Category : Pitch Wars
FINALLY, IT IS TIME!
#PitchWars is here, so let’s take a moment to freak out.
Done? Good. You don’t know what on earth Pitch Wars is? Here’s a post explaining the contest, submission guidelines, dates, and rules.
Let’s get down to business!
Here’s who I am and why you should submit to me:
- I have been teaching writing and mentoring writers for years.
- I was a mentee last year (won the contest with my adult speculative fiction, Coup de Grace), and I understand the pressure and the commitment on your side. My awesome mentors Kelli Newby and Mary Ann Marlowe helped me make my novel what it is today. I’ve learned a lot, so now I can help you a lot.
- I have judged in multiple writing competitions.
- I’ve got my university degree in English Translation and have been writing stories for more than seventeen years, which means I’ve spent years and years studying English literature–books and screenplays–and have taken courses and classes that improved and empowered my ability in storytelling.
- There is a very rare place for writers, in which they are at last completely happy with a draft they’ve worked on… That’s where I’m going to help you get!
- If I choose you, it means I care for your story. A lot.
I want your polished Contemporary/Romance/Fantasy/Speculative Young Adult or New Adult novels or graphic novels.
I AM LOOKING FOR:
- Contemporary Romance
- Romantic / Fantasy Comedy
- Mafia / revenge
- Women’s Fiction
- Magical Realism
- Urban / Epic / Romantic Fantasy
- Time Travel
- Literary Fiction / Commercial Fiction
- Speculative Fiction
- If you want to ask me about your genre and whether I would accept it or not, just write to me on Twitter.
- Your story includes romance? AWESOME! Give me healthy relationships that defy the rules and tropes of the setting. Give me all the AWWW. Enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, star-crossed lovers, strangers to lovers, bad boys/girls falling for the unlikely person, all the goooooods. Want to know more? Read below.
- Your story doesn’t include romance? AWESOME! Give me a strong voice and characters to root for. Give me bad boys/girls turning against mafia bosses. Give me anti-heroes finding reasons to live or to destroy! Give me female leaders who care more about their people than ahem-relationships-ahem. Give me REAL cultural references and characters who are from various backgrounds, of difference races, sexuality, genders and nationalities, even in fictional worlds. Give me athletes who struggle and fight against their fears, anxieties and injuries. Give me teenagers who carry the burden for their family and hold them together–real heroes. Want to know more? Read below.
HUGE PLUS IF YOUR STORY HAS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING:
- Is your story #OwnVoices?
- Does your story feature LGBT romance?
- Does your main character have HUGE, rational development?
- Is your main character an athlete (especially a female one) whose whole life doesn’t revolve around just relationships and instead takes me on a journey about BOTH their professional and personal life?
- Does your story take place in Asia or Africa with genuine, correct cultural references?
- GRAPHIC NOVELS?
- Interracial friendship and/or interracial couples?
- Strong females as main and/or supporting characters?
- Stories that make me laugh?
- Stories that make me cry my eyes out but also show me hope?
- Same-sex couples in the Middle-East?
- Are your main characters immigrants or refugees?
DOUBLE HUGE PLUS GOES TO…
- Whoever has a story that sounds like a Christopher Nolan movie. Yup. That’s right. You see this genius dork?
- He’s one of my favorite writers. So, if you can play with, or redefine the concept of ‘time’, if you can create unforgettable gray characters and/or make incredible plot twists, and if you have a unique voice that takes my breath away, COME TO MEEEE.
- I love comics, but more than comics, I love reading manga. A lot. So if you have a graphic novel or a novel along the awesome, unique stories of Japanese manga, COME TO MEEEE.
- A few of my favorite stories:
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
- The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
- Tokyo Ghoul (Manga) by Sui Ishida
- Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
- Noragami (Manga) by Adachitoka
Batman: The Killing Joke (Graphic Novel) by Alan Moore
- Dread Nation By Justina Ireland
- Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
- Persepolis (Graphic Novel) by Marjane Satrapi
- Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
- Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
- A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena
- The Siren by Tiffany Reisz
- Turtles all the way down by John Green
- Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertall
- Furyborn by Claire Legrand
- I love happy stories, but I also love sad stories with bittersweet endings (or bittersweet endings in general). Basically, go ahead and break my heart, but be sure to patch at least some pieces together at the end. You see, that’s what I try to do as a writer, but sometimes I just…
- Haha… Um… Back to business. The “Not Right For Me” part, which DOES NOT mean there is anything wrong with your story, it’s just not right for me if it fits in the following list.
WHAT I AM NOT LOOKING FOR:
- Historical (except mafia)
- Fairy Tale Retelling
- Crime (except mafia/revenge)
- Natural disasters
- Mystery (except mafia/revenge)
HOW I EDIT AND COMMUNICATE
- This year, we have more time and more rounds of edits (YAY!), so in the first round, I will mark up the issues with your plot, character arc and development, opening and ending, and large issues that would need to be revised. I’ll provide you with an edit letter with my opinions and suggestions about how we make your story better. You will have in-line notes with my opinions and edits, about what I think works really well and what I think should change. You will have some homework for your novel, like forms and charts to fill in for your characters, making scene maps, outlines, etc. We’ll work on your novel in another round of edits after you made the revisions, then a line edit, and we’ll also work on your pitch and query.
- We’ll be in touch via Twitter, emails, and a couple of applications we’ll both see fit. We’ll be in constant communication. Be ready for that! I will try not to stalk your Twitter. But I will stalk your Twitter. Be kind to everyone. Encourage people. Then you will be encouraged as well.
- I DO ACCEPT NEW ADULT. Just a reminder!
- SYNOPSIS. Don’t forget to have your synopsis ready, ’cause if I like your story I will ask for a synopsis immediately. Yup.
- YOUR MANUSCRIPT MUST BE POLISHED AND READY. Pitch Wars is about working on your FINISHED and POLISHED book. It would do neither of us no good if we were to spend all our time fixing basic and easily fixable grammar/punctuation/etc while we should work on IMPROVING the already polished MS.
- ART OF YOUR GRAPHIC NOVEL. Consider the level of professionalism you would expect from a published graphic novel. You see, the story matters SO MUCH, but it is the art and the art style that leave the impact in mind.
- PITCH WARS IS MORE THAN A CONTEST. I had taken part in Pitch Wars for years before becoming a mentee. And you know what? Never did I regret entering. To make the most of Pitch Wars, you should try to make friends. Many writer friends are just waiting to meet you and become your CPs and that is the greatest gift Pitch Wars gives everyone who enters every year. Find yourself a CP who cares about your work as much as you care about theirs. Find friends who help you, read for you, give you courage and strength in your writing journey.
- BE READY FOR SOME HARD WORK. We will revise your work, and you will need to work really hard for weeks after weeks. But you will also take small breaks. It’s all about teamwork. A partnership. If I pick you, you are my partner in a difficult but great revision process.
- PLEASE REMEMBER THAN NOT BEING CHOSEN DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE NOT A GOOD ENOUGH WRITER. In the end, no matter how much we love your stories, each of us can only pick ONE mentee. It doesn’t make us happy to say no to many good stories. It’s about falling in love with that one MS, that one MC, that one writer. Never forget that gathering enough courage to take part in the first place is huge, and you are awesome no matter what. Also, you can always find so many awesome writers through #PitchWars tag.
- You have questions? Do not hesitate to write to me on Twitter.
- You are awesome.
Don’t forget to check out the wishlists of the amazing YA mentors this year: