Hello and welcome to my Pitch Wars Mentor Wish List. I am mentoring ADULT this year, and I’m super jazzed about it. *jazz hands*
Pitch Wars is a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each to spend three months with 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.
I’m going to jump straight into my wish list and then the closing sections are about me and my mentoring style. Please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or through the form on this site if you have any questions! I’m looking forward to reading your words; thank you so much for considering me to be your mentor.
My Wish List
Broadly speaking, I am looking for Adult Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Fantasy, Romance, and Women’s Fiction. I am a very open reader, and I love to be swept away by a great world and characters.
I want a strong romantic storyline regardless of genre. I love having characters to root for, especially when I’m waiting for them to get together. Saying this, it may be important to note I don’t need a happy ending. I love bittersweet endings especially when they tug at the heart and feel natural.
Within all genres I’d love to see thoughtful depictions of mental illness, disabilities, racial diversity, body positivity, and/or characters who identify across the LGBTQ+ spectrum. These don’t need to be major themes where a character is coming to terms with something but can be simply part of who a character is. I’d love to work with a writer who shares a marginalization depicted in their manuscript, but please never feel any pressure to tell me anything you don’t want to.
In historical fantasy and straight up historicals I’m hungry for intersectional feminist themes, atmospheric writing, and strong characters. I don’t have time period or location preferences but I am always happy to learn something new and obscure about history. That said I do have a slight fascination with dance marathons so this is a niche interest I’d be excited to find in my slush pile.
When it comes to fantasy, I want to be whisked on an adventure. Throw in some gutsy, sarcastic characters and I’m sold. I love mermaids, fairytale retellings, magical horses, curses, big stakes, morally confused characters, charming rogues, royals, scientists, archeologists, gods, and excuses for masquerades. I’d love to find something that weaves in Filipino mythology.
In women’s fiction I love heartfelt stories where the protagonist is trying their best but flailing through life. Bonus points for something that doesn’t take itself too seriously and has an outlandish premise and whacky characters. Think Jesse Q. Sutanto’s Dial A for Aunties.
That brings me to romance novels, which I’m finding the hardest to describe! I love so much about the romance genre; I don’t think there’s an easy way to sum up what would get me the most excited. Bring me high concept; bring me characters with passion for their family, friends, hobbies, careers, and their love interests; bring me lovers who compliment each other, who bring out the best in each other and undeniably belong together.
In all genres, tropes that make me happy include: sunshine/the grump, enemies to lovers, rivals to lovers, lovers to enemies, pen pals, fake dating, trading places, hate to love, mistaken identity, fake marriages…
In general, consider me a good fit for anachronistic bends, sprawling family trees, big choices, wit and panache, masked heroes, characters struggling with trauma, lost girls, angry girls, soft girls, soft boys, riddles and twists, voyages, big themes, conmen, slow burns, hot burns, little siblings, cute animals, messy families, quirky hobbies, chosen ones… and a lot more honestly.
I’m also hoping to find stories with protagonists exploring coming of age in their twenties! Coming of age shouldn’t just be a kidlit theme. We come of age in our twenties, thirties, etc. We’re always learning and evolving and, speaking as a twenty-something, I have achieved a lot of personal growth over the last few years. (Please don’t interpret this note as an auto-reject if your adult protag is older. I think it’s important to call attention to the younger spectrum of the adult age range as we sometimes see it mis-categorized as older YA or NA.)
As a reminder, please get in touch if you have any questions or require more specificity.
A few quick notes, please do not send me:
- Stories that deal heavily with suicide ideation
- Romances between roommates
If you think we could be a match, I’m looking forward to reading your submission shortly!
Who I Am
Here is everything you ever wanted to know about me!
I became a writer thanks to High School Musical fanfiction (#Troyella). When I’m not reading, I love going to Broadway shows, doing yoga, and taking care of my plants. I just started learning how to watercolor, and I also love watching tennis and soccer. My partner and I have a cat who loves hanging out on our balcony and bringing the massive bugs she catches inside.
My journey with Pitch Wars started in 2015 when I was chosen as a mentee by Jen Hawkins and Kes Trester. My manuscript was a YA contemporary about a biracial bisexual girl (just like me!) staging a gender-swapped production of Hamlet (not like me). This project was the third manuscript I queried. After Pitch Wars, I got an agent from the query trenches and signed with Heather Flaherty of The Bent Agency. Bent was a dream agency for me, so I was over the moon about this. I mentored YA in Pitch Wars 2017. Heather left agenting in 2019, and I’m looking forward to querying when the time is right. I’m very excited to be mentoring Adult this year.
In addition to being a writer I am a publishing professional. I interned at St. Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books in editorial. For two years I worked at an academic journal (#science), and then found myself at Scholastic as the Licensing, Brands & Media Coordinator.
I help acquire new brands and manage those partnerships through their lifetime. I work with contracts, editorial, marketing, sales, foreign rights and more. As a kid, I loved licensed fiction (Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Adventures!) so it’s a dream come true. One of my main tasks is pitching new brands at acquisitions to sales, marketing and finance and positioning them within the market and our house for the best chance at success. I’m really excited to help my mentee work on their pitches in addition to all the great manuscript-focused work we’re going to do together!
