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2015-- My Pitch Wars Bio and Wishlist!!


I'm crazy excited to be a mentor for Pitch Wars for the second time! It was a blast last year and the writers here are so amazing (yes, this means you!) I couldn't pass up the chance to do it all again.

I’m a second time Pitch Wars mentor and I’m just as excited for it this year! I was in Pitch Wars as an alternate for the first two years, then last year made the leap to mentor (which is legit exciting stuff, guys!)) 

I love contests and believe they have a huge impact on those who enter, even when they don’t “make” it (believe me, I know. I tried and tried and tried for 8 months before I was finally chosen in my first contest. Which was pitch wars 2012, when I was chosen by the fantastic Fiona Mclaren). I know what it’s like to fail and fail and fail and fight and fight and fight. I know what it’s like to want it SO BAD. So I feel for ALL of you, even the ones who aren’t chosen.

And Pitch Wars is the contest of all contests because it’s less about the agents and more about the connections and the learning. Instead of having your pitch/query and first page thrown up on a blog as is, you get the chance to really make it shine with the help of a mentor.

That's where I come in. Or, you know, any of  the other awesome mentors out there.

  So, how about a little about me? My name is Stacey Trombley and my first book, NAKED, just released.

It's a YA contemporary about Anna, a girl trying to rebuild her life after spending 3 years in NYC as a prostitute. There's romance, suspense and lots and lots of emotions. (more about it here:

I write all kinds of YA and MG, including fantasy (last year I mentored MG and my mentee and alternate were both in the speculative realm (one high fantasy one paranormal). My mentee from 2014, Victoria, is now represented by Laura Rennert. See  her pitch wars entry here
) but in an effort to brand I'm currently focusing my publishing efforts on YA contemporary.

So this year I'm mentoring YA (sorry MG folks. I love you too!) And while I'm most interested in real world stories (not limited to contemporary,  however. I'd LOVE a thriller or something along those lines too) don't forget me if you have a  paranormal, fantasy or sci-fi YA. I'd have no problem picking a speculative story if it were the right one. So if your story fits my wish list, please consider me too!!

Since I know how hard it is to choose only a couple mentors out of all the *amazing*, below I'll go into more detail about my tastes and what I'd love to see.  Hopefully that'll give you a good idea about whether or not your book might be a good fit for me!

The three biggest things I'm looking for in my subs are:


Unique: I love big concepts, which isn't always easy with Contemporary but basically I need something new, something that excites me.

Dark: I love antiheros, and conflicted characters. I love deep angst. There must be some hope filtered into it but otherwise I love getting deep into those dark emotions (example: my favorite YA contemporary is The Hate List by Jennifer Brown. Definitely my sort of thing)

Hook-me writing: I'm drawn to the kind of writing that adds to the story-- the emotions--  from the get go. Voice is part of this. Style is part of this. Tone is part of this. Atmosphere is a big part of this. If you can put EMOTION into the words, the sentences-- that's what I want. 
But I'm NOT a fan of writing that tries too hard. Don't try to make it flashy, or sound like some big wig literary author. It should be natural. It should fit your story and the circumstances. It should be YOU.

I want to FEEL something when I read your submission. What that "something" is, is totally up to you:

Etc. Etc. Etc.

So really any genre (though I’ve never been into traditional mystery, maybe mostly because they never seem “new” enough to me,) just something with a cool gets-me-thinking concept and deep dark emotion and I’m TOTALLY your gal! (Remember though, it MUST be YA)

Can’t wait to read what you’ve got!

P.s. I do try to give feedback to everyone. I will TRY TRY TRY my best to do it again.

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

Below are some links that I've seen around (one I wrote myself!) that are very helpful for preparing a query and/or first chapter for querying or contest-ing. Take a look and get those entries ready!

 What to avoid in your first chapter

Writing the perfect first page

Random tips and advice from mentor Naomi Hughes

Genre glossary

Synopsis help! 

Query tips


  1. Consider yourself stalked (hee hee). P.S. I can't wait to get my hands on your book.

    1. Yay! Thanks for stalking! (So long as it's internet stalking only;) )

  2. Great information! Thanks for the tips and links!

  3. Hi Stacey! *waves* Can I just say how refreshing it is to see someone who welcomes paranormal stories! I seriously did a massive fist pump in the air (a al Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club) when I read that! I'm really excited to submit to you! :)

  4. Hi Stacey,
    How much experience do you have querying traditional agencies/houses? And how dark is dark?

    1. Sorry for the delay, I've been having technical difficulties!

      My publishing journey hasn't quite been by the typical route, so far. I found my editor from a twitter pitch and never needed an agent. However, I am very confident in my ability to guide an author through the trenches. I spent a lot of time there, I just found an untraditional way out (so far. At some point I'll hope back in for an agent but for now I love publishing with Entangled) I know a lot about agents and querying, I'm a research queen when it comes to agents (AW is my secret weapon). I wouldn't be as much help with going on sub to big publishers because I've never really done that, but you'd have an agent to help you by the time you got to that point.

      Thanks for the question, it was a good one to ask :)

  5. You don't specifically mention historicals (and some eras don't grab some people), but the dark + fear + angst + determination sure sounds like it might be a fit. Any interest in WWII Japan? A Japanese-American girl trying to spy?

    Good luck getting tons of submissions! (Wait, would that be good, or too hard, or...?) ;-)

  6. Unique-dark-hooky is one of my favorite trinities, and it made me pick up Naked immediately. OMG soooooooo good. Keep your eyes peeled for my submission ;)