Pitch Wars Interview with Allison Augustyn and Carlyn Greenwald, and their mentors  Rachel Lynn Solomon and Kit Frick
Sep20

Pitch Wars Interview with Allison Augustyn and Carlyn Greenwald, and their mentors Rachel Lynn Solomon and Kit Frick

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have . . . Allison Augustyn – Mentee Twitter   Carlyn Greenwald – Mentee Twitter | Website Rachel Lynn Solomon – Mentor Twitter | Website | Goodreads Kit Frick – Mentor Twitter | Website Mentee: Why did you choose (Mentor)? Carlyn: Honestly, it was as much about the mentors themselves as the wishlist. I’d been following Rachel since I entered Pitch Wars last year, and thought she’d be so great to work with. So, when the wishlists came out and my book fit enough elements, I figured it’d be worth a shot even if Rachel and Kit weren’t exactly looking for my book. I continued to follow the Twitter feed and live chats and fell more in love with Rachel and Kit by the day. I’ll admit, though, I wavered a few times, figuring my book was too light or didn’t quite fit their tastes. In the end, I wanted to submit to them so badly based on personality and what I heard about how well they fix up manuscripts that I asked if they’d take books with geek culture. Once I got that okay, I gleefully submitted to them and I’m so glad I did. Allison: I loved what Rachel and Kit said on Twitter and their blogs. They were both funny and savvy, and also really encouraging of everyone who had entered Pitch Wars. I found myself laughing and nodding along whenever I read something they wrote, and they both seemed cool and edgy, yet kind and supportive. Like, the stuff that makes really great mentors and teammates, but also just really good people. Then I heard Rachel on a live show make a joke about being weird, and I was like, “OK, all of this is me too!” and just wanted to hang out with them as friends. It clinched it for me when I found out I couldn’t read either of their books just yet, and was the most disappointed I’ve been since I went to the bookstore and they were out of the latest A.S. King. So I’m really looking forward to 2018 publications, and beyond, and am also extremely excited about the next two months! Mentor: Why did you choose (Mentee/MS)? Rachel: Both books have incredible voices that suck you in from page one! Furthermore, Allison and Carlyn push YA boundaries in a pretty fearless way. That’s...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Kaitlin Hundscheid and her mentor, Ashley Martin
Sep20

Pitch Wars Interview with Kaitlin Hundscheid and her mentor, Ashley Martin

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have . . . Kaitlin Hundscheid – Mentee Twitter | Website Ashley Martin – Mentor Twitter | Website Kaitlin: Why did you choose Ashley? When I read Ashley’s bio and wish list, an angel choir belted in four-part harmony. “We love the same books, we enjoy the same things, and holy guacamole, she wants anything connected to classic children’s literature!” I’m pretty sure I did the Snoopy dance at this point because it was an oddly specific, not-everyone’s-cup-of-tea-aspect of my story. Stalking Following Ashley on Twitter for a couple weeks only cemented my excitement about submitting to her because she was so kind and helpful. Ashley: Why did you choose Kaitlin? Kaitlin’s story had all the things I was hoping for: Beautiful writing, a main character I adored (introduced with his nose in a book, no less), side characters that were unique and interesting in their own right, and a dash of humor. And it involved a very specific detail that’s near and dear to my heart: classic children’s literature. I also had a sneaking suspicion that Kaitlin and I were kindred spirits on many levels, starting with our mutual love of Earl Grey tea (a suspicion which has happily been confirmed). Go #TeamEarlGrey! Kaitlin: Summarize your book in three words. Saving cursed library. Ashley: Summarize Kaitlin’s book in three words. Library, rescue, mission. Kaitlin: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m a MG writer, Latin teacher, and gin enthusiast, and I spend far too much of my free time chasing the larger cat away from the smaller cat’s food bowl and keeping my emotionally needy corgi happy. I’ve always loved old things. I like musty books, overgrown paths, crumbling buildings—anything that echoes a time and place far removed from my own, a place where people lived the same joys and sorrows that I’m experiencing today. Many of the ideas that shape my writing started percolating during my college years studying Classics (because you can’t get much older than that). Classical studies taught me that there truly is nothing new under the sun, that though appearances might change, the substance of true things never alters. Several years of teaching K-5 showed me how children can also sense this, and I was fascinated by their interest in discussing philosophical topics usually reserved for older students. When I started...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Tara Creel and her mentor, Jenna Lehne
Sep20