My Mentoring Style
I look at myself as your new critique partner. I want to help you put the story you see in your head onto the page. I’ll always be available for questions, angsting, and pep talks. I’m normally quite responsive to emails or social media messages, and I’m more than happy to also do video chats. Whatever way you want to communicate, I can accommodate.
You will receive an edit letter from me with feedback. I believe my strengths to be plot structure, character arcs, and characterization. I’ll work with you to bring tension to every scene, raise the stakes, and keep the pace tight. In my edit letter I’ll also share aspects I love about your manuscript! I’d love to start our partnership off with a video call, but if that’s not your cup of tea, that’s okay.
If you prefer to have weekly check-ins during revisions, we can arrange that. If you’d rather be left alone to revise, that’s cool with me too. If you want my help crafting a revision plan, I’m happy to pitch in. And if anything needs to change after we agree on something, that’s okay too. I want to get to know you to develop the way we work best together. Most of all, I want this to be a satisfying experience for you where you feel like you’ve grown as a writer no matter what happens in the showcase.
I’ll never force any changes on you. If we disagree on any editorial ideas I’ll explain my reasons for suggesting something, but ultimately it’s your choice. Many times, there’s an alternate solution that will make everyone happy. It’s just a matter of having a discussion until the right idea strikes. I love the collaboration part of writing, when you’re chatting with a critique partner and you’re stuck on something, and then suddenly you figure it out. I hope to always be approachable to you. I’m here for you and I’m ready to do whatever you need for me to serve you best.
After the first round of edits, I’ll read your manuscript a second time and depending on where it’s at, I’ll provide more feedback or line edits. I’ll also help shiny up your query (I LOVE queries.) and together we’ll work on your pitch and first 250 for the Agent Showcase in February.
I’ll also answer any and all questions you have about querying, agents, and publishing. I hope to do this during and after Pitch Wars! Consider me a long-term investment.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my wish list and considering trusting me with your work.
Pitch Wars is a time of great emotion, but please remember it is only one path to growing as a writer. Whether you are selected as mentee or not, it is not an indication of your future success as a writer. There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a mentee. One of the biggest is finding a manuscript each mentor feels best suited to help. Please don’t take this as a judgement on you or your writing.
You’re absolutely amazing for finishing a manuscript and committing to revise it. Please hold onto that during everything happening online and in reality.
Drink some water, get vaccinated, wear your mask, get enough sleep, stretch regularly and hang in there. We’ll get through this.
Pitch Wars 2021 Adult Mentors’ Wish Lists
- Anna Kaling (Accepts NA)
- Ian Barnes (Accepts NA)
- Jackson Ford
- Jake Nicholls (Accepts NA)
- Jesse Q. Sutanto and Grace Shim
- Charish Reid and Denise Williams
- Saara El-Arifi (Accepts NA)
- Rosie Danan and Ruby Barrett (Accepts NA)
- Carolyne Topdjian
- Falon Ballard and Brooke Abrams
- Mary Keliikoa (Accepts NA)
- E.A. Aymar
- Amanda Elliot (Accepts NA)
- Kelly Siskind
- Vaishnavi Patel and Sarah Mughal (Accepts NA)
- Mary Ann Marlowe and Laura Elizabeth (Accepts NA)
- Mia P. Manansala (Accepts NA)
- Peggy Rothschild (Accepts NA)
- Natalka Burian
- Courtney Kae and Jenny L. Howe (Accepts NA)
- Rochelle Karina (Accepts NA)
- Swati Hegde (Accepts NA)
- Nanci Schwartz and LL Montez
- Paris Wynters
- Hudson Lin
- Sarah Remy (Accepts NA)
- AM Kvita (Accepts NA)
- Heather Van Fleet and Jessica Calla (Accepts NA)
- Melissa Colasanti (Accepts NA)
- J.A. Crawford (Accepts NA)
- Michella S. Domenici
- Yvette Yun and Marith Zoli (Accepts NA)
- Sari Coritz and Rosalie M Lin (Accepts NA)
- Stephenie Magister and Noreen (Accepts NA)
- Regina Black and Nikki Payne (Accepts NA)
- Farah Heron and Namrata Patel
- Alicia Thompson and Amy Lea (Accepts NA)
- Lyn Liao Butler
- Preslaysa Williams (Accepts NA)
- Keena Roberts and Molly Steen (Accepts NA)
- Alexandria Bellefleur (Accepts NA)
- Samantha Rajaram
- Ashley Winstead
- Clay Harmon (Accepts NA)
- Rob Hart
- Cole Nagamatsu and Sequoia Nagamatsu
- N.E. Davenport (Accepts NA)
- Katherine Lim
- Alexia Gordon
- Cynthia Pelayo (Accepts NA)
Click here to view all Pitch Wars 2021 Mentors’ Wish Lists. To view the wish lists by genre, visit this link.