Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!


Pitch Wars Interview with Jen F. and her mentor Sonia Hartl

Saturday, 26 September 2015  |  Posted by Nikki Roberti

4laxXK6X.png large

Welcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews

Bringing you a closer look at each Pitch War Team and their project.

Be sure to comment with support, comments, and questions.

Meet Jen F. and Sonia Hartl

Team #TeamMotivationalPoster

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.53.29 PMSonia Hartl (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.

Hi all, I’m Sonia, and like Jen, I read a little of everything. I love contemporary stories that make me feel something other than sad (I don’t like to cry), mystery, suspense, dark and creepy. I like touches of magic too, especially the kind where the magic is questionable. I’ll read anything as long as the voice speaks to me. Strong characters with everything to lose will make me follow them until the bitter end.

I think my taste in reading reflects my writing style as well. I’m drawn to ideas that are a little outside the norm with strong settings that are like characters. I will often times have the place where I want to set my story before I have characters. I’ll then create the type of characters who stand to get screwed over the most by where I choose to put them. So far everything I’ve written has strong romantic elements. Kissing scenes are a particular favorite of mine, followed closely by snarky dialogue between the MC and LI.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.52.33 PMJen F. (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself.

Hey hey buttercups! I’m Jen, code name @jennyleeSD. I’m a book nerd, about 9 months away from being a certified book doctor, so yes, yes, I read everything! Recent favs: Paolo Bacigalupi’s THE WATER KNIFE, Joy Castro’s HELL OR HIGH WATER, and Pitchwars’ own Brighton Walsh with TESSA EVER AFTER. From start to finish: spec fic, literary mystery, and hawt hawt hawt contemporary romance. I am all over the boat! When I’m LitFic-ing it, my prose tends to be all poetic and stuff.

When I’m writing upmarket, like the project the scrumptious Sonia Hartl chose to mentor (fun fact: my auto correct keeps trying to change “Hartl” to “Hartlepoo”), I’m more saucy, fun, dirty, and full of Urban Dictionary words. And yes, yes y’all, you can fall into an Urban Dictionary hole (and learn all sorts of craycray stuff about the world) while researching on the net. It’s dangerous out there. Stay safe.

Sonia, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?

I was a mentee in 2013, and it was the best experience. I learned an incredible amount from my mentor (Dannie Morin), and I wanted to give back to the community that gave me so much. Getting the chance to be on the mentor side has been amazing. And it’s a lot of fun. I love interacting with everyone on the hashtag. Before the picks are announced, it’s like summer camp on Twitter. I’ve met some of my best friends because of this contest, and I absolutely love being a part of it all.

Jen, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?

This is a really hard question. Mostly because honestly the only non-snarky answer I can come up with is: why not? There is everything to gain (a mentor, yes, but the community is beyond fantastic, friendly, warm, supportive, smart, smexy, and of course, most importantly, down right silly at times) and there is nothing to lose.

But the snarky answers too contain truth.

Snarky answer #1: There is man candy daily.

Snarky answer #2: You can wind up in extensive discussions about peen piercings with people who understand your obsession.

Snarky answer #3: There are gifs. Sometimes of man candy, not as yet of peen piercings. Often motivational. Points from me if they are SPN, VMars or Arrested Dev based.

Snarky answer #4: To get more twitter followers, including celebs like @BrendaDrake. I could go on. I won’t. Yes, we are your people. Join us.

Sonia, what are you most excited for?

I’m excited to see what Jen does with her story. Her voice blew me away, she’s incredibly talented and I can’t wait to see the finished product of two months hard work. And I’m also excited to see what the future holds for her. This is just one step on her journey, and I’m looking forward to cheering on all her successes.

Jen, what are you most excited for?

Weekly Skype dates with Sonia. Duh. Because changing my MS from 1st present to 3rd past is going to hurt.

Jen, describe your novel in 3 words.


Sonia, describe your mentee’s novel in 3 words.

Hilarious. Beautiful. Haunting.

Check Us Out …

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.52.33 PM

Jen F. (Mentee)


Jen F. is a Canadian writer who teaches at a college in the American Midwest. Her first book, BORDER MARKERS, is forthcoming from NeWest Press in 2016. She lives and writes in a log cabin with her two presidential pets: Nixon and Franklin (Pierce).


Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.53.29 PM

 Sonia Hartl (Mentor) 

Twitter | Website

Sonia Hartl is an author of young adult contemporary and a reader of anything she can get her hands on. Her work has appeared in the The Writers Post Journal, Boston Literary Magazine, and the anthology Bearing North. She’s a member of SCBWI and represented by Rebecca Podos of Rees Literary Agency.

Filed: Pitch Wars

Leave a reply


We’d love your comments but ask that you please keep it polite. Although your views are definitely your own, we do not condone harassment or bullying and don’t want to see it here. We reserve the right to delete any comments for any reason, including being abusive, profane or off topic.

We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

Pitch Wars takes a stand. ANTI-BULLYING. Click here to review our policy

Pitch Wars 2020

Blog Archives

Blog Categories

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.