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Pitch Wars … 2021 Mentor Picks!

Saturday, 6 November 2021  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Banner of a campsite with Poe in a mask with a sign reading “2021 Pitch Wars Mentees.”


It’s been another challenging year, and we hope you all are doing well. We’ve had mentors who had to step down from mentoring due to work or family issues, but we also had mentors agree to take on another mentee to make up for those vacant spots. So, rest assured no matter which mentors you submitted your application to, your story was read and given a fair chance.

Our mentors were obsessing over all the talented applicants who applied for a mentorship this year, and they gave careful consideration when deciding their picks. They were sad to see that so many wonderful manuscripts couldn’t be chosen. Remember 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. With that said, they have finally chosen their mentees!

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.

Ayana Gray

Ayana Gray (Managing Director): Wow! The year is almost over and another class of Pitch Wars has officially been introduced! Firstly, a massive thank you to the entire Pitch Wars Committee for the amazing work you all did behind the scenes to make this entire process seamless. Secondly, thank you SO much to everyone who submitted a manuscript to Pitch Wars this year. What you’ve done in completing an entire manuscript is an accomplishment in and of itself, and you should be so proud! I know that some of you are facing disappointment if you didn’t get the news you were hoping for this time, but please don’t look at this as a rejection. Rather, consider this a part of your writerly journey. Mentors can only choose one manuscript from the hundreds they receive, and truly agonize to make their choice. Always remember that Pitch Wars—and, in fact, any writing mentorship program—is only one path to publication. There are any number of successful authors who weren’t selected as Pitch Wars mentees and have since gone on to enjoy incredible careers! To the Pitch Wars Class of 2021, I am so happy for you and proud of you, and am wishing each of you a wonderful experience!! We are here for you through every step of this journey, and we are cheering for you!

Brenda Drake

Brenda Drake (Founding Director): I’ve been rejected SO many times, I know how it stings. Many times I’ve entered contests and wasn’t 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. We all fail some and win some, but as long as we continue, our dreams can be realized. I’m still learning (and failing). It takes so much courage to share your work with others. I’m so happy you did! Congratulations on finishing a manuscript and for being brave enough to send it to us! 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 along the way.


And here is the Pitch Wars Class of 2021 …




Adult/New Adult






Alexandria Bellefleur Lillian Woodall
Alexia Gordon Joss Wyatt
Alicia Thompson & Amy Lea Hannah B. Olsen
AM Kvita Sulagna Hati
Amanda Elliot Alexandra Kiley
Anna Kaling Loro Gold
Anna Kaling Neena Viel
Ashley Winstead V.A. Vazquez
Brooke Abrams & Falon Ballard Tauri Cox
Carolyne Topdjian Leigh Paulk
Charish Reid & Denise Williams Roma Peña
Clay Harmon Janet Jing Martin
Cole Nagamatsu & Sequoia Nagamatsu Mary Berman
Courtney Kae & Jenny L Howe Elle Everhart
Cynthia Pelayo Jennifer Kiefer
Ed Aymar Sian Gilbert
Farah Heron & Namrata Patel Lisa Allen
Gabi Burton Andrea Aquino
Grace D. Li & Em X. Liu P. H. Low
Grace K. Shim & Jesse Q. Sutanto Natalie Sue
Heather Van Fleet & Jessica Calla Jessica James
Heather Van Fleet & Jessica Calla Deena Short
Ian Barnes Rose Regeant
J.A. Crawford Magda Sainte
Jackson Ford Carly Vair
Jake Nicholls Abigail Barenblitt
Katherine Lim Gabrielle Barone
Keena Roberts & Molly Steen Ava Wing
Kelly Siskind Noel Stark
Lyn Liao Butler Jamie Sogn
Marith Zoli & Yvette Yun Tracy Rahal
Mary Ann Marlowe &
Laura Elizabeth
Chelsea Marie Ballard
Mary Ann Marlowe &
Laura Elizabeth
Alistair Reeves
Mary Keliikoa Mia Danielson
Melissa Colasanti The Mancaruso Sisters
Mia P. Manansala KC Hadley
Michella S. Domenici Gabriella Buba
N.E. Davenport Evette M. Williams
Nanci Schwartz & LL Montez TB Wright
Natalka Burian Jenny Belardi
Paris Wynters Chris Vonderhaar
Peggy Rothschild Sean Logan
Regina Black & Nikki Payne Aurora Palit
Rob Hart Ren Weston
Rochelle Karina Aimee Davis
Ruby Barrett & Rosie Danan Kendall Hoffman
Saara El-Arifi Roanne Lau
Samantha Rajaram Liz Iversen
Sarah Remy Astra Crompton
Sarah Underwood & Kat Dunn Pascale Lacelle
S.A. Simon & Rosalie M. Lin Tiera DiGiorgio
S.A. Simon & Rosalie M. Lin LJ Alexander
Stephenie Magister & Noreen Colleen Temple
Swati Hegde Charli Kent
Vaishnavi Patel & Sarah Mughal R. A. Basu





