Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pitch Wars 2016: Let the Games Begin!

You guys, it's here: the latest edition of Pitch Wars. Let's make this the best one yet!

About me:


I've been around the Pitch Wars block since the very beginning, as a mentee the first year and a mentor ever since. My favorite part of mentoring? Helping writers hone their stories, having fun along the way, and forming lasting friendships. I'm not going to lie to you: my previous mentees are pretty fantastic humans and writers. Several have gone on to become agented, and one, Goldy Moldavsky, published a pretty awesome book called KILL THE BOY BAND with Scholastic.

Other fun facts about me:

  • I live in (the state of ) New York (not the city).
  • I coach/judge competitive gymnastics, which is a huge part of my life (*hint hint* I would love your sports stories! More on that later).
  • My interests include, but are not limited to: running, practicing yoga, working out, teaching myself to cook so I can become the next Chopped champion (or at least have tasty leftovers), '90s and '00s throwback music, singing along to country songs on road trips, and quotes from The Office. 

Why should you pick me?

1) I'm a writing professor well-versed in providing constructive, in-depth feedback. My BA and MFA are in writing, earned from the blood, sweat, and tears of hours of workshops. I know what it’s like to have your work up for review and what kind of comments are especially useful. (And the ones that aren’t. You know the kind I’m talking about.) I'm encouraging, collaborative, and love brainstorming.

2) Speaking of feedback/blood/sweat/etc., I’m an agented writer who’s been through the query trenches (and my first novel, LESSONS IN FALLING, is forthcoming in 2017!). I've been through quite a bit on the road to publishing, and I want to help fellow authors on their own path.

3) I’ve interned with literary agencies and am currently a editorial literary assistant for PS Literary. As such, the slush pile and I have become quite intimate. I see what stands out from the crowd, and I'm going to help your manuscript achieve that -- while having fun at the same time! You can look forward to in-text comments as well as an edit letter that details what's working and offers suggestions for where to improve.

You and I will be a great fit if you're ready to work hard, maintain an open mind, and have a great sense of humor! I also love keeping in touch with my past team members.

NOTE: If I'm intrigued by your entry and want to see more material, I will request a synopsis.

I'd love to see:

Contemporary young adult:
  • Darker stories and complicated relationships (see: POINTE by Brandy Colbert, MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES by Jasmine Warga, CONVICTION by Kelly Loy Gilbert)
  • Stories that invert expectations (RECLAIMED by Sarah Guillory and 17 & GONE by Nova Ren Suma)
  • Beautifully-written prose (THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson, JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta)
  • Humor (FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell).
Contemporary new adult:

Characters in NA situations where romance plays an important role, but so do family, friends, and growing pains. (See: MAKE IT COUNT by Megan Erickson and FIERCE by LG Kelso.) I'm also partial to military stories (SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Doller, Rebecca Yarros's FLIGHT & GLORY series). Humor is welcome. Darkness is welcome. A blend of both? Perfect.

In both, I also love:
  • Stories where the setting is like another character; 
  • Diverse characters;
  • Serious athletes (there are so many great narratives in sports -- send me your athletes!); 
  • Strong friendships, fascinating secondary characters, and love interests with a slow burn are all winners for me.

Feel free to chat with me on Twitter to see if we'd be a good fit!

And if you're searching on the scavenger hunt, I prove for you the letter U!

For more details and to see the other mentors:

Visit the indefatigable Brenda Drake or hop along here:
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