I love online contests, competitions, or whatever you call them. I entered my first one about three years ago and met some great people who helped me more than I can believe. Two years ago I sat where you are (well not exactly, unless you’re in my house, in which case, do you mind letting the dogs out?). I started looking at mentor bios and figuring out which ones were the best fit. I never did hit the submit button. Right before the submission window opened, I got the call. I hope you do too, but if you don’t, you should seriously think about entering this contest. There are so many great mentors and you can’t go wrong with any of them (except maybe that one guy sharping his teeth and singing nursery rhymes, but it’s best not to mention him).
I’m a MG writer represent by Mark Gottlieb. My debut novel, WORTHY OF SONG AND STORY, came into the world in October, 2016, and I am frantically working on the second book as well as a new series. Besides writing, I’m an attorney, CPA, and basketball coach. I love playing video games, reading, watching movies, and college football. Go Huskers!
This is my first year mentoring in Pitchwars, but please don’t let that scare you away. It wasn’t too long ago I was in your shoes (that could be why they weren’t where you left them). I still remember, though not fondly, what it’s like waiting for agents to reply.
IRON TRIAL, by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
SHADOW MAGIC, by Joshua Khan
THE NIGHT GARDENER, by Jonathan Auxier
RISE OF THE CORPSES, by Ty Drago
THE FALSE PRINCE, by Jennifer Nielsen
STORMBREAKER, by Anthony Horowitz
KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES, by Shannon Messenger
LEVIATHAN, by Scott Westerfeld
And of course, HARRY POTTER, I think that is required.
What in the world do I like?
You’ve probably noticed I have a strong preference for speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, cyberpunk, horror, superheroes, etc.). Lower MG is not for me. Give me your upper MG (12, 13, and 14 year old protagonists), especially if it’s pushing the upper MG/lower YA envelope. I like characters to be human/humanoid and not animals. Although I respect poets and their ability, books written in verse are not my thing. If your story is a contemporary, heart felt, coming of age story, with no elements of speculative fiction, I’m probably not the best mentor for you. I like stories that take me away from this world and immerse me in another one, even if it’s only a magic school in England or a camp of demi-gods on Long Island.
Who do I want to work with?
I don’t care if you have written one hundred books, or this is your first one, as long as you are willing to work at making it better. It’s possible that your manuscript may be so great that only minor changes are needed. Most likely, I will suggest some major changes. They could be adding or cutting plot elements, changing the POV (or cutting a POV if there is more than one), changing the staring point of the story, and/or increased world building. You aren’t required to make any of the changes I suggest. It’s your book after all, but you should be open to suggestions and a strong desire to make your manuscript the best it can be. I also prefer to work with someone who wants more than a one off situation. The best mentor/mentee relationship is one that changes to critique partners on other manuscripts.
Here are my fellow MG mentors: http://wp.me/p3YLhv-7Yc