Day 11 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & First Page Workshop with Mentors Laura Heffernan and Tracey E. Wood
May23

Day 11 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & First Page Workshop with Mentors Laura Heffernan and Tracey E. Wood

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. Next up we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Laura Heffernan  Website | Twitter Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off: AMERICA’S NEXT REALITY STAR, the first book in the REALITY STAR series, is coming from Kensington’s Lyrical Press in March 2017. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.  Some of Laura’s favorite things include goat cheese, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, the Oxford comma, and ice cream. Not all together. The best place to find her is usually on Twitter, where she spends far too much time tweeting about writing, Canadian chocolate, and reality TV. Follow her @LH_Writes. Laura is represented by Michelle Richter at Fuse Literary. Laura’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: Adult GENRE: Contemporary Fantasy Dear [Agent]: Hazel Blackmore knows everything there is to know about magic: from what essences are needed to enchant her way to the perfect cup of coffee, to solving complex potioning equations. [Enchanted coffee? You’ve got my attention already.] The only thing stopping heoiyor from being the most competent practitioner the world has ever seen is her complete lack of magical ability, without with she can’t even begin to pull magic through the Veil. [I’d recommend breaking this into two sentences. It’s a bit long.] The best she can do is to work her ass off at her aunt Enid’s Essence Distillery to prove herself. [I’d delete the last 3 words. Also, from the opening paragraph, Hazel sounds young, which makes me wonder if this is YA. Are there details you can add to show she’s an adult?] When Enid disappears and several of the essence brews start unraveling, Hazel has to rely on her own wits to find the solution to her problems. [To find the solution?...

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Day 11 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & First Page Workshop with Mentors C.B. Catalano and Kelly Siskind
May23

Day 11 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & First Page Workshop with Mentors C.B. Catalano and Kelly Siskind

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. Next up we have … Pitch Wars Mentor C.B. Catalano  Website | Twitter After C. B. Catalano realized she spent more time daydreaming than living in the real world she decided to finally write those dreams down, and is now ready to share them with everyone. C.B. writes MG and YA and is represented by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media. She can be found wandering around the Pacific Northwest with her 3 kids, husband, and beastly muppet puppies. After moving 21 times over the span of 7 states and 18 years she thinks she may have finally found a place to call home (for now) and aims to explore all that Washington has to offer.   C.B.’s Query Critique… CURSE OF SILVER LAKE is a YA contemporary fantasy, complete at about 70,000 words. A mix of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES and CITY OF BONES, it’s perfect for fans of fairy tale retellings. [I love retellings so you already have my undivided attention! But I wonder, if it’s a retelling, perhaps comping the og fairy tale meets x might work better?] 16-year-old Maggie Hernandez comes from a long line of witches–but her mom never told her the family secret, hoping the magic would pass her by. [I think your first sentence could pack more of a punch than it does now. Especially when I read on to the second sentence. It raises more questions than answers. Like, does her mom ever actually tell Maggie she’s a witch after their apartment burns down? Or does she send Maggie to her grandmother’s home clueless? Also, if her mom doesn’t clue her in, does Maggie’s witchy grandmother once she’s there?] When Maggie’s uncontrolled powers burn their apartment to ashes, her mom sends her to live with her estranged, witchy grandmother to learn control of her magic. .[ ← I almost prefer this sentence as a starting point.] ...

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Day 8 (PART 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Jenn Brisendine and J.R. Yates
May18

Day 8 (PART 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Jenn Brisendine and J.R. Yates

  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. Next up we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Jenn Brisendine Website | Twitter Jenn Brisendine, a secondary English/Language Arts teacher, writes middle grade and is repped by Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media. She currently enjoys writing historicals with magical realism, but loves reading a variety of genres in middle grade. She was a Pitchwars ’15 mentee and can be found at @jennbrisendine on Twitter and @jennbrisendinewrites on Instagram. She’s happy to have recently joined the ranks at From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors – http://www.fromthemixedupfiles.com/2017/03/umbrella-raining-overarching-conflict-mg/ . Check out her site https://jennbrisendine.com/ for free teacher printables on great MG novels and for reviews of great books on writing.   Jenn’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: 7-9 years old GENRE: young middle grade contemporary fiction [Dear (agent’s name):] [I’d put the basics right up front: “After reading of your interest in (genre, age category, style, or comps) on (agent website , article, interview), I’m eager to share my 10K-word early middle grade contemporary, DAISY DIXON, WEATHER GIRL with you.” ] [Love your title!] I’d like to introduce you to Daisy Dixon. Daisy is in third grade and has already decided on her career path: chief meteorologist for a major TV station. [Save words. Start with “Third-grader Daisy Dixon…” and use the opening pitch to show stronger voice– “…has her career path all figured out: chief meteorologist for a major TV station.”] In fact, everyone in her class calls her Daisy Dixon, Weather Girl, because her aunt is a real chief meteorologist at the highest rated news station in Colorado. [Are there other reasons she’s known as Weather Girl—like she’s gone to work with her aunt, gets special tours, shares facts about meteorology with friends?] But then her aunt comes over for dinner and announces that she’s getting married and leaving the TV station [Is there a more decisive reason for leaving (moving...