Middle Grade






Adrianna Cuevas & Sarah Kapit Sophie Li
Cindy Baldwin & Amanda Rawson Hill Adria Goetz
Darlene P. Campos Lisa Clewner-Newman
Eric Bell Alysha Dominico
Erin Teagan Amanda M. Pierce
George Jreije & LQ Nguyen Nessa Uy
Graci Kim & Karah Sutton KA Nguyen
Julie Artz Laurie Lascos
Kim Long & Jennifer L. Brown Lisa Wood
Nicole Melleby & A. J. Sass Jess Callans
Rebecca Petruck Emily Deibert
Sandra Proudman &
Shannon A. Thompson
Damara Allen
Shakirah Bourne Ellen Armendáriz Stumbo
Sylvia Liu Konstantinos Kalofonos
Tracy Badua Sarah Mendonca





Young Adult






Aaron Cole & Tamara Cole Tyler A. Lawson
Aashna Avachat Rishika Sen
Abigail Johnson Rachel Rose
Allison Saft Christine L. Arnold
Amelia Diane Coombs Aroa Gabaldon
Angelica Monai & Natalie Crown Emma Clancey
Annika J. Cosgrove & Anna Sortino Kat Korpi
Aty S. Behsam & Maedeh B. Saaina Francesca Tacchi
Bethany Mangle Melissa Miles
Brianna Bourne Brandon Arthur
Carly Heath Micah Killjoy
Carlyn Greenwald Carly A. Davis
Carrie S. Allen & Sabrina Lotfi Emily Miner
Cimone Watson & Charity Alyse Darian Cash
Dante Medema & Liz Lawson Ambika Vohra
Diana Urban Kristen Roche
Emery Lee Isabella Galbraith
Emily Thiede & Lauren Blackwood Sophie Clark
Fiona McLaren K.A. Blaser
Hannah V. Sawyerr & Olivia Liu Lilian Lai
Hoda Agharazi & Lyssa Mia Smith Kathryn Lapierre
Jamie McHenry Megan Davidhizar
Jennifer Yu Kat Gonso
Jenny Perinovic & Kyrie McCauley Bree Shea
Jessica Lewis Chandra Fisher
Jessica Lewis Zoe Zander
Joel Brigham Pete Fanning
Justine Pucella Winans Hailie Kei
Karen Bao Channelle Desamours
Kiana Krystle Abbey Brabazon
KL Burd Elizabeth McWhorter
Kylie Schachte Jamison Shea
Lane Clarke Jorge Cienfuegos
Laura Weymouth Kay S. Beckett
Laurie Dennison Alejandra Velutini
M.T. Khan Yasmine Jibril
Margie Fuston Sana Muttalib
Mary E. Roach Shaina Cordas
Meredith Tate & Jamie Howard Kara Aislinn Kennedy
Molly X. Chang & Zoulfa Katouh Braden Goyette
Rochelle Hassan & Meg Long Akila Rayapuraju
Rosiee Thor & Emily Grey Basil Alrabee
Sarvenaz Tash Mae McCall
Skyla Arndt & Alex Brown Crystal Seitz
Sonora Reyes Nathalie D. Medina
Sunya Mara Anna Mercier
Susan Bishop Crispell Taylor Gates
TJ Ohler Sabrina Lloyd
  • Peter says:

    Congrats to everyone that won

  • Greg Weiland says:

    Thanks to all the Mentors for the time they dedicated to this contest! It is very appreciated. I was not selected, but I will continue to write – it is very rewarding and fun. Thanks again!

  • Mikal says:

    Good luck to all the mentees!


    I wasn’t selected, and I can honestly say I wasn’t expecting to, but I did enjoy the submission process (it was my first time participating!). My most sincere congratulations to all selected, and my deepest gratitude to all the Mentors for taking the time to read all the entries.

  • Ethan says:

    I’m not even sad I didn’t get picked. 🙂 I had a blast with PitchWars, I got to join the vibrant unofficial Discord community that sprung up around it, and I got more work done on my story than I ever would have without such a challenge. I’ll be ready come AMM or the next PitchWars!

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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