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A Pitch Wars Team Interview with April Clausen and her mentor, Ashley Martin

Friday, 21 December 2018  |  Posted by Brenda Drake


Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase starting on February 6, 2019, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2018 Pitch Wars Teams.

Next up, we have . . .

April Clausen – Mentee


Ashley Martin – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Ashley, why did you choose April?

I fell head over heels for April’s manuscript in the opening pages and it held on to my heart until the end. It was everything I’d hoped to find—a delightful MC who immediately captured my attention, in a story that highlighted the power of a family’s love. Wrap that in a fun sci-fi adventure with unique graphic elements and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it! I also had a strong vision for how I could help, and I could tell that April was a humble, yet fiercely determined writer and would be up for any challenge I threw at her.

April, why did you choose to submit to Ashley?

Our story has a bit of history. I subbed to Ashley in 2016 with a retold fairy tale manuscript. I found my notes from that Pitch Wars and her name is triple starred, circled, and highlighted. This year I made the difficult choice of not subbing to her. My manuscript is science fiction and she didn’t mention it in her wish list. Thankfully a mentor I did sub to passed it along and she loved it! Ashley has the vision to dig into the heart of the story, to deepen the characters, and to make the theme sing. She is kind, patient, and the best cheerleader I could ask for!

Ashley, summarize April’s book in 3 words.

Intergalactic Family Bonding

April, summarize your book in 3 words.

We’re stronger together

Ashley, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

I once spent an entire summer during middle school—nearly every day for three straight months—watching Newsies and playing Monopoly with my two best friends. I still love Newsies (and can still sing all the songs) but I’d be perfectly content to never play another game of Monopoly for the rest of my life.

April, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

This is my third year subbing to Pitch Wars, each with a different manuscript. I’d already gotten oodles out of Pitch Wars before getting in. I found friends and critique partners (waves to them), learned from awesome blogs (thanks mentors!), and received feedback/critiques. I adore this contest. Now that I’ll be mentored, I’m thrilled for even more of the same! I’m most grateful for the opportunity to have a seasoned author share her wisdom. I can’t wait to level up my writing and strengthen this manuscript that I love!

April, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your manuscript unique?

My last manuscript was about a girl with celiac disease, as a Celiac myself it was an emotional and heart wrenching book to write. Honestly, I wasn’t quite ready to write something that difficult again. My Pitch Wars manuscript started as a silly idea I had with my kids. Home Alone meets Star Wars – they were obsessed with Boba Fett at the time. I wrote for the sheer joy of writing, and each day at dinner, or in the car, my kids would request the next chapter. They giggled, gasped, and begged for more. It was my favorite manuscript to write – so far.


Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 6 – 11, 2019. We hope you’ll join us to support our teams on the Twitter hashtag #PitchWars.


Filed: Interviews

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