Monday, August 3, 2015

I'll Tell You What I Want (What I Really, Really Want) #PitchWars

It's time for #PitchWars... and if you're pitching I might be interested in catching (but don't roll too far with that little analogy).

So here's the deal with #PitchWars. The possibly super-powered Brenda Drake organizes this awesome contest that connects aspiring writers with mentors (like me!) and then we work together scrubbing and shining the aspiring author's manuscript until it is so stinking sparkly that agents will fight for the right to call it their own. For more info and to be part of the contest YOU MUST go to Brenda Drake's blog.

This year I am co-mentoring with fellow YA author Kate Karyus Quinn, an amazingly talented author  who has written ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE, (DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME, and the upcoming DOWN WITH THE SHINE. What are we looking for in our mentees?

First of all...

And Kate does too, so we're definitely looking for mentees who write YA. Beyond that... well, Kate and I are eclectic readers. Here's a link to my Goodreads Read Shelf so that you can see what I've been cramming my brain with lately, but the truth is that if you have a good voice and compelling character building, the genre is secondary to me.

Fantasy, SF, contemporary, historical - I honestly don't care. I will read anything that I think is well executed, and if I think I can help you make it even better, awesome.

So you might be thinking... Yeah of course I think my book is well-written, with a great voice and compelling characters and awesome execution. So, clearly we were meant to be together. Well, not necessarily. I like my stuff a little darker, my characters a little edgier. I have no problem with sex, violence, and other shadowy such goings-ons as long as they're necessary to the plot and not tossed in there for shock value. 

So if you've got something you think might be a little much for other mentors, or maybe an ms you're not sure you want your mom to read we might be a good fit!

That's what I want from YOU!

But what can you expect from ME?

If I'm your mentor, be aware that I'm not a fan of empty compliments. I'm not going to litter your ms with happy thoughts about how awesome you are. What I will do is let you know when something really stands out to me - a turn of phrase, or spot-on characterization that is above the norm. If you wow me, I'll let you know.

What about the bad? First off, I am never, ever, going to tell you that you suck and need to give up. I recently re-read my very first novel, and a critical person might have told that Mindy she sucked and should give up. And they wouldn't have been without reason to think so - trust me, that ms is absolutely terrible. 

So, with that in mind, be aware I'm not going to tear you or your ms down for the sake of tearing you down. Every ding I put in it is there for a reason, and it's meant to help you improve. I will ding it. I'll dent it. Be aware of that, and be ready for it if you want to be my mentee. Compliments feel good, but they don't make you any better as a writer.

You can also check out the query critique I did on Brenda Drake's blog in June for an idea of how I work. 

You will get line by line comments from me - some of them very long-winded because that's how I roll. You'll also get an overall thoughts, more than likely long-winded. I'll give you ideas about how I think you can make improvements, but by no means should my word be the golden rule. You don't write like me, you write like you -- and that's what makes your writing yours

There are already plenty of books in the world from me - NOT A DROP TO DRINK, IN A HANDFUL OF DUST, the upcoming A MADNESS SO DISCREET. I'll also have a contemporary out in 2016, THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES, and the beginning of a fantasy series coming in the Spring of 2017 from Putnam, GIVEN TO THE SEA

There's also a very awesome collection of short stories that Kate and I (along with eleven other very talented YA authors) contributed to, titled AMONG THE SHADOWS: 13 STORIES OF DARKNESS & LIGHT.

If you think Kate and I are your style definitely submit to us. Be aware that while we only choose one mentee to work with extensively, we will offer a query and first page critique to those who submit to us but are not chosen. If you are not chosen as our mentee and are interested in a critique, after the lists go up email us (kate.min.pitchwars(at) and let us know you'd like your entry to be publicly critiqued and we'll add you to the queue. First come, first served but we'll try to get through all of them before the agent round in November.

To see a list of all the #PitchWars Mentors, visit Brenda Drake's blog! Or - scroll to the bottom of this post past the Rafflecopter!

If you think I sound like the kind of mentor you might want, check me out in social media ways to see if we might be a good fit personality wise. I'm all over the place, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and even YouTube.

