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Pitch Wars 2017 … The Mentors’ Picks!!

Thursday, 24 August 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake


It’s been so fun reading your queries and chapters. The mentors have cried and laughed and shared how much they love your words. After weeks of reading and obsessing over all the fabulous entries, our amazing mentors have chosen their mentees!

This year, we had some additions to the normal mentor picks. Secret mentors, including masked mentors, moved through the slush and patiently allowed all of the other mentors to heap their favorite manuscripts upon them. They were the most buried of us all! And after the mentor picks and the wild card picks (where some mentors got to choose two manuscripts!), the secret mentors got to pick a manuscript they loved. And there was an overabundance of quality words to fall for this year.

Please know that mentors are not required to send feedback to those who submitted to them. Our mentors have their own books to write, mentees to mentor, jobs, and family life.  Some will have the time to send feedback and some will not. Don’t pester mentors for feedback in their emails, their sites, or on social media. If you get feedback, it’s a bonus.


The scavenger hunt winners . . .

The scavenger hunt was expanded to include one pick for each age category. This was won purely based on a random drawing from about 325 people who solved the puzzle and entered.

Middle Grade

C.B. Catalano and Shauna Holyoak: Gaye Sanders, Author of HURRICANE HARPER

Young Adult 

Laurie Dennison: Adelle Yeung, Author of THE HOUSE WITH TWO FACES


Marty Mayberry and Léonie C. Kelsall: Elizabeth Chatsworth, Author of THE BRASS QUEEN


And stay tuned for a Rejection Party with fun and prizes!


And here are the picks …

Middle Grade




A.E. Conran Colleen Bennett Canada or Bust
Alexandra Ott Sofiya Pasternack Anya Kozlova and the Dragon
Allison Ziegler and Juliana Brandt Bronwyn Deaver Cave of Bells
Amanda/Cindy, Kate Foster, Ashley Martin Kirk Kraft When Your Best Friend Wants to be Your Girlfriend (and other horror stories)
Ashley Martin Valerie Pepper First Chair
C.B. Catalano and Shauna Holyoak Peggy Sheridan Summer of Rocks and Hard Places
Caela Carter Stacey Goldstein Golum Science
Cindy Baldwin and Amanda Hill Remy Lai Rules for Making Cakes
Erin Latimer Audra Atoche The Peculiar Predicament of Penelope Pendragon
Gabrielle Byrne Greg Pattridge Bad Habits
Gail Villanueva and Isabelle Adrid Nadine Johnson Me and My Drum
Hannah Karena Jones Stephanie Willing West of the Sea
Heidi Stallman Laura Lashley Surf Monks of New Hawai’i
Heidi Stallman (Masked Mentor) Kathleen Fox Fight for the Dog
Jenn Brisendine Joe McCourt The Hunter’s Heir
Jenna Lehne and Tara Creel Jennifer L. Brown Lisa Pizza’s Pernicious Curse
Jennifer Jones Vincent Tera Pruitt Evie Zimmer, Robot Killer
Jennifer Jones Vincent (Secret Mentor) Anika Fajardo What If a Fish
Jenny Lundquist Caroline Flory The Sound Inside
Jessica Bayliss Adrianna Cuevas The Hybrids of New Haven
Joy McCullough Rajani LaRocca Midsummer Mayhem
Julia Nobel Stefanie Wass Reaching for Starlight
Julie Artz and Jessica Vitalis Reese Eschmann If You Will
K.C. Held Karah Sutton Big Bad
Kara Seal Amanda Coppedge The Cabin
Kate Foster Kimberly Fernando The Oracle Witch’s Curse
Kevin Springer Jason Franz Sixth Grade Secret Service
Kim Long Diana DeBolt Johnson Penelope Charming and the Poisoned Glass Slippers
Kristin Hanson Reynolds (Secret Mentor) Melanie Pendleton Ride The River
Laura Shovan and Tricia Clasen Asari Beale My Brother, the Olmec
Laurie Dennison (TeenPit Winner) Ellie Firestone (TeenPit) The Dreamon
Mae Respicio Landon Spencer Circus Girl
Mike Grosso Sarah Pripas The Unhittable VJC
Miriam Spitzer Franklin Jaime Formato Dirt Road Diva
Neal Chase Scott Rhoades The Loom of Fate
Niki Lenz Shelly Steig Faux Real
Rebecca Petruck Robin Lemke French Braids and Other Entanglements
Shanna Rogers Dana Edwards/Dan Lollis Summer by the Slice
Shari Green Judith L. Roth Home is Where
Shari Schwarz Arianne Costner Stud to Spud
Stephanie Faris Annmarie Powell Ghost Hunter
Wade Albert White and Timanda Wertz Julie Ditchburn Patton The Third Key of Therizinia


