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 starting on February 6, 2019, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2018 Pitch Wars Teams.
Next up, we have . . .
Jessica Lewis – Mentee
Brittney Morris – Mentor
Brittney, why did you choose Jessica?
I chose my mentee for two reasons. First, I firmly believe in Jessica’s manuscript. WILDFIRE has such a unique premise and beautifully flawed characters that had me cheering them on from the first page. I couldn’t stop reading, and I saw so much potential in the execution—potential in areas in which I’m knowledgeable—that I knew I had to take it on. Second, I firmly believe in Jessica. Her query jumped out at me immediately. Not only was the story eye-catching, but her passion for the story also shone through. That passion is going to carry her so far in her writing career, and I want to be there to help her every step of the way.
Jessica, why did you choose to submit to Brittney?
Brittney immediately seemed like a great fit. She seemed knowledgeable, approachable, and kind (and she likes anime so I was sold right away haha!). She also liked both black girl magic and spooky books, and WILDFIRE has a healthy dose of both!
Brittney, summarize Jessica’s book in 3 words.
Found-family. Determination. Fire.
Jessica, summarize your book in 3 words.
Resurrections Gone Wrong
Brittney, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.
I once attempted to write a sci-fi trilogy involving time travel, past lives, and evil mind-scanning governments, and I let the story get so big that I almost lost my mind in the planning stage. Even after I drafted book 1 and sent it to 4 betas, it flopped in the querying stage. But that experience taught me valuable lessons about plotting, pacing, and techniques for keeping my stories contained. I still have that story locked in a back cabinet somewhere, and I might come back to it one day with a complete rewrite.
Jessica, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?
I’ve been aching for a mentorship for a long time. Publishing is so hard to navigate by yourself and I needed someone who was a bit farther ahead to help me. Also, I’m terrible at pacing and worldbuilding, so someone to help me with that has been so valuable. However, the best thing I’ve gotten out of Pitch Wars so far is Brittney’s friendship. I’ve really enjoyed working with her and I really feel that she loves my book and wants to see it in its best form.
Jessica, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your manuscript unique?
I’m a black, depressed writer from a tiny town in Alabama. I never thought I’d get this far to be honest! I started writing when I was in high school for fun, but I’ve been writing seriously for two years. I queried my first book, a zombie novel, to disappointing results and never queried my second. WILDFIRE is my third completed manuscript.
I had been struggling with anger and I didn’t understand why, so I wrote the entire first draft of WILDFIRE in a frenzied four weeks to help myself deal with it. I entered Pitch Wars with draft 1.5 at the urging of my therapist, and here we are! WILDFIRE is my love letter to all the poor black girls like me who are struggling to make it one more day and how repressed rage can leak out in unexpected ways. But I also wanted to show that this anger is justified. We’ve earned it. It’s okay to feel it, cry, throw things, but get back on the horse and keep pushing. Because if you keep pushing, you’ll make it. I have to believe that myself, and I want others to believe it too.
Check out Brittney’s upcoming fall ’19 release, SLAY.
Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 6 – 11, 2019, and our next #PitMad is December 6, 2018!