Our mentors are mentoring, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase starting on February 9, 2021, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2021 Pitch Wars Mentor and Mentee Teams.
Next up, we have . . .
Emily Miner – Mentee
Carrie S. Allen – Mentor
Sabrina Lotfi – Mentor
Carrie & Sabrina, why did you choose Emily?
Carrie: Anyone who reads Emily’s query or pages will immediately understand why we were hooked by her concept and her writing. Avery and her story stayed with me every time I had to put the book down (which was like, once. I power-read that baby!) Early on, I told Sabrina that there are readers who have been waiting for this book, who are going to send Emily the best thank-you letters. I wanted to do whatever we could to get those letters rolling!
Sabrina: Emily and YOUR BETTER HALF made me think and feel from page one and kept me riding that reading high and smiling (and sometimes crying) all the way to the very last. So the simple answer? I fell in love. There’s mass matchmaking for a half-marathon fundraiser (which is exactly as fun and chaotic as it sounds), food scenes that will leave you drooling (or cooking and baking, as was the case for me), and an amazing group of girlfriends who will do literally anything to lift each other up and help each other out. Plus it’s seriously swoony—hands down my new fave sweet sunshine girl and grumpy marshmallow boy pairing. And as fun and funny and sweet and swoony and incredible as it is, it’s also the only YA romcom I’ve ever read with a diabetic main character, and Avery’s story is so powerful and important. I truly cannot wait for the world to fall in love with this book like I have. Just go ahead and add it to your TBR now.
Emily, why did you choose to submit to Carrie & Sabrina?
When reviewing the MSWLs for mentors, Sabrina and Carrie immediately jumped out at me. They were looking for rom-coms and swoony stories, retellings, fierce girls, and tropes… and since I tried to pack my manuscript full of all of the above, I was hopeful they’d be a good fit! Their mentoring strengths and style also made me eager to learn from them; they seemed so supportive and sharp, and I was eager to get their advice on turning the tension in my book up several notches. (And they have certainly delivered!)
Carrie & Sabrina, summarize Emily’s book in 3 words.
Sabrina: MARATHON OF LOVE
Carrie: DROP YOUR MISCONCEPTIONS.
The heart of this story is the lack of understanding most people have regarding diabetes, but it extends to how we also make assumptions about our peers, or about activities like running. Recognizing when you’re wrong, having the inclination to educate yourself and change, these are heavy topics. But Emily added chocolate chip cookies, an incredible amount of caffeine, ride-or-die besties, and all the best rom-com tropes. It’s the perfect balance of serious and fun!
Emily, summarize your book in 3 words.
MISADVENTURES IN MATCHMAKING
Carrie & Sabrina, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.
Carrie: Channeling Avery for help answering this one! She uses icebreakers to matchmake during the training runs in YOUR BETTER HALF, and one of her questions is “What takes up too much of your time?” For the last year and a half, I spent most of my time homeschooling my two kids (and all of my brainpower and patience!) Now that they’ve returned to in-person school, I’m looking forward to using “too much” of my time writing, writing, writing, and obsessively watching the Winter Olympics/Paralympics.
Sabrina: When Carrie and I were struggling to answer this one because…year four and we are boring y’all pretty much already know everything about us!…Carrie, my super genius Pitch Wars wife, came up with the brilliant idea to answer one of Avery’s matchmaking questions! So…also channeling Avery! What takes up too much of my time? (Aside from laundry and dishes and all the wonderful bookish things?) I am a Human Tennis Ball Launcher. Or Squeaky Toy Launcher. Or Rope Launcher. Basically I spend a ridiculous amount of time playing fetch with my dog. Like, a really ridiculous amount of time. But the pure puppy joy when we do? So worth it.
Emily, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?
I’m so excited to get to learn from my mentors! I know there’s a lot I still have to learn as a writer, and I’m always hungry to expand my toolkit and deepen my craft knowledge. I’m thrilled at the chance to apply all of Carrie and Sabrina’s feedback and advice to this story to make it shine as brightly as possible. The PitchWars community is also so wonderful—I’ve met so many talented, supportive writers so far, and sometimes I get chills imagining seeing their books on shelves in a few years. Because I have zero doubt they will be!
Emily, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?
I can think of so few light, fun, romantic stories that feature characters with chronic illness—and none that I’ve read starring a diabetic MC (though if anyone knows of any, please send them my way!!). I was diagnosed during my senior year of high school, and it would have meant so much to me to see more protagonists just living their lives with this condition. Avery and I are very different in almost every other way, but her experiences with her health are very close to my own. It was powerful to write, and I hope it might be powerful for others to read one day, too. I also just had a lot of fun writing this book! I think so many of us found comfort in romance over the last few years, and on the tough days of 2021, it was always an escape to write another trope-y, banter-y scene between Avery and Wes, my favorite oblivious, stubborn, well-meaning matchmakers.
Check out Carrie’s latest news …
Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 9-14, 2022. Make sure to stop by then and check out all our mentees’ entries when it opens.