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Pitch Wars 2018 … Mentors’ Picks!

Thursday, 11 October 2018  |  Posted by Brenda Drake


After weeks of reading and obsessing over all the fabulous entries, our amazing mentors have chosen their mentees!

The mentors have worked tirelessly reading all their submissions for Pitch Wars. Behind the scenes, there’s been blood, sweat, and tears. The mentors have cried and laughed and shared how much they love your words. There were so many, SO MANY, wonderful entries, and our mentors were sad they couldn’t pick them all. It came down to which ones spoke the most to their hearts.

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. Please don’t pester mentors for feedback in their emails, their sites, or on social media. If you get feedback, it’s a bonus.

There are many pathways to acquiring your publishing goals. Pitch Wars is just one of a few. Though we know you’ll be disappointed if you don’t find your name on the following list, please remember that you are in the game. Just finishing a manuscript requires a love for writing, and putting your work out there is such a brave act. Congratulations for getting into the game. Every heartache, every victory, will get you a step closer to success.

Brenda: If you don’t find your name on the following list, I know how you feel. I’ve had many heartaches and many missteps. There was never a Pitch Wars for me. I’ve been rejected (a lot). I’ve had to change my course (a few times). But giving up was never an option for me, which I’m sure it’s not for you. Perseverance is key in being successful in publishing. We pick ourselves up, learn what we need to get better, and head back into the trenches. I’ve made several friends on my publishing journey. I’m still learning (and failing at times). My wish for you is to keep going, never give up, and gather friends who will cry and celebrate with you through the battle. I admire each and every one of you for taking that brave leap and sharing your work. The support you all show each other touches my heart each day. I’m truly blessed to be in this community with you.

Kellye: This is always a bittersweet time for all of us Pitch Wars mentors. We’re super excited for our mentee because we fell in love with their work and can’t wait to make it even better. But here’s a secret: our mentee wasn’t the only amazing manuscript and writer subbed to us. It always blows my mind how many talented people are out there and – as a reader first and foremost – it makes me so excited for the future of publishing. Submitting your work to Pitch Wars was the first step in what I hope will be a long and amazing writing career. And even if your name isn’t listed here, guess what? You still won. Because you finished a book. You were brave enough to show it to four complete strangers. You took part in what is probably the most amazing online writing community there is! Celebrate that. Celebrate you. And, most importantly, get back to writing!

Thank you for entrusting us with your work!

Kellye and Brenda



If you weren’t chosen by a mentor, check the blog on Tuesday, October 16 for our Pitch Wars After Party. We will be giving away some critiques!

And here is the Pitch Wars Class of 2018 …


Adult/New Adult

Alice Stephens Katie Tunning
Angel Luis Colon M.D. Thomas
Carolyne Topdjian Stacie Murphy
Carrie Callaghan Samantha Rajaram
Diana A. Hicks Daisy Blaine
Farah Heron Nam Patel
Farah Heron Meryl Wilsner
Gigi Pandian J.A. Crawford
Heather Van Fleet and Lana Sloan Lauren Silverman
Helen Hoang Ruby Barrett
Ian Barnes Sarah Burton
Ian Barnes and Laura Lashley Ann Fraistat
Jason Hine Kola Heyward-Rotimi
K.A. Doore Steve Hugh Westenra
Katie Golding and Michelle Hazen Taylor Koleber
Katrina Carrasco Trevor Barnes
Kristen Lepionka Nigar Alam
Kristin Rockaway Tiffany Griffith
Kristin Wright Jane Igharo
L. D. Lewis Karintha Parker
Laura Brown and Tif Marcelo Rachel L. Hamm
Laura Brown and Tif Marcelo Rochelle Karina
Layne Fargo Halley Sutton
Marty Mayberry and Leonie Kelsall LL Montez
Mary Ann Marlowe Eliza David
Mia P. Manansala and Kellye Garrett Meg Long
Michael Mammay and Dan Koboldt Christopher Kerns
Michelle Hauck Sonja Hutchinson
Michelle Hauck and Jason Hine Jessica Sherry
Michelle Hazen Eagan Daniels
Natasha Raulerson Jason Beymer
Nikki Dolson Jennifer Stark
Paris Wynters Justin Sturm
Paris Wynters Nanci Schwartz
Rebecca Enzor Dan Rowinski
Sarah Remy Alexis Ames
Shari Schwarz and Clarissa Goenawan Irene Reed
Susan Bishop Crispell Leslie Gail
Suzanne Park and Alexa Martin Sarah Partipilo
T. Frohock Elvin Bala
Wendy Heard Wanda Morris