Young Adult




Aimee Salter Natalie Vanderheydt THE BROKEN PIECES OF US
Akemi Dawn Bowman June Tan THE LIFE STEALER
Alicia Clancy Jeffrey Bishop SHERMER IS BURNING
Amelinda Bérubé Amelia Denyven Ross MEADOWVIEW
Amy Trueblood Kylie Schachte FLORA CALHOUN: GIRL DETECTIVE
Ashley Hearn Alexis Henderson YEAR OF BONE
Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley Deanna Roy CRASH AND RIDE
Brenda Drake and Heather Cashman for NRazi Amanda Donegan WILLOW HILLS
Brianna Shrum Tim Tully THE GATE OF ORION
Carlie Sorosiak Erin Cotter DEFINITELY JUST FRIENDS
Cat Scully Jade Hemming THE DRAGONFLY PRINCE
Claribel Ortega and Kat Cho Deborah Falaye BLOOD SCION
CM McCoy (Colleen Oefelein) Margie Fuston LOST GIRL MAGIC
Cole Gibsen Cassandra Frances HOUSE OF SKIN AND ASH
Dawn Ius C.J. Simone THE EDGE
Destiny Cole Jamie McHenry I KILLED BRENDA MORRIS
Diana Gallagher and Katrina Emmel Lana Pattinson ENGINEERING KIT SINCLAIR
Emily Martin Victoria Lee THE FEVER KING
Erin Foster Hartley Neicole Crepeau ROBOT GIRL AND TINDER BOY
Heather Ezell and Rachel Griffin Sarah White IN WITH THE VIOLETS
Helene Dunbar and Beth Hull Luke Hupton THE HEART THAT FOLLOWED ME HOME
Isabel Ibanez Davis Jessie Latham DARK AND BOUNDLESS
Jamie Howard Shelby Mahurin LA DAME BLANCHE
Jay Coles Ipuna Estavillo Black LIFE ART
Jeanmarie Anaya Amelia Coombs BIGMOUTH STRIKES AGAIN
Jen Ferguson and Gracie West (TeenPit Winner) True Sloan SHE’S A HURRICANE
Jenna Lincoln Lisen Minetti STALKING DEATH
Jenny Chou Rachel Simon ASTRONOMY IN REVERSE
Judi Lauren Danielle Thurby CHASING JOHN SMITH
Judi Lauren Alexandria Rogers OF SERPANTS AND STARS
K. Kazul Wolf (Secret Mentor) Laura Seabaugh CURSEBORNE
Kate Karyus Quinn and Mindy McGinnis Kyrie McCauley IF THESE WINGS COULD FLY
Katherine Fleet Kacey Vanderkarr HIDING HUDSON
Katherine Fleet Christine Webb THE ART OF INSANITY
Kelly Ann Hopkins (TeenPit Winner) Jennifer Price SHADOWS OF SIN CITY
Kelly Ann Hopkins Erin Gunti FLIP ISLAND
Kelly deVos Melissa Hed THE OTHER SIDE OF NORMAL
Kes Trester Jesse Frailey PRINCE OF PAWNS
Kip Wilson Aishah Dawood THE DOLL MARKET
Kit Frick Kay McRae HOW TO SAVE A LIFE
Kristin Bartley Lenz and Heather Smith Meloche Julie Christensen THE STRAW MAN FALLACY
Kristin Smith and Beth Ellyn Summer Michelle Mason YOUR SECRET’S NOT SAFE WITH ME
Laura Pohl Rosie Brown DUSK BEFORE DAWN
Leigh Mar Alex Hall EARNEST INK
Leigh Mar Alyssa Carlier THIS MOTH WILL NOT BURN
Lianne Oelke (replacing Laura Steven) Emily Paxman SWEET PEE
Lindsey Frydman Kristy Feltenberger LUCY COUNTING STARS
Lindsey Frydman Elissa Hunter VERY CAREFULLY AND NOT ALL AT ONCE
Linsey Miller and Maria Mora Elizabeth Chang-Gibson DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON
Lisa Amowitz Erica Waters SCRUB PINE KINGDOM
Lyndsay Ely Anna Mercier ALL OF US STARS
M.K. England and Jamie Pacton Rena Barron THE LAST WITCHDOCTOR
Mara Rutherford and Joan He Emily Honigsfeld HOTEL MAGNIFIQUE
Marie Meyer Christina Wise EYE OF THE GODS
McKelle George and Heather Cashman Kristin L. Walters BOY IN THE RED DRESS
McKelle George and Heather Cashman Sasha Smith HAXAHAVEN
Michella Domenici Molly Kasperek NO MATTER HOW IT STARTS
Molly E. Lee Emily K. Thiede NO MANS LAND
Monica Bustamante and Kerbie Addis Sylvia Pamuk THE DEMON KING
Monica M. Hoffman Hannah Whitten RED AND THE WOLF
N.K. Traver Bethany Hensel THE IMPOSTOR
Naomi Hughes Sher-May Loh BLACK SAGE
Natalka Burian Isaac Fitzsimons TELL ME SOMETHING I DON’T ALREADY KNOW
Natasha Neagle Cori Vella SOMETHING WICKED
Nikki Roberti Allison Dillon STRIKE TWICE
Rachel Lynn Solomon Marisa Kanter TO BE MISREAD
Rebecca Schaeffer Ellie Luken OUR SHATTERED MASKS
Rebecca Sky and Stacey Trombley Kimberly Smith A CROWN OF BONES
Rhiannon Hart Lorraine Goddard THE MAGICAL CONSTANT OF RICE
Rosalyn Eves (Secret Mentor) Molly Cluff SECRET BOOKTUBER OF MEADOW
RuthAnne Snow Lindsey Ouimet (NOT QUITE) THE SAME OLD SONG
Samantha Joyce Meghan Hardt NOT QUITE GONE
Sarah Nicolas Alison Brown BEYOND UNCHARTED SKIES
Sharon M. Johnston and Stacey Nash Hoda Agharazi A STUDY IN BLUE
Sharon M. Johnston and Stacey Nash Jason Robbins BECAUSE YOU TOLD ME SO
Sheena Boekweg (TeenPit Winner) Angela Wang ALL THOSE WHO WANDER
Sonia Hartl and Annette Christie Andrea Contos THROWAWAY GIRLS
Stephanie Scott and Erica M. Chapman Akure Phenix GREEN LIGHTS
Susan Gray Foster Sarah Taylor LET THERE BE LIGHT
Tabitha Martin Cliff Lewis NEWENGLAND
Tomi Adeyemi and Adalyn Grace (Masked Mentor) Ciannon Smart A WITCH OF BONE AND BRIAR
Tomi Adeyemi and Kit Grant Gillian Berry SORROW’S HEIR