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A Pitch Madness Success Story with Debbie Schrack
Apr21

A Pitch Madness Success Story with Debbie Schrack

Pitch Madness 2017 Candyland Edition!! We are so thrilled to announce a success story by way of Pitch Madness. Debbie Schrack has signed with Tina P. Schwartz with The Purcell Agency! Go Team Candy Castle!   Debbie, what made you decide to enter Pitch Madness? I have been working on my novel SAVING SOPHIE for four years. At one point, I rewrote it totally from scratch. I had a fair amount of interest from agents but nothing ever came of it. Last October I attended an SCBWI conference and had a critique of my first ten pages by an editor. She didn’t like my opening. I came home very discouraged but I rewrote the opening, then put the novel aside for a while. One of my critique partners e-mailed and said I should do the Pitch Madness contest. She had entered before and had gotten a lot of good feedback on her work. I entered and fortunately made it into the bonus round. And then I was blown away when I got six agent requests. Maybe it was good timing or maybe my new opening was the key, but I’m so happy that I entered Pitch Madness! Samantha & Mary Ann, what about Debbie’s pitch and first pages made you choose them? Mary Ann: Debbie’s first page had so much voice it caught my attention immediately. For some reason, I read the pitch after I’d read the 250, so I was extra intrigued by the character’s motivation. When I then read the pitch, it was like a punch to the heartstrings. Both Samantha and I fell hard. Samantha: Definitely the voice grabbed me first. I read the pitch, but I didn’t click with it right away because the twist of the story was buried a bit. But I kept coming back to the voice in the first 250, and once I realized where the pitch was going, I was hooked. And we also knew how to give the pitch the little bit of punch in needed to hopefully grab a lucky agent’s attention (and it worked!) Debbie, tell us about your Pitch Madness revisions/experience? My mentors Samantha and Mary Ann helped me tweak my pitch so that it was more dramatic. They didn’t want me to change anything for the first 250 words, but when I sent them my final submission we realized it was actually 261 words so I had to take out 11, which is harder than it sounds! One of my Team Candy Castle teammates set up an e-mail chain so we could critique each other’s query letters and read pages. Everyone was very helpful and supportive. I hope they all...

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A Pitch Wars Success Story with Tobey Forney and her mentor Laura Heffernan
Apr14

A Pitch Wars Success Story with Tobey Forney and her mentor Laura Heffernan

  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 Tobey Forney and her mentor, Laura Heffernan. Tobey signed with Liz Parker of Inkwell Management Literary Agency after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help me in congratulating Tobey and Laura on their Pitch Wars Success! Tobey, what was it about Laura that made you choose to send her a Pitch Wars application? I knew I wanted to submit to Laura immediately when I read her bio. Her energy and enthusiasm for writing, editing, and the Oxford comma jumped off the page. When I Twitter-stalked her, I found that she was very open, funny, and loves chocolate, so I knew we’d get along. We both love women’s fiction and time-travel books, and we’re fellow Mensans. It was meant to be. Laura, what was it about Tobey’s 101 NORTH that hooked you? The writing is so haunting and beautiful. I couldn’t stop reading. The entry actually came in fairly early in the submissions period, and I kept saying, “Well, I really want to pick something light and funny to work with… I’ll just read a few more pages.” Finally, I had to accept that I wasn’t going to be able to pay any attention to my other submissions until I finished 101 NORTH, and I devoured the manuscript in a couple of hours. Tobey, tell us about the revision process for Pitch Wars? I was a Ninja-mentee, not officially announced until late October. Laura was incredibly supportive and helpful, and sent a long list of edits that I was eager to get to work on. I worked under the radar, trying to follow the same schedule as the other mentees. I kept up the pace for a while, but inevitably life intervened, and I wasn’t where I wanted to be when I got word that I would be participating in the agent round – excitement and panic set in simultaneously. I sent Laura my manuscript in chunks, working around the clock to incorporate her comments as I went along. I was changing tense and POV in one of the rounds, as well as story edits, so it was a huge challenge to get it all done without going cross-eyed. Laura was fantastic, always so quick to respond to my questions and giving me great advice on polishing my prose and my pitch. I thought I was the world’s biggest pedant, but Laura taught me a thing or two. She opened my eyes to things in my manuscript I knew were bad but...

