Day 10 (Part 2) of June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Kevin Springer
Jun14

Day 10 (Part 2) of June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Kevin Springer

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 Kevin Springer Website | Twitter | Goodreads Kevin is a self-proclaimed dreamer and a kid at heart. When he’s not writing or reading, he is coaching soccer or helping with homework. He lives outside of Atlanta with his wife, two extraordinary boys, and dogs. He is also a co-founder of the Middle Grade Mafia blog. The 500 Word Critique . . . Middle Grade Magical Realism   After his grandmother left, William lugged the bulky backpack up the stairs with an ache in his heart. He missed his grandfather. (Good emotion, but I felt like I came in at the middle of a chapter. Hook the reader.) William stopped in front of the family pictures hanging in the hallway that led to his bedroom. A stenciled row of small half-circles woven together in what was called an Irish trinity knot filled the space separating each frame. (Like the detail of the trinity, but had to re-read to get a picture in my head. Paint a vivid image to draw them into the hall with William) “Six generations of our family are on this wall.” Grandpa Woodman had told William just before Christmas. “One day your photo will go next to mine.” “What about Mom’s picture?” Grandpa Woodman bristled at the question. “One day, soon, you’ll understand what it takes to be on this wall.” This response only confused William more. He’d wanted to ask if she’d done something wrong. Instead, William listened as his grandfather droned on about the family’s Irish roots and the wall of ancestors for the millionth time. After Grandpa left, William asked his mother why her picture couldn’t hang next to the others. “Maybe one day it will be there.” Her answer didn’t help either. At the time, their answers only raised more questions. But William’s confusion ended when he read his grandfather’s letter. It opened William’s eyes to the Irish origins of...

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The Mentors Speak About the Pitch Wars Community
Jun14

The Mentors Speak About the Pitch Wars Community

Mentors Speak about the Pitch Wars Community by Joy McCullough-Carranza If you know anything about PItchwars, you probably know it’s a great way to get your manuscript in front of a wonderful group of agents. You might understand that agent requests aside, it’s a wonderful way to improve your craft and strengthen your manuscript as you work with a mentor. But one of the best benefits of doing Pitchwars is the community you’ll find—and you can find that community whether you participate as a mentor, a mentee, or even an applicant who isn’t selected. Recently in the Pitchwars super secret Facebook mentor hang-out, I asked the mentors to share the ways Pitchwars has had an impact on their lives, beyond the more concrete things like getting an agent or a book deal. For myself, I can say that going into my fourth year mentoring Pitchwars, it has been one of the very brightest spots on what has been (and continues to be) a very long journey. I have made some of my best writing friends, from among the other mentors as well as my mentees-turned-CPs. I have learned a MASSIVE amount about the industry. I even queried my current agent because last year he requested all three of my Pitchwars mentees’ MG manuscripts, and I thought huh…I guess we might have similar tastes! And now he’s my perfect-fit agent. So if you’re pondering whether or not it’s worth it to enter Pitchwars this year, browse through these responses and see the impact that submission could have on your life.   Joy McCullough-Carranza Twitter | Website Joy writes plays and children’s fiction. She has a degree in theater from Northwestern University. Her plays have been developed and produced in Seattle, San Diego, Chicago, and New York. She blogs (sporadically!) here and is also a part of the team blogging about middle grade books and writing at Project Mayhem. Here’s what a number of other mentors had to say: Mara Rae Rutherford Twitter  |  Website Pretty much my entire writing life as it stands today revolves around Pitch Wars. It’s how I got my agent, and where I met my CPs, my writer’s support group, and some of my best friends. I’ve learned so much from the other mentees and mentors that I didn’t know before PW, and I’m unquestionably a better writer for it.     Kelly Siskind Twitter  |  Website I didn’t get into Pitch Wars the first year I applied. I wrote another book and the awesome Brighton Walsh picked me to be her mentee. My writing is better for it. I gained other CPs during that time...

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Day 10 of June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Destiny Cole
Jun14

Day 10 of June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Destiny Cole

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 Destiny Cole   Twitter | Website   Destiny Cole knew from a young age that she was going to be a storyteller. Whether it was fantastical worlds or creepy villains, Destiny wants to tell the kind of stories that stay with you long after the last page is turned. Writing primarily YA thriller and mystery books, Destiny is repped by Kirsten Carleton at Prospect Agency and also works in digital marketing. When detached from her computer, she can be found entertaining her three kids and trying to convince her Belgian husband that she’s the funniest person he’s ever met. She and her family currently reside in Dallas, Texas. Find her on Twitter at @destinywrites or at destinycole.com The 500 Word Critique . . . Young Adult Fantasy A child darted past him, jostling his knee [jostling his knee makes me think he was sitting, but later on we see he’s walking. Another descriptor may be needed.]. Automatically, his hand went to his pocket. Brilliant. Now he would have to ask Escar to lend him the money for his ale. But even as he thought that, something else struck him. He’d left his map with Escar and the boys, sure [possibly use the word ‘confidant’ or something similar here. The use of ‘sure’ for some reason tripped me up every time I read the sentence and made me think it was saying something else.] he could remember the way to Dulcine Street on his own. But in his stewing, he’d lost track of his turns. He laughed, setting his fists on his hips [This Peter Pan move is a little awkward. Maybe more of a “runs a hand over his head” type thing would work better to show his resignation to his crappy night]. Well, the night clearly wanted to go badly, so why shouldn’t he be lost? Why not wander around a strange town at dusk with...

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