Pitch Wars Team Interview with Elizabeth Dimit and her mentors, Dee Romito and Jen Malone
Sep12

Pitch Wars Team Interview with Elizabeth Dimit and her mentors, Dee Romito and Jen Malone

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have . . . Elizabeth Dimit – Mentee Blog | Twitter Dee Romito – Mentor Website | Twitter Jen Malone – Mentor Website | Twitter Jen and Dee, why did you choose Elizabeth as a mentee? Jen: We fell in love with the voice first and foremost, and the pages drew both of us right in. Speaking personally, the subject matter hit home on a personal level, as I have a daughter the same age as the main character, Avery, who has also been diagnosed with ADHD and wrestles with a lot of the same impulse-control issues Avery does. It completely endeared me to Avery, but also got me excited about seeing a book on shelves that I could hand my daughter, so she could see others dealing with and striving to overcome some of the same challenges she contends with daily! I’m thrilled to champion a book like this! Dee: It was the voice and the heart of the character that we loved right from the start. As a former elementary teacher, this character rang so true and as I read, I could picture some of the students I’ve had in class over the years. And the scene about Avery writing in marker on her desk . . . Oh boy, well, let’s just say that one of my favorite (and funniest) teaching memories came rushing back to me. I could picture Avery as a student in my class, desperately trying to get a handle on this thing that made her struggle on a daily basis. I’m so excited to be working on this with Jen and Elizabeth! Elizabeth, why did you choose Dee and Jen as mentors? I loved that both Dee and Jen write sweet, lighthearted MG–my taste exactly! When they said they were looking for voice as well as books with pranks, heists, and capers, I felt that my book would be a good fit for them, because who doesn’t love a little crazy? 🙂 Underneath all the fun, however, I also sensed that these are two talented, hardworking authors who would work with me to shred, revise, and reassemble my book into something special. I am so honored they chose me, and I can’t wait to get to work! Jen and Dee, summarize your mentee’s book in three words. Jen: Humor with heart. Dee: What Jen said....

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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Patrick Thornton and his mentor, Shari Schwarz
Sep12

Pitch Wars Team Interview with Patrick Thornton and his mentor, Shari Schwarz

  Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have . . .   Patrick Thornton Twitter Shari Schwarz Twitter | Website   Patrick: Why did you choose Shari? I assume that means why did I choose Shari as a mentor? Seems she chose me (and I could not be happier about that :-). For my part, I sent queries and pages to the mentors I thought might like the kind of story I wrote. Shari in particular caught my eye because she has boys. So many books for younger people seem to be targeting girls. I think because Shari is familiar with what boys from her own family and her experience in the school library she can appreciation Nate and the boy-brain things that happen. Shari: Why did you choose Patrick and STEPPING UP? I read Patrick’s MG submission, STEPPING UP, fell in love with it right away, requested the full and was even more convinced that it was the one! Then as I read all of the other submissions, I couldn’t help but compare them to STEPPING UP. It has so much heart and humor throughout it’s pages that it literally grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go. Plus, it has a POV in the war in Afghanistan. And a really strong father-son relationship. And smoke bombs. And zucchini. It has zucchini! What’s not to love?! Plus, I could tell that Patrick was willing to work hard. And he’s pretty funny too which is the icing on the cake! Patrick: Summarize your book in three words. I guess that could be called a one-floor elevator pitch. Maybe even the-door-opens-and-closes- before-anyone-can-get-on-or- off elevator pitch. Anyway, that’s a tough one. Hmmm. Maybe, Making Dad Proud? or Filling Dad’s shoes or Father/Son Heart Connection? (okay, cheated a little on that one.) or Holding Family Together? or Stolen Xbox Wars? or Home Alone VI? or Laugh Cry Bombs? or Home Homeless War? or Missing Dad Xbox? or Growing up Fast? or I Give Up. (no good for the question but apropos) Shari: Summarize your mentee’s book in three words. I think Patrick cheated (a lot), so I’ll do a mashup of his: Family/War/Homelessness Patrick: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I have a bright young son who has always had a keen interest in my military experience. I know how hard it is on families when a parent deploys. There is bravery and there is worry and...

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THE ART OF HOLDING ON AND LETTING GO by Kristin Bartley Lenz … release day!
Sep12

THE ART OF HOLDING ON AND LETTING GO by Kristin Bartley Lenz … release day!

Amazon | B & N | B-A-M | IndieBound | Powells Praise for The Art of Holding On and Letting Go … “Cara is an appealing, engaging narrator. Surrounded by a well-rounded cast, Cara’s journey toward a peaceful, fulfilling life is almost perfectly depicted. A compelling, unusual coming-of-age story.” —Kirkus “Lenz offers a thoughtful meditation on life after loss. Lenz effortlessly explains complicated climbing terminology and intermixes moments of levity with contemplative quotations from naturalists and mountain climbers.”—Publishers Weekly Blurb … “When every piece falls into place, it’s like a dance, a delicate but powerful balancing act. The art of holding on and letting go at the same time.” Competitive climber Cara Jenkins feels most at home high off the ground, clinging to a rock wall by her fingertips. She’s enjoyed a roaming life with her mountaineering parents, making the natural world her jungle gym, the writings of Annie Dillard and Henry David Thoreau her textbooks. But when tragedy strikes on an Ecuadoran mountaintop, Cara’s nomadic lifestyle comes to an abrupt halt. Starting over at her grandparents’ home in suburban Detroit, Cara embarks on a year of discovery, uncovering unknown strengths, friendships, and first love. Cara’s journey illustrates the transformative power of nature, love and loss, and discovering that home can be far from where you started. About the author … Website | Twitter Kristin Bartley Lenz is a writer and social worker whose career has taken her through rural Appalachia, the California Bay Area, and inner-city Detroit. She is the co-editor of the Michigan Chapter blog for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The Art of Holding On and Letting Go is her first book.  ...

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