Pitch Wars LIVE #5: Middle Grade Mentors
Jul21

Pitch Wars LIVE #5: Middle Grade Mentors

What an amazing night for Pitch Wars LIVE! We got through so many questions for our Middle Grade mentors that you’re certainly going to want to hear the answers to. From revision tips to what they’re looking for in a mentee submission–these guys got you covered. Didn’t get to catch it live? Check out the recorded episode below. Be sure to reference the schedule for upcoming shows in your manuscript’s age category. All episodes can be found on a playlist on the Pitch Wars Youtube Page here. And join us Monday for the next round of Adult/New Adult mentors!...

Read More
Pitch Wars LIVE #4: Young Adult Mentors
Jul20

Pitch Wars LIVE #4: Young Adult Mentors

WHOOHOO! Pitch Wars LIVE just had an amazing conversation tonight with our second round of Young Adult mentors. We talked queries and prologues and even “unlikeable female main characters.” Didn’t get to catch it live? Check out the recorded episode below. Be sure to reference the schedule for upcoming shows in your manuscript’s age category. All episodes can be found on a playlist on the Pitch Wars Youtube Page here. And join us tomorrow for the second round of Middle Grade mentors!...

Read More
Pitch Wars Webinars: Secrets of Writing a Good Retelling
Jul20

Pitch Wars Webinars: Secrets of Writing a Good Retelling

WEBINARS Pitch Wars Webinars Presents… Secrets of Writing a Good Retelling Reworking a fairy tale is one thing—but what about reworking classic works of literature from the greatest writers of our time (like, say, Shakespeare or Jane Austen)? Everyone knows that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but how do you find the balance between creating something that is wholly your own, while also keeping true to the original’s spirit? In this workshop, learn how to create a high concept story angle for your retelling, deal with the pressure of expectation while somehow keeping the story unpredictable, and above all, finding the balance between your inner fangirl/boy and the professional writer. The Details . . . Date: Wednesday, August 16 Time: 8:30 pm ET Cost: $20 to attend the workshop Instructions: Register using the form below and upload your receipt. Please note: There is a 50 person limit for the webinar About McKelle George . . . Twitter | Website  McKelle George is a reader, writer of clumsy rebels, perpetual doodler, and associate librarian at the best library in the world. She mentors with Salt Lake Teen Writes and plays judge for the Poetry Out Loud teen competitions (but has no poetic talent herself). Her debut young adult novel Speak Easy, Speak Love comes out from Greenwillow/HarperCollins in 2017, and she currently lives in Salt Lake City with an enormous white german shepherd and way, way too many books. About Kate Watson . . . Twitter | Website  Kate Watson is a young adult writer, wife, mother of two, and the tenth of thirteen children. Originally from Canada, she attended college in the States and holds a BA in Philosophy from Brigham Young University. A lover of travel, speaking in accents, and experiencing new cultures, she has studied in Israel and lived in Brazil, the American South, and now calls Arizona home. Her first novel, SEEKING MANSFIELD, debuts in Spring 2017, with the companion novel to follow in 2018. She is also a contributor to Eric Smith’s Welcome Home adoption anthology coming in 2017.   Pitch Wars Webinars: Secrets of Writing a Good RetellingFull Name *Enter your full name here.Email *Please enter your email address here.Twitter Handle Please enter your Twitter handle here if you have one.Do you have a question you would like to submit in advance for our presenters? Upload a copy of the receipt for your registration fee *Please upload a copy of the receipt for the $20 registration fee (use the "donate" button below) Files accepted include: png, jpeg, gif, or pdf VerificationPlease enter any two digits *Example: 12This box is for spam protection - please leave it blank: (You don’t need a...

Read More
Pitch Wars LIVE #3: Adult/New Adult Mentors
Jul19

Pitch Wars LIVE #3: Adult/New Adult Mentors

Pitch Wars LIVE had an epic group of super wise Adult/New Adult mentors on tonight. We talked romance, anti-heroes, and even Harry Potter houses. Didn’t get to catch it live? Check out the recorded episode below. Be sure to reference the schedule for upcoming shows in your manuscript’s age category. All episodes can be found on a playlist on the Pitch Wars Youtube Page here. And join us tomorrow for the second round of Young...

Read More
Pitch Wars LIVE #2: MG Mentors
Jul18

Pitch Wars LIVE #2: MG Mentors

Pitch Wars LIVE had another amazing show tonight featuring some Middle Grade mentors who were 1) awesome and 2) someone brought their own  unicorn. We talked about everything from what age separates Middle Grade from Upper Middle Grade and discussed how to grab us in your queries.  Didn’t get to catch it live? Check out the recorded episode below. Be sure to reference the schedule for upcoming shows in your manuscript’s age category. All episodes can be found on a playlist on the Pitch Wars Youtube Page here. And join us tomorrow for the first round of Adult/NA mentors!...

