Hey hopefuls, grab a cuppa and let’s chat.
You’re here for the wishlist, and we’ll get to that in just a second. First, if you’d like to know a little about me, you can check out my bio.
You’re back? Great. Let’s talk PitchWars. What is it exactly?
PitchWars is a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors or industry interns choose one writer each to spend three months revising their manuscript. It ends in February with an Agent Showcase, where agents can read a pitch/first page and can request to read more. Click here for more details.
In order for you to decide if we could work well together, let’s take a look at what I’m looking for in a manuscript.
I’m eager for steamy Adult manuscripts. Sorry, but no New Adult. Slow-burn, sexy romances are my catnip, so please, bring those on.
The term “clean Romance” bothers me because of the implication that there’s something wrong or dirty about other types. If the characters only hold hands, or share chaste kisses, I’m not the right mentor for your work.
I’d like manuscripts with one or more of the following:
- Romance – Hot and sexy Contemporary or Suspense
- Mainstream Fiction with Romantic Elements
- Empathy from all characters
- Unlikable Heroines
- Clear Consent
- Secret/Forbidden Romances
- Second Chance
- Found Families
- Forced Proximity
- Wounded Hero/Heroine
- Strong Heroines
- Marginalized Voices & Intersectional MCs
- Feminist Themes
What I don’t want.
I’m not the right match for the following tropes, genres or themes:
Inspirational or Sweet Romance; Historical Romance; Fantasy, Paranormal or Science Fiction. College/Coming of Age stories; Billionaires; Motorcycle Clubs; Secret Babies or 1950’s vibe. Kidnapping; Dubious Consent or Non-Consent; Harems; Rape or Coercion. Sexual/ Child/ Domestic Partner Abuse, Cheating (can be part of a backstory), Victim-blaming, Racism or Misogyny.
Keep in mind: My Wishlist is just mine. I’m being honest and realistic about what I can work with and how I can help. Other genres would be a better fit for other mentors, though I’m also open to tropes I haven’t listed.
My PitchWars Experience
As a 2017 mentee, I found the experience invaluable. I’d been writing in my little corner, all by my lonesome, when I learned about the program and decided to apply. Even before the mentees were announced, I got great feedback through the forums and my first experience with critique partners.
My mentor, the lovely Diana Hicks, showed me how to get my manuscript into shape, guiding me to excellent resources on structure and plotting. I still use those tools today.
By the end of the revision period, I had a sparkly new manuscript I was proud of. In the agent round, I got four requests. After querying, none of them offered. Which gets to an important point: PitchWars is a mentorship program. There are no guarantees of signing with an agent or getting a book deal. It’s important to keep that in mind. While PitchWars can do a lot for you, there’s still querying in your future. But, if you put in the effort, you’ll be querying with a much stronger manuscript. And you’ll come away with tools you can apply to any future work.
Why am I excited to mentor?
I’m grateful to have the chance to pay it forward. PitchWars honed my craft, increased my confidence, and connected me with the best critique partners I could ask for. They helped me sharpen the Twitter pitch that caught my agent’s eye, and the rest is history. (More details about my PW success story here.) How could I be anything less than enthusiastic about helping someone else do the same?
What can I bring to you as a mentor?
Years of teaching English have given me the skill to spot grammar mistakes and explain how we can change or work around them. Inconsistency is like nails on a chalkboard for me. Be it in spelling, description, timing or detail, I’ll spot it. I’m not the best at naming what’s “wrong” in a story. Deep POV, specifics of character development or plot conventions are good examples. If you have to name a problem in order to fix it, I may not be your gal. However, I’m excellent at feeling opportunities for improvement (any fellow INFJs out there?) and asking key questions to get you closer to your goal.
Also, I’m an expat, American with French citizenship. I’ve lived in France since 2006, but what can that mean for a mentee? I’m bilingual, so if you’ve got French in your manuscript, I can help you be sure it’s just right. If Europe is your setting, or if you’re working with different Englishes (British vs. American, for example), I’ll ask the right questions to help you be sure you’re consistent and don’t fall into stereotypes. More broadly, I’m used to balancing between cultures. I can help if you need to as well.
One important point: as I’m in France, we’ll mostly need to communicate by email. I would like to have a video chat or two. But, unless you’re in the Central European Time Zone, frequent calls will be a challenge.
Who can I help?
If you’re sure your story is perfect and only needs minor changes, I might not be the right mentor for you. My ideal mentee will want their story to shine, even if that means their manuscript needs a major overhaul. The three months we have to work together means we’re looking to work. I need someone ready to put in the hours and take my advice to heart, even when it hurts. My criticisms will come from a place of love, but they will definitely come.
Thanks for checking out my list and getting to know me a little. I look forward to reading your entries!
Scroll down to check out my fellow mentors.
Pitch Wars 2020 Adult Mentors’ Wish Lists
- Mia P. Manansala and Kellye Garrett (Accepts NA)
- Rochelle Karina (Accepts NA)
- Ren Hutchings (Accepts NA)
- Mary Ann Marlowe
- Rachel Lynn Solomon
- Anna Kaling
- Gwynne Jackson (Accepts NA)
- Kristen Lepionka and Ernie Chiara
- Rachel Howzell Hall
- Lyn Liao Butler
- Michael Mammay and AR Lucas
- Paris Wynters (Accepts NA)
- K A Black (Accepts NA)
- Heather Van Fleet and Jessica Calla (Accepts NA)
- Hudson Lin (Accepts NA)
- Sonia Hartl and Annette Christie (Accepts NA)
- Taj McCoy (Accepts NA)
- Ian Barnes (Accepts NA)
- Keena Roberts (Accepts NA)
- N.E. Davenport (Accepts NA)
- Elizabeth Little
- Anne Raven and Janet Walden-West (Accepts NA)
- Charish Reid and Denise Williams
- Kalyn Josephson and Kat Enright (Accepts NA)
- Gladys Qin (Accepts NA)
- Tanen Jones (Accepts NA)
- Clay Harmon (Accepts NA)
- Jake Nicholls (Accepts NA)
- Layne Fargo and Halley Sutton
- Denny S. Bryce and L. Penelope
- Roselle Lim and Farah Heron (Accepts NA)
- Morgan Rogers (Accepts NA)
- Samantha Rajaram
- Rob Hart
- Damyanti Biswas (Accepts NA)
- Maria Heater
- Cynthia Pelayo (Accepts NA)
- Gia de Cadenet
- Nicole Glover (Accepts NA)
- Rosie Danan and Ruby Barrett (Accepts NA)
- Cole Nagamatsu and Sequoia Nagamatsu
- Carly Bloom and Sam Tschida
- P.J. Vernon and Kelly J. Ford (Accepts NA)
- Matthew Quinn Martin (Accepts NA)
- Stephen Morgan (Accepts NA)
- Alex Segura and M. J. Soni
- Roma Panganiban (Accepts NA)
- Tricia Lynne (Accepts NA)