A Pitch Wars Success Story with Mary C. Dunbar and her mentor, Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Feb03

A Pitch Wars Success Story with Mary C. Dunbar and her mentor, Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

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 Mary C. Dunbar and her mentor, Laurie Elizabeth Flynn. Mary signed with Rebecca Podos of Rees Literary Agency after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help me in congratulating Mary and Laurie on their Pitch Wars Success. Mary, what was it about Laurie that made you choose to send them a Pitch Wars application? I knew Laurie was looking for YA contemporary manuscripts, and she had recently had her debut with Firsts. My manuscript touched on some of the notes that Laurie is great at dealing with in her writing – such as strained friendships, sex, and the MC facing his/her past. I tried to talk with all of the mentors I was considering on Twitter, and I really enjoyed interacting with Laurie. She seemed interested in my pitch, and I was excited to send her my application. When she asked to see the full, I was so excited I couldn’t send it fast enough. Laurie, what was it about Mary’s THE WRECKAGE OF US that hooked you? For starters… I had interacted with Mary on the #PitchWars Twitter hashtag, and checked out (ahem… stalked) her #PimpMyBio entry. I was so intrigued by her pitch and really, really hoped she would sub to me! When I saw her entry in my inbox, I did a little happy dance. I requested the full and the more I read, the more I absolutely knew I had to work with Mary. She is fantastic at showing the stakes in a pitch and also really understands the importance of voice. I appreciated that she took chances with her writing, and her style was so evocative and honest and real. Mary, tell us about the revision process for Pitch Wars? Laurie sent me a very thorough edit letter addressing the areas that she felt that I could work on to make my manuscript stronger. She was so insightful and addressed everything from how to make my first scene pack a stronger punch to character motivation. I think she really liked the core of my story, and she had excellent ideas for making my chapter endings more powerful and ramping up the tension between characters. I tend to be a very character-driven writer, and Laurie showed me how I could have the characters carry more of the weight of the plot without losing any of their unique qualities. I did several rounds of revisions with the edit letter in hand and with her in-document notes, and I sent...

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