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Pitch Wars 2020 … Mentor Picks!

Friday, 6 November 2020  |  Posted by Brenda Drake


It’s been a difficult and challenging year, and we’ve had mentors get sick and have family members who needed them, but in the midst of all this uncertainty and fear, our fabulous mentors have spent weeks of reading and obsessing over all the talented applicants who applied for a mentorship this year, and they have finally chosen their mentees!

Behind the scenes, there’s kindness, careful consideration, and understanding between our mentors. They’ve worked tirelessly reading all the submissions they received for Pitch Wars. They’ve shared how much they love your words and that they received so many great manuscripts written by talented writers. There were tons, TONS, of great entries, and we were sad they all couldn’t be chosen. Reading and liking a story is subjective, and mentors chose the one manuscript that grabbed their heart. One that after reading, they couldn’t forget. Couldn’t pass up.

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 not to mention the added stress of a pandemic and in some cases a divided country. 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.

Sonia (Managing Director): A huge thank you to everyone who submitted to Pitch Wars this year! Not only did you complete a manuscript (something so many talk about doing but so few actually accomplish), but you put your work out there, which is incredibly brave. Please don’t think of this as a rejection. Mentors can only choose one manuscript to work with out of hundreds of submissions, and Pitch Wars is not a reflection of you or your work. There are countless success stories from people who weren’t selected as mentees, then went on to get agents and sell their books. This is only one path of many.

And to the class of Pitch Wars 2020, congrats! We’re thrilled for all of you!

Brenda (Founding Director): I know all too well how it feels to be rejected. I’ve entered contests before and not been chosen. There was never a Pitch Wars for me. I’ve been rejected (a lot), had to end a relationship with an agent, and had to end a publishing deal that wasn’t the best for me. 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. This community is amazing! The community has supported me through some dark times and have celebrated with me through winning ones.  We all fail some and win some, but as long as we continue, our dreams can be realized. I’m still learning (and failing). My wish for you is to keep going, never give up, and gather friends who will cry and celebrate with you through the battles and victories. 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.

Thank you for entrusting us with your work!


And here is the Pitch Wars Class of 2020 …


Adult/New Adult






Chosen Mentee

Anna Kaling Drema Deòraich
Anne Raven Janet Walden-West Sari Coritz
Clay Harmon Sean Fallon
Cole Nagamatsu Sequoia Nagamatsu Jaq Evans
Cynthia Pelayo Anne Gresham
Damyanti Biswas Diba Bijari
Denise Williams Charish Reid Regina Black
Elizabeth Little Briana Una McGuckin
Gia de Cadenet Ella Synclair
Gladys Qin Jessica Kozlowski
Gwynne Jackson Lynnie Purcell
Halley Sutton Layne Fargo Olesya Lyuzna
Heather Van Fleet Jessica Calla Hope E. Ebel
Heather Van Fleet Jessica Calla Riley Rhys
Hudson Lin Kristen Gaerlan
Ian Barnes RA Black
Jake Nicholls Bethany Jacobs
K. A. Black Kayleigh Carpenter
Kalyn Josephson Kara Allen
Kalyn Josephson Kat Enright Sara Hashem
Keena Roberts M.K. Hardy
Kellye Garrett Mia P. Manansala Lyn Randström
Kristen Lepionka Ernie Chiara Lina Chern
L. Penelope Denny S. Bryce Caila Coleman
Lyn Liao Butler Jade Webb
M. J. Soni Alex Segura Catherine Tucker
Maria Heater Rosalie M. Lin
Mary Ann Marlowe Suzy Darlington
Matthew Quinn Martin Jerry Quinn and Victoria Ellison
Michael Mammay AR Lucas Erica Holcomb
Nicole Glover Elizabeth Castaneda
P. J. Vernon Kelly J. Ford Lyz Mancini
Paris Wynters M.J. Cassell
Rachel Howzell Hall Cory Helffrich
Rachel Lynn Solomon Courtney Kae
Ren Hutchings Erin Fulmer
Rob Hart Jennifer Mandula
Rochelle Karina C.J. Dotson
Roma Panganiban Nadi Reed Perez
Ruby Barrett Rosie Danan Maggie North
Sam Tschida Carly Bloom Nikki Payne
Samantha Rajaram Milo Todd
Sonia Hartl Annette Christie E.E. Adams
Stephen Morgan Rachel Brown
Taj McCoy Kyla Zhao
Tanen Jones Nick Medina
Tricia Lynne Sarah Burnard

