Pitch Wars Success Story with Cory Leonardo and her mentors, Amanda Rawson Hill and Cindy Baldwin
Jan02

Pitch Wars Success Story with Cory Leonardo and her mentors, Amanda Rawson Hill and Cindy Baldwin

  Having our mentees land an agent or a publishing deal is one of the highlights of being part of Pitch Wars. We’re so excited for Cory Leonardo and her mentors, Amanda Rawson Hill and Cindy Baldwin. Cory signed with Rena Rossner of The Deborah Harris Agency after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help me in congratulating Cory, Amanda, and Cindy on their Pitch Wars Success.   Cory, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Amanda and Cindy? I fell in love with them after reading their Pitch Wars interview. They were smart, funny, and heartfelt. Plus, we adored the same types of books, and honestly, I just felt this magical pull. I knew it would be a dream to work with them. Amanda and Cindy, what about Cory’s application made you choose her? Amanda: It’s funny, when I read Cory’s query I thought, “Yeah, no way.” But I read her first pages and was blown away by her voice and poetry. So I texted Cindy and was like, “I really like the parrot book. Am I crazy?” She quickly assured me I wasn’t. It was strange because Cory’s book was so many things we had said would be a hard sell for us, but she had such a perfect blend of humor and heart and there was something so human about this parrot. We spent the next two weeks just texting back and forth about her book and our plans for it. Cindy: Amanda read Cory’s opening pages first, and immediately texted me telling me that I HAD to go read the parrot book to see if she was going crazy. We’d said no animal stories on our wishlist, and hadn’t imagined that we’d be drawn to one. As soon as I read the opening chapters, though, I was right with Amanda—Cory’s witty prose and sublime verse had drawn us both in immediately. CALL ME ALASTAIR is one of the most unique and poignant middle grade novels I’ve ever had the pleasure to read! We really worried that by choosing Cory we’d be setting her up for disappointment, as animal stories can be a tough market to find an agent with… but clearly, we needn’t have been anxious on that score! Cory, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars? Grueling. And amazing at the same time. Amanda and Cindy helped me see my book in ways I hadn’t considered before. They were amazingly able to pinpoint weaknesses in a way that made me excited for the next round of edits. They were cheerleaders, teachers, counselors; they were...

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