A Pitch Wars Success Story with Elissa Dickey and her mentors, Kara Leigh Miller and Meredith Ireland
Jan18

A Pitch Wars Success Story with Elissa Dickey and her mentors, Kara Leigh Miller and Meredith Ireland

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 Elissa Dickey and her mentors, Kara Leigh Miller and Meredith Ireland. Elissa signed with Sharon Pelletier of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help me in congratulating Elissa, Kara, and Meredith on their Pitch Wars Success. Elissa, what was it about Kara and Meredith that made you choose to send them a Pitch Wars application? We’d interacted on Twitter, and they were both extremely kind and helpful (and had excellent gif skills). When I read their wish list, my story seemed to be a good fit, with light sci-fi like Station Eleven and romantic elements. The moment they suggested Thelma and Louise in the apocalypse was truly a cloud-parting epiphany-type moment! Mentors, what was it about Elissa’s THOSE WE LEFT BEHIND that hooked you? Kara: Her opening pages. They were so full of a haunting, creepy tone, which I love, and when I got to the end, I was like, “Wait, that’s it? Where’s the rest?” I just knew I had to request more and keep reading. Meredith: For me, it was her stellar concept. I loved the idea of an action heavy apocalyptic women’s fiction. We went straight from the sample to a full request! Elissa, tell us about the revision process for Pitch Wars? It was intense. There’s that moment at the beginning when you get the edit letter where you think: Can I do this? But your mentors are with you every step of the way with support and guidance. Kara and Meredith helped me tell the story in the best way possible, so I got to fall in love with my manuscript all over again. I learned so much about writing and loved those moments when something finally clicked craft-wise. (It’s kind of like Keanu at the end of the Matrix.) Mentors, tell us about your experience mentoring Elissa. Kara: Elissa said it all—It was intense. We had a LOT of edits for her, including cutting an entire POV and completely rewriting the ending. At first I was a bit worried it was too much and that she’d be overwhelmed, but she came out swinging. She tackled all of our edits and did it with a smile. Her eagerness to learn and implement what we taught her made the whole experience that much better. We’re so proud of how far she’s come. Meredith: Elissa had an amazing work ethic. Although we were hooked with that first chapter, the remainder of the book required major revisions. She...

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