Hello, Pitch Wars hopefuls! For a downloadable, plain-text PDF version of this post, click here. This year I am partnering up with the fabulous Sandra Proudman to mentor a middle grade science fiction or fantasy writer for Pitch Wars. We are Team Stellify. Stellify means to change or be changed into a star. It’s associated with myths and magic, and we are ready to channel all of our magic to stellify our mentee! We’re going to work hard and fight hard for you and your book, but we’re also here to have fun and be supportive.
If you want more information about Pitch Wars, check out pitchwars.org for more info. If you’ve somehow arrived at my blog first, please take a minute to go visit Sandra Proudman’s blog, where she talks about who we are, what we’re about, and lists the movies, TV shows, and books we absolutely love! Who knows? You might find a good comp title in there 😉
Below, you’ll find our mentoring style as well as our official wishlist!
WHAT WE BELIEVE WE CAN HELP OUR MENTEE WITH:
- Character development
- Line edits
- Query letter
- World building
If you’ve won a critique from us in the past or know us from social media: Please feel free to still submit to us! We’ll be removing names from submission items to be as impartial as possible.
Our Communication Style:
We’ll be with you every step of the way during your Pitch Wars journey. From explaining why we might be offering a certain comment/suggested change to guiding you through the querying process if this is your first time entering the querying trenches. Our goal is that by the time the showcase comes around, you’ll feel confident querying your work, whether you get one request for pages or thirty.
We talk on Zoom a bunch, so we are always open to hopping on a Zoom call. If you’re not into video conferencing, we can always hop on the phone or chat online. We’ll work with you at your comfort level! We believe in equal access, and we’re willing to be flexible with deadlines.
What We Are Looking for in a Mentee:
We are looking to work with a passionate writer who is dedicated to making their story the best it can possibly be, even if this means a possible complete rewrite. Be positive and ready to put in hard work. There is, of course, a temptation to say ‘yes’ to be selected even if you don’t think your novel needs lots of work; if you truly know that you would not be open to major revisions, we may not be the best selection for you.
- Fantasy (portal, magical realism, other)
- Sci-Fi (space opera, near future, dystopian/post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk, soft, time travel, other)
- Romance (sci-fi, fantasy)
- Contemporary with a dash of speculative
Diverse characters written as the heroes of their own stories written by diverse writers. Sandra is Latinx, so Latinx (especially Afro-Latinx) stories hold a special place on our wish list.
Stories by LGBTQIA+ writers also hold a special place on our wishlist. Especially by writers of color.
Lush or strange fantasies with a diverse cast of characters set anywhere! Contemporary fantasies are our specialty!
Stories about found family and friendships, witty banter a plus!
Retellings, especially with a diverse twist and/or unique tales/myths/creatures.
Immersive settings and awesome world building!
Horror with twists and turns at every corner. We want witches/brujx, ghosts, haunted forests, bloodline curses, all of it! Give us your spooky tales, your ghosts, your monsters, your nightmares that come to life.
We love sci-fi, though tend to lean toward fantasy stories for Pitch Wars. If you do want to send us sci-fi, we specifically love space/androids/robots/AI and parallel universes, or any stories revolving STEM. We would love to see all the genre-bending sci-fi fantasy stories.
Fierce girls that don’t need a hero to save them and who rebel against the life others want for them.
Epic action scenes reminiscent of the Agni Kai scene between Zuko and Azula in Avatar the Last Airbender!
What we’re likely to pass on:
- Most importantly, we are not a good fit for stories with themes of terminal illness or explicit scenes of sexual violence or assault. Please no stories that would require a heavy trigger warning.
- We are not mentoring Adult or YA books. Don’t waste a slot sending us your book if it’s in these age groups! *Okay to send us a YA book that you want to age down.
- We are not the best fit for sports books or hard science fiction with a lot of technical aspects. There will likely be a lot that we couldn’t comment on or help with.
- Please eliminate as many typos as you can prior to sending as they can often distract from getting into the story!
We cannot wait to read your submissions and no matter what happens, you finished a manuscript, you are amazing!
With all our support,
Shannon & Sandra
Pitch Wars 2021 Middle Grade Mentors’ Wish Lists
- Tracy Badua
- Eric Bell
- Julie Artz
- Shannon A. Thompson and Sandra Proudman
- George Jreije and LQ Nguyen
- Darlene P. Campos
- Rebecca Petruck
- Graci Kim and Karah Sutton
- Shakirah Bourne
- Kim Long and Jennifer L. Brown
- Adrianna Cuevas and Sarah Kapit
- Sylvia Liu
- Cindy Baldwin and Amanda Rawson Hill
- Erin Teagan
- A.J. Sass and Nicole Melleby
Click here to view all Pitch Wars 2021 Mentors’ Wish Lists. To view the wish lists by genre, visit this link.