Monday, August 3, 2015

Pitch Wars Mentor Bio AND Super-Awesome Wish List!!!!!!

This is it!!! The post of all posts! The post where I tell YOU, Pitch Wars Star Applicant, what I'm looking for as a 2015 Pitch Wars mentor!




I want your . . . .


But what kind of MG, you ask? This is a bit tricky to describe. I write contemporary fantasy with a sprinkle of science and am partial to fun, light-hearted stories. If your manuscript is a dark fantasy, an epic fantasy, or a realistic contemporary involving *serious* issues, I'm probably not your gal, and there are certainly other mentors who are a better match.

Here's some MG I've read and adored:

  1. Wendy Mass's Willow Falls' series (12 Finally, 13 Gifts, etc.) and, really, ANYTHING by Mass, including Every Soul a Star and The Candymakers
  2. Liz Kessler's Emily Windsnap series and Phillipa Fisher series
  3. Chris Grabenstein's Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
  4. Carl Hiaasen's Hoot, Flush, Chomp, and Scat
  5. Brandon Mull's Fablehaven series and Candy Shop War series
  6. Jennifer Nielsen's Ascendance trilogy
  7. Jody Feldman's The Gollywhopper Games
  8. Jodi Lynn Anderson's May Bird trilogy
  9. Natalie Lloyd's A Snicker of Magic
  10. Jessica Day George's Glower Castle series
  11. Megan Frazer Blakemore's The Water Castle
As you can see, I like my MG (for the most part) with some foot in the real world and a tad of whimsy or fantasy, but there's some straight medieval type fantasy and contemporary on the list. If your manuscript falls anywhere in the above range, even if you wouldn't necessarily use one of these books as a comp, SUBMIT to ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's what else I'm looking for in a mentee:

** Someone who has a polished manuscript you've just started querying OR are *thisclose* to starting to query. If you've already queried widely or if you already have full manuscript requests out with agents, your time is better spent working on a shiny NEW manuscript, not continuing to focus on this one.

** Someone who is open to comments/suggestions and really wants to take his/her manuscript to the next level, not just "get in" to Pitch Wars and then do nothing until November, when it's time to post your pitch for agents.

Here's what I'm NOT looking for in a manuscript:

** Perfection. Seriously. If you think it's perfect, there's no need for this contest. If your CPs love it, betas think it's great, and you've already received agent interest and things are rolling along, don't submit because . . . what do you need me for??!!! (Also, if those things are true--YAY for you!!) I'm looking for a manuscript that I think I can help, and that means polished, but it doesn't mean perfect.

** Anything that's not MG. Duh. MG' s target audience is 8-12 years old with the main characters no older than 13. Word count is about 40,000 to 65,000, but 65,000 is the end of the spectrum and usually limited to fantasy. That being said, word count is something we can easily work on, so don't fret too much about it.

Here's what you can expect with me if I choose you as a mentee:

** I read fast. You can expect a full set of comments/suggestions pretty quickly. I'll be open to discussion as you make edits/changes after my comments, but remember it's YOUR story and you'll know the characters the best, so after receiving my notes, it will be up to you to make any revisions you think will improve your manuscript.

** I'll read your revised manuscript again, with another round of comments (as long as time permits) prior to the agent-reveal time.

To Everyone who Submits to Me:

I will try and provide feedback to those who submit to me who I do not choose. I entered Pitch Wars twice and was not chosen either time, but yet I really appreciated any feedback the mentors gave me. So, I will do my best to offer feedback, even just a couple sentences, to everyone who submits to me.

More about Me:

I always struggled whittling down which mentors I was going to submit to, so if you're still wondering if I'm your gal, here's some extraneous info:

** My day job is a lawyer. I'm a big fan of strategic board games (mostly from Europe)--particularly those designed by Stefan Feld, but my new favorite game is Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Other hobbies are biking, fantasy football and baseball, and drawing with soft pastels. 

** Some favorite TV shows are Seinfeld, White Collar, Mad Men, Top Chef, and Once Upon a Time

** Some favorite movies are Star Wars, Shawshank Redemption, Pitch Perfect, Rounders, The Prestige, and The Devil Wears Prada

And I think that's it! Really, reading my MG list above is the best way to tell if your MG is something I'd be interested in reading, but hey if you're in doubt, go ahead and send it! You get to submit to FIVE mentors this year, so take a shot.

I read a lot of MG, YA, and adult fiction that includes contemporary, fantasy, horror, and everything in between. Overall, I just want to get lost in your story and root for your MC, whether she/he is training to be a trapeze artist, a spelling bee champion, or conductor of an animal choir. Make it fun, make it original, and I'm in. Totally. 

Still have questions? Comment below or tweet me - @theSol23! 

And please visit the Blog hop! to see the other mentors' pages!!

Find Other Pitch Wars Mentors Here

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  1. Hi Kim!

    You mention a top-end word count of 65K. My MG fantasy is 72K. Does that rule me out?


    1. Not at all! Upper MG can reach that range. Besides, word count is definitely something we can work on. Thanks for thinking of me!

  2. Forgot to mention - Fablehaven rocks!!

  3. Hi Kim, Great wish list, love the same books. Are animal MCs a deal breaker for you? I apologize if I've already left a comment, but it disappeared and I wondered if it was kidnapped by aliens. Thanks! Brenda