Pitch Wars 2017: Young Adult Mentor Spotlights (Part 2)
We’re so grateful for our Pitch Wars mentors! They give so much to help other authors succeed, and we couldn’t have Pitch Wars without them. So please help me in thanking the mentors for all they do via twitter, the comments, or on the Pitchwars Proboards.
Pitch Wars 2017 YOUNG ADULT Mentors
Emily Martin lives and writes in the Greater Boston area, though she will always call Michigan home. She has a penchant for impromptu dance parties, vintage clothing, and traveling to new places. When not writing, she can be found hiking New England’s peaks, searching for the perfect cup of hot chocolate, or baking something pumpkin-flavored.
Emily’s debut young adult novel, THE YEAR WE FELL APART, is out now from S&S/Simon Pulse.
Her work is represented by Lara Perkins of Andrea Brown Literary.
The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin
In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past.
Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.
Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.
While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.
As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.
In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.
Erin Foster Hartley
Erin Foster Hartley writes young adult fiction. She is the author of the first two volumes of ZOMBIE HIGH, a choose-your-own-adventure gamebook app available through Delight Games. Her day jobs include teaching film studies courses and Jazzercise. In her free time, Erin enjoys cross-stitching portraits of drag queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race while binge-watching Netflix shows and podcasts, hanging out with her two adorable dogs and her adorable spouse, and volunteering at the local food bank. She is represented by Melissa Nasson at Rubin Pfeffer Content.
Co-Mentors Heather Ezell and Rachel Griffin
“A Southern California native, Heather Ezell’s first novel – NOTHING LEFT TO BURN – will release March 2018 with Razorbill Penguin. Though by many definitions a high school dropout, Heather ultimately graduated from Colorado College with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. After a brief spell of graduate school in Interior Alaska, she now lives in Washington State. She is a freelance editor, a forever teacher, and a girl who will always claim to practice amateur ballet. Heather is represented by Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary Agency.”
Rachel Griffin graduated from Seattle University with a bachelor of science in diagnostic ultrasound, but could never outrun her love for words. She wrote her first novel in the evenings and weekends while working full-time, and eventually traded in her ultrasound transducer for a keyboard. Writing full-time has been an absolute dream come true.
She lives with her very supportive husband and schnoodle outside of Seattle, where she reads, hikes, and drinks a lot of tea. She’s also a flutist and avid macaroni-and-cheese connoisseur. She sits on the board of Seattle Arts and Lectures, a non-profit organization dedicated to championing the literary arts, because words matter.
Rachel is represented by Melissa Sarver White of Folio Literary Management.
Co-Mentors Kristin Bartley Lenz & Heather Smith Meloche
Kristin Bartley Lenz
Kristin Bartley Lenz is a writer and social worker from metro-Detroit who fell in love with the mountains when she moved to Georgia and California. Now she’s back in Detroit where she plots wilderness escapes and manages the Michigan Chapter blog for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her debut young adult novel, The Art of Holding On and Letting Go, was a Junior Library Guild Fall 2016 Selection and was chosen for the Great Lakes Great Books 2017-2018 state-wide literature program. She is represented by Carrie Pestritto at Prospect Agency.
Heather Smith Meloche
Heather Smith Meloche has had the honor of winning the Katherine Paterson Prize and the Writer’s Digest National Competition for her children’s/Young Adult writing. She studied video production and poetry at Michigan State University, and then got her Master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language at Bowling Green State University. She spends her days in her home in Michigan sampling a wide variety of chocolate, letting her dogs in and out constantly, and writing and reading as much as she can. Heather is the author of of RIPPLE, released Sept. 20, 2016 by Penguin Putnam and represented by Compass Talent Literary Agency.
Co-Mentors Helene Dunbar and Beth Hull
Helene Dunbar is the author of THESE GENTLE WOUNDS (Flux, 2014), WHAT REMAINS (Flux, 2015) and BOOMERANG (coming from Sky Pony in 2018). Over the years, she’s worked as a drama critic, journalist, and marketing manager, and has written on topics as diverse as Irish music, court cases, theater, and Native American Indian tribes. She lives in Nashville with her husband and daughter and exists on a steady diet of readers’ tears.
What Remains by Helene Dunbar
In less than a second…
… two of the things Cal Ryan cares most about–a promising baseball career and Lizzie, one of his best friends–are gone forever.
In the hours that follow…
…Cal’s damaged heart is replaced. But his life will never be the same.
Everyone expects him to pick up the pieces and move on.
But Lizzie is gone, and all that remains for Cal is an overwhelming sense that her death was his fault. And a voice in his head that just…won’t…stop.
Cal thought he and his friends could overcome any obstacle. But grief might be the one exception.
And that might take a lifetime to accept…
Beth Hull lives in northern California with her husband, two kids, and cat. She overuses parentheses and ampersands. She writes short stories and young adult novels.
