Pitch Wars Success Story with Jenny Rosen and her mentor, Kim Graff
Jun19

Pitch Wars Success Story with Jenny Rosen and her mentor, Kim Graff

  When our mentees land an agent or a publishing deal, it’s one of the highlights of being part of Pitch Wars. We’re so excited for Jenny Rosen and her mentor, Kim Graff. Jenny got an audiobook deal with Hachette Audio since being a mentee in Pitch Wars, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help me in congratulating Jenny and Kim on their Pitch Wars Success! Jenny, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Kim? Kim’s love for dark and gritty storylines, complex characters, conflicted family dynamics, and unreliable narrators was right up my alley. I submitted to her immediately after I discovered her PW Mentor profile because I had a feeling that we’d work really well together if I was lucky enough to be her mentee. Kim, what about Jenny’s application made you choose her? I’m super into political thrillers and microtension is really important to me — Jenny’s PW manuscript really hit the sweet spot on both for me. There was great tension and voice, and it was a political YA thriller which you don’t see enough of these days.  Jenny, tell us about how your relationship has continued after Pitch Wars? Kim was incredibly supportive after Pitch Wars and encouraged me to continue querying. She read over a number of my revisions and recommended agents that I could submit to. When I ultimately decided to put querying THE RUNAWAYS on hold, she told me to focus my efforts on my second project (CHEATER, FAKER, TROUBLEMAKER) because she saw more mainstream commercial potential. Her belief in my writing ability propelled me forward in the years following Pitch Wars and is one of the reasons why I still keep pushing myself to improve. Kim, tell us about your experience during and after Pitch Wars with Jenny.  Jenny was great. She hit deadlines like a champ, and was always open to feedback which is REALLY important in Pitch Wars. Really. Important. If you can manage the deadlines of Pitch Wars, it can be really difficult — and no matter what was happening, Jenny managed with stars. Jenny, after Pitch Wars you got an audio book deal with Hachette Audio. Can you tell us about how that happened, the details about the offer? How did Hachette contact you? How did you respond? How did you celebrate? Anything! We love knowing it all. I’ve been a member of the Wattpad community since 2011, and after my YA Thriller THE RUNAWAYS, received over 2 million views, I was asked to be apart of the Wattpad Stars Program in 2014, which provides potential publication, film, and television opportunities to Wattpad’s...

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Day 30 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Ashley Hearn and Heidi Stallman
Jun19

Day 30 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Ashley Hearn and Heidi Stallman

Welcome to our Query and 1st Page Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected writers to participate in our query and first page workshops. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or 500 word opening from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting four critiques per day (except weekends) through July 7. Our hope is that these samples will help shine up your query and first page and that you’ll get to know some of our wonderful Pitch Wars mentors. We appreciate our mentors for giving up their time to do the critiques. If you have something encouraging to add, feel free to comment below. Please keep all comments tasteful. We will delete any inappropriate or hurtful ones. First up we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Ashley Hearn Twitter | Website Ashley Hearn is a Young Adult author and an Associate YA Editor at Page Street Publishing. In a previous life, she was a sports producer for The Badger Sports Report, the football and basketball coaches’ show for the University of Wisconsin. She is an addictive coffee drinker, a Gilmore Girls fanatic, and a proud Gryffindor. When she ferrets away enough gas money, she can be found scouring the Georgia and South Carolina Sea Islands for ruined plantations, folk magic, and a fresh story.       Ashley’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: Adult GENRE: Fantasy Dear (Agent’s name): I noticed on your Manuscript Wish List that you are looking for an Adult Fantasy with diverse characters and a strong female protagonist. I would like to present my novel, SCION OF THE RING, for your consideration. [Excellent clear and succinct intro paragraph!] We Persevere. It was [Stay in present tense here—it is the family motto] Catina Greymist’s family motto, carved into every sword and shield [I’d end the sentence here. It packs more of a punch.] to remind her father’s men. [But] After she is mistaken for a thief and whisked [away] to a slave-fighting ring in the desert, we persevere becomes the mantra by which she survives. [This feels pretty coincidental, to me. The less random you can make this inciting incident seem, the less contrived your plot will feel. Does she do anything to insinuate she is a thief, or does she bare a resemblance to a wanted criminal? Are the people who capture her enemies of her family? I wouldn’t mind a little more detail here to smooth over the coincidence. Right now, it feels like her father’s men mistook her for a thief and sold her off. You don’t need much, just something like: “But after a rival family mistakes her for...

