Sunday, August 24, 2014

Query Tips from our Pitch Wars Inbox

Hi! Today Stacey and I are chatting about a few recurring problems we’ve been seeing in our #pitchwars inboxes, and how to fix them!

I'm having some technical difficulties imbedding the video with our tips, but you can find it by clicking here.  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

My friend Anna Shinoda called Stacey Lee and I out on her #alsicebucketchallenge here.  And we accepted.

ALS Ice Bucket from Stacey-Author on Vimeo.

To donate to ALS you don't have to dump a bucket of ice water on your head like Stacey and I, all you have to do is click here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What's In Our Pitch Wars Inbox?

Howdy all! I hope you’re all hanging in there as you wait for the #Pitchwars results.

Stacey and I figured it could be a rough wait, so this last weekend we got together and made a few videos describing what exactly was in our mysterious inbox. 

We had both read all the entries that landed in our inbox (and continued to read together as they came in, see all the pictures taken by Stacey’s daughter). 

Our video is down below.  But, please note, the stats have changed since then, as the majority of people sent in their apps on Monday (8/18), which was the deadline.

And without further ado, here is that video of WHAT’S IN OUR PITCHWARS INBOX.

Pitch Wars Inbox from S. Lee on Vimeo.

Hopefully this helps with some of the waiting.  If anyone has any specific questions, please feel free to leave a comment. Stacey and I have a lot of fun making videos, but ultimately we do them because we want to share with all of you.

And, make sure to check back. We have another video coming, as well as a special announcement!


P.S. If you missed any of our earlier videos, you can find them here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pitch Wars’ Submission Window Is Now Closed--What's Next?

First off, I just want to thank everyone who submitted to us once again. Two years ago, when I applied to this contest I remember how much thought I put into the mentors I chose--so every query we've received means a lot.

We're also having a lot of fun reading every query! 

Mentor picks won’t be announced until September 3rd, but since Stacey and I like to involve other people in our fun, we may be sharing a few videos over the next couple weeks that talk a little more about some of the trends--and fun things--we’re seeing inside our Pitch Wars inbox.

So, make sure to check back either here, or on Stacey's Blog. We know how hard waiting can be, so we definitely want to share updates while we keep you all in suspense.

Thanks again for stopping by! And if there's anything else you'd like Stacey or I to share, please feel free to let us know in  the comments.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

My Pitch Wars Wish List & A Fun Announcement!

Hi! Welcome to Pitch Wars! 
Thank you so much for stopping by. I am so excited to be mentoring for the second year in a row, and even more excited because this year I am co-mentoring with my dear friend, the amazing Stacey Lee!
We are both looking for YA manuscripts, and if you pick us, you’ll be getting two awesome mentors for the price of one!  Pretty good deal, huh?
We’ve had a lot of fun putting together our wish list. This year we would love to see:
Novels set in exotic, unexpected, or underrepresented locales: the Arctic, jungles, foreign countries, the American West. We’d love to read a character-driven stories set on a ranch in the contemporary West, the deep south, a Tahitian island, the Mongolian Steppes. . . we are suckers for adventure and romance (especially the forbidden kind) and we love to be taken to new places and to learn about different cultures.
We also love retellings/re-imaginings of myths, fantasies, fables, and classics. If you have a modernization of Shakespeare, Jane Austen, or Antony and Cleopatra, send them our way.
If your novel has structural quirks—alternating POV, alternating Before/After sections, stories told in reverse—even better.
When it comes to contemporary we like the quirky and the off-beat (think Sherman Alexie or Maureen Johnson).
More than any specific genre, we’re looking for a story with heart, and an MC we can root for. But, for those of you who like specific genres, here are the genres we’d like to see most this year:
  • ·      Action-adventure
  • ·      Contemporary
  • ·      Fantasy
  • ·      Historical
  • ·      Historical-fantasy
  • ·      Humor!
  • ·      Magical realism
  • ·      Mystery/thriller
  • ·      Multicultural

A few more things we really like:  Geniuses, sailors, castles, love triangles, the marginalized, culture clashes, strong friendships or strong sibling relationships, damsels with cheek and slightly baffled heroes. Parents. Villains you love to hate. We would especially love a boy-view, or a coming-of-age story, and a combo of the two would be even better.
Unfortunately we are not the biggest fans of horror, and this year we are also not going to be looking for any science fiction.

Why you should pick us:

First, you should watch this video...

If you're still not convinced here are some more facts:

We have four years of Pitchwars experience between us.
Last year, Stacey won Pitchwars with her awesome mentee Bethany Smith.  Beth wrote an informative series on the subject of What To Expect From Pitchwars.
Stephanie is a college creative writing instructor and knows her stuff!
Stacey has a historical YA fiction debuting next March (UNDER A PAINTED SKY) and can edit in her sleep.
We love goofing off together--and promise to make this fun!

Sharing some good books!

In disguise! 

Having fun in exotic Los Angeles

Thanks again for stopping by! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment (I respond to all comments), or find us on twitter. Here (for Stacey) and here (for me).

And, if you'd like to see more videos, Stacey has posted a couple here!

And don't forget to check out all the other awesome mentors!

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