Monday, November 26, 2012

Pitch Wars: What I'm looking for.

Hi guys!! The time has finally come for us to share what we'll be looking for as mentors during Pitch Wars. If you don't know me already, I'm a YA writer represented by Michelle Witte (that's Witt-y) at Mansion Street Literary. I'm also a blogger over at The Secret Life of Writers. I've been writing all my life, whether it was short stories, poems, blogs, etc. It wasn't until summer of 2011 that I wrote my first YA manuscript and considered querying.

It's been a dream of mine to become a published author since I was kid. I never pursued it because, well, I thought you had to be some fancy college graduate who spent six years of their life taking writing classes. It never occurred to me that becoming a writer was all about practicing the craft and doing it because you love it. The intimidation of it alone was frightening. Am I any good? Will anyone read it? Do I even know how to write? Finally, one day I just started typing. I kept writing and writing, not knowing how many stories I've had buried inside me all this time. It was such a relief, not to mention so much fun, finally getting the words and images out of my head. After a solid year of writing and querying (if you want to hear more about my query process, keep an eye on the Secret Life of Writers blog. I'll be sharing my experience soon.), I found myself an amazing agent who loved my story as much as me. It was so surreal.

So. When I found out about Pitch Wars, I just had to take part. If there's any way that I can help another writer pursue their dream, just like all the published and unpublished writers helped me, I have to do it.

With that being said, let's get to it!

What I'm looking for: 

YA manuscripts in these sub genres.

YA Horror/Supernatural: I'm not a fan of gore, but if you've got something like ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD or THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER, CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT, SCREAM, SLEEPAWAY CAMP etc. I want to see something involving ghosts that has a great twist or a slasher that I could find in a classic horror movie. These are the things I'd love to read about. I want to be scared.

YA Psychological Thriller: If you've got something like SLICE OF CHERRY–– serial killers and crazy storylines with an unreliable narrator, I want it! I love twisted narrators that make me want to know what they're all about. It doesn't necessarily have to be first person. I like action, but I'm not looking for guns and car chases. I want the premise to be so bizarre that I can't figure it out until I read the end.

YA Magical Realism: Personally, I don't think there's enough of this out there. If you've got a story like BIG FISH, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS, NIGHT CIRCUS or IMAGINARY GIRLS, please please please send it to me! I want to read this story and feel as if I've stepped into another world without even realizing it. I'm not asking for straight fantasy. This is all about real world colliding with the impossible. I want your story to make me feel like magic truly exists.

If you pick me as your mentor, not only will we have a blast, but we'll be Vandancing our way through this contest.

Now for all the details.

Submissions start today (11/26)! The cut off time to get your applications (query & first five pages of manuscript) in is 8AM EST on December 5.

Send your applications to Writers can apply for up to 3 coaches. The coaches' categories are set. Coaches can only consider the categories they've signed up for. Writers cannot apply for a coach that is not in their category.

For additional information about this contest go HERE!

· This is open to finished manuscripts only.
· You may only enter one manuscript.
· Only the genres requested by each coach will be considered for the contest.


Subject line: Pitch Wars Application: Coach Name you want to apply for: Title (Example: Pitch Wars Application: Brenda Drake: GONE WITH THE WIND)

Name: Your Name Genre: The genre of your manuscript

Word Count: The word count of your manuscript

Query letter here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.

First five pages of the manuscript here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.


REMINDER: You can send an application for up to 3 coaches.

Check back soon for a complete list of the amazing agents participating in the contest. There's over a dozen! 

Today all the coaches are posting bios/wish lists on their blogs. So before choosing your top 3 picks, check all the coaches' posts in your category before deciding which coach to submit. To jump from blog to blog, just click on our pictures below.
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Good luck! I can't wait to read your entries. xo


  1. The Vandancing makes me want to change the genre of my MS immediately.

  2. @Adrianne Russell Isn't that the best GIF ever? I can't stop laughing at it. haha!


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