Read More
Pitch Wars 2017 Mentor Blog Hop!
Jul18

Pitch Wars 2017 Mentor Blog Hop!

Welcome to the mentors’ wishlist blog hop! From today until submission day, use the linkies below to hop to all the mentors’ websites/blogs to read their bios, wishlists, and what categories and genres they want to mentor. For those unfamiliar with Pitch Wars, it’s a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine. The mentee then revises their manuscript for two months under the guidance of their mentor. The mentor also critiques his/her writer’s pitch and query letter to get it ready for the agent round. To do this, the mentors read all their applications and choose the writer they want to mentor and to get ready for the agent round on November 1-7. Want to find out about the fabulous agents joining us this year? Go to Meet the Agents Part 1 and Meet the Agents Part 2 to find out. Need instructions? Go to this post here. Want to donate to support Pitch Wars and get extra applications? Go to this post here. Surprise! We have a great new hang out for our Pitch Wars community. It’s a forum to have discussions with mentors and other writers, a place to get your worked critiqued by your peers and sometimes mentors, and a place to seek critique partners. So here’s our gift to you for being so awesome, and we hope you find this space useful. Join us today! Cheers! http://pitchwars.proboards.com/ Also, we’ll be launching the new Pitch Wars website next week! Hope you’ll join us for the fun reveal! Pitch Wars Live! Some of our Pitch Wars mentors will be chatting live with with the wonderful Nikki Roberti starting July 17 with the final one on August 1. The fun will be happening on the hashtag #PitchWars, and if you miss one, we’ll post the recorded chats here, too.  Make sure to watch and get to know the mentors. Follow the #Pitchwars hashtag during the chats to ask questions for the mentors. Here’s the schedule: Want a chance to win a mentor? Participate in the Mentor Blog Hop Scavenger Hunt! We’re so excited to bring back this special game. After all the mentors make their mentee picks, we’re holding a drawing and picking three lucky writers to go through the mentoring process. Only those who enter Pitch Wars can enter the scavenger hunt. This is a random draw. So anything goes! And anyone can win! That’s one writer each from the middle grade, young adult, and adult/new adult pool of submissions. The winning writers will go through two months of revisions. If the winners are able...

Read More
Pitch Wars … the uncomfortable truth by Mentor Liaison, Joy McCullough
Jul18

Pitch Wars … the uncomfortable truth by Mentor Liaison, Joy McCullough

This is my fifth year mentoring Ptichwars and I love so much about it. I love the community and the relationships built. I love the successes—the ones both immediately measurable and the less tangible ones. I love when it gets uncomfortable. It gets uncomfortable every year in a variety of ways. There are always things people ask us to change about the process to make it gentler on the applicants. Could mentors please not tweet about the subs they like? Could mentors please not request any fulls until the sub window closes? Could selected writers not celebrate on the hashtag? Are there things we could do to make everyone feel more comfortable (supposing, of course, that we could control everyone who participates in this contest, which has become gargantuan)? Maybe we could try. But part of our goal as Pitchwars mentors is to prepare you for the next step of your publishing journey—whether you get selected for mentoring or not. For many of you, that next step will be the querying trenches. They’re not called trenches for nothing. It’s cold and dank and you may get gangrene. (Okay, maybe not. But it can be seriously unpleasant.) (And real quick, before you scoff that I have a book deal and this is all really easy for me to say, let me establish my disappointment cred: I have received over 300 rejections as a novelist alone—more as a playwright—I queried five manuscripts before I got my first agent, kept writing, had five books go on submission to editors before manuscript number ten was the one that sold, with my second agent. I FEEL YOU.) So back to the query trenches… You’ll see an agent you just queried sign a really similar manuscript to yours. You’ll see an agent rant about a mistake you’re sure YOU made in your query. You’ll see an agent rave about loving a query and requesting the full and you’ll refresh and refresh and refresh and that request will never come. An agent will lead you on with emails as they read your full and eventually NOT offer. You’ll absolutely slay an R&R and ultimately NOT land the agent. It’s so hard. And getting an agent isn’t the end of the difficulties, either. Being on submission to editors is hell. Once you have a book deal, the whole publishing process can be extremely stressful and rife with comparisons. And then there are worries over reviews and sales and whether you’ll ever be able to write, much less sell, another book. (And real quick again, I know it’s super annoying when people further along the road bemoan the...

Read More
Pitch Wars LIVE Show #1: YA Mentors
Jul17

Pitch Wars LIVE Show #1: YA Mentors

Pitch Wars LIVE kicked off tonight with an amazing show featuring Young Adult mentors who all have diverse tastes and backgrounds. We talked about everything from pet peeves to queries and even our favorite/least favorite tropes.  Didn’t get to catch it live? Check out the recorded episode below. Be sure to reference the schedule for upcoming shows in your manuscript’s age category. All episodes can be found on a playlist on the Pitch Wars Youtube Page here. And join us tomorrow for the first round of Middle Grade mentors!...

