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


Pitch Wars 2017 Team Interviews: Erin Gunti with mentor Kelly Hopkins, and Gillian Berry with mentors Tomi Adeyemi and Kit Grant

Tuesday, 12 September 2017  |  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 on November 1st-7th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2017 Pitch Wars Teams.

And now, we have . . .


Erin Gunti – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Kelly Hopkins – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Erin, why did you choose to submit to Kelly?

Kelly’s wish list said she was looking for “magical realism with one foot firmly grounded in the real world” and I was like “Hey! I have that!” I was also drawn to her “favorite books” list and thought (well, hoped) she would be interested in taking a look at my manuscript. On top of that, Kelly is a Creative Writing teacher with tons of editing experience and I knew she would lay it on me for my edits- the good, the bad and the ugly.

Kelly, why did you choose Erin’s manuscript?

I loved Erin’s concept. It’s so different! Her writing hooked me from the first chapter and I read her book in one sitting. FLIP ISLAND was the book I kept going back to as I dug through submissions. I couldn’t stop thinking about it!

Erin, summarize your book in 3 words.

Run. Don’t Die.

Kelly, summarize Erin’s book in 3 words.

Coma-induced island adventure

Erin, tell us about yourselves! What makes you and your MS unique?

I guess you could say I’m a mean mom. My oldest son had a nightmare about being on an island with water swiftly rising all around him and my premise grew from there. I couldn’t stop thinking about a group of teenagers fighting for their lives on an island determined to kill them. Who were they? Why were they there? I HAD to know!

When I’m not writing, you will find me flying around the halls of my sons’ elementary school wearing my “Super Mom” cape volunteering like a mad woman and running the PTA.

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

I’m teaching 9th grade English this year. YAY!! Which means: I get to read Poe for a living. What’s not to love? I’ve worked in education for more than 20 years. I think that might be where I caught the mentoring bug.


Next up is . . .


Gillian Berry – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Kester “Kit” Grant – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Gillian, why did you choose to submit to Tomi and Kit?

It was actually their wishlist that convinced me to enter Pitch Wars in the first place! They loved so many of the tropes/themes/bookish delights that I not only love too but was trying to pull off in my manuscript. I just had this *feeling* when I read their post. They both have delightful senses of humor, and their books sound INTIMIDATINGLY good. Like, I’ve had both CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE and A COURT OF MIRACLES on my Goodreads since their deals were announced. They are so fancy but also incredibly down to earth, and did I mention they have the best senses of humor? I just knew they’d be tons of fun to work with, AND they said upfront they were hardcore revising Ravenclaws, which was exactly what I wanted!

Kit, why did you and Tomi choose Gillian’s manuscript?

Her book was EVERYTHING I was hoping to find in my inbox, I couldn’t put it down, it made me laugh and kicked me in the gut, plus its a fresh retelling of a beloved story: Anastasia! Its the perfect blend of magical folklore, witty banter, heart-wrenching tragedy, six-of-crows type feelz story that everybody needs.Gillian is SUCH AN AMAZING WRITER – I kept underlining her words because they were just so purrty!

Gillian, summarize your book in 3 words.

Oh, gosh. If brevity is the soul of wit, then I am witless. Um…Anastasia but TWISTYDARK! But still with kissing! I’m a cheat.

Kit, summarize Gillian’s book in 3 words.


Gillian, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your MS unique?

I’ve been a YA book blogger since 2012. YA, like Hogwarts, is my home, and the cosy sparklemurder corner that is girltastic YA fantasy is my favorite room. (Romantic sparklemurder fantasy is THE BEST GENRE. It’s a thing, I swear.) I love stories about girls who do great things, and magical worlds that can whisk you away from your difficult reality. Yet I also lovelovelove this new wave of YA fantasy that is dealing with real life issues, but through the medium of dragons and princes and castles on fire and whatnot.

I’m a biracial Mexican-American, the daughter of an immigrant who fully recognizes she has enormous passing privilege, and a sufferer of anxiety and some depression. I really wanted to read YA fantasy that dealt with some of the things I deal with on a daily basis, most particularly realistic struggles with mental health. So I wrote it! And then I threw in all of my favorite things: a twist on the lost princess trope stolen straight from my all-time favorite movie, Anastasia, plus banter, squad goals, ruined empires, hate-to-love, enemies-to-lovers…and lovers-to-enemies 😉


Our mentors’ latest releases…


A diverse fantasy reimagining of Les Misérables and The Jungle Book



Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is November 1-7, and our next #PitMad is December 1st!



Comments are closed.
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 2021

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.