Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mentor Here! Get Your Mentor Here!

It's finally time to choose a mentor and get locked and loaded for PitchWars!

We'll be signing recruits soon.  Boot camp starts in December and at the end we'll man our battle stations for the agent round.  Who's coming with me?????

who's coming with me?

In preparation, I consulted with my cousin, who's a drill sergeant at West Point and together we determined I would not make it past bunk inspection. But that's okay because this is a TEAM challenge and I'm *sure* my team would win all the Fast Forwards on Amazing Race (and really, who wouldn't rather run to Phil's eyebrow versus run suicides).  


Here's what I can offer you:

The way I see it, this contest is for YOU!  I'm here to suggest, support, cheer and bake virtual cupcakes for you, and my priority is making sure you get what you want/need from PitchWars.  I know this is war, but I'll happily lose the war to win the battle, so long as it leaves you with a sunshine, applesauce experience and an improved query and manuscript. Of course, as long as we're being honest, there will be lots of Twitter trash talking too. Obviously.  Cuz  those other teams can't touch us.

PSY MC Hammer Dancing AMAs PSY and MC Hammer Dancing on AMAs

Here's what you can offer me:

A good attitude. That's it.  Well, actually, it would also help if you are curious about craft and the publishing marketplace, eager to learn, and have already won a Newbury Medal. That last one is not completely mandatory.  And, if we're getting down to the nitty gritty, you also must have a completed middle grade novel and query.  I'm not picky about what kind of middle grade, because I love all of it.  Bring me the quirky, the fun, the inventive, the sweet, the whimsical. I read widely across all of middle grade, but I do tend to avoid heavy fantasy.  Also, I like to keep it fun and light, so I might not be the best match for a dark "issues" ms.  That said, don't rule me out on sweet issues stories because WONDER, OUT OF MY MIND and THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN all made me do this (in a really, really good way!):


Here's who I am:

Well, I wouldn't be here if I weren't a reader and a writer. I write middle grade and YA and my debut MG called AT YOUR SERVICE publishes with Simon & Schuster/Aladdin Mix in Summer 2014. In case you missed the giant cover to the right of this page, feel free to head there now and learn more about it. But that's just one side of me. Here's some of the fun stuff: I spent a year traveling the world solo from Nepal to Romania to Fiji where I learned 99.9% of humanity is pretty freaking awesome yet somehow doesn't share my love of ice cubes in a drink. I met my husband on the highway, literally. In fact our meet-cute was SO cute we had a whole story written about it in Ladies Home Journal. My eleven year-old twin boys placed second in the Most Identical contest at the International Festival of Twins. Their little sister placed first in the most adorable contest at the All The People In Our Living Room Festival. 

I once accompanied a pajama-clad Oprah Winfrey (and her puppies) through the laundry room of the Four Seasons. I have also been in a hotel room alone with a shirtless Mark Wahlberg and walked the red carpet beside George Clooney. In all those instances, it was not what you think. Oh, and I went into early labor while on Stevie Nicks' tour bus. That is pretty much what you think.

Just in case you want a little more on the writing side of things, I am repped by Holly Root at Waxman Leavell Literary. I am a member of an amazing group of CP's called "MG Beta-Readers" which includes a mix of agented and pre-agented writers. I also belong to two other kidlit CP groups that meet each month in person and have another motley (and by motley, I mean fabulously gorgeous!) crew of writers I trade crits with.  Put mildly, I do A LOT of critiquing, but my own writing reaps the benefits and it's always fun to be part of a great community of writers.

Now that we've established we're MTB, here's how we can have our own Meet Cute:


Once you've clicked through the list of mentors below, visit for submission guidelines and rules. 

Okay, here are the fantabulous agents we'll be gunning for, er, lovingly courting. 

Zachary Shuster Harmsworth - Lana Popovic and Natasha Alexis


And here are the rest of the participating mentors, so you can check us all out and decide which of us to sub to (the correct answer here, of course, is: me!):

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