Sunday, August 2, 2015

Welcome, potential #PitchWars Mentee!

If you're reading this, you just might be our mentee.

I am so excited to be co-mentoring this year with my mentor from Pitch Wars 2014, Kes Trester! My experience as a mentee in Pitch Wars 2014 helped me land my agent, Louise Fury of The Bent Agency.

Kes has since become a wonderful friend and trusted CP. We have no doubt we'll make a great team to help you tweak your manuscript and get it ready for agents.

For a little bit about Kes, go here: Kes Trester's Bio
For a little bit about me, go here: My bio

We're looking for YA in all genres except horror

Now for the good stuff... our wishlist!

We love:

*  High-concept stories. What is high-concept, you ask? It’s a premise that can be pitched in just one line, often with comp titles that highlight the uniqueness of a story while comparing it to titles (book or film) that have already proven successful. For example, if Lord of the Flies came out in 2015, it could be pitched as SURVIVOR meets CASTAWAY. Here’s a great article on Pitching High Concept.

*  Diversity. Narrators of diverse race, ethnicity, religion, and gender. Tell us a story we haven’t heard before. Teach us something new.

*  Contemporary works with subtle undertones of believable magic, like THE MEMORY GARDEN by Mary Rickert.

*  Edge-of-your-seat thrillers, like a YA Stephen King.

*  Fully-fleshed characters. Give us little details that make us know a character without drowning us in backstory. For example, in John Green’s AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES, Colin is constantly anagramming everything. That detail tells us a lot about how his brain works.

*  Unreliable narrators, like Alex in Francesca Zappia’s MADE YOU UP. Put us in the unreliable narrator’s shoes. Make us feel what he/she feels without manipulating us.

*  Romantic relationships with depth and emotion, like NO PLACE TO FALL by Jaye Robin Brown, or THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson.

If we love your query, we will request a one-page synopsis and possibly the full ms. 

We don’t love (so please don’t send it to us):

*  Horror. (We’re scaredy-cats who sleep with our closet doors closed.)
*  Gratuitous rape scenes.
*  Scenes depicting cruelty to children or animals.
*  Characters or plots that are misogynistic or racist.


Here's a list of our favorite books:

Jenn’s favorite YA books: Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho,
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia, No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown, 
We Were Here by Matt de la Pena, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, 
The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole,
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.

Kes’s favorite YA books: His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman,
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs,
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card,
Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead,
Beautiful Creatures by Garcia & Stohl.

If you are thinking about submitting to us, JUST DO IT. 
Don't overthink it.

Whether you submit to us or one of the many other outstanding mentors, best of luck in your writing journey!

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