Hello, all! This year I’m a mentor for unagented authors with completed but never-before-published manuscripts in the #PitchWars contest. See Brenda Drake’s explanation of the contest and the schedule here.
Since writers can only submit to 4 PitchWars mentors, it’s up to me to let you know whether you should submit to me or not. (But really, yes, you should.) So, here’s who I am:
Kate is an author of young adult fiction and a senior editor at Entangled Publishing. She earned her B.A. in English literature, then went on to teach high school English, and intern with a publishing house and a literary agency. She first edited with Month9Books before moving on to edit adult and YA fiction for Entangled Publishing. She’s represented by Carlie Webber of CK Webber Associates, with her debut YA suspense How We Fall released Nov. 2014 from F+W Media to positive reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, Booklist, and Voya. Kate loves unusual people, good whiskey, dark chocolate, everything about autumn, bright colors, red maple trees, superstitions, ghost stories, anything Harry Potter, night skies, pie, and talking about books. In her spare time, she makes three-tier cakes, hunts down new music, and reads just about everything. (More about Kate here.)
So, pick me! BUT. Just because I read everything doesn’t mean I’m accepting everything for PitchWars. So, here’s what I’m looking for:
- Young adult and new adult completed, revised, and unpublished manuscripts. All other categories are best sent to another mentor.
- For genre, I want contemporary and any side-step from contemporary– thriller, suspense, horror, romance, mystery, magical realism, soft sci-fi, contemporary fantasy. This includes anything set in our world in modern day or close to it, whether contemporary or not. I love the genre twists!
- I am less likely to enjoy historical, paranormal, high fantasy, and classic sci-fi. Fantasy & sci-fi with a sharp focus on character with stakes that aren’t “fate of the world” is great– send me that!
- High concept, big hook, fast-paced YA/NA of any genre, particularly local disaster stories or a YA Breaking Bad. Anything like The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Dangerous Girls, or Warm Bodies
- Literary YA/NA with that perfect balance of character-driven, thought-provoking story and a gripping plot and concept. Think This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers or We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
- High stakes YA/NA romance, including taboo romance, such as The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott, Unteachable by Leah Raedar, or Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
- Charming, heartfelt YA/NA of any genre, particularly dealing with sibling relationships, careers/passions, and complex friendships, such as This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales, Open Road Summer by Emery Lord, and Everything Leads To You by Nina Lacour
- Messy, dark YA/NA of any genre. Toxic friendships, destructive romance, cult stories, unreliable narrators, unresolved endings, teens who swear and drink and want something but don’t always get it right, tough stories about teens who have to handle things we wish they didn’t. Think Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian, Bleed Like Me by Christa Desir, and If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch. Lots of angst is likely to turn me away- show me the emotional impact through more action and less exposition
- Other things I like seeing: multiple points of view, third person, upper YA, male narrators, involved parents, rural stories, diversity, special interest hooks, and deep, complex romance.
- For me in this contest, YA does not have to include romance in the story. NA does have to include romance at least as a strong subplot. Alpha males can be a tough sell for me– I love the boy next door! Exceptions would be if you’ve got a Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead) Detective Stephen Holder (The Killing), Tim Riggins (Friday Night Lights), or Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad). Those that are alpha are a twist different from the norm.
I’m a tough sell for:
- Addiction, rape, or eating disorder stories
- Very technology-driven sci-fi. I loved Cinder (sci-fi that’s more fairytale) and Battlestar Galactica (sci-fi that’s more survival/disaster story)
- High fantasy. I have loved rich, character-driven fantasy with a sharp focus– Graceling, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Under the Never Sky.
- Light contemporary romance– unless it has an awesome voice or gripping twist
- Paranormal, especially dreamer and shifter stories
- Portal fantasy
- Campy adventure
If you’ve got something that fits what I want, send your application to me! I’m super nice (haven’t bitten anyone yet), and try really hard to give tough, supportive feedback.
Good luck out there, and see you in the trenches!