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A Pitch Wars Team Interview with Lindsay Smith Zrull and her mentor, ST Sterlings

Monday, 14 January 2019  |  Posted by Gwynne Jackson


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 . . .

Lindsay Smith Zrull – Mentee


ST Sterlings – Mentor

Website | Twitter


ST, why did you choose Lindsay?

Lindsay’s was the second manuscript I requested. No matter what I read after it, my thoughts kept drifting back to it. I was blown away by how realistic the characters were. More importantly, I was in awe by how much I connected with the main character, Eliza. I chose Lindsay not only for her amazing book, but because of her openness and willingness to work hard on it, and also because I could tell it was personal to her, which showed in her writing. It’s an important story that I believe needs to be told.

Lindsay, why did you choose to submit to ST?

In ST’s wishlist she specifically asked for stories that take place in the Hampton Roads, Virginia. My character lives in a group home in that area! It was so wild to see such a specific PitchWars wish.

ST, summarize Lindsay’s book in 3 words.

Beautiful, heartbreaking, inspiring

Lindsay, summarize your book in 3 words.

Institutionalization, Siblings, Hope

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

How about something ridiculous? I’m TERRIFIED of tentacles. The suction cups on an octopus are one of the most terrifying things in existence!

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

I’m interested in hearing ST’s opinions and suggestions for my MS, especially since she lived in the area of Virginia that my character is from. I’m also excited to hear how some of the more challenging aspects of my novel land for readers. ST has already shown me some places where my story falls a little flat and where I can improve it.

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

HOW TO RUN IN OUTER SPACE was significantly influenced by my own experience living in group homes and foster homes when I was a teenager. It took me thirteen years to write this very personal novel, which originally began as a memoir. After leaving the foster care system, I went on to earn a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and now I’m finishing up a second masters (in Creative Writing) from Harvard. I currently work as the Curator of Astronomical Photographs at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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

One Comment
  • Tess Cox says:

    As an aspiring author who lives in Hampton Roads I’m happy to be introduced to both of these authors! “Outer Space” will be on my 2019 reading list. I plan to acquaint myself with Ms. Sterlings’ work, as well. Who knew such inspiration could be found so close to home?

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