Amy Garabedian [w/a A.B. Sevan] (Secret Mentor) Sabine McMenes North Wind
Brighton Walsh Jessa Gwinn Beauty and the Blackmail
Brighton Walsh Janet Walden-West Salt + Stilettos
Caitlin Sinead Carrie Pulkinen FOR THE LOVE OF GHOSTS
Caitlin Sinead Geni Phipps HARVEST MOON
Carrie Callaghan Melody Steiner WINDS OF NOX
Clarissa Goenawan Matt Thomas The Butterfly Tattoo
Dan Koboldt and Michael Mammay Ryan McLeod PIRATE
David Mealing Vernon Hedrick THE FORK REPORT
Derek Chivers Carolyne Topdjian The Maddening of Holly Robin
Diana A. Hicks Gia de Cadenet LUST
E.B. Wheeler Eliza Langhans Charm and Charity
Elinor Sattler (Secret Mentor) Samantha J. Robin GRAVE DIRT
Emily Colin Kathryn Megan The Wanderess
Emma Wicker Jessica Gorbet The Ice Maiden
Hayley Stone T.M. Morgan Kingdom
Heather Van Fleet & Jessica Calla Allison Barnard Moonsworn
Heather Van Fleet and Jessica Calla Lana Sloan The Compartment
J.C. Nelson Gina Urso Subject One
Jami Nord & K.T. Hanna Jessi Gibson Through the Inferno
Jenni L. Walsh Christine Adler Portrait of Lise
Jennifer Blackwood Lisa Leoni Plaid Package
Katrina Carrasco Robin St. Clare INTO THE FIRE
Kelly Siskind and J.R. Yates Julia Miller Eat Your Heart Out, Tor Mackelroy
Kellye Garrett Mia P. Manansala Death Comes to ComiKon
Kristen Lepionka Daniel Best Missing Black Woman
Kristen Lepionka Rheea Mukherjee Malaise
Laura Brown Kerri Keberly BUSINESS OF LOVE
Laura Heffernan Julie Mulligan THREE MEN AND AN ACTUARY
Laura Heffernan Jesse Vigil ONCOLLISION
Leonie Kelsall Robin Fritz SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED
Marty Mayberry Anne Raven In the Name of the Mother
Marty Mayberry and Léonie C. Kelsall Syed M. Masood Other People
Mary Ann Marlowe and Kelli Newby Amy Kathryn Jones How To Reset a Broken Heart
Mary Ann Marlowe and Kelli Newby Aty S. Behsam COUP DE GRACE
Melissa Marino Brooke Salesky The Marriage Code
Melissa Marino Holly Rizzuto Palker MULTICULTURAL MIDLIFE CRISIS
MIchelle Hauck Jason Hine NIGHTMARE INK
Michelle Hauck and Carrie Callaghan Ian Barnes GODBREAKER
Natasha Raulerson Brandon McNulty Bad Parts
Nina Laurin Layne Fargo Victim Control
Peter McLean Nicole Willson Blood Tide
Sandi Ward Krista Riccioni ON THE VERGE OF BREATHING
Sarah Hawthorne Piper Grayson Almost Rocked
Susan Bishop Crispell Megan McGee Two-Bucket Heiress
Tracey Enerson Wood Em Shotwell WORN OUT WISHES
Vanessa Carnevale Anna Collins The Reluctant Traveler
Victoria De La O and Layla Reyne Alexandria Bellefleur FOUR LETTER WORDS


A sincere thank you to every single entrant of Pitch Wars 2017. We appreciate your support, your sense of community, and your words. Please don’t forget to stay tuned for our Pitch Wars 2017 Rejection Party with fun and prizes!

And #PitMad will be happening September 7th from 8am to 8pm Eastern.

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