Pitch Wars Interview with Tara Creel and her mentor, Jenna Lehne

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have . . .   Tara Creel – Mentee Twitter Jenna Lehne – Mentor Twitter | Website Tara: Why did you choose Jenna? There were so many things about Jenna that I had hoped would make us a good match. She specifically said she wanted mystery, and not one her mom would read. That made me laugh and look at the voice in my story to be sure it was middle grade appropriate. Then she said she loved When You Reach Me, which was one of my comp titles. At the end of her wishlist, she threw in a note about Native Americans and my story revolves around Native American myths so I was really hoping that would lure her in. She also seemed like she would really support my story and that it’d be a connection throughout our careers, not just for PitchWars, and that was important to me. That, and our bond over terrible reality TV ;). Jenna: Why did you choose Tara?  I had my eye on Tara right off the bat. She was super friendly on twitter and her Pimp My Bio had me refreshing my e-mail for her entry. It took almost an hour after she tweeted that she had sent her app for it to make it’s way to me, so when it didn’t come in right away I panicked. I knew that I wanted to work with her when I found myself jotting down revision notes on my phone, stickies, and random scraps of paper. Even when I was reading for fun, I found myself thinking about her characters. I fell asleep reading her full (due to my toddler, not lack of interest) and dreamt that I was treasure hunting around Hearst Castle. I knew that morning that Tara was the mentee for me. She’s incredibly talented and I’m thrilled I get to help her introduce Amelia to the world. Tara: Summarize your book in three words. Castle Mystery Treasure Jenna: Summarize Tara’s book in three words. Exhilarating, code-breaking fun! Tara: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I grew up in Utah, but after marrying my husband, we settled in Southern California. We now have four boys together and I use nap time and bed time as my writing time and have gotten really good at reading books while playing cars. I’ve been writing since elementary...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Jennifer Bryson and her mentor, Rebecca Petruck
Sep19

Pitch Wars Interview with Jennifer Bryson and her mentor, Rebecca Petruck

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have . . . Jennifer Bryson- Mentee Twitter | Website Rebecca Petruck – Mentor Twitter | Website Jennifer: Why did you choose Rebecca? Rebecca and I have a similar sense of humor, which is rare. I wanted a mentor who would appreciate the weirdness of a squirrel befriending a peanut detective. I knew it would take someone special to think “Yes! That makes perfect sense!” and not “I wonder if she’s on drugs? Should I alert someone?”. I also was impressed by her authorial/mentoring experience, but mostly it was a gut feeling she wouldn’t report me for child endangerment. Rebecca: Why did you choose Jennifer? Jennifer has that rare talent of incorporating genuinely creative, fun, wacky humor with a lot of heart. Her manuscript made me snort laugh and coo, “Aww,” at the same time. The MC is an adorable mess and the sentient peanut…as I told Jennifer, “You had me at Frankenut.” Jennifer: Summarize your book in three words. Find your people Rebecca: Summarize Jennifer’s book in three words. Squirrel + Frankenut = Buddylove Jennifer: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? By day I am an over-educated, mini-van driving, stay-at-home mom, but at night I am actually an international operative in a top secret spy ring. My kids think they have to go to bed at eight because I’m just mean—they don’t know it’s really so I can infiltrate foreign powers and prevent them from tampering with the upcoming Presidential election. Or maybe that was a just a dream I had… My manuscript makes up for how boring I am in real life. It’s a wacky, fun friendship story geared toward younger Middle Grade readers. The main characters are a down-trodden squirrel and a sentient GMO peanut who thinks he is a genius (but probably isn’t). It’s Leonard and Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory merged with Sherlock and Watson, solving mysteries on Sesame Street. With explosions. Rebecca: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. My dad loves boiled peanuts, which he discovered when we lived in Louisiana and are not available where he lives now in Minnesota. So when I moved from New York to North Carolina for my MFA program, I had to send Dad care packages with boiled peanuts. But never again! #SaveTheFrankenut   Check out...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Astrid Scholte and her mentors, Mara Rutherford and Joan He
Sep16

Pitch Wars Interview with Astrid Scholte and her mentors, Mara Rutherford and Joan He

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have . . .   Astrid Scholte – Mentee Twitter Mara Rutherford – Mentor Twitter | Website Joan He – Co-Mentor Twitter | Website Astrid: Why did you choose Mara & Joan? My mentors’ wish list read like a breakdown of my ms and what I wanted to achieve. And, as a cat lover, I couldn’t pass up #teampusheen! Mara & Joan: Why did you choose Astrid? Mara: Astrid’s book was fun, fast-paced, and reminded us of some of our favorite YA fantasy. Joan: Her main character has a reputation for charming people right before robbing them. Well, she charmed me and stole my heart! Bonus points: I thought the twist was great when I read it in the synopsis, but I worried if it’d be executed well. Safe to say, I was completely blown away even *knowing* what was going to happen. Astrid: Summarize your book in three words. Dark, suspenseful, sly Mara & Joan: Summarize Astrid’s book in three words. Twisty kick-ass fantasy Astrid: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I work in film, visual FX and animation, which has led to being surrounded by 10-foot-tall blue Avatars, warring spaceships and tap-dancing penguins. I love cats (did I mention that already?) and all things Disney. My YA manuscript is a murder mystery set in a fantasy world with a unique narrative structure. Mara & Joan: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. Mara: I’m a triplet (identical sister and a brother) born on Leap Day. Joan: My diet is 99.9% carbs.   Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! And don’t forget to stop by the Agent Showcase starting November 3rd to see how our teams do in the final...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Tracy Gold and her mentor, Diana Gallagher
Sep16