Middle Grade

Adrianna Cuevas and Arianne Costner Shannon Cooley
Ashley Martin April Clausen
Cindy Baldwin and Amanda Rawson Hill Stacy Mitchell Nockowitz
Eric Bell Chad Lucas
G.Z. Schmidt T. James Belich
Gabrielle Byrne and Julia Nobel Mindy Nicole Thompson
Jenna Lehne and Tara Creel Laura A. Woollett
Jessica Vitalis and Julie Artz Tiffany Liu
Juliana L. Brandt and Lacee Little Lorelei Savaryn
K.C. Held Abigail Rayner
Kim Long and Jennifer L. Brown Summer Short
Kimberly Torne Emily Joy Howard
Margaret Dilloway Bruce Luck
Maria Frazer Chrystal Giles
Nicole Melleby Jeanne Becijos
Nicole Panteleakos Susan Vizurraga
Rajani LaRocca and Remy Lai Kathryn Powers
Rebecca Petruck Waka T. Brown
Sabrina Kleckner Theresa Duck
Sarah Cannon and JC Davis Ellen Stonaker
Sean Easley Megan Clements
Yamile Saied Mendez Robert Polk


Young Adult

Abigail Johnson Rebecca Rode
Adalyn Grace Chelsea Beam
Alex Reda and Renée A. Price Julia Ferreri
Andrea Contos and Kay L. McCray L.L. Madrid
Annie Sullivan Melissa Chai
Aty S. Behsam Rowyn Ramsky
Brittney Morris Jessica Lewis
Chelsea Hensley Tina Chan
Cole Nagamatsu Amy Wagner
Destiny Cole and Ruthanne Snow Christina Dotson
Elly Ha Steve Hanton
Erica Waters Stacie Turner
Erin Foster Hartley Breeny N.
Francesca Flores and Kimberly Vale Amanda Miah
Gloria Chao Susan Lee
Heather Ezell and Rachel Griffin Linda Kao
Hoda Agharazi Lyssa Mia Smith
Isabel Ibanez Davis Ava Reid
Jamie Howard Kaitlin Bartlett
Jenna Lincoln Jeff Wooten
Jessica Bayliss Samantha Eaton
K.C. Johnson N.D. Green
Katie Beers and Lindsey Frydman Ashley Winstead
Kerbie Addis Anne Persons
Kimberly Gabriel and Dawn Ius Margie Fuston
Kit Frick Michelle Hulse
Laura Brooke Robson Rachel Morris
Luke Hupton-MacGregor Mary Roach
Lyndsay Ely Nancy Yan
M.K. England and Jamie Pacton Rochelle Hassan
Megan LaCroix and Kim Chance Jessica Olson
Megan Manzano Jessica Froberg
Mel Howard and Alechia Dow Tigest G. Negussie
Melissa Erin Jackson and Lindsey Duga Natasha Watts
Michaela Greer Jumata Emill
Rachel Lynn Solomon Monica Gomez-Hira
Rebecca Kim Wells Xiran Jay
Rebecca Sky and Fallon DeMornay Tala Shannak
S.T. Sterlings Lindsay Smith Zrull
Sabrina Lotfi and Carrie Allen Kristy Boyce
Samantha Joyce and Laurie Dennison Elizabeth Schwab
Sana Patel Erin Bledsoe
Sheena Boekweg Kate Meadows
Sonia Hartl and Annette Christie Auriane Desombre
Stephen Morgan Marisa Urgo
Swati Teerdhala and Rosie Brown Madeleine Dresden
Tobie Easton and Jennieke Cohen Charis M. Ellison
Trisha Tobias Jasmyne Hammonds
Victoria Lee and RF Kuang Maria Dong


  • Mary Long says:

    Just a quick question, will the ones whom did not get picked be able to get any feedback from the mentors that we submitted to? Like just some general thoughts on our work?