Isabel Ibañez Davis
Isabel Ibańez Davis has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with degrees in Creative Writing and History. In 2015, she entered Pitch Wars as a mentee, and the following year became a mentor. This will be her second year mentoring. In 2017, she was asked to be a judge for the annual contest, Query Kombat. She currently runs her stationery and design studio, 9th Letter Press, in Winter Park, Florida, where she lives with her husband and golden doodle, Piper Bramble Buns Davis.
Isabel is repped by Mary Moore of Kimberly Cameron and Associates.
Jamie Howard is a legal and compliance specialist by day, author by night, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard or capturing the world through her trusty Canon, you can find her binge-watching TV shows, devouring books, and perfecting her gaming skills. She lives with her husband and three children in New Jersey, and is almost always awake early enough to see the sun rise, even on the weekends.
Jamie is the author of Until We Break, Until It’s Right, and the Love Unplugged series with St. Martin’s Press. She is represented by Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.
The Feeling of Forever (Love Unplugged) by Jamie Howard
Juliet St. Clair has spent her life under Hollywood’s spotlight. While being America’s favorite girl next door has had its perks, having to testify against her stalker to put him behind bars certainly wasn’t one of them. But when she thinks about walking away from it all, she can’t help remembering the enormous pile of medical bills her family is drowning under. Bills that just keep on coming.
Felix Donovan had it all–stunning good looks, gorgeous women, and a spot as the drummer to a band that’s sitting pretty at the top of the charts. Until one life-altering decision left him paralyzed from the waist down. He doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry when he wins this year’s Sexiest Man award, but the one thing he immediately does is send out a Non-disclosure agreement. Hiding his condition from the public is hard as hell, but he’s not ready to face the world while he’s still struggling to accept his new reality.
Except this year’s Sexiest Woman–Juliet St. Clair–never looks at him with pity, only desire. But falling for Juliet means a permanent spot in the tabloids, a decision Felix isn’t sure he’s ready to make. And when Juliet’s stalker re-emerges from her past, Felix’s secret isn’t the only thing at stake, it could cost Juliet her life.
Co-Mentors M.K. England and Jamie Pacton
Megan K. England is an author and YA librarian living in the mountainy parts of Virginia. When she’s not writing or librarianing, Megan can be found drowning in fandom, rolling dice at the gaming table, going to conventions, or climbing on things in the woods. She loves Star Wars with a desperate, heedless passion. It’s best if you never speak of Sherlock Holmes in her presence. You’ll regret it. Her debut YA space opera, THE DISASTERS, will be out in Fall 2018 from HarperCollins Children’s.
Jamie Pacton writes dark and twisty feminist YA novels and funny Middle Grade books. For her day jobs, she teaches college-level writing online and homeschools her kids. Meaning her days are full of legos, playing outside, and trips to the library while her nights are consumed by grading student work and drafting new books. She’s an occasional blogger for parents.com (with a focus on autism acceptance) and when she gets a moment alone, you’ll find her drinking coffee, reading, or walking by Lake Michigan.
Jay Coles is a Young Adult and Middle Grade author. Jay is also a composer of music. His debut concert band tune is published by Carl Fischer music, LLC. As a registered member of ASCAP, Jay has published several pieces of music eligible for TV/film. Jay’s agent is Lauren Abramo of the Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.
Jeanmarie is a YA Contemporary writer represented by Jessica Sinsheimer of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. She’s a University of Michigan grad (Go Blue!) who somehow missed receiving her Hogwarts letter and has never gotten over the disappointment. You can find her on a beach in NYC, with a book in hand, wishing she could surf as well as her daughters.
Jenna Lincoln loves to read, write, and talk about reading and writing. She spent many happy years as a language arts teacher doing just those things. After dabbling in X-Files, Firefly, and Supernatural fan fiction, Jenna got serious about building her own imaginary world, big enough to get lost in for a long, long time. When she comes back to reality, Jenna enjoys her home in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two daughters.
The Projector Project by Jenna Lincoln
Teen soldier Mara de la Luz is about to find out what makes her so special that some would kidnap and kill her—and others, willingly die for her. ENDLESS CARNAGE. ENDLESS QUESTIONS. Mara is a 17-year-old soldier who’s spent years fighting a war that’s lasted generations. Wide-eyed children, some just turned thirteen, rarely survive their first fights despite her best efforts to train and lead them. What she thinks she wants is to uncover the root causes of the war between the Protectors and the masked Gaishan, maybe find a way to end it. But what she really wants is a future—for herself and the others—beyond the battlefield. Then she’s injured in combat, and when an enemy fighter not only heals her wounds but reveals his face, she sees the promise of all she desires. This cunning teen Gaishan has answers to her questions, but first she must commit treason and travel beyond the boundaries of her world. She must brave a place where everything rests on the point of a blade: her loyalties, her friends, her heart.
Thank you to our 2017 Young Adult Mentors!
If you want to find out more about what they’re looking for in the submission inbox, you can find them in the 2017 Pitch Wars Mentor Wishlist Blog Hop!
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