Earlier this year, I became a Pitch Wars mentor. One of the best decisions ever. You wouldn’t believe the support the mentors have for each other and for their mentees. Not to mention I spent August reading some amazing entries and manuscripts.
In fact, I fell in love with too many manuscripts and slid my name in to be one of the lucky mentors who got to have two mentees.
My name wasn’t chosen in the random drawing Brenda did for a second mentee, but after one of the mentors who was chosen stepped down, I was next in line.
So I ended up with two amazing mentees. And since the agent round is right around the corner, I feel it’s time to gush about them on my blog instead of just my Twitter account.
Clay Harmon–with his dark and realistic contemporary that was one of the most incredible manuscripts I read through the entire contest. Clay was one of the last requests I made through the contest. He had a great query and opening chapter, but I wasn’t sure if it would be my thing, probably because it had some non-contemporary elements at first. So it sat in my maybe pile for days until I realized something about the voice kept calling me back to it. And as soon as I started the full manuscript, I didn’t want to put it down, and he ended up as my first “yes.”
Lindsey Frydman–became my second yes with her awesome sci-fi romance that I just sped through. For a while, I thought about leaving sci-fi off my Pitch Wars wishlist, but at the last minute, decided to put it in there. When her query came into my inbox, I knew I would ask for the full before I’d even read the opening chapter. Lindsey’s book was way sweeter and lighter than anything I asked for, but I clicked with it. Quickly. She conquered the dual POVs amazingly and wrote one of the cutest love stories I’ve seen in a long time.
And then, I got a third mentee.
After I made my picks, there were still some amazing manuscripts I clicked with and loved, but couldn’t take. So I asked a handful of them if they’d be up for working with me behind the scenes as unofficial mentees. I’d basically do the same thing for them as I was doing for Lindsey and Clay–they just wouldn’t be a part of the agent round. They all said yes and I’ve been working with them since.
One of them, Lynn Vroman, actually signed with her agent today. Go congratulate her! She’s awesome and her book is just absolutely amazing. She was a case of way-too ready-to-query-already for me to hold her back for 9 weeks in a contest. She was back out on sub within just a few weeks.
Another one I’ve been working with, Alice Reeds, wrote this beautiful book about boys and music and depression. We worked on some big edits and then when I was going through her book for line edits, Brenda mentioned in our Facebook group that some spots had opened up in the agent showcase and if we had an unofficial mentee we felt could be ready in time, she might choose him or her to take one of the available spots. With Alice being so close, I slid her name right on in there.
Two days later I got to send Alice the email letting her know that Brenda was allowing her in the agent show case and she was an official mentee of Pitch Wars.
All three of them have been super amazing to work with and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve met them. They’ve done amazing work on their manuscripts and I’ve loved getting to know them. I’m thrilled and nervous for all three of them and I’ll be cheering them, and all the other Pitch Wars mentees, on like crazy during the agent round and whatever comes next for them.