    • Brenda Drake says:

      Mentors aren’t required to give feedback. It depends on the individual mentor whether they will or not. Each have different situations (ie. work, family, publishing work). But come back on Tuesday and enter for a chance to win a critique in our giveaway.

  • Ingrid says:

    I don’t see Rheea Mukherjee on the list. I submitted to her and was just wondering what happened.

  • Selene says:

    If we weren’t picked, how and when will we know if any mentor left us any feedback? I’m hoping at least one had even a sentence of comment, because I have no idea why my query keeps getting rejected, and my critique partners are as clueless as I. 🙁

    • Brenda Drake says:

      I answered this above. But here’s what I said … Mentors aren’t required to give feedback. It depends on the individual mentor whether they will or not. Each have different situations (ie. work, family, publishing work). But come back on Tuesday and enter for a chance to win a critique in our giveaway.

    • Brenda Drake says:

      And they will send you an email with feedback if they have any. It could take a few weeks since they to get their mentees started on revisions.

      • Selene says:

        Oh, I see, not much chance of feedback then. I thought that in your submission database website you’d have created some field where mentors could write something short after they read a submission, and it would be delivered to all participants automatically after the mentee selection. So it wouldn’t be much extra work for the mentors if they did want to leave some (short) feedback. Example: Your query isn’t very good, there are a lot of typos in your pages, this plot sounds familiar, etc. Maybe something to consider for next year.

        • Brenda Drake says:

          I didn’t say there wasn’t much chance, just that I really don’t know.

        • E Larrson says:

          That could create an expectation from mentors or make mentors feel bad when they then don’t leave a comment on every submission (sometimes over 300). In the end, it is subjective. It could be that there wasn’t stuff wrong with your work, but something else in their pile spoke to them on a deeper level. This reflects exactly what happens in the slush pile of agents and editors.

          I guess I’m just trying to say that I think the system is fine how it is. It’s a contest we can enter for free. I have paid to enter contests where you get no feedback.

          If you want feedback, keep searching for betas and CPs (you can never have too many). You said you have CPs so they should certainly be able to say whether your query reflects your MS, or if there’s typos or the material sounds too familiar (if not, find more CPs). I know a fair few mentee hopefuls who didn’t get a single request in PW but have a number of partials and fulls out with agents. It’s subjective. Asking or implying a mentor can/should leave a line of feedback on every submission could deter mentors from offering their [already limited] time.

  • Greg Weiland says:

    I want to thank everyone involved in Pitch Wars. Even though I was not picked, It has been a great experience. I learned a lot, especially from all the Blog materials on query letters and on editing. I will continue my writing and I will be back next year. Thanks Again!

  • Dee says:

    Is it okay to say thanks to a mentor who reached out to us? Not to bother, but just to say we appreciated it?

  • Sheralyn Luplow says:

    I want to thank all the mentors I submitted to for caring and for all their hard work. This was a wonderful learning experience for me. It has been enjoyable getting to know many of you through Twitter. CONGRATULATIONS 2018 mentees!

  • Debra Irsik says:

    Thanks to the mentors and all the hard work. I was not selected but will try again!

  • Lisa Trank says:

    Congrats to all who got chosen and even though I didn’t (this time), I really appreciate the positive energy generated with PitchWars! Keep on writing – the world needs us, now more than ever!

  • Congratulations to all mentees, and mentors! Pitch Wars is an even better experience than I expected, and I’m excited to keep working on my MS (even if not as a mentee this year). Onward & upward!

  • Katie says:

    Hey Pitchwars Team! I’ve been checking the blog for the afterparty post and haven’t seen anything. Is it rescheduled or hosted on another platform? Thank you very much!

  • Linda Smith Kerwin says:

    I would like to express my appreciation for everyone involved with Pitch Wars. It was a great learning experience for me, and I plan to return next year.

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.

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