Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be a part of Pitch Wars again, this time as a co-mentor with my insanely talented friend and CP, Lori Goldstein! My first time around, I was a mentee of YA author Sarah Nicolas during Pitch Wars 2012, where I received 7 agent requests, which ultimately led to me signing with the incredible Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger, Inc.
Pitch Wars is such an amazing opportunity for everyone who participates, both to get your work seen by multiple agents and to get more involved in the writing community. I made three lifelong friends and CPs thanks to Pitch Wars, including Lori Goldstein, whose keen editorial eye and knack for untangling even my most complicated plot threads have made all the difference in my writing. For more information on Lori and her editorial style, check out her Pitch Wars 2015 blog post!
As for my editorial style, I pay particular attention to pacing, tension, and conflict—drama is what makes the book go ’round! If an agent/editor/reader doesn’t care about your character or their (hopefully escalating) stakes, it doesn’t matter how exciting that opening car chase is or how meticulously you’ve outlined your plot, they’re going to put the book down and walk away. You need to make them care about your characters from page one, sentence one, in order to stand out.
For more information, you can check out the ‘About Me’ page on my website. You can also follow me on my blog and on twitter for Pitch Wars updates and writing tips. For more on the contest, including submission details and the agent list, visit host Brenda Drake’s Web site.
And now, without further ado, here is our joint wish list!
Our Pitch Wars Wish List
While we read and love all genres, we feel we can have the greatest impact on YA contemporary, contemporary fantasy/urban fantasy, and realistic or light science fiction. We welcome strong friendships and romance. We don't mind love triangles (see Lori's #TVD above). But above all, if your book makes us laugh, you will win our hearts. Characters rule for us. The stronger, the better. We love stories that blend genres and styles: a dash of humor, a pinch of suspense, an ounce of romance. Make your characters real and make us care about them, and you've got us. We're less drawn to straight-out action, crime, horror, and high fantasy. Stories involving religious themes, sports of all sorts (unless they are in the Friday Night Lights vein, where the sport serves as a backdrop to strong character arcs), and very dark or political aspects are probably not for us.
Our critique will be full of smiley faces but won’t shy away from pointing out the areas that need work. Lori has an ear for dialogue and Chelsea is particularly good at trimming the fat. We won’t ask you to do anything we won’t, and haven’t, done. Lori will use everything she's learned as a third-time Pitch Wars mentor and as a survivor of a Big 5 publisher's editing rounds for two books. Chelsea will use her experience as a Pitch Wars mentee in 2012 to ensure she knows what it's like to be in your shoes and she'll guide you every step of the way.
We both know firsthand how one or two pointed questions can make your book better. We've done this for each other, and now we can do the same for you. If you pick us as your mentor, you'll get two minds for the price of one. We’ll devote all we’ve learned to make your book the best it can be.