Read More
Meet the Pitch Wars 2017 Agents! (Part 2)
Jul17

Meet the Pitch Wars 2017 Agents! (Part 2)

We have an amazing lineup of agents participating in Pitch Wars 2017! On November 1st , the Pitch Wars Agent Showcase will go live for all the mentees, chosen by mentors on August 24th. We will post three separate posts by age category (MG, YA, NA/A), listing the mentees’ pitch and the first words of their manuscript (pitch words + first page words = 300 words). The agents will search from November 1-7 through the posts, find their favorites, and request them. November 1 – 7: Agent Showcase November 1: Adult and New Adult entries November 2: MG entries November 3: YA entries November 7: Last day of Agent Showcase For those of you new to Pitch Wars, check out “Pitch Wars 2017 … all the details!”. And come back July 19th to find your perfect mentor at the Mentor Blog Hop, running July 19-August 2! PLEASE NOTE: This is the list of agents participating in the Agent Showcase in November. They are not mentors. So check out the agents below and see what they’re looking for most in a manuscript. They’re listed in alphabetical order by the agency they work for. This post includes  A-J, and Part 2 includes K-Z. So here they are . . . the second half of our Pitch Wars 2017 agents!   Janklow & Nesbit Associates Brooks Sherman Website | Twitter Represents: MG, YA, A After graduating from Vassar College with a B.A. in Drama, Brooks Sherman worked for several years in the entertainment industry (in both New York and Los Angeles) before joining the Peace Corps and spending two years stationed in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Upon returning to the United States, he set his sights on the publishing industry, starting in 2011 as an assistant at FinePrint Literary Management and working his way up to literary agent, moving to the Bent Agency in 2014, and joining Janklow & Nesbit in 2017. Brooks’s clients include #1 New York Times-bestselling and award-winning authors. For children’s books, he is on the lookout for middle-grade fiction of all genres (especially fantasy and contemporary), young adult fiction of all genres except paranormal romance, and character-driven picture books with an emphasis on humor. His interest in adult fiction runs the gamut from literary to speculative (particularly fantasy, horror, and psychological thriller). For nonfiction, he is seeking projects in the areas of humor, pop culture, politics, and narrative nonfiction. Across all categories, Brooks seeks projects that balance strong voice with gripping plot. Ones that make him laugh earn extra points! He is particularly drawn to stories that elevate marginalized voices and where contemporary social issues are either prominently centered or woven into the worldbuilding; he prefers nuanced narratives over “issue books,” in which characters confront such issues over...

Read More
Meet the Pitch Wars 2017 Agents! (Part 1)
Jul17

Meet the Pitch Wars 2017 Agents! (Part 1)

  We have an amazing lineup of agents participating in Pitch Wars 2017! On November 1st , the Pitch Wars Agent Showcase will go live for all the mentees, chosen by mentors on August 24th. We will post three separate posts by age category (MG, YA, NA/A), listing the mentees’ pitch and the first words of their manuscript (pitch words + first page words = 300 words). The agents will search from November 1-7 through the posts, find their favorites, and request them. November 1 – 7: Agent Showcase November 1: Adult and New Adult entries November 2: MG entries November 3: YA entries November 7: Last day of Agent Showcase For those of you new to Pitch Wars, check out “Pitch Wars 2017 … all the details!”. And come back July 19th to find your perfect mentor at the Mentor Blog Hop, running July 19-August 2! PLEASE NOTE: This is the list of agents participating in the Agent Showcase in November. They are not mentors. So check out the agents below and see what they’re looking for most in a manuscript. They’re listed in alphabetical order by the agency they work for. This post includes  A-J, and Part 2 includes K-Z. So here they are . . . the first half of our Pitch Wars 2017 agents!   Adams Literary Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram Tracy Adams Represent:  MG, YA Tracey Adams co-founded Adams Literary in 2004, after nearly a decade with literary agencies Writers House and McIntosh & Otis, where she was the head of the children’s department. Prior to becoming an agent, she worked in the marketing and editorial departments of Greenwillow Books and Margaret K. McElderry Books. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Tracey speaks frequently about her profession and the children’s book industry at conferences across the country. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the Association of Author Representatives (AAR), and a founding member of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) chapter in Charlotte, NC. In her spare time, Tracey enjoys traveling, playing tennis, cheering for the Carolina Panthers, and test-marketing children’s books with her two daughters. Josh Adams Josh Adams, together with his wife Tracey, runs Adams Literary. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia Business School—where he studied finance and accounting, and was awarded the Abe Shuchman Memorial Award in Marketing—Josh spent more than a decade in publishing and media before bringing his editorial and business backgrounds together as a literary agent. A media management specialist, he led teams of creative and business professionals in developing the editorial strategy and positioning of several national publications, and directed the marketing and brand strategy of many well-known...

