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A Pitch Wars Team Interview with Ava Reid and her mentor, Isabel Ibañez

Friday, 25 January 2019  |  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 . . .

Ava Reid – Mentee


Isabel Ibañez – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Isabel, why did you choose Ava?

I loved how Ava’s story made me feel. It pulled me in and refused to let go. The book is inspired by Hungary and its traditions and culture—it was so different and reminded me of other fairy tales and stories I love! There’s this whimsical, pastoral element throughout with hints of darkness layered in. I couldn’t get enough. Also, enjoyed the heck out of Evike and her drive and ambition. There’s so much to love in this story!

Ava, why did you choose to submit to Isabel?

Isabel’s wishlist really emphasized that she was interested in unique settings and lesser known historical time periods, which fits my manuscript to the letter. Her interest in enemies-to-lovers and forbidden romance sealed the deal. It doesn’t hurt that her debut, a Bolivian political fantasy, sounded right up my alley! I knew that she would understand the heart of my story and why I wanted to tell it.

Isabel, summarize Ava’s book in 3 words.

Magical, whimsical, pastoral

Ava, summarize your book in 3 words.

Myths. Magic. Monsters.

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

I am a creator at heart! I love being artistic through different mediums: weaving, graphic design, writing, drawing, and cooking.

Drawing of an owl wearing gogglesBrenda: Isabel is so talented. She created our Pitch Wars mascot, Poe Warburton!


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

I’d never heard of Pitch Wars until this past August (I know, I know), and it’s so much more than I ever expected it would be. It’s not just a contest; it’s a community. I’ve gained friends and confidantes, CPs and betas. I’m immensely grateful for that, and I will continue to feel grateful no matter what happens during the agent showcase. Of course, we’re all hoping that our Pitch Wars experience will end with finding agent representation, but thanks to this community, I know I’ll have the support and confidence to continue my writing journey either way.

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

I have a degree in political science from Columbia University, and my research focused broadly on themes of identity and ethnoreligion. I wanted to write a story that dealt with those same issues, and tried to grapple with some tough questions: how is something as immaterial as belief be weaponized or politicized? How is something like a national history different from a mythology? What’s the difference between magic and religion?

Medieval Hungary, which inspired the setting for my novel, was populated by Christians, pagans, and Jews alike. My book draws from Hungarian pre-Christian mythology and a bit from Jewish mythology (I’m Jewish myself). I thought it would be a fascinating context to explore those kinds of questions, and to present a part of history and a part of the world that most people know very little about!

Check out Isabel’s upcoming release, WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT (Page Street, Jan. 7th, 2020)






Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 6 – 11, 2019. If you’re an agent and would like to participate, you must register here: https://pitchwars.org/info-for-agents/. We hope you’ll join us to support our teams on the Twitter hashtag #PitchWars.


Filed: Interviews

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