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Pitch Wars Interview with Jenny Howe and her mentor, Phil Stamper

Tuesday, 25 October 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

PW Interviews

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 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams.

And now, we have . . . 


Jenny Howe – Mentee

Twitter | Website

?KILL Stamper ?

Phil Stamper – Mentor

Twitter | Website

Jenny: Why did you choose Phil?

I knew from following Phil on Twitter that he was awesome, and he mentioned video games in his Pitch Wars wish list, so I was really excited to submit CLOSER TO TOMORROW to him. I loved the idea of working with a mentor who had some knowledge about gaming, since it is so important to my story, and the other elements of my MS seemed to match his wish list as well, so I thought it might be a good fit for him. His description of his mentoring style also resonated with the way I revise, which made me think we could work well together.

Phil: Why did you choose Jenny’s manuscript?

There are plenty of reasons that factored into my decision, but the most important was simply that I fell in love with the book. I knew it was something special in the first fifty words, and it didn’t disappoint the rest of the way through. And more importantly, I had a clear vision for the manuscript. I knew there was a ton of potential in this (already great) story, and was very excited to see that Jenny was completely on board with my suggestions.

Jenny: Summarize your book in three words.

Anxiety. Gaming. Kissing.

Phil: Summarize Jenny’s book in three words.

What Jenny said.

Jenny: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique?

I’m an English professor. I have an amazing husband who sews his own bowties and cooks fantastic meals. We have an 11-year-old Jack Russell terrier who has the energy of a puppy. I knit (but only in straight lines) and crochet (but only in triangles) and I am trying (poorly so far) to teach myself to play guitar.

I started CTT because I wanted to write a book about gaming. I played MMOs for a long time and really wanted to explore the communities created by those types of online, immersive games. But the story ended up being about more than gaming, too, and I love it for that: it’s got flawed friendships and a pretty messy love triangle, and a main character who is trying to figure out how she finds her own voice while struggling with anxiety.

Phil: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know.

As you already know, I’m a YA writer and freelance editor who lives in Brooklyn, NY. I work in publishing development for a large publishing house. You can find me on Twitter, where I exclusively talk about food, retro gaming, and sometimes books. You can learn more about me at http://philstamper.com/

What you might not know? I was a music major and a concert pianist in college, where my recital pieces covered all eras and genres, from Brahms and Debussy to a piece transcribed from the Mega Man II OST.


Check out Phil Stamper’s short story . . .

PRODIGY was recently published as part of a REUTS Publications anthology, FAIRLY TWISTED TALES.


Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! And don’t forget to stop by the Agent Showcase starting November 3rd to see how our teams do in the final round.

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