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What is Pitch Wars
Nobody can put it better than the Pitch Wars founders themselves, so straight from the PW website: “Pitch Wars is a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine for an agent showcase. The mentor also helps edit their mentee’s pitch for the contest and their query letter for submitting to agents.”
A little bit about us:
We are #TeamSobbleStans. Both of us were Pitch Wars 2020 mentees, and we are now agented writers preparing to go on sub for the first time. Since this is very recent history for us, the experience remains fresh in our minds, and we think this is an advantage for our potential mentee.
We’ve chosen to mentor because our Pitch Wars experience meant a great deal for us, especially in how it made us grow as writers. We’re excited to pass on that knowledge to our mentee and help guide them to the next step on their journey. Plus, Pitch Wars is just a lot of fun (like summer camp, but for writers).
Why submit to us:
Traditionally, the market for Adult SFF has been very competitive (as the market is small). As such, the experience for Adult SFF mentees in the showcase and beyond can be different than the average experience for a mentee writing in a genre with a large market (for example, some YA genres). As prior Adult SFF mentees, we are familiar with the journey–the scary parts, the rewarding parts. We also know the unique joys and struggle of writing such deep and complicated genres with so many moving parts, and we will both bring the knowledge and the support our mentee needs to see that they grow as writers, because that’s the most important part of what PitchWars is about.
We bring a diverse range of strengths to the table, and we find that our strengths as writers/readers/critiquers complement each other well. Together, we shall combine forces to bring you the best mentee experience we can!
Rosalie loves world-building and developing thematic lines. Sari loves bringing new life to folklores, incorporating history, and deep, romantic subplots.
We will guide you through 2 rounds of revision at the minimum–one developmental edit and one line edit. Furthermore, we will help you craft your pitch for the Agent Showcase, your query letter, and your synopsis.
Sari and Rosalie are quite active on social media and will be as available as we can to chat through plot entanglements, the Pitch Wars experience, and any other writing-related questions you may have. We would love to foster a close relationship with our mentee.
Genres We Want:
Speculative fiction + SFF of all subgenres.
Some sub-genres Sari and Rosalie are fans of (this is in no way a comprehensive list):
Fantasy–We enjoy all sub-genres of fantasy from very light elements (fabulism/magic realism) to second world fantasy with intricate magic systems and extensive worlds. We would love to see fantasy that features diverse casts and cultures, and explore situations where good and evil are not black/white.
Some Second World Fantasy books Sari and Rosalie have enjoyed recently:
- The Unspoken Name by AK Larkwood
- The Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee
- Magic for Liars Sarah Gailey
- She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
- The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
- Starless by Jacqueline Carey
- Ninth House Leigh Bardugo
- Strange Practice Vivian Shaw
- The Golem and Jinni Helene Wecker
- Spinning Silver Naomi Novik
- Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
- Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- The Poppy War by R.F Kuang
Science fiction–We are also open to all sub-genres of science fiction, but prefer stories where the sci-fi element explores social/human issues. We love strong, character-driven journeys with a distinct voice and with deep but accessible world-building.
- The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
- The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis
- His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
- A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
- The Martian by Andy Weir
In addition, we are looking for genre-blending stories that might draw influence from multiple sub-genres of SFF, or even genres outside the speculative range (i.e. a fantastical novel with elements of women’s fiction, literary SFF, science fiction with a horror atmosphere, etc). Some books we’ve loved which fall in this category:
- Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia
- Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
- Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
- The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
Please note. We love romantic subplots in all of our SFF. We think it’s an important, and often neglected, part of the genre, but we aren’t accepting outright Romance. If you have a story that you feel is straddling the genres, but you want it to be SFF, you can submit to us, and we’ll work with you to get it over the fence and firmly into SFF territory.
What we do want:
- Diverse stories, including from marginalized backgrounds and lived experiences
- Settings that haven’t been explored much by the existing SFF canon
- All the romantic subplots.
- Intricate worlds
- Well-researched stories
- Unique voice–it is much easier for us to fix a meandering plot or flesh out a sparse world than to change a story’s voice
- Empowered portrayals of non-traditional families (single mothers, LGBTQ families, confident secure stay-at-home dads)
- Office politics in an SFF setting (think Chrisjen Avasarala from The Expanse)
- Plant-based science or magic
We are not the best fit for:
- Mysteries, thrillers, general or historical fiction or literary without SFF elements
- Medieval European inspired fantasy (in the vein of Game of Thrones, WoT, LOTR, The Witcher, etc)
- Overt Christian themes (we’re not the best fit for that)
- Stories set during World War Two
- Violence/graphic scenes whose purpose is for shock value
- Anything over 120k (Pitch Wars is ~3 months, and time flies! We want to be able to do your novel justice in terms of revisions. Furthermore, there are few instances where novels truly need to be over 120k to convey a full-fleshed story–usually narratives longer than 120k can be split into two books, or otherwise shortened)
Disclaimer about NA:
While we are accepting New Adult submissions, there is a high likelihood we will ask you to re-categorize your novel as Adult.
Our Critique Style:
Sari and Rosalie are big fans of the compliment sandwich. We are here to build writers up and make sure they feel supported, so we’re going to let you know exactly what you’re doing right, and suggestions on what could be better. Beyond that, we like to break down and prioritize our feedback, so our mentee will know what they should focus on first, all the way onto fixing the brass tacks. We also want to make sure this is your story in the end. We fully believe in collaborating to get the story where it needs to be.
We can’t wait to read your submission!
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)
- S.A. Simon 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.