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A Pitch Wars Success Story with Rebecca Schaeffer and her mentors Stacey Trombley and Rebecca Sky
Mar29

A Pitch Wars Success Story with Rebecca Schaeffer and her mentors Stacey Trombley and Rebecca Sky

  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 Rebecca Schaeffer and her mentors, Stacey Tombley and Rebecca Sky. Rebecca signed with Suzie Townsend with New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help me in congratulating Rebecca, Stacey, and Rebecca Sky on their Pitch Wars Success! Rebecca, what was it about Rebecca Sky and Stacey Trombley that made you choose to send them a Pitch Wars application? Pretty much everything. They were looking for dark, morally ambiguous anti-hero protagonists, which I most definitely had. Their list of favorite books was full of books I loved, so I knew we had similar tastes. And their strengths and the way they edited seemed like a really good fit for me, and covered all the things I wanted. Basically, they were perfect. Rebecca & Stacey, what was it about Mentee Rebecca Schaeffer’s Not Even Bones (formerly Queen of Parts) that hooked you? Rebecca Sky: Right away I was intrigued by the concept and I was hoping the pages held up. Which they did, actually they were better than I’d hoped. Rebecca has a killer dark atmospheric voice. During Pitch Wars, Stacey and I would message each other as new submissions came in and we’d talk about if we loved or liked it, and which folder to put it in (Not for us, Maybe, Strong, and LOVE). We messaged each other right away and were like, “Have you read the new entry? It’s amazing.” So we kinda both had that, this is the one feeling. Stacey: the concept of her book drew us in first—with a tad bit of hesitancy, Ha! I remember when Rebecca first messaged me about this new submission and if I was okay with a bit of gore. I was like, uuuhhh, I don’t know. But, no, guys I was. I was okay with gore with the right story. We both love the out there creepiness, the anti-hero aspect and it’s done so well we just couldn’t say no! Rebecca, tell us about the revision process for Pitch Wars? I got my edit letter shortly after my selection was announced. It was six pages long, mostly full of structural changes. The comments were spot on. There was a section in the second act climax that had been seriously bugging me, and I couldn’t put my finger on it, and they nailed it. I ended up expanding the second act climax about 5k, moving a twist to a little later in the story, and shifting and...

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A Pitch Wars Success Story with Tamara Girardi and her mentor Molly Lee
Mar10

A Pitch Wars Success Story with Tamara Girardi and her mentor Molly Lee

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 Tamara Girardi  and her mentor, Molly Lee. Tamara signed with Melissa Nasson with Rubin Pfeffer Content after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help me in congratulating Tamara and Molly on their Pitch Wars Success! Tamara, what was it about Molly that made you choose to send them a Pitch Wars application? Molly’s Wish List attracted me right away. It read, “I love to see instances where a girl/woman is in a profession/situation that is tailored toward men and she’s hacking it right there with the boys.” My YA contemporary GRIDIRON GIRL is about a girl who competes against her boyfriend to be the starting quarterback of the football team, so the whole story is about her trying to hack it with the guys. Also, I want to say that I took the advice to ask questions of the mentors seriously when picking my six. Molly didn’t specifically mention sports, so I tweeted her to be sure she has an interest in them. Fortunately for me, she did! My next step was to read some of my potential mentors’ works (because narrowing down to six was HARD), and one chapter of Molly’s EDGE OF CHAOS had me in love. She made me feel instantly. Molly, what was it about Tamara’s GRIDIRON GIRL that hooked you? The pitch for GRIDIRON GIRL was solid. It showed the stakes, voice, and had a great hook all in one. A girl has to go up against her boyfriend for the starting quarterback position? Forget about it! Sign me up! Tamara, tell us about the revision process for Pitch Wars? It was fantastic. Molly sent me comments immediately. Her feedback was impressive and exciting; it sparked so many ideas, and I added several scenes to the manuscript that made it much stronger! And with Molly’s skills of writing romance, the book definitely got steamier, which I kind of loved! Most importantly, though, Molly was open to my ideas of how to fix the problems she noted in the manuscript. I agreed with one of the problems she identified, but not necessarily the solution she suggested. I took some time to mull it over and proposed an alternative solution to her. She read the revised pages and loved them. That taught me a lot about working with an agent and editor in the future – how to trust good feedback but also be true to the story you want to tell.  And I appreciated her respect for my work...

