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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Christy Goerzen and her mentors, Beth Hull and Helene Dunbar

Thursday, 8 September 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 ‪#‎TeamMicDrop‬ . . .


Christy Goerzen

Twitter | Website | Amazon Author Page


Helene Dunbar – Mentor

Twitter Website | Amazon Author Page


Beth Hull – Co-Mentor



Christy: Why did you choose (Mentors)?

Right from the first day that I read through all the mentor bios/wishlists, Helene and Beth were my #1 dream mentor team. I had read Helene’s novels and loved her beautiful sense of voice and character, and on their wishlist post they both mentioned books that I also love (Stiefvater! Flynn! Perkins! Levithan! Yes!). What they were looking for seemed to resonate with what my MS had to offer, so I tweeted them and asked if they’d be open to a verse novel. Thankfully, they both were!

Mentors: Why did you choose Christy’s manuscript?

Beth: Helene & I were messaging back and forth as we read–things like “Did you see this part?” and “I love the thing with the mom,” and “THESE WORDS!!!” We both agreed that the verse and the voice worked sooooo well. Another point in the manuscript’s favor was that we started brainstorming possible improvements almost immediately. Something about Christy’s story grabbed us from the very beginning and got our minds busy.

Helene: I found myself unable to stop reading Christy’s manuscript, which hasn’t happened to me in a while. She has a lovely way of saying so much in such a few words and I think that’s a rare talent. I knew quickly, that I wanted to work with her in some capacity and I was thrilled that Beth felt the same way.

Christy: Summarize your book in three words.

Angst, hormones, art.

Mentors: Summarize your mentee’s book in three words.

Beth: Girl unlocks art.

Helene: Harnessing creative fire

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

My day job is an arts and entertainment management professor and internship coordinator at a local university – basically I spend my days teaching the business side of the arts to students who want to work at record labels, artist management agencies, TV/film production, theatre companies, festivals, etc., and then help place them in industry internships. Most of them enter the program as shiny-eyed 18-year-olds thinking that their exciting careers will see them riding around in limos and drinking champagne with Taylor Swift, and I (somewhat sadistically) love knocking down their dreams a few notches. But really, though, I love it. I’m also going to be starting my PhD in Education in fall 2017, with research into integrating cultural entrepreneurship into post-secondary performing arts curricula. I’m a total nerd when it comes to education theory and curriculum development. So while my left brain is busy doing all that, my right brain is always working away at my latest YA WIP or ideas for future books. I’m a lifelong bookworm and I have an MA in Children’s Literature, where my thesis focused on orphan girls in middle grade novels. I’ve got three YA novels for reluctant readers published – EXPLORE, FARMED OUT and THE BIG APPLE EFFECT – and I’m excited to be accepted into Pitch Wars with my first “full length” manuscript. IF I DON’T is a YA novel in verse about a young artist working to discover her true artistic identity – flailing and failing and trying to figure it all out along the way while dealing with some major life happenings.

In case all of the above is too serious, I’m also a crazy guinea pig lady (i.e. I spend way too much money on fleece cage liners and toys and stuff), with three piggies that I’m totally obsessed with: Lulu, Trixie and Ketchup.

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

Beth: I can’t really cook, like, at all. If it weren’t for my husband, I’d probably live off of cheese and crackers and apple slices, or I’d starve to death. One time we had to throw away a pot after I tried to make rice. RICE.

Helene: My agent would want me to share my strange celebrity encounters, but I’m just going to stay quiet on those for now. Let’s see…although I’m a woefully bad musician, I adore music and was music director of both my high school and college radio stations. I’m a longtime freelancer for Irish Music Magazine in Dublin, covering trad in the US and I’m currently posting a song a day on Twitter under the hashtag #80sforbeth in order to indoctrinate Beth to all the cool 80’s music that she somehow missed.


Check out Helene Dunbar’s latest release, WHAT REMAINS . . .

In less than a second… 

… two of the things Cal Ryan cares most about–a promising baseball career and Lizzie, one of his best friends–are gone forever.

In the hours that follow, Cal’s damaged heart is replaced. But his life will never be the same.

Everyone expects him to pick up the pieces and move on.

But Lizzie is gone, and all that remains for Cal is an overwhelming sense that her death was his fault. And a voice in his head that just…won’t…stop.

Cal thought he and his friends could overcome any obstacle. But grief might be the one exception.

And that might take a lifetime to accept . . .

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