Pitch Wars Interview with Tracy Gold and her mentor, Diana Gallagher

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have . . . Tracy Gold – Mentee Twitter | Website Diana Gallagher – Mentor Twitter | Website Tracy: Why did you choose Diana? I did Pitch Wars last year, so I knew Diana’s former mentees loved her! I also submitted to her last year and she sent me a really sweet “good luck” note. And everyone I know in Pitch Wars says Diana is the nicest person ever, which I’ve found to be true in our Twitter interactions and our relationship so far! We also have a lot in common with MFA/writing professor backgrounds, so I thought we could connect on that level.Then, my novel seemed pretty perfect for Diana’s wish list. It has sports, complicated relationships, humor, friendships, a slow-burn romance–lots of things that Diana wanted! I’m so glad it worked out! Diana: Why did you choose Tracy and VERA WITH A VENGEANCE? I remembered that Tracy’s submission last year had a strong query and a great hook, so when she submitted to me again this year, I was excited to see what she had in store. Right from the title itself, I was intrigued. As I read further, the voice kept me hooked and the stakes kept ratcheting up. Not only was VERA entertaining and engaging, but it landed for me emotionally. Ultimately, I finished the manuscript feeling unsettled in the best possible way. None of these characters are cut-and-dry good or bad; they’re complicated, sometimes polarizing, and always fascinating. Tracy: Summarize your book in three words. Sweet, sweet revenge? (Can I get away with the question mark like that to show moral ambiguity? Trying!) Diana: Summarize Tracy’s book in three words. Smart girls scheming. Tracy: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m a writer/editor/writing professor living in Baltimore. My manuscript is about a girl who starts a business to sell revenge. What makes me uniquely positioned to tell this particular story is that I used a lot of bad things that have happened to my friends, or to me, and got fictional vengeance. I didn’t set out to do this, but the book turned out to heavily involve the fallout from college sexual assaults. That’s a topic I’m sadly familiar with. When I was in college, I held a leadership position in a living group (which is like a...

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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Tomi Adeyemi and her mentor, Ashley Hearn
Sep16

Pitch Wars Team Interview with Tomi Adeyemi and her mentor, Ashley Hearn

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have . . .   Tomi Adeyemi – Mentee Twitter | Website Ashley Hearn – Mentor Twitter | Website   Tomi: Why did you choose Ashley? Besides hearing incredible things about Ashley from a lot of the other mentors, I saw that she was looking for a beautiful fantasy that gets in formation (think Beyoncé in Lemonade) and that is exactly what my manuscript is about! And once I heard her ideas for the revision it was like being hit in the head with a brick except the brick exploded into glitter and in the glitter I saw everything CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE is going and meant to be! Ashley: Why did you choose Tomi and CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE?    CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE was the perfect storm of everything I hoped to find in a submission! From the West African-inspired world, to Tomi’s painstakingly layered characters, and her ability to crush you with heart-shattering *FEELS* bombs… how she uses magic and the monarchy to illuminate privilege and connect with Black Lives Matter is nothing short of ingenious! Revision ideas just clicked into place as I read her full, and I knew instantly what I could bring to this manuscript to make it the best it can be! Tomi: Summarize your book in three words. Black. Girl. Magic. Ashley: Summarize Tomi’s book in three words.  LOL! I was gonna say the same thing. How about: Fantasy meets LEMONADE! Tomi: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? My parents immigrated from Nigeria in their 20s and in 2015 I received the Le Baron Russell Briggs Fellowship from the Harvard English Department to go to Brazil and study Orisha, the West African deities prominently featured in my book. One of my favorite things about this manuscript is it gave me a chance to explore everything I love about my heritage, portray the social justice issues I feel passionate about, and write the adventure I wish I had as a kid! Ashley: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. I’m a jack of all trades: an author, an editor, a sports journalist/ producer. But I’m trying to master the one thing they all have in common—stories. I drink way more coffee than the doctor recommends and most important lessons in life I learned from Lorelei Gilmore. As an author and Atlanta native, I write Southern Gothic YA dripping with Spanish moss,...

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Pitch Wars LIVE Show TONIGHT!
Aug24

Pitch Wars LIVE Show TONIGHT!

