page synopsis, and first 2,500 words edit. From Megan Lally: A query, 1-to-2 page synopsis, and first 2,500 words edit …   From Cat Scully with Cornerstones Literary Consultancy US: A query, synopsis, and three chapters edit.   Jen Malone edits From Jen Malone: A query and...

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Pitch Wars Success Story with Maria Mora and her Mentor Linsey Miller
Jun23

Pitch Wars Success Story with Maria Mora and her Mentor Linsey Miller

Helping people succeed in the publishing industry is one of the most satisfying parts of our job. Today, we celebrate the success of Maria Mora and her mentor, Linsey Miller! Maria signed with  Erica Bauman of Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Please celebrate with Maria and Lindsey in her wonderful success story. Maria, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Linsey? I remember exactly when I read Linsey’s bio, because I was sitting in the courthouse waiting for a hearing on child support due to a clerical error. At the time, I was feeling vulnerable and cranky, and Linsey’s bio was a little ray of sunshine because she sounded like a perfect fit for GATHOS. I was drawn to the fact that she requested diversity in submissions, particular LGBTQIA characters. I carefully “researched” her on Twitter. I have to admit I was pretty intimidated to send my application over to her! Linsey, what about Maria’s application made you choose her? Maria’s book was exactly what I was looking for and what I asked for, and I was instantly hooked by her characters. Maria, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars? Linsey and I clicked from day one, and sent hundreds of gif-laden emails back and forth as I grappled with rewriting the end of my book. (And working on tons of other issues Linsey deftly pointed out.) She helped me brainstorm and plot solutions. She gave me homework and had me work on plotting out character arcs and motivation. We did two full passes, and Linsey spent an enormous amount of time leaving notes and comments. I couldn’t believe how much effort she put into my book. It was such a humbling experience. She was always there for me when I freaked out, let my lizard brain get too loud, or just needed to scream while surrounded by imaginary flames. My favorite part was how much she cared for my characters. That was motivating every step of the way. SHE LOVED MY BABIES TOO. Linsey, tell us about your experience with mentoring Maria. Maria is one of the most hardworking people I’ve ever met. She was completely on board with editing and rewriting, and she worked from the start well through the end of Pitch Wars no matter what happened. She had great ideas, was great at taking critique, and was just as excited as I was to dive into GATHOS. Maria, after Pitch Wars you signed with Erica Bauman of Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, tell us about “The Call.” What did you do to distract yourself? How did Erica contact you? How did you respond? How did you celebrate? Anything!...

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