Read More
RAINBIRDS by Pitch Wars mentor, Clarissa Goenawan … cover reveal!
Jul14

RAINBIRDS by Pitch Wars mentor, Clarissa Goenawan … cover reveal!

Releasing March 6, 2018   About the book … Intertwining elements of suspense and magical realism, award-winning literary debut RAINBIRDS opens with a murder and shines a spotlight on life in fictional small-town Japan. Ren Ishida is nearly done with graduate school when he receives news of his sister, Keiko’s, sudden death. She was viciously stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, failing to understand why she chose to abandon their family and leave Tokyo for this small town in the first place. But Ren soon finds himself picking up right where Keiko left off, accepting both her teaching position at a cram school and the bizarre arrangement of free lodging at the wealthy Mr. Katou’s mansion, in exchange for reading aloud each morning to Katou’s depressed, mute wife. As Ren gets to know the figures in the town, from the mysterious Katou to fellow teachers and a rebellious, alluring student named Rio, he replays memories of his childhood with Keiko and finds his dreams haunted by a young girl with pigtails who is desperately trying to tell him something. Struggling to fill the void that Keiko has left behind, Ren realizes that perhaps people don’t change, and if they don’t, he can decipher the identity of his sister’s killer. Preordering is a great help to authors. When you preorder a book, it tells bookstores people want this book, which makes them typically stock more copies of the book, which of course means more people see it and buy it. So preorder yours today! Preorder Links … AMAZON HARDCOVER | AMAZON KINDLE |  BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKSAMILLION | BOOK DEPOSITORY  INDIEBOUND | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY | HUDSON BOOKSELLERS | PENGUINRANDOMHOUSE About the author … Twitter | Website Clarissa Goenawan is an Indonesian-born Singaporean writer. She studied novel-writing with Curtis Brown Creative and was formerly a mentee on the WoMentoring Project. Her first novel, Rainbirds, won the 2015 Bath Novel Award for best unpublished novelists across the globe and since then has been acquired by 10 international publishers. She loves rainy days, pretty books and hot green tea. Look for RAINBIRDS releasing March, 2018 from Soho Press. Save Save Save...

Read More
Pitch Wars 2016 Success Interview with Steven Carman and his mentor Stefanie Wass
Jul14

Pitch Wars 2016 Success Interview with Steven Carman and his mentor Stefanie Wass

Our favorite part of hosting pitch contests around here is hearing about successes. Today we celebrate Steven Carman and his Pitch Wars mentor Stefanie Wass! Steven recently signed with Gina Panettieri of Talcott Notch Literary Services, LLC, and we’re so over-the-moon excited for him. So please join me in congratulating Steven and Stefanie as they share with us their awesome Pitch Wars success story. Steven, what was it about Stefanie that made you choose to send her a Pitch Wars application? I pitched THE WINDUP to Stefanie because her wish list included “heartfelt, realistic, coming-of-age middle grade.” And I was like, okay, she could be a good fit for my book. When I read the glowing praise her previous Mentee heaped on her in a Pitch Wars Success story, I was sold. At that point, I hoped that Stefanie liked baseball—or at least that my story’s baseball angle wouldn’t be a deal breaker. Stefanie, what was it about Steven’s THE WINDUP that hooked you? The Windup was full of heart, and action, and tension from the get-go.  From the opening scene, it felt like I was in good hands. All of the elements were there—a main character I could root for, a compelling conflict, and a setting I knew kids would love. (Baseball fields galore!) Steven, tell us about the revision process for Pitch Wars? Stefanie sent me an editorial letter and a marked-up manuscript right away. I was blown away at the time and thought she put into a stranger’s project—especially considering she wasn’t earning a dime for her efforts. Her comments resonated with me and I was eager to get to work on the revisions. Stefanie went above and beyond, and ended up reading multiple rounds of revisions—offering encouragement and valuable feedback at each pass. No doubt, she helped me become a better writer and helped make THE WINDUP a winner. Stefanie, tell us about your experience mentoring Steven. It was a wonderful experience! Steve was open to my suggestions and ready to dig in and work hard.  When he didn’t end up with any agent offers immediately following Pitch Wars, he remained positive, stayed in touch with me, and kept the faith. Steven, after Pitch Wars, you signed with Gina Panettieri of Talcott Notch Literary. Please, tell us about “The Call.” We love all the details about the offer, how they contacted you, how you responded, celebrations, emotions . . . How long did you have to wait and how did you distract yourself? Anything! We love hearing about all of it. Gina Panettieri kindly expedited her review of THE WINDUP after I informed her that I received an offer from another agent. When I received Gina’s...

Read More