Pitch Wars 2017: Middle Grade Mentor Spotlights (Part 1)
Jul26

Pitch Wars 2017: Middle Grade Mentor Spotlights (Part 1)

  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 MIDDLE GRADE Mentors Alexandra Ott  Website | Twitter Alexandra Ott writes middle grade and young adult fiction. Her debut middle grade fantasy novel Rules for Thieves was published by Aladdin/Simon and Schuster in June 2017. A sequel will follow in 2018. Alex graduated from the University of Tulsa, where she studied English. She is currently an editorial intern at Entangled Publishing. In her spare time, she plays the flute, eats a lot of chocolate, and reads just about everything. She lives in Oklahoma with her tiny canine overlord. Rules for Thieves by Alexandra Ott Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | Simon and Schuster | Target.com | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play After twelve-year-old orphan Alli Rosco is cursed with a deadly spell, she must join the legendary Thieves Guild in order to try and save herself in this high-stakes debut. Twelve-year-old Alli Rosco is smart, resourceful, and totally incapable of keeping her mouth shut. Some of these traits have served her well during her nine years in Azeland’s orphanage, and others have proved more troublesome…but now that she’s escaped to try her luck on the streets, she has bigger problems than extra chores to contend with. Surviving would be hard enough, but after a run-in with one of the city’s Protectors, she’s marked by a curse that’s slowly working its way to her heart. There is a cure, but the cost is astronomical—and seems well out of her reach. Enter Beck, a boy with a gift for theft and a touch of magic, who seems almost too good to be true. He tells Alli that the legendary Thieves Guild, long thought to be a myth, is real. Even better, Beck is a member and thinks she could be, too. All she has to do is pass the trial that the King of Thieves will assign to her. Join the Guild, collect her yearly reward and buy a cure. Plus, Alli hopes the Guild will be the home—the family—that Alli has always wanted. But when their trial goes wrong, innocent lives are put in danger, and Alli has to decide how much she can sacrifice in order to survive.   Amanda Conran Website | Facebook | Twitter When A. E. Conran (Amanda) is not writing her own children’s books or working as a freelance editor, she is a children’s book specialist, school book fair book talker and children’s book club facilitator at the renowned Bay Area independent bookstore, Book Passage, Corte...

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Pitch Wars LIVE #7: Young Adult Mentors
Jul25

Pitch Wars LIVE #7: Young Adult Mentors

We had an awesome night chatting with our third group of Young Adult mentors on Pitch Wars LIVE tonight! From villains to dealing with rejection–we covered a ton of writing things you won’t want to miss. 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 Wednesday for the next round of Middle Grade mentors!  ...

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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!...

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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!...

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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...

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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!...

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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!...

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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...

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