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Pitch Wars Webinars: Realistically & Authentically Portraying Psychological Disorders in Your Fiction with Clinical Psychologist Jessica Bayliss
Jun19

Pitch Wars Webinars: Realistically & Authentically Portraying Psychological Disorders in Your Fiction with Clinical Psychologist Jessica Bayliss

WEBINARS Pitch Wars Webinars Presents… Realistically & Authentically Portraying Psychological Disorders in Your Fiction Hundreds of millions of people worldwide struggle with mental health concerns, including depression, PTSD, panic, and OCD. Most of our lives have been touched by these challenges in some way. Yet these aren’t always well-understood, and inaccurate portrayals in fiction abound. As a Clinical Psychologist, I am troubled when I read books that get it wrong. I have spent thousands of hours working with people who are coping with these concerns. Part of my job as a psychotherapist is to understand each individual and to help them gain new insights into their symptoms, how they impact their thinking and behavior, and how that impacts their emotions. In this webinar, will share some of what I’ve learned from my work. I will talk through symptoms of these diagnoses, so as to consider not only what symptoms actually look like in real people, but how they impact thinking and behavior/functioning. I’ll comment on the symptoms that tend to show up often in fiction, and highlight symptoms that are actually very central to the presentation of these diagnoses that are more subtle/harder to portray/or just not as commonly seen in fiction. I’ll also present some comparison and contrasting to highlight how there can be some very significant differences between different diagnoses but also a great deal of overlap. My hope is that this webinar forms one part of the authors’ research into mental health concerns, which should also include seeking out direct conversations with folks dealing with these concerns personally along with reading resources from reputable sources and seeking sensitivity reads. The Details . . . Date: Wednesday, June 28 Time: 8:30 pm – 10pm ET Cost: $20 to attend the webinar Please note: There is a 50 person limit for the webinar About Jessica Bayliss . . . Twitter | Website | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads Jessica Bayliss is a fiction author who loves all things reading and writing. A clinical psychologist by day and a writer all the time, her genre-bending fiction holds a little something for everyone. She has been a lover ghost tales and horror since her days scanning VHS rental shelves—admittedly with eyes half-averted from the gory covers—so a touch of the mysterious always finds a home in Jessica’s work. Romance with a dash of supernatural. Horror with a bit of humor. You get the gist. Jessica also writes across age groups, whether young or not-so-young. Because one cannot live on writing alone, Jessica also spends a great deal of time with friends and family. She is a lover of all animals especially one very special Havanese....

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Day 30 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Workshop with mentors, Kristin Smith and Beth Ellyn Summer
Jun19

Day 30 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Workshop with mentors, Kristin Smith and Beth Ellyn Summer

Welcome to our Query and 1st Page Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected writers to participate in our query and first page workshops. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or 500 word opening from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting four critiques per day (except weekends) through July 7. Our hope is that these samples will help shine up your query and first page and that you’ll get to know some of our wonderful Pitch Wars mentors. We appreciate our mentors for giving up their time to do the critiques. If you have something encouraging to add, feel free to comment below. Please keep all comments tasteful. We will delete any inappropriate or hurtful ones. First up we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Kristin Smith & Beth Ellyn Summer  Website | Twitter Kristin Smith is the author of the best-selling young adult novel Catalyst and its sequel, Forgotten. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five sons. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com. Kristin’s recently release … Amazon Too pretty. Too smart. Too perfect. In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose the characteristics of their children like ordering off a drive-thru menu, seventeen-year-old Sienna Preston doesn’t fit in. As a normal girl surrounded by genetically modified teens, all of her imperfections are on display. But after the death of her father, everything she’s ever known and loved changes in an instant. With little skills to help provide for her family, Sienna clings to the two things that come easily—lying and stealing. But not all thief-for-hire assignments go as planned. When a covert exchange of a stolen computer chip is intercepted, she becomes entangled with a corrupt government official who uses her thieving past as leverage, her mother as collateral, and the genetically modified poster boy she’s falling for as bait. In order to rescue her mother, there may only be one option—joining forces with the Fringe, an extremist group, and their young leader who’s too hot to be bad. Problem is, these revolutionaries aren’t what they seem, and the secrets they’re hiding could be more dangerous than Sienna is prepared for. In the end, she must be willing to risk everything to save the one thing that matters most. Catalyst is a thrilling adventure of danger, romance,...

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