It's that time again! This is my second year as a mentor for Brenda Drake's PitchWars contest. In case you're unfamiliar with it (if so, where have you been??), it's a contest in which agented/published writers and industry professionals mentor up and coming writers. The mentors work with their mentees on revisions and pitches, and starting tomorrow, the mentees' entries will be posted on Brenda's blog for agents to peruse and make requests!
In August and September, the mentors chose one mentee and one alternate to work with. My little inbox received 92 (!) submissions from fellow middle grade writers. I was humbled (and maybe a little overwhelmed), but I carefully read through each entry. I finally whittled the 92 down to 5. And from there, it was an almost excruciating choice to pick just two. I'm thrilled with the two writers I picked, and these past couple of months have been so much fun!
I'd like you to meet:
Marilee Haynes - I chose Marilee as my mentee. Her manuscript, AMELIA FOOTE ROLLS ON, is a fun, contemporary, younger MG about a girl on a quest for a best friend. Marilee has been a dream to work with, and I'm so proud of the revised manuscript she now has to send to agents. She has two previously published MG books through a small press. I can't wait for her current manuscript to find a home with an agent. AMELIA just oozes voice and personality. I'm so happy I chose Marilee to mentor!
Laurie Bryant - I picked Laurie as my alternate. Laurie's entry is entitled TOMBOYS, and is a historical set in 1930s America on a cross-country train journey. The main character is (you guessed it!) a tomboy, who meets her heroine on the train and must decide whether to follow her dream of becoming a professional athlete. It's well-written, exciting, and I love the way the historical details are so easily woven into the narrative. Laurie is a published playwright and a former college athlete. Laurie, too, has been great to work with, and I can't wait for her entry to go up in the Alternate's Showcase on Thursday (on Dee Romito's blog).
And that's all! See you in the PitchWars this week!
(Okay, not quite all! Watch for a Goodreads giveaway for a signed ARC of BREAKING THE ICE, starting this Wednesday! I'll post here and on Twitter with a link when it goes up!)