The wait is almost over. Tomorrow, Pitch Wars mentees will be announced. But tonight at 7 p.m. EDT, we celebrate the long process of Pitch Wars by getting some amazing mentors together and chatting! We’ll be discussing the slush and how we picked our mentees, answering some questions, and so much more! So come out and join us for this two-hour Pitch-stravaganza! Ask questions via the tag #askmentor. You won’t want to miss it! Watch it on Youtube | Watch it in Google...

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Links for 2-Part Celebration LIVE Show! (+ surprises)
Aug02

Links for 2-Part Celebration LIVE Show! (+ surprises)

Are you excited for the celebration LIVE show featuring back-to-back segments with more mentors than ever before? I know I am! Here are the links to watch! Google Event Page | Youtube   The show starts at 7 p.m. EDT and another segment will follow at 8 p.m. with another group of mentors, including the amazing Brenda Drake herself! Join us for this amazing two-parter. We’ll be answering your last minute questions, talking about the slush, and playing fun author games. BONUS SURPRISE: We’ll be giving away some EXTRA mentor entries to lucky hopefuls who will be watching and tweeting live! Make sure you join us for your chance to win! If you missed any of the other amazing Pitch Wars LIVE shows, catch them all here on this Youtube...

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Bid on Pitch Wars Swag Auction Tonight!
Aug02

Bid on Pitch Wars Swag Auction Tonight!

The following is a guest post.   Emily Herring Dunn is the founder and creator of Writer’s Life Apparel, the clothing store catered to writers in need of comfortable inspiration. She is also a young adult author represented by Jessica Schmeidler at Golden Wheat Literary, and she is the Community Editor for Stark Contrast Editing. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_hdunn       Hello wonderful Brenda Drake followers & Pitch Wars mentors, alumni, and hopefuls! I am way too excited to be sharing a little something-something on this fun space. If you’ve been following all the Pitch Wars buzz on Twitter, you’ll know that #writerslifeapparel is selling all the swag! We have coffee mugs and shirts at the moment for your viewing/buying pleasure. Which is why I’m here! For the past month #writerslifeapparel has been a stand-alone website. However, due to a few changes and experimentation with this business idea, this has changed. All tops are being sold throughTeeSpring. Mugs are being sold through Etsy. I realize that this can make things a bit dizzying, but not to worry! The #writerslifeapparel website is still up, so you can go there to view all of our products. If you land on one you like, rather than add it to your shopping cart- look for the “available for purchase” link included in the information. That link will take you directly to where you can purchase it, whether it’s TeeSpring or Etsy. But wait, there’s MORE. TONIGHT, August 2nd, #writerslifeapparel will be hosting an auction in honor of Pitch Wars. We have some extra logo tees that need good homes. This auction will be hosted on Twitter. The shirt will be posted and bidding will start at $10. The bidding will go from 8 p.m. – 12 a.m. EST. SO, whoever is the last to bid the highest gets the shirt. While normally 30% of our profits go to Pitch Wars, 50% of these auction items will go to the fund! Here’s another detail about that: shipping is free if the bidding goes above $15. If the bid remains below $15, you still have to pay $5 in shipping. Please keep this in mind when you bid! Also, the payments have to come through PayPal. Sadly, we cannot take cash or cards for this fun. How do you bid, you ask? Simply tweet @writerslifeapp with your bid! We will send a message to the winner for the shipping info/paypal information. A little after that, you will receive a billing notification. Once we have received payment, you’ll receive your shipping/tracking info! Here are #writerslifeapparel social media accounts/ shop links, just so you know: Twitter Instagram Facebook Stand-Alone Site...

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Get Ready for the Celebration LIVE Show
Aug01

Get Ready for the Celebration LIVE Show

Originally, we had a live show scheduled for tonight in addition to the one tomorrow, but we decided to make our celebration show even bigger and better than before. Instead of one tonight, there will be TWO tomorrow. So join us tomorrow night for the last LIVE show featuring back-to-back segments with more mentors than ever before! The show starts at 7 p.m. EDT and another segment will follow at 8 p.m. with another group of mentors, including the amazing Brenda Drake herself! Join us for this amazing two-parter. We’ll be answering your last minute questions, talking about the slush, and playing fun author games. And if you missed any of the other amazing Pitch Wars LIVE shows, catch them all here on this Youtube...

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Watch Pitch Wars LIVE with A/NA Mentors TONIGHT!
Jul28

Watch Pitch Wars LIVE with A/NA Mentors TONIGHT!

Want to see your potential mentors live in action? Join us at 8 p.m. EST for a live chat featuring another set of Adult/New Adult mentors discuss their mentoring styles and who they are as authors/people. Feel free to tweet in questions as you watch! Hope to see you there. Google Event Page | Watch on Youtube Did you miss the Adult/New Adult chat last week? Watch the recording...

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