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A Pitch Wars Success Story with Wendy Roberts and Alicia Zaloga and their mentor Michelle Hauck
Mar01

A Pitch Wars Success Story with Wendy Roberts and Alicia Zaloga and their mentor Michelle Hauck

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 Wendy Roberts and Alicia Zaloga and their mentor, Michelle Hauck. Wendy and Alicia signed with Jaida Temperly of New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for them! Please, help me in congratulating Wendy, Alicia, and Michelle on their Pitch Wars Success! Wendy and Alicia, what was it about Michelle that made you choose to send them a Pitch Wars application? We started by researching which mentors were interested in fantasy. From there, we did some light twitter stalking. Michelle had great taste in SFF titles, plus she already had an incredibly helpful blog with agent interviews, writing contests, and insightful advice pieces. After checking out her book GRUDGING, we knew we liked her writing style as well. She seemed like she’d be both encouraging and critical (spoiler: she was!), which is important when working on edits with someone. Michelle, what was it about Alicia and Wendy’s THE RESURRECTIONIST OF CALIGO that hooked you? The first chapter starts out with stealing a corpse. That’s a pretty unique opening and had the sort of voice you don’t find in a story everyday. On top of that Wendy and Alicia created fantastic characters and a complex world. It was for sure the depth and attractiveness of the characters that sold it to me, though! Wendy and Alicia, tell us about the revision process for Pitch Wars? We count ourselves fortunate that Michelle didn’t make us rewrite our manuscript from scratch! Our plot, it turns out, though clear in our heads, wasn’t entirely explained on the page. Michelle pointed out various places for us to elaborate more: the origins of magic, the romantic history of our main characters and their falling out, and emotional beat after emotional beat. By then our manuscript was getting dangerously long so Michelle encouraged us to cut some scenes (and two entire chapters) to trim things down and speed up the pace. She also knows her way around query letters and helped us amp ours up with voice and stakes. Michelle, tell us about your experience mentoring Wendy and Alicia. Alicia and Wendy were a dream team. They were so keen to follow my suggestions and jumped right into the changes, whether they were big or small. I could really tell they were totally focused on making their manuscript top notch and full of their own ideas, even down to arguing about word choice to better fit the gas light time period. We had fun throwing the...

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A Pitch Wars Success Story with Judy Lin and her mentors Janella Angeles and Axie Oh
Feb13

A Pitch Wars Success Story with Judy Lin and her mentors Janella Angeles and Axie Oh

  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 Judy Lin and her mentors, Janella Angeles and Axie Oh. Judy signed with Rachel Brooks of the L. Perkins Agency after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help me in congratulating Judy, Janella, and Axie on their Pitch Wars Success! Judy, what was it about Axie and Janella that made you choose to send them a Pitch Wars application? Judy: When I first read Axie and Janella’s bio I thought they both sounded like they would be a lot of fun to work with. Originally I wasn’t even sure my book was going to appeal to them because it’s not an epic fantasy! But I decided to take a chance and submit to them because they love a lot of the same books & media that I love. I felt they would understand my book on a deeper level because of my MC’s experience growing up in an Asian household and they also had non-western settings on their wishlist (my book is set in Taiwan). Janella and Axie, what was it about Judy’s HUNGRY GHOSTS that hooked you? Janella: The most important and hardest thing a writer can nail—a killer voice. Judy’s leapt off the page from the first chapter, and kept me reading and laughing all throughout. Even though our wish list seemed to skew toward the epic and lush fantasies as Judy had mentioned, we instantly connected to the voice and knew right away that this was something special. Along with connection to voice, I also felt close to the characters and the project in general, being an Asian writer myself who yearned for more Asian stories as fantastic and genuine as Judy’s. Axie: Yes! The protagonist in HUNGRY GHOSTS had me laughing, crying, nodding along when she’d opine about cute boys and good food. Like Janella, I felt like the project’s original and real voice spoke to me on a personal level. It was also such a page-turner. I breezed through the book the first time, and then had to go back and re-read for all the subtle nuances woven in about culture, tradition, love and family. Judy, tell us about the revision process for Pitch Wars? Judy: I received a detailed edit letter from my mentors, and then separate comments on my MS. Janella and Axie both had strengths that complemented each other. I worked on character development, pacing, and tightening up plot holes. We also had a few long skype calls where we...

