Day 9 (Part 2) of June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Rachel Lynn Solomon
Jun13

Day 9 (Part 2) of June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Rachel Lynn Solomon

Welcome to June’s Setting Workshop! From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected over thirty writers to participate. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a 500 word sample chosen by the writers from a place he or she felt needed help with setting. We hope that not only you’ll learn a little bit about setting that you can apply to your own writing, but that you’ll also be able to get to know some of our wonderful Pitch Wars mentors and their editing styles. We appreciate our mentors for giving up their time to do the critiques. If you have something encouraging to add, feel free to comment below. Please keep all comments tasteful. We will delete any inappropriate or hurtful ones. And now we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Rachel Lynn Solomon Twitter | Website Rachel Lynn Solomon is a Seattle native who loves rainy days, tap dancing, red lipstick, and new wave music. Her debut contemporary YA novel, FINGERS CROSSED, will be out from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse in spring 2018, with a second book to follow in 2019. She’s represented by Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency. You can find her online at rachelsolomonbooks.com and on Twitter @rlynn_solomon. The 500 Word Critique . . . Adult Women’s Historical Fiction   Saturday, July 11, 1896. I have arrived as an artist: Cottage 10B, Shinnecock Hills School of Art. Mrs. Patterson met me at the Easthampton station in her carriage. She was old, her hair white, her face lined and tanned. She wore a black straw hat bedecked with silk lilies of the valley (Return of Happiness!). She told me I was “clever” to bring a wheelchair to transport art supplies around, and that artists were always surprising her with their creative ideas. I thought of telling her about my asthma, as she was going to take care of me. But I decided no. This isn’t related to setting, but why does your MC decide not to tell her? There’s a bit more to explore here, I think! She had a face I might like to draw—dotted with big freckles and a quick smile—although I don’t have much practice drawing people. Her breath smelled of anise. Love this description of her! It shows us right away that your MC is an artist and gives us an interesting detail: that she doesn’t really draw people. As we rode in her carriage, I thanked her for taking me into her home. This is a great chance to add some description of the carriage and where they’re riding. Is the ride bumpy? What does your MC see out the window? Are there smells from the outside that drift into the...

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Day 9 of June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Jennifer Hawkins
Jun13

Day 9 of June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Jennifer Hawkins

Welcome to June’s Setting Workshop! From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected over thirty writers to participate. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a 500 word sample chosen by the writers from a place he or she felt needed help with setting. We hope that not only you’ll learn a little bit about setting that you can apply to your own writing, but that you’ll also be able to get to know some of our wonderful Pitch Wars mentors and their editing styles. We appreciate our mentors for giving up their time to do the critiques. If you have something encouraging to add, feel free to comment below. Please keep all comments tasteful. We will delete any inappropriate or hurtful ones. And now we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Jennifer Hawkins Twitter | Website Jennifer Hawkins writes Young Adult fiction, and she’s passionate about stories sprinkled with magic and romance. She’s an editor for Author Accelerator and a 2016 YARWA Rosemary Award double-finalist. She lives in Houston with her husband, two sons, and lap dog Great Dane, where she sometimes still uses her nursing degree on a per diem basis. When she isn’t working or maxed out on mom duties, you can find her poolside, sipping sweet tea and lost in a good book. The 500 Word Critique . . . Young Adult Contemporary  As the afternoon grows, so do the waves. [While I really like the way you mention the waves in this opening sentence (I love the beach!), the verb feels off. Waves grow larger, yes, but afternoons don’t grow larger, so it seems incongruent. You could rework this by using a verb that makes sense with both. Maybe stretches?] Primo four footers up and down the shore. [What does “primo” mean to your main character? Just a word or two would paint a clearer image. i.e., Primo four-footers so glassy you can see through them, breaking slowly up and down the shore.] The best I’ve seen this side of Malibu in a long time. [This is good. Implies this MC has been surfing for a while, so maybe he/she is an advanced surfer? That could be reflected in the way you describe the primo aspect of the waves above.] But along with some rad waves comes longer lineups. [And how does this make your MC feel? Impatient? Annoyed? I’m not getting a sense of how he/she is feeling about this contrast of positve (bigger waves) and negative (longer lineups). Right now, it’s just fact stating.] Longer lineups means less surfing more frubing. [I’ve never heard this word before, so I looked it up. Urban dictionary tells me this is gross, and I don’t understand...

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Pitch Wars Success Story with Taryn Bashford and her Mentor Emily Martin
Jun13

Pitch Wars Success Story with Taryn Bashford and her Mentor Emily Martin

Helping people succeed in the publishing industry is one of the most satisfying parts of our job. Today, we celebrate the success of Taryn Bashford and her mentor, Emily Martin! Taryn signed with both Tara Wynne of Curtis Brown Australia and Katelyn Detweiller of Jill Grinberg Literary Management. Please help me celebrate and support Taryn in her amazing (and complicated) success story. Taryn, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Emily? It’s a long time ago to remember every detail of why I chose Emily but I do remember reading the description of her novel, The Year We Fell Apart, and it likened her to Sarah Dessen. That was all I needed to know! Of course she was also keen on contemporary YA and seemed very approachable on her social media platforms. Emily, what about Taryn’s application made you choose her? Because her MC is named Harper, which is the name of my MC in The Year We Fell Apart! No, just kidding… Taryn’s query and first pages gave me a clear idea of the heart of the story and the stakes for her characters, which definitely hooked me. Her writing also had such a beautiful voice that balanced in the sweet spot between literary and commercial. I fell in love with the characters and world she’d crafted after the first couple chapters and when I read the full, I knew it was The One! Taryn, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars. Did you follow a schedule? What struggles did you have? What did you learn about yourself during the process? Did you sleep? What was your stress snack of choice? It was actually way less stressful than I thought. Emily was quick to get my edits to me, which helped, of course. As I write full time, it was easy to focus and I kept to my usual writing routine and shut myself in my writing room (no wi-fi) from 8am to 3pm every day and then some more most nights. The revisions were not enormous and we were soon on to a second round of refinements before working on the first 250 words to be published on your website for agents to see. That was way harder than I thought it would be and in a fit of self-doubt I wrote 4 or more different opening scenes before choosing the original one I wrote. Oh well! My stress snack of choice? Skittles – or anything chewy that kept me awake when I should’ve been sleeping, but couldn’t because I was so excited about all of this. I reckon if you’re chewing you can’t...

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