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Pitch Wars Interviews with Eliza Knightly and her mentor Nikki Roberti

Saturday, 19 September 2015  |  Posted by Nikki Roberti

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Welcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews

Bringing you a closer look at each Pitch War Team and their projects.

Be sure to comment with support, comments, and questions.

Nikki Roberti & Eliza Knightly 

Team: Trouble

NikkiNikki Roberti (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! I’m Nikki Roberti. I’m a Catan-loving, Firefly-watching young adult author represented by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary. I’m also Brenda’s assistant. Last year I was a Pitch Wars mentee myself, mentored by the amazing Rachel Lynn Solomon, and the experience taught me so much in revising that it absolutely changed my life. I mainly write YA contemporary and some thrillers, but I also love playwriting, balloon sculpting, and cooking Italian food.


Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 8.39.46 PMEliza Knightly (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, I’m Eliza Knightly. I’m an omnivorous reader but I especially love YA with an occult twist (why couldn’t I have been born a psychic during the spiritualism movement?) and books featuring characters from diverse backgrounds (bonus points for foster kids!). I write YA rooted in several genres including contemporary, light science fiction and historical fiction. My PitchWars manuscript, The Runaway, was originally a memoir about my experiences living in a group home for troubled teens. It’s being transformed into fiction that features foster teens, truants, runaways and young people from rough backgrounds.

Nikki, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?   

For me, I wanted to pay it forward. Being in Pitch Wars last year was an invaluable experience, and the amount of time and effort that my mentor put into my work really meant a lot to me. Not only that, but she became one of my best author friends to this day. I knew that if I was ever put in the position where I could give back in a similar way, I would jump at it. It takes a village to raise a book baby, and I would be nothing with out the fellow authors who invested in me and my writing. I’m so glad Brenda let me join this amazing group.

Eliza, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?

I’m a Twitter newb. I thought social media would be a great way to connect with other writers. When #PitchWars began to blow up my feed, I decided to investigate further. It’s a contest unlike any I’ve seen before and people were super-enthusiastic about it. It sounded both fun and rewarding and I definitely wanted in.

Nikki, what are you most excited for?

I’m most excited to get to know my mentee, Eliza, and really dig deep into her book. Eliza blows me away with her amazing attitude, beautiful writing style, and the fact that she’s pretty darn incredible. It’s truly an honor to work with her, and we’ve already had way too much fun video chatting it up talking about books and authory things.

Eliza, what are you most excited for?

I’m ridiculously excited to tear apart my manuscript with Nikki Roberti. She’s already become my wise YA sage and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty with ruthless edits. We’re going to kill my darlings and it’s going to be fabulous!

Eliza, describe your novel in 3 words.

“Troubled not Trouble”  

Nikki, describe your mentee’s novel in 3 words.

Touched my soul


Check Us Out…

 Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 8.39.46 PM

Eliza Knightly,  Team Mentee

TwitterWebsite | Jukepop

Eliza Knightly is a former foster teen who lived in two different group homes and one foster home in little over a year. After attending around sixteen different schools and educational programs, she received her high school diploma the summer before she turned twenty. Knightly went on to receive a Bachelor’s degree in history and gender studies from The New School and a Master’s degree in library studies and archive management from the University of Michigan. She currently works as an archivist at Harvard, where she also studies creative writing. Excerpts of Knightly’s writing can be explored on Jukepop.com, where she is rated as one of the top serial writers.


Nikki Roberti, Team Mentor        

Twitter | Website 

Nikki is a professional journalist and marketer with more than a decade of published writing experience. She is also a young adult author represented by Suzie Townsend of the New Leaf Literary Agency. Before writing novels, she was a seven-time award winning playwright with her short pieces performed around the country, including The Kennedy Center in D.C.

Filed: Pitch Wars

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