Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pick me! Pick me! Pick me! (AKA My PitchWars Bio)

I'm so excited!! It's PitchWars time!!!!!

Okay, I'll cool it with the exclamation points. For now, anyway.

I can't wait to get the best ever PitchWars team put together (you hear that, other MG mentors?)!

So, why in the world would you want me as your PitchWars mentor when you can choose any of the other stellar MG mentors?


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1) I beta read like a madwoman. Honestly, I can't even remember how many manuscripts I've beta read this year. I'm a member of MG Beta Readers, an amazing talented group of writers, and together we run the Kidliterati blog. I'm also part of a semi-local MG and YA critique group. So, yeah. I beta read a lot. And no one's complained yet. I also tend to make random comments in your manuscript that may or may not make you laugh. (They make me laugh, anyway...)

2) I can spot your typo from a mile away. I did time in grad school editing academic works for professors, and held the ever-so-enviable position of Articles Editor on my law school's scholarly journal. (Now watch me have a typo in this blog post...)

3) I LOVE middle grade! Really, I'm the oldest twelve-year-old in the world. I recently spent all my downtime at a writing conference watching the Disney Channel. (Seriously. I don't have cable at home, people!)

4) I'll focus not just on shining up those first few pages, but making sure your entire manuscript is agent-ready. I'm talking plot, character arcs, pacing, writing quirks - all that good stuff! I want to help you make your manuscript as perfect as possible.

5) I have chocolate! See:

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Okay, I'll get to the important stuff now.

What am I looking for?

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Hamster! Not on a boat, but whatever.

1) Anything MG. I know, I know. Not helpful. But I read widely, and would never pass up a manuscript based solely upon genre. So throw it all at me: contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, historical, speculative romantic hamsters on a boat, whatever. It just has to be MG.

But, since everyone has soft spots, here are mine:

2) Contemporary. I write it. I love it. Funny, heart-wrenching, girl, boy, commercial, literary, all of it!

3) Historical. Any place, any time. I have a BA and a MA in history. I was the kid who dressed up as a Laura Ingalls-esque pioneer girl for three Halloweens in a row. 'Nuff said.

4) Twists on Contemporary and Historical. Meaning magical realism, time travel, alternate history, historical fantasy.

5) The funny stuff in any genre. Ah, those books where I have to go find my asthma inhaler because I'm laughing so hard I can't breathe. Send me those.

5) Voice. A killer voice is one that grabs you on the first page and tosses you into the story so fast you can't even remember what it was you should be doing instead.

6) Random things: sports, travel, performing arts, spooky stuff, mysteries, fish-out-of-water situations, how-the-other-half-lives stories, outdoorsy stuff, first crushes, friend stories, animal stories, smart kids, oh whatever -- I love it all!

Hey, wait, who am I?

I'm a contemporary middle grade writer, represented by Julia A. Weber. My debut, DON'T FALL DOWN, will be published in Spring 2015 by Aladdin/Simon & Schuster. I'm a business attorney by day (meaning, I write contracts so dry your eyeballs would fall out before you finished reading them).

In the past, I've moonlighted as a homeless shelter worker (best job I've ever had), a somewhat friendly retail associate (I can fold a sweater like no one's business), that nice lady who answers the phones at your ophthalmologist's office (where I learned how to spell ophthalmologist and understand things like PRN and HBP), and an ice rink Jill-of-All-Trades (I could rent you skates and get you nachos at the same time).

Photo courtesy of
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Ah, nothing like the aroma of hundreds of old, wet skates...
I'm obsessed with travel, camping, figure skating, cats, spinach, and Jason Isbell. I have a two-year-old daughter who is the light of my life.

Who are the PitchWars Agents?

  1. Louise Fury - Bent Agency
  2. Suzie Townsend - New Leaf Literary
  3. Nicole Resciniti - The Seymour Agency
  4. John M. Cusick - The Greenhouse Agency
  5. Sarah LaPolla - Bradford Literary Agency
  6. Victoria Marini - Gelfman Schneider Literary Agency
  7. Jessica Sinsheimer - Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency
  8. Pam van Hylckama Vlieg - Foreword Literary
  9. Quinlan Lee - Adams Literary
  10. Jen Udden - Donald Maass Literary Agency
  11. Emily Keyes - Foreword Literary
  12. Brianne Johnson - Writers House
  13. Carly Watters - P.S. Literary
  14. Lana Popovic and Natasha Alexis - Zachary Shuster Harmsworth
  15. Molly Jaffa - Folio Literary Management
  16. Evan Gregory - Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency
  17. Stefanie Lieberman - Janklow & Nesbit Associates
  18. Rena Rossner - The Deborah Harris Agency

Yeah, you're great and all, but who are the other PitchWars Mentors?

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  1. Hi, Gail. Does "Anything MG" include novels-in-verse?

    Laura Shovan

    1. Hi Laura - Absolutely! (With the caveat that I don't know much about the mechanics of verse. I do love reading it, though!)

  2. Thanks! I'm really glad to hear that.