New Adult

N.E. Davenport Abby Jackson
Sunya Mara Jules Arbeaux


Middle Grade

Mentor Co-mentor Chosen Mentee
Adrianna Cuevas Sarah Kapit Sarah Whitcher
Chad Lucas Heather Murphy Capps
Christina Li Reese Eschmann Shannan Williams
Darlene P. Campos Lynn Leitch
Eric Bell Meg Kuyatt
Gail D. Villanueva Hetal Avanee
George Jreije Long Quan Nguyen Alexandra Otto
Jessica Vitalis Julie Artz Maria Jose Fitzgerald
K.C. Held Shana Targosz N.J. Corsini
Kim Long Jennifer L. Brown Malcolm Schmitz
Lisa Moore Ramee Sonja Wilbert
Rajani LaRocca Remy Lai Catherine Cook
Rebecca Petruck Alexis Larkin
Rochelle Hassan Sean Miller
Shakirah Bourne Allison Carvalho
Sofiya Pasternack Peter Lopez
Sylvia Liu Isi Hendrix
TJ Ohler Sara Codair
Erin Entrada Kelly Michelle Hubbard


Young Adult

Mentor Co-Mentor Chosen Mentee
Abigail Johnson Madison Packer
Adiba Jaigirdar Gabriela Martins Breyonna Jones
Aiden Thomas Jasmine C Griffin
Allison Saft Ava Reid Skyla Arndt
Amanda Panitch Heba Helmy
Amelia Diane Coombs Sophie Gonzales Page Powars
Andrea Contos Erinn Salge
Anna Sortino Annika J. Cosgrove
April Snellings Dawn Ius Betsey Grace Groover
Aty S. Behsam Melanie Schubert
Auriane Desombre Susan Lee Tia Tashiro Vierling
Ayana Gray Maiya Ibrahim Zahra Zelle
Bethany Mangle Kylie Jackson
Carlyn Greenwald Kit Frick Juliet Lubwama
Ciannon Smart Lauren Turner
Daphne Lao Tonge Kat Dunn Amber Chen
Emery Lee Lillian Lu
Emily Golden J.Elle Danielle Parker
Emily Thiede Lyssa Mia Smith
Grace Li Rebecca Mix Sarah Underwood
Hoda Agharazi Jessica Parra
Jamie Howard Juliet Marie Hollihan
Jennieke Cohen Alex Samuely
Kara McDowell Kimberly Gabriel Gretchen Schreiber
Kylie Schachte Xan Kaur
Lane Clarke Myah Hollis
Laurie Dennison Emily Marano
Liz Lawson Dante Medema Hannah V. Sawyerr
Lyndsay Ely Loretta Chefchaouni
Margie Fuston Angela Montoya
Meg Long Xiran Jay Zhao Tesia Tsai
Michaela Greer Gabrielle Aku
Nova McBee Beguiled and Bewitched
Rachel Griffin Jenny Marie
Rona Wang Olivia Liu
Sabrina Lotfi Carrie S. Allen Nicole Magoon
Sandra Proudman Shannon A. Thompson Miranda Sun
Sarah Dass Kate MacPherson
Sarvenaz Tash Kaylynn Nelson
Sasha Peyton Smith Kristin Lambert Samantha Edelman
Sheena Boekweg Alechia Dow Leanne Schwartz
Sonora Reyes Elle Grenier
ST Sterlings Natasha Cirisano
ST Sterlings Ruth Ford
Tash McAdam Kris Gentry
Tashie Bhuiyan Chloe Gong Lujia Li
Zach Hines Beth A. Amos




Filed: Pitch Wars

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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