And because you might want to do those things, it wouldn't hurt to give you the added benefit of a giveaway while you're at it. Enter the Rafflecopter below to win ARCs of my mentor-partner Kate Karyus Quinn's upcoming DOWN WITH THE SHINE and my October release, A MADNESS SO DISCREET, along with an e-copy of AMONG THE SHADOWS.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1. Kes Trester (co-mentoring with Jennifer Hawkins)
2. Mindy McGinnis (co-mentoring with Kate Karyus Quinn)
3. N.K. Traver
4. Kristin B. Wright
5. Laura Heffernan
6. Mary Ann Marlowe
7. Joy McCullough-Carranza
8. Lisa Lewis-Tyre
9. Jenni L. Walsh (co-mentoring with Trisha Leaver)
10. Sarah Glenn Marsh
11. Julie C. Dao
12. Kellye Garrett
13. K.T. Hanna
14. Jessie Devine
15. Rosalyn Eves
16. Jami Nord
17. Samantha Joyce
18. Helene Dunbar
19. Jenna Lehne
20. Linsey Miller
21. Jessica Vitalis
22. Stacey Graham
23. Dan Koboldt
24. Brighton Walsh
25. Kate Brauning
26. Lisa Maxwell
27. Wendy Spinale
28. Sarah Cannon
29. L.L. McKinney
30. Juliana Brandt
31. Scarlett Cole
32. Hayley Stone
33. Jennifer Blackwood
34. Kendra Young
35. S.P. McConnell
36. Nikki Roberti
37. Emmie Mears
38. Lori Goldstein (co-mentoring with Chelsea Bobulski)
39. Jennifer Hawkins (co-mentoring with Kes Trester)
40. Elizabeth Briggs
41. Ron Walters (co-mentoring with Meredith McCardle)
42. Fiona McLaren (co-mentoring with Dionne McCulloch)
43. S.M. Johnston (co-mentoring with Stacey Nash)
44. Max Wirestone
45. Jaye Robin Brown
46. Molly Lee
47. Rachel Lynn Solomon
48. J.C. Nelson
49. Holly Faur
50. Sonia Hartl
51. Natasha Raulerson
52. Marty Mayberry
53. J.C. Davis
54. Rebecca Wells
55. Michelle Hauck
56. Tabitha Martin
57. Rebecca Petruck
58. Sarah Henning
59. Alex White
60. Jeanmarie Anaya
61. Laura Salter
62. Wade Albert White
63. Brooks Benjamin
64. Margarita Montimore
65. Megan Grimit
66. Charlie Holmberg
67. Diana Gallager
68. Stefanie Wass
69. Tamara Mataya
70. Rebecca Sky
71. Kara Seal
72. Lee Gjertsen Malone
73. Katie Bucklein
74. Kevin A Springer
75. Brianna Shrum
76. Kate Karyus Quinn (co-mentoring with Mindy McGinnis)
77. Kim Graff
78. Emily Martin
79. Trisha Leaver (co-mentoring with Jenni Walsh)
80. Kim Long
81. Catherine Scully
82. Stacey Trombley
83. Stephanie Scott (co-mentoring with Valerie Cole)
84. Valerie Cole (co-mentoring with Stephanie Scott)
85. Lizzy Charles
86. Dannie Morin (co-mentoring with Alexandra Alessandri)
87. Kate Foster
88. Elly Blake
89. Julie Sondra Decker
90. Lady Lioness
91. Susan Gray Foster (co-mentoring with Monica Bustamante Wagner_
92. Kelly Calabrese
93. Sarah Nicolas
94. Kelly Siskind
95. Roselle Kaes
96. Monica Bustamante Wagner (co-mentoring with Susan Gray Foster)
97. Renee Ahdieh (co-mentoring with Traci Chee)
98. Traci Chee (co-mentoring with Renee Ahdieh)
99. Janet B. Taylor
100. Jessie Humphries (co-mentoring with Mara Rae)
101. Lynnette Labelle
102. Erica M. Chapman
103. Summer Spence
104. Marieke Nijkamp
105. Meredith McCardle (co-mentoring with Ron Walters)
106. Thomas Torre
107. Phil Stamper
108. J.A. Souders


C. L. McCollum said...

Sadly I'm writing NA this round, so I can't submit to yall, but I totally entered for those books!! :)

Deborah Hawkins said...

Sounds great! I may put my hat in this time around. (Is that the phrase? lol)

Holly Hughes said...

So excited to find people who do YA with an edge. Can't wait to submit!

Jennifer Austin said...

Mindy, I was debating entering because my WIP still needs some work, but now that I see you're a mentor, I knew I had to enter! If you need me I'll be in my writing cave polishing, polishing, polishing!

Samantha Saboviec said...

Well, it certainly sounds like we're a perfect match... Except I write adult! Ah, well, I'm sure you'll get a lot of good entries that I'd love to read. Dark, something my mother wouldn't read, yep, that's me.

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