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2014-- My Pitch Wars Bio and Wish List

Hey guys! I'm a first time mentor and SOOOO excited to be here! I've been contest obsessed for years now, so I know what it's like to be on the other side of the table. In fact, I've been a part of Pitch Wars for the last two years as an alternate. First, with my YA fantasy and last year with my MG. My YA contemporary (which missed Pitch Wars but was in Pitch Madness a while back) is now contracted with Entangled Teen, due out summer 2015. I'm also a contributor for the group blog Middle Grade Minded.

So, that's pretty much all that's interesting about me… How about we move onto the fun part?

What do I want to see in my Pitch Wars inbox?

 I get into a lot of specifics here so remember that you don't have to have many (or really any) of the things I list for me to love your story. This is mostly so you can get to know me, my tastes and most importantly: what gets me excited.

I know what it’s like to be on the other side of this and wonder how in the world will I pick only 3-4 mentors to send to?!? Hopefully, by the end of this you'll have a pretty good idea of if your story is the kind I'd love to see!

So first: I'm looking for MG. Mostly fantasy or sci-fi but I wouldn't mind an emotional, unique contemporary.

Most importantly, if you have a unique story for kids, the kind I've never seen before, regardless of genre— I WANT IT, PLEASE!

For those of you still debating here's a bit more info. For the fantasy side, based in the real world is probably best for me but if I can quickly relate to a world and characters then take me wherever you want (but a cool place in our world like Asia, Africa, Antarctica-- wherever! is a YES PLEASE)

Mostly what I'm drawn to is unique. Something that will surprise me. I get super excited for things I haven't seen before. If you've got a unique story to tell I want to see it PRETTY PLEASE!! I like big concept stories but even a truly unique aspect like character or setting or a cool twist could give me that excited feeling and that's what I'm looking for.

BUT I don't mean crazy weird. If it makes me cock my head to side and say "huh?" It’s not the kind of unique I like. I’m looking for something that gets my mind reeling over all the “what ifs”. I love intelligent stories and characters (like Sage from The False Prince. Or even something like Home Alone or Tom Sawyer (I like girl stories too, don't worry))

Of course, voice is the most important aspect because that's the hardest thing to nail in MG and the most important way to connect with your readers. Work on your MG voice (reading is one of the best ways to do that, especially since no one can tell you how to nail voice)

I'm also going to lean more towards upper MG. If your voice is super young I'm probably not the best for it (but if it's really super unique I'd love if you gave me a shot at it!)

That’s basically the gist, but for a little more fun there are a few things that I’m a sucker for (hint, if you have these things in your story I should be on your potential mentor list (I’ll bribe if necessary) BUT if you don’t have them, don’t feel discouraged. Instead give me something new to obsess over)

 Random things I love:

·       Creepy creatures like Trolls and Goblins.

·       Pirates

·       Basically villains of all kinds. Have a cool protagonist villain? YES PLEASE!!!

·       Treasure stories like The Goonies (actually, anything like the Goonies because DUH)

·       I LOVE a little bit of creepy in my books. Think Doll Bones or The Graveyard Book. Something with a hint of darkness but without going into full on horror story.

And... that’s all I’ve got. I’m totally open to questions if you have them. The best place for that is twitter, @Trombolii but you can comment here too if you can't fit your question into 140 characters (not having a twitter is unacceptable. Get one NOW if you don't already.)  and I’ll get back to you! 

Let the games begin!!


  1. Ooooh, your last 'random things you love' is a match, but is a twelve year old voice too young for you?

  2. Replies
    1. Yey! So how about Coraline meets The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe set in a snow globe?

    2. Hmmmm sounds interesting :D always hard to tell from those kinds of pitches (though publishers seem to love them) but it definitely sounds unique!

  3. You are on my shortlist, Stacey! Polishing my adventure meets Sleepy Hollow. It has scarecrows. And ghouls. :)

  4. Staceeey, now I don't know if it's your thing. Haha!

  5. I may need you to help me make sure my story isn't too young a voice. My MC is 11 and I've already made her as young as I possibly can for the story. You are so right about it being hard to choose...

    1. There's no way to tell you if your story is too young without reading it because it all depends on the voice but if you specifically tried to make it young, it might be. Sorry I can't be more help.

    2. No, it was the opposite. Originally, my MC was 14 but critique partners kept telling me she sounded younger. So I revised to make her 11 - still old enough to be independent and fit the plotline, but young enough to fit the voice. And I might still need to age up on the voice a bit. (That's my struggle.)

  6. Are you interested in historical MG, and quieter, more character-driven stories?

    1. Historical, yes. Quiet? Depends on what you mean. If you mean a story without huge action plot but with deep emotions, I'm in. If you mean a simple story about the inner journey of a mostly normal preteen, probably not. I liked reading What The Moon Said but overall a story like that (which is mostly about whether her mother really loves her and if her family can keep their farm) wouldn't be enough to hook me for this contest even though I loved the setting. It can't just be a story I like, it has to be one that excites me because I'm going to be spending a lot of time with it, coaching it much like an agent would. The kind of things that do that are unique stories. They can be realistic, but give me something deep and something new. If your quiet historical does that? Send it!! Hope that helps.

  7. Hey, sorry if my comment sounded pitchy. Was meant to give an idea of tone. And a setting — as you mentioned this in your blog. I didn't put in stakes, MC or obstacles, so it wasn't meant to be a pitch. (Just read your twitter feed, and you mentioned it above)

    1. Hey Mel, you're fine. My tweet was mostly for other mentors who mentioned getting lots of twitter pitches. It gets overwhelming is all.