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 and 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 Adult manuscripts. I can work with New Adult, but only age 25+. I’ll be useless for the college and post-college years.
I’d like manuscripts with one or more of the following:
- Romance – Contemporary or Suspense
- Mainstream Fiction with Romantic Elements
- Women’s Fiction
- 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, two manuscripts later.
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, or click here to go to the PitchWars main wishlist post.
Pitch Wars 2019 Adult Mentors’ Wish Lists
- Paris Wynters
- Kathleen Barber (Accepts NA)
- Ian Barnes
- Mary Ann Marlowe (Accepts NA)
- Elizabeth Little
- Hayley Stone and Erin A. Tidwell
- Gwynne Jackson (Accepts NA)
- Maxym M. Martineau (Accepts NA)
- Katie Golding (Accepts NA)
- Ava Reid and Rachel Morris (Accepts NA)
- Carolyne Topdjian
- Natalka Burian
- Tim Akers
- Alex Segura
- Michelle Hauck and Carrie Callaghan (Accepts NA)
- Laura Brown (Accepts NA)
- Mia P. Manansala and Kellye Garrett (Accepts NA)
- Kerbie Addis and Ren Hutchings (Accepts NA)
- Susan Bishop Crispell (Accepts NA)
- Kelly Siskind and Heather Van Fleet (Accepts NA)
- Janet Walden-West and Anne Raven (Accepts NA)
- Kate Lansing (Accepts NA)
- Kristen Lepionka and Ernie Chiara
- Alexa Martin and Suzanne Park (Accepts NA)
- Gia de Cadenet (Accepts NA)
- Rob Hart
- Layne Fargo and Halley Sutton
- Michael Chorost (Accepts NA)
- Sarah Remy (Accepts NA)
- Nicole Glover (Accepts NA)
- Farah Heron (Accepts NA)
- Samantha Rajaram
- Keena Roberts (Accepts NA)
- Rebecca Enzor (Accepts NA)
- Matthew Quinn Martin (Accepts NA)
- Denny S. Bryce (Accepts NA)
- Meryl Wilsner and Rosie Danan (Accepts NA)
- P.J. Vernon and Kelly J. Ford (Accepts NA)
- Gladys Quinn (Accepts NA)
- Diana A. Hicks (Accepts NA)
- Damyanti Biswas
- Stephen Morgan (Accepts NA)