Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 12 Young Adult
Jul04

Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 12 Young Adult

HAPPY 4th of July! 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 … Heather Ezell Twitter |  Website Heather was born and raised in Southern California, but can’t admit this without insisting she spent a chunk of her teens in Colorado Springs. Despite considering herself a high school drop out, she earned her BA from Colorado College and spent two years as a grad student at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Most frequently, she teaches college composition, bemoans the mild winters, and writes while on a bouncy yoga ball. She is represented by Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary Agency. ONE: I’m looking for characters that both enrage and swoon me, a voice that sticks in my head days after reading, and stakes that make me feel the need to sprint up and down my street to tame my anxiety. This doesn’t mean that a bomb must be dropped in the first page! Rather, through the query and sample pages, I want to feel–however subtly–that there is far more to the story than I’m initially seeing. I love, love, love strong settings: take me to where your story is, however mundane or painful, let me see it and feel it and live it. I have an affinity for unreliable narrators and odd structures (though both can be tricky to master!), and, oh goodness, yes, lyrical prose. Potentially easy fixes: grammar mistakes, underdeveloped side characters or that sense of place I so hanker for, lackluster pacing and waffly prose. You’re likely to lose me as a reader if I don’t connect with your protagonist and I don’t feel there is true forward momentum. Above all,...

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Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 11 Young Adult
Jul04

Get to know the Pitch Wars Mentors Mini Interviews . . . No. 11 Young Adult

HAPPY 4th of July!   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 … Dawn Ius Twitter |  Website Dawn Ius is the author of ANNE & HENRY, and the forthcoming OVERDRIVE (Sept 2016) and LIZZIE (Spring 2018), from Simon Pulse. She is the Managing Editor of The Big Thrill (the e-zine published by the International Thriller Writers), an acquisitions editor for Vine Leaves Press, and the author of 15 educational comics published by the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. Dawn lives in Alberta Canada with her husband, two giant dogs, and three bearded dragons. (Yes, she will respond to Khaleesi.) Follow Dawn on Twitter via @dawnmius or visit her at www.dawnius.com. ONE: I’m looking for young adult novels that make me swoon or scare me senseless. Compelling characters and a strong plot will hook me, but I love tight, well-written stories that are rich with atmosphere and emotion. Make me FEEL. For thriller / horror, I’m more drawn to suspense than gore, but give me a good teen slasher infused with humor and I’ll probably bite. First chapters are tough—I rewrote the first chapter of ANNE & HENRY 20 times before landing on the right one, two weeks before final deadline—so I tend to be a bit more lenient on those opening pages. We can fix that in a rewrite. I don’t expect perfect spelling (I suck at spelling myself!) and grammar, but if your manuscript is rife with errors, I’ll question how committed you are to honing your craft and likely pass. TWO: In the first week or so, I’ll read the manuscript through once without my “red” pen, and...

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