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A Pitch Wars Success Story with Rachel Griffin and her mentor Heather Ezell
Jan30

A Pitch Wars Success Story with Rachel Griffin and her mentor Heather Ezell

  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 Rachel Griffin and her mentor, Heather Ezell. Rachel signed with Melissa Sarver White of Folio Literary Management after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help me in congratulating Rachel and Heather on their Pitch Wars Success!   Rachel, what was it about Heather that made you choose to send her a Pitch Wars application? Heather was so approachable online, and when I read her mentor bio, I was sold. My initial reaction after reading Heather’s bio was, “I really want to be friends with this person!” It also didn’t hurt that the elements she was looking for lined up well with my manuscript. One of the things I love about Heather is that she’s so genuine, and that came through well before we started working together for Pitch Wars. Heather, what was it about Rachel’s SHADOWS CAST BY DREAMS that hooked you? Oh, it was absolutely Rachel’s premise. She basically had me at hello. A car crash + brain tumor leading a girl and a boy to fall in love in a dream? Yes, please. I’ve always been so compelled by dream stories and Rachel had clearly twisted the norm. Her query snagged me quick with what it promised and I knew I needed to read her manuscript ASAP. Rachel, tell us about the revision process for Pitch Wars? It was intense! My first order of business was to rewrite my manuscript from third person past to first person present, then dive into everything else. It ended up being a massive rewrite, and Heather was such a dream to work with. I entered Pitch Wars because I felt that something was missing from my manuscript, but I didn’t know what – Heather helped me find the things that were missing. On top of providing amazing feedback, she was so encouraging throughout the entire process. Not to mention she read my manuscript THREE times in less than two months. My manuscript got stronger with each revision, and so did my writing. And on top of everything, I made a wonderful friend. Heather, tell us about your experience mentoring Rachel. It was an absolute delight. This was my first time mentoring in Pitch Wars (after being an alternate mentee in 2014) and Rachel made the process so incredibly rewarding. She spoiled me with her open mind and ruthlessness toward her drafts. I challenged her to take significant risks (hello, total POV change!) and, without fail, she went far beyond my expectations. She still inspires me with...

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Pitch Wars Success Story with Yael Mermelstein and her mentor Jessica Vitalis
Jan25

Pitch Wars Success Story with Yael Mermelstein and her mentor Jessica Vitalis

  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 Yael Mermelstein and her mentor, Jessica Vitalis. Yael signed with Saba Sulaiman of Talcott Notch Literary Services, LLC after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help me in congratulating Yael and Jessica on their Pitch Wars Success! Yael, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Jessica? How do I choose thee, let me count the ways. Her ‘favorites’ reading list echoed my own, she planned on being highly editorial and I knew I needed/wanted that, she was already an experienced Pitch Wars mentor, and I really connected with her personality when I watched the mentors video chat. Jessica, what about Yael’s application made you choose her? That’s a great question! When I first reviewed Yael’s application, I couldn’t figure out what an award-winning author with several published books could possibly want from me. After skimming her application, I set it aside, assuming she was way overqualified. But as I read through my submissions, I kept returning to her material. Her writing was literary and gorgeous, but at the same time fun and quirky. Plus, I was drawn to the themes in her story. I emailed Yael and asked for her manuscript along with a synopsis and soon realized that Yael’s already incredibly writing would be a great match for my plotting skills. Her warm, down-to-earth personality sealed the deal. Yael, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars? Yael, tell us about what it’s like to feel like you’re wasting time because you’re breathing? Jessica is a perfectionist (in a good way), which is why she’s had so much success guiding her mentees in this contest. I knew she expected quite a big rewrite on the second half of my book as we had corresponded prior to her selecting me as her mentee. But I don’t think I fully grasped the enormity of the commitment. Being rather ‘type A’ myself, there was no way I was going to let her down and so regardless of all of my other commitments—family, work and otherwise, I was going to whip this MS into shape. Under Jessica’s expert tutelage, I did that. I can’t vouch for how well those other compartments in my life managed during this time period though! Jessica, tell us about your experience with mentoring Yael. How was mentoring your other team members? Working with Yael was intense. I asked her to rewrite an enormous portion of her manuscript, including the entire second half. Despite her other commitments...

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